Chris Kyle, author and former U.S. Navy Seal sniper with (at least) 160 kills in Iraq was killed at a Texas gun range by a fellow veteran who he was trying to help with overcoming his post-traumatic stress disorder.
I extend my condolences to all parties involved.
As I wrote here, I was never a fan of Chris Kyle. I respect his skill at killing. But, the way in which he was feted by the Right-wing media for his deathly exploits struck me as typical, distasteful, chicken hawk cheer-leading. Kyle also seemed too proud of his exploits. He also profited from them. In all, I have more respect for quiet warriors like Alvin York, men who do their work, and want to have peace after their service is done.
Kyle's murder at a Texas gun range has invited some obvious--and well-deserved--snark from those who oppose the Gun Right's fetish for firearms as a cure all for society's ills.
If guns lead to a polite society why was Kyle killed at a gun range--surrounded by all of those guns? If guns make us safe, why couldn't an expert shooter, surrounded by others who are ostensibly very skilled with their guns, fight off his attacker? If teachers can be expected to fight off armed shooters, why couldn't one of the most lethal men on the planet use his gun to stop his murderer?
While those questions score cheap political points, we cannot forget that anyone can get got, as the saying goes, if they let their guard down. Omar from The Wire was killed by a kid at the corner spot. If it can happen to Omar (or Chris Kyle) it too can happen to me, you, or other folks far more dangerous.
War casts a long shadow. Between the blowback, a wrecked economy, and the many tens of thousands of wounded warriors returning home from battle overseas, there are likely to be many more Chris Kyles felled during peacetime.
The ancients have much wisdom to offer here. It is time we started listening to them.
The gods fail not to mark
Those who have killed many.
The black Furies stalking the man
Fortunate beyond all right
Wrench back again the set of his life
And drop him to darkness.