Rest in peace, Chris Kyle

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on the memorial service that was held today at Cowboys Stadium for retired Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, killed this past Saturday:

About 7,000 attended a memorial service Monday at Cowboys Stadium for Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL sniper who was slain last week near Glen Rose.

At about 11:30 a.m., parking lots filled up quickly for the 1 p.m. service at the 80,000-seat stadium.

“I stand before you a broken woman,” Kyle’s wife, Taya, tearfully told the crowd. “Chris Kyle was ‘all in’ no matter what he did in life.”

After revealing her flaws to her husband, Taya Kyle said Chris told her: “You’re a package deal. I love you. All of you.”

At the beginning of the service, the crowd entered slowly into the stadium with the hymn Mansions of the Lord playing on the P.A. system and images of Chris Kyle on the jumbo screen.

Serenaded by Scottish bagpipes, the casket carrying Kyle was placed on the blue star on the 50-yard line. A photo montage showed moments of Kyle’s life from his childhood through adulthood.

Dozens of Navy SEALS, past and present, stood as the SEAL creed was read at the memorial.

One-by-one, boyhood friends and fellow military members paid tribute to Kyle.


No politicians spoke at the service, however, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin posted on her Facebook page that she and her husband, Todd, were planning to attend the memorial. “I find it sad to see that flags aren’t flying at half staff for this American hero,” Palin wrote on the page.

Indeed, especially considering he is reportedly the deadliest sniper in US military history:

It’s November 2004. Thanksgiving time. The second battle of Fallujah has launched, and Kyle is swaddled in silence atop an upturned baby crib, studying the enemy through a Nightforce 4.5-22 power scope attached to a .300 Win Mag rifle.

He’s feeling badass.

“We just got word that the president of Iraq said that anyone left in the city is bad — meaning, clear to shoot,” he recalled for The Post. “From that point on, every fighting-age male was a target.”

That was just fine with Kyle, who spent five weeks in the hideout, protecting Marines on the ground and bagging seven confirmed kills — adding to his official total of 160, making him the deadliest sniper in US history.

“After the first kill, the others come easy. I don’t have to psych myself up, or do anything mentally — I look through the scope, get the target in the cross hairs and kill my enemy before he kills one of my people,” Kyle writes in his new autobiography, “American Sniper.”

During his 10-year career as a member of SEAL Team 3, Kyle, 37, saw action in every major battle during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He became known among his fellow SEALS as “The Legend.”

The enemy was less complimentary.

In Ramadi, insurgents put an $80,000 bounty on his head and branded him “Al-Shaitan Ramadi” — “The Devil of Ramadi.”

Kyle, 38, and friend and neighbor Chad Littlefield were murdered this past Saturday at a Texas gun range by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh.  Much is being made of Routh’s alleged PTSD and whether or not that might have been a factor in Saturday’s shootings.  Kyle was known to counsel PTSD sufferers.

Whatever the case may be, may God surround and comfort the families at this extremely difficult time.  And wise words from Sarah Palin:

We may never know to what extent Chris kept us free or how many lives he saved by his brave actions in the line of fire. But his fellow warriors know how important he was. My son Track couldn’t meet Chris when Todd and I first met him because Track was deployed to Iraq. Then when we got to know Chris even better, our son was deployed in Afghanistan. We’ve met a lot of people in recent years, and Track has been privileged to meet them as well. But he said about Chris, “Mom, he’s the ONE person in the entire world I would be star-struck to meet. He’s it.”

God bless this great warrior. Let us keep his wife and children in our prayers, and may we never forget him or his sacrifice.


#GunControl: California Democrats aim for de facto ban via stifling regulations

**Posted by Phineas

CA bear flag

“Never let a crisis go to waste” was Rahm Emanuel’s famous dictum from 2009, and California’s legislative Democrats, giddy at having a super-majority in the legislature, are showing they’ve taken that to heart. Last Thursday, they debuted a package of ten bills aimed at curbing a putative crisis in gun violence (1). As Josh Richman reports in the San Jose Mercury, these bills would create such barriers to firearms ownership that they would amount to an effective ban.

Put forward by a group lead by notorious progressive nanny-stater and State Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), these measures would:

  • Require anyone wishing to buy ammunition to first get a permit by passing a background check, as Los Angeles and Sacramento already do.
  • Ban the possession of a magazine holding more than ten rounds. (2)
  • Ban  the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacture of any semiautomatic rifle that includes a detachable magazine. (Are there any that don’t?)
  • Update the definition of a banned shotgun with a revolving cylinder to include the new technology of a shotgun-rifle combination.
  • Prevent unregulated gun loans, with some exceptions, including hunting, in order to keep weapons from those who haven’t passed background checks.
  • Require all handgun owners obtain a safety certificate every year, rather than the every-five-years requirement for purchases of new handguns.
  • Prohibit anyone barred from owning a weapon from living in a home where weapons are kept and to expand the list of crimes for which convictions result in being barred from gun possession.
  • Let the state Justice Department use money from the state’s Dealer’s Record of Sale system to eliminate the backlog of people identified as no longer allowed to own guns but not yet investigated and contacted by law enforcement.

I guess we can’t let New York have all the rights-trampling fun.

While I can see some point to the last item, I get the feeling most of these provisions would be overturned in court in the wake of the Heller and McDonald decisions for being so onerous as to be a violation of the Second Amendment. Surely, if passed, they’ll face court challenges and initiatives to overturn them at the ballot box.

And it should be obvious that none of these measures would have done a thing to prevent, for example, the Newtown school massacre. The Democrats are just standing on the graves of the dead of Newtown and elsewhere and waving a bloody shirt to claim moral authority. Disagree with them, and you must want people dead. The massacres are only an excuse, a cover for them to do what they’ve always wanted: advance the gradual disarmament of the citizenry in defiance of their natural rights. (3)

Senator Steinberg should ask General Gage how that worked out.

(1) Hysterical leftist shrieking about gun violence aside, here are some facts. Oh, and here are some truths about gun violence in California that I recommended to Senator Feinstein. Senator Steinberg might want to read them, too.
(2) Don’t worry, David Gregory. We’ll never prosecute you, either. Besides, you can always print your own.
(3) Some, I’m sure, have the best of motives, thinking that gun bans really work and falling for the logical fallacy of “if it saves just one life, we must do it.” These people are just well-meaning fools trying to drag us all down that road paved with good intentions.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Gun violence in Chicago now important to President Obama

The Chicago Tribune reports that our celebrity President will be making a post-SOTU visit to his liberal home base in Chicago to discuss, among other things, gun violence (hat tip):

President Barack Obama will visit Chicago on Friday, when he will discuss gun violence as he focuses on his economic message from Tuesday’s State of the Union address, according to the White House.

Obama will “talk about the gun violence that has tragically affected too many families in communities across Chicago and across the country,” a White House official said in a statement.

The president’s visit answers calls from Chicago anti-violence activists that Obama talk about the recent spate of gun violence in the city, several of the activists said.

“This is an important issue,” said Cathy Cohen, founder of the Black Youth Project, which attracted about 45,000 signatures by Sunday night in an online petition that urges Obama to speak up. “We think of this as a victory for all of us.”

The group posted the petition on shortly after Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot to death last month at a South Side park. The King College Prep student was slain about a week after performing with her school band at Obama’s inaugural festivities.

Since Hadiya was shot about a mile from the president’s Kenwood neighborhood home Jan. 29, during the deadliest January for Chicago since 2002, pastors, parents and activists have demanded that more be done about the city’s violence.

First lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya’s funeral Saturday. Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, will also attend the president’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday, family spokeswoman Shatira Wilks said late Sunday.

This is all well and good, but as I’ve asked before, where was the President on Chicago gun violence BEFORE now? Chicago is for all intents and purposes known as the gun violence capital of America, ended 2012 on a dismal gun murder note, and 2013 has started on an even worse gun violence note. I guess none of the previous gun crimes mattered but now that a young lady who attended Obama’s inaugural in an official capacity was gunned down, all of a sudden the gun violence problem matters enough for the President to pay it lip service via an official visit? I truly feel for the family of the young woman who was gunned down, but perhaps if the President and his Democrat allies took the issue seriously sooner and didn’t look to MORE control as the definitive “solution” to the problem, the streets of Chicago would be much safer.

Furthermore, if the people of Chicago think the type of efforts now underway by Obama-pal and current Chicago Mayor Rahmbo Emanuel are going to curb gun violence by way of blackmailing banks and mutual fund companies into “blacklisting” gun manufacturers who won’t go along with “sensible gun control ideas”, then they will be green-lighting a slippery slope going forward of politicians abusing their powers to clamp down on people and industries who don’t say the “right thing”, refuse to endorse so-called “sensible” reforms, and who in some instances have the audacity to dare to push back against self-important, ladder-climbing politicos.

Oh, wait. What am I talking about? This IS Chicago, where this type of vile bully politics has gone on for decades, mostly by the left, and mostly with the blessings of a majority of citizens there who keep voting the corruptocrats into office. My bad.

Back to Obama, it’s interesting how, when you read the full article, so many gun control advocates are looking at his Friday visit to be a potential “turning point” on the gun crime issue in Chicago, and are hailing his visit as a “victory” for their cause. Why? What has he done on this issue to actually reduce crime in America, let alone his home city – where he served as an Illinois State Senator for a number of years before running for the US Senate? What he typically advocates, which Mayor Emanuel and a majority of Democrats support, are the exact type of policies that put more guns in the hands of the crooks and thugs, and less in the hands of the law-abiding citizenry. In fact, Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in America. How has that worked out?

All rhetorical questions to you and me, of course, but ones the Obama True Believers in Chicago ought to ask themselves in the weeks and months after the speech he gives on Friday – especially if they truly care about reversing the tide of gun violence in their city.