Chris Kyle Controversy: Was ‘American Sniper’ The True Story Of A Hero Or A Hellion In Real Life?

Like plenty of other moviegoers this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, I soaked up American Sniper, a movie about the life of Chris Kyle – based on an autobiography titled American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, and Jim DeFelice.

The American Sniper movie was so thrilling, tense, heavy, and emotional that when the movie ended, the audience kind of stood in silence and streamed out silently, as if at a funeral. It’s a reaction to a film that I haven’t really witnessed since I saw Dead Man Walking years ago, and the audience just sat there for several minutes instead of leaving the movie theater.

Of course, such a big impact about a larger-than-life American sniper portrayed in a movie causes folks to go home and immediately search for more information about American Sniper and the man at the center of the story, Chris Kyle. Articles like “The True Story Behind American Sniper” by Time separates fact from fiction about the Navy SEAL who has been credited with 160 confirmed kills – and clears up the fact that although the American Sniper movie shows Chris Kyle wrestling with having to shoot children at war, those weren’t events that happened in real life.

According to Today, Chris Kyle wrote about how his many tours of duty took a toll on his marriage, nearly crippling the union with his wife prior to Kyle being killed – allegedly by a troubled war veteran that Chris was trying to help. In the American Sniper movie, which is being praised for its realistic views of war, the legend of Chris Kyle reaches amazing heights – with only little quips here and there hinting to an imperfect man, such as when a buddy tells Chris that while he sees Kyle always carrying a Bible, he doesn’t see Chris open the Good Book to read the wisdom contained therein.

What’s more troubling are reports that Chris Kyle lied about punching former Governor Jesse Ventura in a bar, after Kyle wrote that Ventura insulted Navy SEALs. Ventura would later win a defamation lawsuit against the Chris Kyle estate. Plenty of reports, such as “The ‘unverifiable’ legacy of Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American history” by the Washington Post – or “The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?” by the Guardian – are making the online rounds and gaining buzz, recounting troubling reports of Chris Kyle, wherein Kyle claimed he shot Hurricane Katrina looters and others.

As reported by the Inquisitr, while some are praising Clint Eastwood’s portrayal of Chris Kyle in American Sniper, others are condemning the movie.

[Image: Chris Kyle]