- (Photo: Reuters/Eric Miller)
Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is at the center of a growing controversy after he posted a message on Twitter regarding the death of a decorated Navy SEAL.
Paul, who had presidential aspirations in the beginning of 2012, posted his thoughts about the fatal shooting over the weekend that involved former Navy SEAL and author Chris Kyle.
Police revealed that the alleged suspect, Eddie Ray Routh, is also a veteran who may have been suffering from PTSD when he allegedly shot Kyle and another man. Authorities suggested that he may have been suffering from a mental illness which stemmed from his military service.
Reports indicate that the shooting occurred at a gun range and Paul was highlighting the choice of bringing a mentally unstable veteran to a gun range.
"Chris Kyle's death seems to confirm that 'he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.' Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn't make sense," Paul posted on his Twitter account.
Kyle was a decorated soldier and was regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history after recording 160 confirmed kills. Kyle left the Navy in 2009 and then wrote his autobiography, "American Sniper," which came out last year.
Reactions to Paul's comments were quick and fierce.
"You really are vile," tweeted GOP strategist Rick Wilson.
John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine described Paul's tweet as "appalling."
"The newly liberated Paul is more callous than ever, with an extra helping of sanctimony and a healthy dollop of anti-military sentiment," wrote Michelle Malkin, a conservative blogger.
Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has been touted as a presidential contender in 2016, did not mention his father by name, but rather offered his support to the Kyle family.
"Chris Kyle was a hero like all Americans who don the uniform to defend our country. Our prayers are with his family during this tragic time," he stated on Breitbart.com.