The widow of the former US Navy SEAL who inspired the movie “American Sniper” and was later killed by a former Marine at a shooting range pressed President Barack Obama on gun control in his televised CNN town-hall event Thursday night.
Taya Kyle, the widow of Chris Kyle, and Obama engaged in a spirited back and forth.
Kyle argued that gun sales are going up as a result of safety concerns, not fear that Obama will take guns away, while the president said states with tighter gun laws have lower crime rates than states with looser ones.
Kyle questioned whether Obama’s new executive action would have any effect on shooting deaths in the US.
“I understand that background checks aren’t necessarily going to stop me from getting a gun, but I also know that they wouldn’t have stopped any of the people here in this room from killing. And so it seems like almost a false sense of hope,” she said. “So why not celebrate where we are?”
She further questioned Obama on why he didn’t provide “hope” to Americans by noting how violent crime has continued to dip during the past three decades.
“Celebrate that we’re good people and 99.9% of us are never going to kill anyone,” she said.
After expressing gratitude to Kyle and her late husband for their service, Obama agreed that the reduction in violent crime is something that isn’t celebrated enough in the country.
“You wouldn’t always know it from watching television,” he said. “Most cities are safer than they were 10 or 20 years ago.”
But he added: “I challenge the notion that the reason for that is because there is more gun ownership. Because if you look at where are the areas with the highest gun ownership, those are the places where the crime hasn’t dropped that much. And if you look at the places where there are pretty stiff restrictions on gun ownership, the crime’s dropped really quickly. So I’m not sure if there is a one-to-one correlation there.”
NOW WATCH: Hard to forget this 2015 video of Putin and his prime minister working out for the cameras
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.