The widow of hero Navy SEAL "American Sniper" Chris Kyle — thrust into the public spotlight after an emotional speech before the National Rifle Association — said the media skews the issue of gun violence, warning "if we don’t look at all the different sides of it, we can be misled."
Taya Kyle, in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, said she didn’t intend to "jump into a debate" about gun control with her May speech — which has nearly 200,000 hits on YouTube
— but feels "a little bit sensitive to our media using stories that they want to use."
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"We just need to be careful that we're not being spoon fed and we remember that there are a lot of good people every day who are using guns to protect themselves, they're using guns to feed themselves, they're using guns responsibly, and those stories aren't going to make the news but they far outweigh the bad ones," she said.
Kyle is currently on a book tour promoting "American Sniper: Memorial Edition"— a commemorative edition
of her slain husband's memoir that includes remembrances by his family, fellow Navy SEALs; veterans and wounded warriors.
Kyle, 38, and his friend Chad Littlefield, 35, were killed
on a shooting range in Texas last Feb. 2 by a troubled veteran.
Taya Kyle told Newsmax "I love target shooting," but concedes she’s never shot an animal. "But I intend to because I like the meat." She has a license to carry a concealed weapon, "but I need to probably carry more often than I do."
"If you're not willing to take on the responsibility of the people around you, you absolutely should not carry a gun," she said. "If you're prepared to treat it with the respect that it absolutely demands and if it makes you feel safer, why not? It evens the playing field for people who are smaller framed or feel like they're not safe. … But I don't think it's something people should go into lightly."
Kyle acknowledged her husband’s legacy as "America’s most lethal sniper," but marvels that "time and time again we would hear people blown away when they would meet him because here's this easygoing, good ole boy … This book brings more of that to the forefront."
"Chris was humble," she said. "He didn't want to do a book about himself but he knew other people were going to write the book so he finally decided that he would do it so that he could give credit to other people he served with and he did that very well," she said.
"You get to see the action and the things that are interesting and the Navy SEALs stuff but you also get to see just military life in general and then you get to see the family side, you know, what the wives go through and how the guys can be torn between family and military.
"There was a very noble reason for him doing it and that's why he wanted to give away all the proceeds," she added. "It wasn't about the money or 'look at me,' it was about giving credit to … guys who he served with. He stayed true to himself and didn't share anything that shouldn't be shared and didn't make it about him."
Of a slander lawsuit filed by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura against Kyle's estate, his widow conceded "Jesse's making his choices, he has a right to do what he's doing.
"It's my job to just be confident that our justice system is good and just and the truth will prevail," she said.
The memoir includes
a description of Kyle punching Ventura in a California bar in 2006. Ventura, a former Navy SEAL and professional wrestler, says the punch never happened.
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