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Former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul is stirring up controversy with a Tweet about the death of Chris Kyle over the weekend.

Kyle, a retired Navy SEAL who authored the best-selling American Sniper about his tours of duty in Iraq, was shot dead with a friend over the weekend.

Eddie Ray Routh, who admits killing Kyle, is said to be a PTSD-suffering former Marine Chris was trying to help by taking him shooting at a hunting range.

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Ron Paul had this to say on Twitter Monday:

“Chris Kyle’s death seems to confirm that ‘he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.’ Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn’t make sense.”


Paul opposes gun control, saying after the Newtown shooting that “more guns equals less crime” and that “private gun ownership prevents many shootings.”

He also opposes U.S. military interventionism.

Kyle, also an outspoken gun-rights advocate, earned a reputation as one of the top snipers in military history, so Paul’s Tweet was not well received by many.

Later, he tried to explain on Facebook, writing:

“As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend’s violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. 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.”

That not-quite-apology didn’t do the trick for some critics, and even some of those close to Ron Paul tried to distance themselves somewhat.

His son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), said in a statement:

“Chris Kyle was a hero like all Americans who don the uniform to defend our country. Our prayers are with his family during this tragic time.”

One undisputed fact? For better of for worse, this is the genuine Ron Paul, a man who doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind, even if it’s controversial.

Paul has long opposed American military action. That’s not news.

Nor is he necessarily wrong. But what some see as contempt for the men and women who carry out the missions he opposes is a different story.

What do you think of Ron’s Tweet? Is he just speaking his mind and saying what a lot of people are thinking? Or was it ill-timed or even offensive?