Taya Kyle, the widow of slain U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was the inspiration for the movie “American Sniper,” spoke out in favor of gun rights during President Barack Obama’s town hall meeting on gun control in Virginia on Thursday.
“Your message of hope is something I agree with,” Kyle told the president. But she insisted that it’s not the guns that are the problem but the people who own them.
“The laws that we create don’t stop the horrific things from happening, right?” she told the president during the event, televised on CNN. “And that’s a very tough pill to swallow.”
Kyle, whose husband was shot dead in 2013 by a former Marine at a Texas firing range, said she didn’t think Obama’s recent gun control measures requiring more background checks will curb gun crimes.
“We cannot outlaw murder,” Kyle said, adding that criminals “don’t have a moral code that we have.”
In an op-ed piece on CNN.com on Thursday, Kyle argued against more regulations on weapons, instead suggesting that existing laws should be better enforced.
Kyle echoed those thoughts during the town hall event, asking the president to “give people hope in a different way” by celebrating gun ownership, instead of restricting it.
“I’m wondering why it wouldn’t be a better use of our time to give people hope in a different way… why not celebrate where we are?” she asked, adding, “We’re good people and 99 percent of us are never going to kill anyone.”
President Obama thanked her for her service as well as her late husband’s. He then reiterated that he has no intention of taking away the guns from law-abiding Americans, but that it should harder for somebody to “fill up a car with guns and sell them 13-year-old kids on the streets.”
The town hall meeting included 100 guests, invited by CNN, including former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was injured in an assassination attempt in 2011, and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.
Watch Kyle’s question above.