Current Weather
The Spy FM

A Posthumous Tribute To Guns From A Sniper Shot To Death

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
June 16, 2013

A killing on a Texas gun range in February captured the headlines. The victim was Chris Kyle, considered by many to be the most deadly sniper in American military history.

The man who admitted to killing him was a veteran as well — a young, disturbed man who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle, an outspoken advocate for both veterans and gun rights, wrote American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. When he died in February, he was in the midst of writing a book about the history of firearms in America. That book, American Gun, has been published posthumously. It traces the history of the country through the lens of 10 historic guns.

The book begins with an account of how a gun called the American long rifle, also known as the Kentucky rifle, helped win the Revolutionary War. At the Battle of Saratoga, an American sniper hidden in a tree killed a British general with a long rifle. Without a leader, the British forces fell into disarray and had to retreat. The Americans went on to win the battle and eventually, with the help of the French, the war.

The book also features the M1 Garand rifle, used by the Allies in World War II; the Thompson submachine gun — or Tommy Gun — that terrorized the streets in the early part of the 20th century; and the M16 rifle Kyle himself carried in Iraq.

Kyle’s wife, Taya Kyle, wrote the introduction to the new book. She tells NPR’s Jacki Lyden how American Gun carries on her husband’s legacy. The book’s co-author, William Doyle, tells Lyden that each gun in the book changed history.

Interview Highlights

On Chris Kyle’s philosophy about guns

William Doyle: “In our book, Chris wrote: ‘Whether they’re used in war or for keeping the peace, guns are just tools, and like any tool, the way they’re used reflects the society they’re part of. As times change, guns have evolved. If you don’t like guns, blame them on the society they’re a part of.’ “

On the role guns play in our lives

William Doyle: “Chris Kyle made me realize that at the same time we’re very aware, and we should be, of the tragedies that can occur when guns are in the wrong hands, Chris reminded me very much that my life depends on guns. My life walking out on the street here in New York City depends on a man or woman with a gun three blocks away and their ability to defend me against evil.”

On Chris Kyle’s self-image

Taya Kyle: “He always saw himself as just an everyday guy in different situations. And he had a tool. There are always everyday people in extraordinary situations throughout our history who use the tools available to them to change history, and it was just a perfect fit for what he’d been reflecting on.” [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 6AM The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table

Hosted by award-winning Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table is a culinary, culture and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.

Listen Live Now!

6AM to 7AM Travel with Rick Steves

Travel with Rick Steves

"Travel with Rick Steves" is a fun, hour-long, and practical talk show with guest experts and calls and questions from travelers. This weekly program is a lively conversation between travelers and the experts as we learn to explore our world smartly, smoothly, and thoughtfully.

View the program guide!

7AM to 9AM Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America\'s backyards, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center