On Monday February 4th, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul tweeted the following:
Understandably, a shitstorm ensued as people inferred that Ron Paul was saying Chris Kyle had it coming because of his past history as a Navy SEAL sniper. In fact, the writers at ronpaul.com said just that in a tactless post titled “Ron Paul: Chris Kyle Had It Coming“.
TheWeek jumped on the story:
And just like that, the three-time Republican presidential candidate’s tenuous coalition of pro-gun libertarians, anti–Federal Reserve goldbugs, and foreign policy non-interventionists crumbled. Paul is an opponent of gun control — saying after December’s Newtown, Conn., grade school massacre that “more guns equals less crime” and that “private gun ownership prevents many shootings” — but also of U.S. military adventurism. Kyle, also an outspoken gun-rights advocate, earned a reputation in Iraq as one of the deadliest snipers in U.S. military history.
As much as it pains me to say it, Ron Paul simply doesn’t look good here.
Hopefully Paul will come out and say it was an intern posting tasteless drivel his accounts, but don’t count on it.
UPDATE: Lt. William J. Lawler II, M.Ed posted the following praise of Ron Paul’s tweet at LibertyCrier which hit my inbox along with a lot of negativity from military veterans:
When I first heard about the shooting I felt bad.
As soon as I learned who Chris Kyle was and how proud he was of how many people he had murdered, I felt less bad.
What goes around comes around.
In this case it was on an individual level. Soon it will be on a national level.
Unfortunately, those of us who fought against the tyranny of the American Empire are going to have to pay the price for all of the scumbags and idiots that supported American Imperialism.
Oh well, life’s not fair.
There’s definitely a schism growing in the Ron Paul revolution over this tweet. It’s unfair to veterans, many who have fought in wars and killed people, to suddenly claim that for them to die would be no great tragedy.
I reiterate that the Iraq war was misguided and a terrible spilling of blood on both sides, but that’s no excuse to start flinging insults and derision at the soldiers. The blame lies squarely on the politicians who fabricated evidence and ordered aggression.
As libertarians, we ought to be taking the moral high road and insist that all deaths are tragic, even those of our soldiers.
Let’s not forget that many allies in the Ron Paul revolution have fought in previous wars under a draft. Those troops are going to view any slights against the rank and file soldier as a severe affront to their patriotic duty to protect those who can’t or won’t fight from those who would.
UPDATE II: Someone from Liberty Crier dropped by and rudely commented. I have responded.