Taya Kyle, the wife of slain "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, questioned President Obama about the "false hope" gun control gives at a CNN-host town hall on the problem of gun violence and massacres that has swept the nation in recent years. The event was hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
"When you talk about the NRA, and after a mass shooting that gun sales go up, I would argue that it's not necessarily that I think somebody's going to come take my gun from me, but I want the hope -- and the hope that I have the right to protect myself; that I don't end up to be one of these families; that I have the freedom to carry whatever weapon I feel I need," Kyle said to the president.
"Why not celebrate where we are? I guess that's my real question is [why not] celebrate that we're good people, and 99.9 percent of us are never going to kill anyone?" Kyle asked the president.
Kyle's full commentary, via CNN:
TAYA KYLE: I appreciate you taking the time to come here. And I think that your message of hope is something I agree with. And I think it's great. And I think that by creating new laws, you do give people hope. The thing is that the laws that we create don't stop these horrific things from happening, right? And that's a very tough pill to swallow.
We want to think that we can make a law and people will follow it. By the very nature of their crime, they're not following it. By the very nature of looking at the people who hurt our loved ones here, I don't know that any of them would have been stopped by the background check. And yet, I crave that desire for hope, too. And so I think part of it we have to recognize that we cannot outlaw murder because people who are murdering, right, are -- they're breaking the law, but they also don't have a moral code that we have. And so they could do the same amount of damage with a pipe bomb. The problem is that they want to murder.
And I'm wondering why it wouldn't be a better use of our time to give people hope in a different way, to say, "You know what? We" -- well first of all, actually, let me back up to that. Because with the laws, I know that at least last I heard, the federal prosecution of gun crimes was like 40 percent. And what I mean by that is that there are people lying on these forms already and we're not prosecuting them. So there's an issue there, right?
But instead, if we can give people hope and say also during this time while you've been president, we are at the lowest murder rate in our country -- all-time low murders. We're at an all-time high of gun ownership, right?
I'm not necessarily saying the two are correlated, but what I'm saying is that we're at an all-time low for murder rate. That's a big deal. And yet I think most of us in this country feel like it could happen at any moment. It could happen to any of us at any time.
And I'm almost finished. Just when -- when you talk about the NRA, and after a mass shooting that gun sales go up, I would argue that it's not necessarily that I think somebody's going to come take my gun from me, but I want the hope -- and the hope that I have the right to protect myself; that I don't end up to be one of these families; that I have the freedom to carry whatever weapon I feel I need, just like your wife said on that farm (ph). You know, I don't -- the sheriff's aren't going to get to my house either.
And I understand that background checks aren't necessarily going to stop me from getting a gun, but I also know that they wouldn't have stopped any of the people here in this room from killing. And so it seems like almost a false sense of hope.