Ron Paul's controversial tweet about slain Navy SEAL
February 4th, 2013
01:59 PM ET
2 years ago

Ron Paul's controversial tweet about slain Navy SEAL

(CNN) – Former Rep. Ron Paul, normally known for his online popularity, drew criticism Monday for asserting a political opinion in a tweet about the Navy SEAL who was killed at a gun range this weekend.


The three-time presidential candidate and longtime congressman from Texas is known for his staunch opposition to U.S. military involvement. While he doesn't describe himself as an "isolationist," he has won favor among libertarians for opposing military intervention in other countries.

Kyle, 38, had claimed a record number of sniper killings in Iraq and said in an interview that he had no regrets about the 160 people he shot during his five combat tours in Iraq.

The former SEAL with two silver stars was an outspoken defender of Second Amendment rights and also helped form a foundation that assisted military veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Kyle was killed along with another veteran, Chad Littlefield. The two had arrived at the shooting range together Saturday with the suspect, Eddie Ray Routh.

In a post to Facebook Monday night, Paul elaborated more on his comment.

"As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend's violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family," the post stated. "Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies. -REP"

While Paul has also been known as an advocate for gun rights, his comment earlier on Twitter quickly drew fire for going over the line.

Some, however, sided with Paul. The tweet was "favorited" by 85 people about an hour after the post.

Paul, also a doctor, has a record of defending gun ownership. Weeks after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting, the former congressman posted on his congressional website that he agrees "more guns equals less crime" and that "private gun ownership prevents many shootings."

He also came out against calls for more gun control, saying people should not view "government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence."


Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Ron Paul
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. V

    He tweeted this at 5:05 P.M. 2/4/13 hmm!

    February 4, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. GOP = Greed Over People

    Maybe one "good guy with a gun" vet killing another "good guy with a gun" vet will get the attention of the NRA.

    20 shattered bodies of first graders did not do it, because what was missing was a "good guy with a gun"!

    Following their logic can be dizzying!

    February 4, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Mike

    Leave it to the guy from NYC and the guy from Cali to fabricate and stretch points to the incomprehensible.

    Rudy, show me your source on ' typical of most gun related homicides. The victim owned a gun and had it on their person when they were fatally shot..'

    Randy, consider reading the story. They were away from others in the woods. Clearly, you believe that a gun instantly imbues the holder with ESP. Perhaps you aren't the best judge of the 'logical, common sense individual'.

    February 4, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Cade Foster

    Love him or dislike him, you know what you get with Ron Paul. You know where Ron stands.
    Pity the same cannot be said for Obama, Romney, etc.

    February 4, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Mike

    Leave it to the guy from NYC and the guy from Cali to fabricate and stretch points to the incomprehensible.

    Rudy, show me your source on ' typical of most gun related homicides. The victim owned a gun and had it on their person when they were fatally shot..'
    ---------------–
    Google it, yourself. Most shooting victims do own guns.
    If you own a gun, then you are twenty times more likely to be shot and killed by one. Google that, too.

    February 4, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Tony

    Those of you who have never been to combat and haven't dealt with reintegrating into the civilian world have no right to speak on this topic. As a matter of fact, outdoor recreational therapy, whether hunting, skeet shooting, or whatever you choose to do, is great for a combat veteran. And just because someone has PTSD or an anxiety disorder doesn't mean they're 100% crazy all the time. I personally volunteer many hours a year taking disabled veterans out hunting and fishing without any negative incidents, as a matter of fact, people come out if it in a much better place than they were before hand. The one negative that happens out of the thousands of positives is what gets reported and everything gets blown out of proportion.

    February 4, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Scott in D.C.

    Typical of a CNN audience, less than 1 in 10 demonstrate any real "cognitive ability" as James Klimaski puts it. Hey James, living in the D.C. area, I'm used to being surrounded by a bunch of self-absorbed, pretentious, elitist snobs who think they're "cognitively" superiority.

    Nobody who has commented on this site understands the therapeutic benefits of what Kyle was doing, because nobody who has commented has served in the military. For those who grew up shooting and served in combat arms, sport shooting is relaxing. Only left-wing anti-gun nuts equate sport shooting to killing anything. A form of therapy used in military hospitals is actually to visually/virtually recreate the scenario in which the serviceman was injured and allow the serviceman to better process what happened in a controlled environment, on his/her own terms. This therapy has been successful.

    A little advice to you arrogant, left-wing idiots – don't attempt to speak intelligently about stuff you know nothing about. Stick to what you know, i.e. gaudy fashion, poor entertainment, and running up $1 + trillion deficits per year.

    February 4, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Name lynn

    What do ron know, hes wasnt there when the shooting took place. Get a life ron.

    February 4, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. GOP = Greed Over People

    Scott in D.C.

    A little advice to you self righteous knuckle draggers on the right, leave treating PTSD to the health professionals in a hospital "controlled environment" instead of the vet next door!

    Stick to what you baggers know – tap dancing Broadway show tunes in men's room stall, tundra temptresses, and home schooling, and getting 4500+ Americans killed in preemptive war as revenge for "trying to hurt my daddy"!

    February 4, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Billy Proulx

    Unfortunately, Ron Paul doesn't seem to be content with ruining his own career, he now seems to have his sights set on his sons as well.

    February 4, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. jack johnson

    So this just proves he is a Republican (critize Chris for doing what OUR GOVERNMENT should be doing TRYING TO HELP OUR VETS.) but instead they just want to keep cutting money for helping OUR BROTHERS in arms!

    February 4, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. rs

    To those who say: "arm teachers", do you see the problem now?

    February 4, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Moose

    Why not go to chicago where the gun violence is ???? must be scared, Rudy, its ok we need fodder like you in the world. Brown noser
    ***************************
    Have you found Rocky the Flying Squirrel yet? What other BS are you going to pull out of your hat? Oh, Scott in DC, do you really think its a good idea to take a person who has been traumatised by gun violance or by their military service shooting to "relax"? Are you a liscensed therapist, or someone who is so hung up on their hobby they can't realize they know nothing about this? Oh, and by the way, watching an episode of MASH where they did this does NOT make you an expert on therapy, any more than my watching Big Bang Theory makes me qualified to pass judgement on String Theory or any branch of Particle Physics. Stick to what you are good at: not paying your bills, defending your right to be selfish, praying to Wayne LaPierre and Ted Nugent every day and giving them what's left of your life's savings, as well as posting asinine comments about things you clearly know nothing about. Now call Mom and make sure she's paid your cable bill. No one was equating sport shooting to killing anything: by the way, would my friend, a colonel in the Air Force who lost his daughter at the VT massacre, relax with sport shooting? Your opinion, please, munus the sneers about what you think we know about, if you can manage that.

    February 4, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Scott in DC wrote:

    Nobody who has commented on this site understands the therapeutic benefits of what Kyle was doing, because nobody who has commented has served in the military. For those who grew up shooting and served in combat arms, sport shooting is relaxing. Only left-wing anti-gun nuts equate sport shooting to killing anything. A form of therapy used in military hospitals is actually to visually/virtually recreate the scenario in which the serviceman was injured and allow the serviceman to better process what happened in a controlled environment, on his/her own terms. This therapy has been successful.
    ------------------------
    Psst, Scott. If someone chastised victims of PTSD, then I missed it. It's usually the right who dismiss people with mental health claims as being slackers looking for a hand out anyway. I also recall that the Bush administration cut back on funding for PTSD and VA hospitals, in general.

    Taking someone out to a live fire scenario is very different from visually/virtually recreating the scenario in their mind. I fail to see the therapeutic benefits of what Kyle was doing. I would conclude that is you does not understand, Scott. Kyle was not a medical professional. He put a live weapon in the hands of someone with mental problems.. Unfortunately, he paid the price for his lack of judgment.

    February 4, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Bill Hicks

    Ron Paul is on the money, and has the guts to say the truth.

    War hero? No. A war thug, nothing more. Just like that vet who's on trial for murdering civilians, Chris Kyle was nothing more than a murdering thug. He was part of an illegal invasion of a sovereign country based upon lies (where are those WMDs Dubya)? He was assassinating citizens trying to protect their country, nothing more. In short, a murderer.

    I am glad this filth met the fate he deserved, a fate ordained by the Christian God these types pray to. Live by the gun, die by the gun.

    This man did NOT protect my freedoms. In fact, he made me LESS safe in the world today. I have no sympathy for him, for his family, or his degenerate conservative minions. Rot in Hades pal - you've earned it.

    February 4, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. LI_Bri

    RP is truly a great man. In 20 years you'll be watching his YouTube videos and you'll be telling yourselves, "He knew and he warned us. Ron Paul was right.".

    February 4, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -Tony

    Those of you who have never been to combat and haven't dealt with reintegrating into the civilian world have no right to speak on this topic. As a matter of fact, outdoor recreational therapy, whether hunting, skeet shooting, or whatever you choose to do, is great for a combat veteran. And just because someone has PTSD or an anxiety disorder doesn't mean they're 100% crazy all the time. I personally volunteer many hours a year taking disabled veterans out hunting and fishing without any negative incidents, as a matter of fact, people come out if it in a much better place than they were before hand. The one negative that happens out of the thousands of positives is what gets reported and everything gets blown out of proportion.
    *********************
    The civilian world you are referring to is the one I inhabit, so it is my concern, and yes, I do have a right to comment on it. My nephew is serving his second tour, so its not like I don't have a personal reason for wondering why programs like this are being run and who is signing off on the decision to give a PTSD case a weapon. I have no problem with hunting programs for disabled vets, but I do want to know EXACTLTY what the benefits are and who is a good candidate for this. This seems like the best intentions by a group of well-meaning, but incompetant amateurs, with tragic and predictable results.

    February 4, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. emskadittle

    and he is done

    February 4, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. stan

    Good one Paul, that guy killed a bunch of people(who knows how many civilians) and than bragged about it

    February 4, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. ak

    A real warrior would consider dieing by the sword to be honorable. Seams Ron Paul is the only men honoring Chris, while the rest desecrate his grave with crocodile tears. Ha.

    This was probably another government op that killed him anyway. Disarming vets is their top priority.

    February 4, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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