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In a bizarre story out of Texas Saturday night, it was reported that Chris Kyle was murdered at a gun range.
If you're not familiar with Kyle, there's a few reasons why this should be shocking - aside from the fact that it's the sad loss of an American hero.
Kyle was a sniper. The former Navy SEAL, author of American Sniper, was maybe the deadliest U.S. warrior ever, earning him the nickname "Devil of Ramadi." Credited with 160 confirmed kills - 255 claimed - in his career with SEAL Team 3, the decorated vet had become something of a celebrity in recent years, a staple on the talk show circuit and himself a host of his own show.
"It just comes as a shock and it's staggering to think that after all Chris has been through, that this is how he meets his end, because there are so many ways he could have been killed" in Iraq, American Sniper co-author Scott McEwen told Reuters.
In one of his last interviews, Kyle talked to guns.com about gun ownership, Obama administration plans to tackle assault weapons and the recent increase in mass shootings in the U.S.:
The Texas native Kyle was just 38. He had a new book due in May - American Gun - A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms. He also had a pending legal action - a defamation lawsuit brought against him by Jesse Ventura over an alleged altercation at a SEAL bar in California in 2006.
Our beloved brother, son, friend, and partner Aaron Swartz hanged himself on Friday in his Brooklyn apartment. We are in shock, and have not yet come to terms with his passing.
Aaron's insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable--these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter. We're grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world.
Aaron's commitment to social justice was profound, and defined his life. He was instrumental to the defeat of an Internet censorship bill; he fought for a more democratic, open, and accountable political system; and he helped to create, build, and preserve a dizzying range of scholarly projects that extended the scope and accessibility of human knowledge. He used his prodigious skills as a programmer and technologist not to enrich himself but to make the Internet and the world a fairer, better place. His deeply humane writing touched minds and hearts across generations and continents. He earned the friendship of thousands and the respect and support of millions more.
Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney's office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims. Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron and its own community's most cherished principles.
Today, we grieve for the extraordinary and irreplaceable man that we have lost.
Streets are flooded under the Manhattan Bridge in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, N.Y., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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