While watching Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper on January 26, it occurred to the author that while the movie is primarily a film that honors the life of American hero Chris Kyle–and rightfully so–it is also a film that tells a story about the good uses of a gun — a story about a good guy with a gun stopping bad guys.
No who sees the film can miss that point. After all, it is dominated by scenes in which Kyle (Bradley Cooper) uses his sniper rifle to save American troops in harm’s way.
He saves them from grenade attacks, from ambushes, from men planting IEDs, from enemy shooters and even, most dramatically, enemy snipers. Throughout the film Kyle is, as he was, the good guy with a gun stopping the bad guy before he can reach/detonate/or shoot American forces.
Early in the film, viewers see a young Kyle learning how to shoot by carrying a rifle through a Texas field as his father carries a rifle beside him. Toward the film’s end, they see Kyle teaching his son how to shoot as the two walk through a Texas field the way Kyle had done with his father.
No wonder the left hates this film, for it not only honors America’s military by honoring Kyle, but it also honors the importance of the gun in America’s life and military.
And this isn’t conjecture. Numerous times during portions of the film that take place between Kyle’s four tours of Iraq, Eastwood shows Kyle and his wife Taya (Sienna Miller) having conversations about why he had to go back and fight. Frustrated, she would beg him to stay; resolved, he would tell her he had to go in order to protect his country, his family, and his fellow troops.
In some cases–talking to the troops–he made clear he had to go in order to stop the bad guys who had taken the life of one of his friends in battle.
Chris Kyle deserves our honor and unending gratitude. His service ought never be forgotten or diminished, and Eastwood’s film goes a long way toward ensuring that. The importance of the tool Kyle used to defend his country, his family, and his fellow troops deserves our attention as well.
That tool was a gun. And Kyle showed us that a gun in the hand of a good guy can be skillfully employed to stop bad guys before they do harm.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.