Did he agitate an already volatile situationd

Written by Ywtever
  • 15 Feb 2015

On February 2, 2013, Eddie Ray Routh shot Chris Kyle, the American Sniper (as portrayed in the movie American Sniper) 6 times with a hand gun killing him and then turning the gun on Kyle's buddy, Chad Littlefield and shot him 7 times with Kyle's Navy gun.  I have been following Routh's pre-trial that started this week and I am beginning to have a lot of questions.  

I went to see the movie American Sniper and I walked out of the theatre thinking he was just one very awesome guy and I was so upset that someone had the audacity to kill him; but as I sit here and listen to the things coming out of the court room and I add that to how the movie portrayed him, I am beginning to see another side to this tradgic story ... a side that isn't going to be very popular.  Let me start off by saying this, there shouldn't be anything anyone can say or do to make you want to shoot them; however, if you have already assessed the situation your in as fragile, then why try tipping the apple cart?  

In the movie, Kyle kept a lot of secrets to himself and a lot of pain that went with those secrets.  He was so hard to understand and get along with at times, that his wife had threatened to divorce him.  The movie didn't ever portray him as an abuser, but there are times, that you would rather be beat than to deal with the silence in the room and that same statement will come from any victim of abuse.  In this trial, Routh says that the reason that he shot Kyle and Littlefield is because they would not talk to him.  If you watch this movie, you will see that Kyle's silence at times drove his wife up the wall.  I don't think that was on purpose, I think he would just get very lost in his own thoughts or memories.  Then in the movie, when he would finally speak, it wasn't always a good thing.  It would come across as crass or rude; but again, I don't think he meant it this way, it was the only way he knew how to communicate what was on his mind at the time.  

Another thing that has come out at trial is that Kyle and Littlefield were apparently riding in the front of the truck and Routh was in back, when Kyle sends Littlefield a text message that says: "the guy in back is an absolute nut".  What?  Are you serious?  This tells me right here that he has apparently assessed the situation as exactly what it was and proceeded to alienate this poor guy a little more.  I am sure that Routh didn't know what the text message said, but what do you think the odds are that he didn't realize that the text was between the two of them?  I mean you see Kyle texting someone, a moment later you see Littlefield recieving a text ... wonder what went through his mind?  I wonder if Routh ever ask Kyle what was the text about?  I wonder what Kyle's response was to that question?  Even better, I wonder what Littlefield's response was?  A lot could have depended on this; here these men are, you have never met them before and you know that they are friends and neither one of them are speaking to you and their texting among themselves, what do you think they could be saying?  Are they plotting against you?  I mean, we are talking about three men in a truck that all have PTSD.  People with PTSD don't have the best perception of people.  They are paranoid and easily startled, they are depressed and feel alone, and due to their paranoia, they often are easy to anger.  If I was sitting in a vehicle with 2 other people and I saw them texting between themselves, I'm not so sure I wouldn't turn it internally also.  My feelings are very easily bruised and this would set the stage for the rest of the day for me.  

In selecting a jury, they are looking for people that had not seen the movie American Sniper because the defense thought this would prejudicial to the jury.  In my opinion, I think it would have worked in their favor.  Everything that is coming out in trial looks like one man's crying over spilled milk, but if you put the things that you seen in the movie with the things that are coming out in the trial, you begin to see Chris Kyle in a whole new light ... a more unfavorable light.  

My point is this, I am not so sure that Kyle and Littlefield didn't antagonized an already violatile situation.  I know we grow up hearing "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me", but I'm not so sure that someone with PTSD can relate that to their situations.  They are usually on one extreme end of the pendalum or the other, there is never a grey area for them.  They are either very angry and voiceful about their situation or they are very quiet and withdrawn about it and as a daughter of a father who experienced PTSD, I can tell you, neither one of the extremes are better than the other.  I'm not so sure that Routh would have had what it takes to control himself in that given situation.  I'm not saying that the killings are justified; but I am saying, I can almost understand why he done it and when you look at it from that point of view, I don't think he should be given anything more than some hospitalization for treatment.  He shouldn't be allowed back in society because he is obviously a threat to society, but at the same time, he shouldn't be given prison time either because he wasn't the only one contributing to the situation.  This is how I am viewing what is coming out of court and from watching the movie, and I realize that it is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I think it needed to be said.

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