Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) on Monday sought to tone down an earlier reaction to the killing of former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, taking to Facebook to clarify that he believed the incident to be "tragic and sad."
"As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend's violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event," Paul wrote. "My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies."
Earlier on Monday, Paul tweeted out a much more cynical take on the crime, saying that "Kyle's death seems to confirm that 'he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.'" He went on to argue that "treating PTSD at a firing range doesn't make sense," seemingly referring to reports that murder suspect Eddie Ray Routh had been struggling with mental health issues following his military service in the Iraq War.
While Paul's initial response was not uncharacteristic of a man who spent the majority of his career in Congress denouncing military intervention abroad for a variety of reasons, including the toll it took on American servicemembers, the nature of its tone drew immediate criticism from a variety of sources. Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), was among those who voiced disagreement.
“Chris Kyle was a hero like all Americans who don the uniform to defend our country," the younger Paul told Breitbart. "Our prayers are with his family during this tragic time.”