Wednesday afternoon, a beloved member of the Falcon Heights community, Philando Castile was murdered in cold blood by a cop too afraid of his own shadow to allow a legal gun owner to provide his ID.
Moments after a St. Anthony cop abruptly shot her boyfriend to death in front of her 4-year-old daughter, Diamond Reynolds live-streamed a video on Facebook depicting her dying boyfriend drenched in blood and sitting beside her. According to recent reports, Reynolds’ daughter was inside the car when the cop opened fire.
Castile had committed no crime, he was complying with the officer’s orders, and yet the mere fact that he told the cop he was lawfully concealed carrying led to him being killed.
Before Castile was murdered, a graphic cell phone video surfaced showing two officers execute Alton Sterling at point blank range as they held down his arms, Sterling was also carrying a pistol.
These two deaths were enough to shake Americans out of their slumber and thousands took to the streets across the country to protest these needless murders.
During one such protest in Dallas, Texas, five randomly-targeted police officers died, and seven more suffered gunshot wounds Thursday night as a sniper — assumedly irate over police murders of civilians — took aim at their uniforms and badges as symbols of all that is wrong in the U.S. in 2016.
Sterling, Castile, and the multiple Dallas cops all died senselessly. However, the NRA only chose to reflect on the police officers’ deaths.
— NRA News (@nranews) July 8, 2016
While it is unclear whether Alton Sterling’s gun in his pocket was licensed, the one in Castile’s pocket was. The silence of the NRA in this tragedy has prompted its members to lash out.
— Laura Keeney (@LauraKeeney) July 8, 2016
— Anthony Rek LeCounte (@RekLeCounte) July 8, 2016
As Fusion.com points out, the fact the NRA has commented on the Dallas police officers’ deaths but not the death of a black man licensed to carry a gun is not surprising. Second Amendment protections have often been denied to black citizens. Martin Luther King, Jr. couldn’t even get a concealed carry permit after his life was threatened. The NRA has historically not commented on individual or mass shootings, but the NRA does have a close if fraught relationship with American police forces.
The only person closely related to the NRA to speak out for Philando Castile was Cam Edwards, host of the Cam&Co NRA podcast, who told listeners on Thursday: ‘What we know does not look good. Our right to keep and bear arms is not based on the color of our skin.’
After news of its members becoming outraged over their silence, the NRA released a statement Friday afternoon that resembles more of a police department statement than anything else.
— NRA (@NRA) July 8, 2016