Dear Liberals, There is No Satisfaction to Be Had in the Tragic Death of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle

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About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is the type of working mom who opens her car door and junk spills out all over the ground. She serves as Executive Editor of The Good Men Project and is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on sites like xoJane,, and The Huffington Post. Joanna loves playing with her sons, skateboarding with her husband, and hanging out with friends. Her dream is to someday finish her almost-done novel and get some sleep. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. Tom Genin says:

    Why oh why would anyone be surprised by the liberal response to Kyle’s murder? I, for one, have no doubt the following quotes will be made by any vairiety of liberals,

    “Now that’s it’s “one of theis” and not a kid, will the gun nuts care?” ”
    “At least it was a gun nut that got killed, and not a bunch of kids.”
    “Finally! A shooting at a gun range proving being armed can’t save anybody!”

    But will any liberal connect the PTSD mental issue with all the other shootings that may take their eye off of guns, and onto the deserved mental illness isue? Will Obama order that Obamacare include insurance coverage for those commited with mental illness (which shockingly, is not currently coverd?)

    Nah….they want the guns, and they don’t care about snipers…or the kids.

    • What do you think the chances are that a Republican Congress broadens Obamacare to include those with mental illness?

      Liberals have been working to help the mentally ill for decades.

    • That’s a fun little fictional scenario you’ve dreamed up, proving that liberals are heartless and hateful hypocrites… in your imagination.

      Meanwhile, I check the article in vain for any indication whatsoever that liberals are rejoicing over this incident, acting ‘smug,’ or crowing over how the sniper’s death is a victory. But it’s good to pre-empt these despicable behaviors before anybody actually, you know, DOES them.

  2. Joanna, I understand your desire to humanize the man who we only know in an objectifying way: a soldier, a sniper, a homicide victim, as also being a husband and father. Being able to have a family life is part of the pursuit of happiness, but it doesn’t tell me what kind of man he was. What I know about him, you’re right, is terribly, horribly ironic. We agree that Kyle might have been fully aware that those who live by the sword, die by the sword, while still finding the actual moment of death a total surprise. This is irony. It is also a reminder to each of us to use what agency we have to be the change we want to see in the world. You cannot simultaneously be at constant war, and find peace. You cannot end murder by killing the murderers. And we cannot end a war on terror, ever. What kinds of lives do we want to have? The means are the whole blessed thing; the end is the same for us all.

    • True words. Hate begets hate.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I really like your perspective here, Justin.

      It’s easy to scapegoat a single sniper than to look at the whole war. The truth is that we simply do not know what type of guy he was, but from all accounts he seems to have been a highly patriotic and deeply idealistic guy. I don’t know whether he was good or bad, but I can tell you for sure that it’s not my job to decide.

      Some of the stuff I’ve seen anti-war and pro gun control folks saying about this guy has been heartbreaking. Wish they’d taken him to task when he was alive, so at least he could defend himself.

  3. Thanks Joanna,
    Its good to be reminded of our humanity at a moment like this. The point, I think you are making is, that it is borderline obscene to leverage an argument for or against some political issue as these men have just died. Yes, we need these discussions to continue, but not at this moment. Not in this place. Because there is such a thing as respect for the dead. Whomever they may be.

  4. There you go, the law of attraction at work at its most un-ambiguous.

  5. The Wet One says:

    Ummm yeah….

    I was going to say a few things but I’ll respect the tenor of your article even though I completely disagree with it.

    My comments on another thread are more than enough.

    RIP dude.

  6. If anyone does actually plan to leverage the “irony” that does not exist, if anyone plans to dance in arrogant perverted victory over a hard-spun gun-control argument, may you be reminded in the most severe mode that Navy Seals never forget, and they will not forget YOU!

    • That’s right, the Navy Seals will find you and kill you. With their guns.

    • Now make more threats to imaginary people who might someday do something you find outrageous, even though they actually haven’t. That’s manly right there.

      “But that strawman offended me! He must DIE!”

  7. I wonder how quickly NRA would spin this to their advantage, had the killer been shot by another “responsible gun owner.”

  8. Hi, I’m liberal. I haven’t seen anybody rejoiceing in this tragic death. If anybody has brought up the story its as a piece of anecdata that the oft repeated line by pro-gun people that “if only a good guy had been there with a gun everything would be better.” The entire gun discussion if filled with simplistic and shallow talking points on both sides. Just having trained , brave people packing weapons will not “solve” gun violence. What would be useful is if both sides spent a bit more time being thoughtful instead of repeating talking points.

    RIP Chris Kyle. And save the cheap shots at the political groups you don’t like.

  9. Joanna, I think it’s sad that you have tainted this thoughtful article with the typical “us and them” mentality. I’m so tired of thoughtless people putting me in a box and deciding what I think and feel because I’m a “Liberal”
    I find no joy in any death. These issues are very complex and frightening for all of us. We get no where when we sit around and call names and point fingers.
    I’m disappointed that you choose to take stabs in your attempt to be a “better person than those other people”.

    • @Jo Ann: I don’t see the piece as anything but a great and factual/neutral acknowledgement of a polarity regarding the shooting-death of the king of the “gun-nuts,” then going on to chastise grave-dancing. There are zillions of Muslims doing that now. THEY are celebrating the death of an American hero.

      Liberal or not; gun-nut or gun-hater, that polarity and smug comments of irony is sick. The article does that perfectly.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      First, I’m a liberal. I’m a pretty serious liberal from a long, long line of liberals. I am actually a HUGE proponent of gun control, and feel strongly that our country should be utilizing control laws similar to those in the UK, which have been proven effective.

      This is a highly complicated issue, however, because of the amount of guns already in possession in the US, and I think this is a VERY long road full of a lot of issues that cannot be disregarded.

      That being said, I do not believe gun control would have done a single thing to have kept Chris Kyle alive. I don’t believe anyone wants to ban guns at a firing range, and that’s where Kyle was killed. Beyond that, there isn’t a gun advocate that believes that guns will prevent ALL murders by gunfire, so even if this argument weren’t exploitive of the dead, it’s still pointless because it’s illogical.

      To be clear, unlike Rob above, I do NOT believe the solution to gun violence is more guns or armed guards or anything of the like.

      But I do NOT believe that the death of Chris Kyle should have a single thing to do with this discussion. As I said above, you can talk about the war critically, and that makes sense. But Chris Kyle was a man who served his nation honorably.

      • Really? You don’t think this incident is relevant to the discussion of policies on keeping weapons out of the hands of emotionally disturbed people? Because I see a pretty clear connection here.

  10. Terry Washington says:

    First of all who PRECISELY are these “liberals” who allegedly rejoiced over former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s death?- no names were cited- and so it is not clear whether they represented more than a minority of liberal thinkers and commentators. Secondly note the wider hypocrisy implied here: some conservatives haved crowed over every disaster( natural or man made- be it 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina) but of course nobody blames conservatives ( Patricia Heaton, Angie Harmon, James Woods, Kelsey Grammer) en masse for the sins of their fellows! Twowrongs may not makes one right but they sure as hell make sense!


  11. The Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones sits at the top of the Google search along with pages of tweets from other liberal sources before the backlash brought it into check. That’s hardly the point, Joanna understood that some people may react in an inappropriate manner based on current issues. Both sides of this issue have people who for one reason or another will see this an an opportunity to push their agenda. I agree with her, there will be better opportunities to have meaningful discussions on how to prevent tragedies. This isn’t an event to be used as a political tool for either side.


  1. [...] Well, I care about everybody who gets killed in war zones. Yes, I care about the needless death of women and children. But I also care about the needless death of the men who fight them. [...]

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