Although I cannot find anything on their website either confirming or denying it, I have been reading that the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence is up in arms over the film American Sniper, the Chris Kyle story. From what I’ve been reading the CSGV has even set up a Facebook page for its followers to post their comments on the subject. Again, I could not find it for myself just to see what people have been saying. It wouldn’t surprise me though, if it were all true. The rabid hatred of guns and gun owners by some people has given me ample enough reason to believe that they are capable of something like this.
However, from all that I have read regarding this issue there has been no comment as to the reason they are targeting this film for protest. Is it because Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper in the film, is a war hero with the most confirmed kills of any American sniper? Or is it simply because the film’s title has to do with guns? One can only imagine what their reasoning is, but since there is no real data available as to why, I would like to make a few comments regarding what may have been their reasons.
If the CSGV is targeting this particular film because they are against the war where Chris Kyle served, than they are truly misguided. Chris Kyle did not declare war on Iraq, he merely served his country during the war. Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper did not invade Iraq, they merely made a film about one person who served over there with honor. I don’t think this is the reason why there is such a fuss about this particular film, but I had to address the possibility that it was.
Could it be that those protesting this film are against the idea of one man having the power of life and death, and taking the lives of so many people? This is a bit more feasible, but I still don’t think it is the real reason. Snipers are a part of military culture. Going back to the Revolutionary War sharpshooters were selected to pick off high value targets such as British Officers. As military hardware evolved so did the sharpshooters, who became known as snipers. They required specialized training in the skills needed to hit a target up to a mile away. We use snipers and our enemies use them too; they are a part of war and if these protesters are targeting this film because Chris Kyle was a sniper, then they should also be aware that he is not the only one who has that for a particular skill set.
I think it is more likely that they are upset at his effectiveness as a sniper, having 160 confirmed kills with a possible total reaching as high as 260. Is it a crime to be good at what you do? Is it a crime to do your job in combat, which in Kyle’s case was to protect those combat soldiers and marines who were endangered by enemy insurgents? People who have never experienced the horror of war have no right to condemn the actions taken by those who have. In war you often do not know who your enemy is and if a 12 yr old boy, or girl, picks up a rifle and aims it at your comrades you have to make a choice, does that person pose a threat to them, or are they just an innocent who happened to pick up that rifle? I have read Chris Kyle’s book, which was the foundation for the movie, and he says that every shot he took he can justify. That is, every shot he took he did so because he believed that it was to save American lives.
So again, I ask, is it a crime, or a sin, to be good at what you have been trained to do? If these protesters are targeting this film for the reason that Kyle was an effective sniper, then I believe the protesters may be losers who hate anyone who is good at what they do, be it chef, an engineer, or, in this case, a sniper.
I think those protesting this film are doing so for a whole bunch of reasons combined. I think they are misguided, and since this film is about a gun who is good with a rifle, and since they hate guns of all kinds, they decided to protest this film.
But the film is not just about Chris Kyle’s time in Iraq killing enemy insurgents. I would bet that most of the people protesting this film have not seen it, nor have they read the book. If they had they might realize it is more about his story and, more importantly, a tribute to his fallen friends who died in the wars that our government started.
It is of no importance how I personally feel about the war, Chris Kyle did what he was asked to do and he did it honorably. If honor and distinguished service are things which offend people these days then this country is in far worse shape than I ever thought.
And, if these protests are about people who truly despise guns, then I would ask them to do me one favor; the next time they find themselves in a situation where their lives, or property, are in danger, do not call a policeman to come protect you. Call your priest instead. If you hate guns that much then don’t call someone who has one to come protect you if you feel threatened. That, my friends, is the very definition of hypocrisy, and you don’t want to be labeled a hypocrite, do you?