After the maddening decision in the Philando Castile case, many gun owners are disturbed and the NRA they trusted for so long and paid to protect their rights is silent. Where are the lobbyists? Afterall, Castile was exercising his rights to keep and bear arms per the second amendment, yet he lost his life to a cop.
The NRA’s silence is deafening. Gun owners don’t understand it. It could be that the NRA has already lost many members and the organization faced massive backlash when they endorsed Donald Trump for president. Now, many gun owners don’t care about their “comments” on the case anyway. Trump has a history of seeking tighter gun control regulations, such as an “assault weapons” ban so the NRA’s decision to endorse him was jaw-dropping to those who can put two and two together. In fact, in a book Trump published in 2000 called The America We Deserve, he says:
It’s often argued that the American murder rate is high because guns are more available here than in other countries. After a tragedy like the massacre at Columbine High School, anyone could feel that it is too easy for Americans to get their hands on weapons. But nobody has a good solution. This is another issue where you see the extremes of the two existing major parties. Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions. I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within seventy-two hours if a potential gun owner has a record. –Donald Trump in his book, The America We Deserve
The NRA could have throw support behind any of the libertarian candidates (Gary Johnson won the nomination); all of whom had more credibility and trustworthiness when it comes to the protection of your rights. Or, they could have said “none of these candidates will protect gun rights, so we won’t endorse,” but they didn’t. So it honestly makes sense that they are silent now when gun owners want a response.
Two days after Philando Castile’s July 6 slaying, the group issued a cautious statement that did not name Castile and declined further comment “while the investigation is ongoing.” Even after the disastrous decision (the endorsement of Donald Trump), those who are still members seem to want a response from the organization about the killing of a fellow gun owner.
The NRA’s actions spoke when they endorsed Trump, far as former NRA members are concerned. Now, their silence and refusal to stand on Castile’s side against the growing power of the government will hopefully be the nail in their coffin. Philando Castile had the right to keep and bear arms just like the rest of us. He isn’t some second class citizen just because it was a cop who took his life.
“I wasn’t reaching for it,” Castile moaned in his last words after Yanez shot him seven times, killing him in front of his child. The family of Castile, 32, later furnished his permit to carry a firearm, issued June 4, 2015, by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
What’s more, Castile; who had no serious criminal record; appeared to have gone above and beyond in informing the officer about his gun. Under Minnesota law, permitted firearm carriers aren’t required to disclose them during traffic stops unless asked, Bryan Strawser of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus noted to the Star-Tribune last year. Would Castile’s silence, like the NRA’s, have saved his life?
The NRA still has not responded to inquiries from numerous media outlets about the acquittal of the cop who shot and killed Castile, yet they’ve been quick on the draw when it comes to defending other gun owners. They even have a section of their website dedicated to those who use their guns in self-defense. But Castile wasn’t defending himself – he didn’t have time. He was shot seven times before he could even get his wallet out, let alone draw his firearm.
The NRA is hardly worth the money anymore to gun owners who value their rights and the organization’s silence speaks volumes. They don’t seem to care that a murderer employed by the state is walking free after slaughtering a man who was armed and cooperating with police. The verdict is maddening to the logical gun owners and should have elicited a response from the largest gun rights lobbying organization in the United States.
This case is a perfect opportunity for gun owners to stand up and support each other, but they just can’t seem to do it. It’s dividing those who want freedom, and those who fear it. This is cognitive dissonance at it’s finest. It’s making some gun owners back the “thin blue line,” yet that mentality is warring with their gun rights, and on a visceral level, they know this.