Guns have always played a pivotal role in American history. They’ve been used to hunt, to protect, and most importantly—to defend the country in times of war. Without them, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and subsequent World Wars could have taken a turn for the worst, altering the U.S. into something unrecognizable, something void of democracy.

After four tours of duty, the distinction of America’s most lethal sniper, and the publication of his New York Times bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wanted to pursue his passion for history and share his knowledge with readers. In his own words, “[f]irearms opened the frontier, helped win our independence, settled the West, kept law and order, and defeated tyranny across the world.”