Former Rep. Ron Paul is drawing criticism for a tweet about Marine sniper Chris Kyle's death, saying Kyle had lived "by the sword" and died by it.
"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 tweeted Monday.
More from GlobalPost: Eddie Routh charged in murder of Chris Kyle, 'American Sniper' author
Kyle, a former Navy SEAL and the author of "American Sniper," was shot and killed at a Texas gun range on Saturday.
Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine, has been charged in the deaths of Kyle and 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, at the shooting range about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
Paul, a three-time presidential candidate, is known for his staunch opposition to US military involvement and conservative fiscal policy.
More from GlobalPost: Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper, shot deat at Texas gun range
But his tweet about Kyle's death appeared to cross the line.
"Why would you say such an ugly, insensitive thing, publicly? His family & friends are grieving his loss & you mock. Shame on you," one Twitter user replied, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"So all veterans, once done serving our nation with honor, deserve to be murdered as civilians?" said another. "Wow."
Paul's son, Kentucky Congressman Rand Paul, rushed to show support for Kyle, calling him a "hero" Tuesday, CNN reported.
And Paul himself seemed to walk back from the comment, posting this follow-up on Facebook:
"As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend's violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event," Paul wrote, according to The Huffington Post. "My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies."