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Will Spielberg's "American Sniper" Anger the NRA or Celebrate It?

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik May 2, 2013 at 4:06PM

Will Spielberg's "American Sniper" Anger the NRA or Celebrate It?
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He lived by the gun and died by the gun.

This was one of many similar headlines when celebrated U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle was killed earlier this year. Now that Steven Spielberg has announced his next project, starring Bradley Cooper, will be an adaptation of Kyle's tale of military triumph and challenge, "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History," Hollywood's treatment of the U.S. trained assassin will likely be inspected with as much intensity as its treatment of the death of Osama Bin Laden in "Zero Dark Thirty." Will this be Spielberg's "Munich" or his "Saving Private Ryan," a tale of guilt and reflection, or militaristic prowess and jingoistic rallying cry.

American sniper

A review of the book by the conservative Washington Times notes that Kyle's military exploits reads like a "thrilling adventure movie."

"Growing up in Odessa, Texas, he hunted animals with a bolt-action 30-06 rifle and had a talent for “breaking” horses," according to the review. "Especially revealing is Mr. Kyle's discussion of the nature of the insurgents he encountered. He described some of them as cowards who “routinely used drugs to stoke their courage. Without them, alone, they were nothing.” Others were 'one part terrorists, another part criminal gangs,” and some of the most dangerous were the religiously extremist al Qaeda fighters.'"

And if that doesn't sound like a hero for the NRA, I'm not sure what else does.

In our culture of increased tensions around gun control, Spielberg will be hard pressed by right and leftwing media to treat the subject carefully.


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