Taya Kyle, widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, had tough but encouraging words about achieving true gun safety in America today.
In an exclusive interview with Wide Open Spaces following her participation in CNN’s “Guns in America” town hall event, Taya Kyle discussed the effectiveness of existing gun laws in place and offered her thoughts on true gun safety measures.
With the 2016 SHOT Show just days away, Kyle is set to be in the spotlight once again, this time amongst the hunting, shooting, and outdoors community. There she’ll be a special guest of Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel at the 16th Annual Outdoor Sportsman Awards Powered by RAM (OSA). She’s slated to present the award for Best Overall TV Series, honoring the networks’ notable talent and production teams.
We caught up with her and talked about a variety of things, most notably what she thought of the current gun climate in America.
With respect to background checks, Taya said she believes existing gun laws aren’t sufficiently enforced.
“The federal prosecution of gun crimes—so for people lying on their background checks and people trying to get out of the system that we already have in place—the prosecution rate is only 40 percent. And to me, that’s a crime in and of itself because what it tells you is we have the laws in the books,” she said.
“I feel we need to have a penalty so severe, that people don’t take an oath when they lie on a background check. We have background checks in place,” she said. “They talk about common sense background checks; we already have those. That means we’re not enforcing it anyway, so let’s look on that problem first. Let’s start enforcing the laws that we already have.”
Kyle even suggested lowering the number of laws to reduce bureaucracy so law enforcement can better prosecute gun crimes.
“I heard that there were 33,000 gun laws on the books. That’s ridiculous,” she said. “We need to simplify the laws that we have and then prosecute heavily—with harsh penalty—the people who violate those laws. After all, criminals are the problem.”
“There’s a mental health component and everyone talks about it, but what does it actually mean? I think we need to have deeper dialogue,” said Kyle. “Some people use mental health to get out of trouble—the person who murdered my husband did that.”
She added, “When you have a mental illness where you have a propensity for violence—whether it’s schizophrenia, or one of the diseases that alters the state of mind—then we need to communicate with the authorities and watch those people–the criminal minds, the drug users, the felons–we need to watch watch those people. Those are the people in the end that are doing the killing.”
Mrs. Kyle recently received attention for asking President Obama a tough but necessary question about the invasive executive actions he has taken on gun rights. Below are her full thoughts:
Prior to her participation at the town hall event, Kyle penned and published an editorial at CNN entitled “Gun control won’t protect us.”
In her editorial, she wrote how ineffective gun control policies are in curbing crime and offered her two cents on the current gun debate in the United States:
“We can forge ahead knowing that while evil is among us, it involves the few. The good, responsible people are the vast majority. We can trust each other with basic freedoms until one of us proves to be untrustworthy by maliciously, intentionally harming another of us…No government can provide the utopia many seek. My hope for this country is that we remain a people who value freedom, who have the courage to face the realities with faithful hearts instead of anxious ones. I hope our people hold tight to the notion that we do not have to be a fear-ridden country focused on restrictions, but rather that we remain the land of the free and home of the brave.”
Back in December, Taya won the American Sniper Shootout, a charity event to raise funds for her late husband’s organization, the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.
After speaking with her, it’s clear that Taya Kyle has bravely put herself out there as gun rights advocate and should be commended for her laudable work with veterans issues. She has emerged as a great spokesperson for the shooting sports industry. We should be glad to have her in our ranks.
Stay tuned for Part II of my exclusive interview with Taya Kyle, widow of “American Sniper” and hero Chris Kyle.