LAS VEGAS — A close friend of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle told The Daily Caller that warriors like Kyle died so that Hollywood big-wigs like Michael Moore could enjoy freedom of speech.
Brian Sain is a founding member of AmericanSnipers.org and a “personal friend” of Kyle, and he spoke with TheDC at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s annual Shot Show on Tuesday.
Moore, a documentary film director and liberal activist, and actor Seth Rogen recently made headlines for disparaging Clint Eastwood’s box office hit “American Sniper,” which tells the story of Kyle’s life. Moore called snipers “cowards” while Rogen tweeted that the movie reminded him of the “fake Nazi propaganda” movie in the third act of Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds.”
“Those gentlemen live in the United States of America, and I would hazard that neither one of them has ever been in harm’s way,” Sain told TheDC. “So the very right they have to make those comments was afforded by someone else like Chris, who was spilling their blood and spilling their guts and leaving their family, while those individuals were safe and sound behind their keyboards or whatever they do.”
Kyle, who is played by actor Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper” and was killed two years ago, is considered a “legendary” marksman among the sniper community.
“We were very close friends. He actually named his book (which the movie is based on) after our organization. We were around before he went to sniper schools, so we used to bust on each other about all that,” Sain told TheDC.
“To a lot of people, Chris is a hero and public figure. He was my personal friend,” he said. “We drank together. We talked together. We shot together. We talked about everything that’s in that movie, because I was having similar stuff going on from a law enforcement perspective.”
Sain helps train police snipers in Austin, Texas, while Kyle helped train Dallas police snipers. He recalled the last conversation he had with Kyle before his friend was shot and killed at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas in February 2013.
“He and I were working on a project together to donate a rifle to a raffle to raise money for our troops,” Sain said. “He got famous after that and he said, ‘Hey man, we need to get on that raffle project.'”
“I said, ‘Don’t worry about it we got the rest of our lives to get it done.’ And he was gone three weeks later.”
“I was eating supper and the Austin guys called me and said, ‘Chris was just murdered. The guy stole his truck and may be coming down this way.’ And then they caught him shortly thereafter.”
Sain sought to clear up misconceptions about who American military and law enforcement snipers are and what these individuals go through on and off the job.
“Most of us are fathers,” he explained. “Most of us are family people. Most of us are regular people just like Chris was — had a wife, had kids, loved people as much as anybody else — but if bad people are trying to kill good people, you can’t just take a time out and go look for a job placement person to solve that problem. It’s happening right now. You have to make the decision on the spot and other people have the rest of their lives to second-guess your decision. So you have to be right. But it takes a mental fortitude and mental stability to be able to separate that from who you are in the regular world, because everyone wants to do what we do — not everyone can do what we do.”
Sain’s organization, AmericanSniper.org, is a non-profit that raises money for all designated snipers and marksmen in the military and law enforcement who need their support on the battlefield.
He noted, “Everyone thinks SWAT guys have all this cool stuff, but many don’t. I personally had two friends — one in the National Guard and one in the Marine Corps Reserve. Both of them were law enforcement snipers on the SWAT team, but they were also military snipers.”
“They didn’t have the gear. They were calling me from the combat zone saying, ‘Can you give me this? Can you give me that?’ And I’m not talking about weapons and suppressors and stuff — just backpacks, body armor — that kind of stuff,” Sain said.
Sain didn’t have the money to buy it himself, so he and others started raising money in the community to get them what his friends in the field needed. Soon, he found his fundraising skills were better than he expected.
“But I had a surplus. It didn’t belong to me. It belonged to the community I served that gave it to me.”
The small group started calling instructors at the snipers’ schoolhouses for ideas. The instructors notified them that “other units that needed stuff.”
What began as a few police officers helping a few friends on the force grew into a 45-person organization that ended up supporting over 1,300 platoons of snipers in the U.S. military.
“After 9/11, the sniper community got very close,” he said. “Like I said, ‘sniper’ used to be a very bad word, but the community got really close and we bonded together because we’re all Americans.”