The NRA has released a statement in response to the Dallas shooting that killed five police officers, but many NRA members are mad that the organization was silent after Philando Castile was killed by a police officer. Castile, a black man who had a conceal-and-carry permit, was shot by a police officer four times after he allegedly told the officer he had a gun in the car but was reaching for his identification in the wallet in his pocket, according to CNN.
Following the Dallas shooting, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said the police had acted heroically and that he felt anguish for the lost police officers. However, many who saw Castile’s death as an affront to gun rights were upset he was never given a statement.
“You should seriously stop sending me solicitations for money to defeat Hillary if you can’t even defend the rights of all American’s [sic] to carry, regardless of what they are,” NRA member Nick Coughlin wrote on the NRA’s Facebook feed, according to Mic. “Last time I checked, that is what the NRA has always stood for. As a member, your silence is unnerving.”
“Why the silence on the Philando Castile’s shooting?” wrote NRA member Serge Izmailyan. “As a member I expect you to support and speak out when a person’s rights are violated. A man was killed for exercising his second amendment rights. If you don’t speak out on this, then why should I bother to be a member?”
There are many comments like the ones listed above, and many of them come from people who identify themselves as members of the NRA. With Castile’s death making so many headlines, they find it very strange that the NRA has remained silent on his death when it seems to be connected to a gun issue.
Philando Castile’s death made so many headlines partially because his fiance live streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.
“He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” his fiance says in the video while Castile is laying bleeding next to her.
“Please don’t tell me this, Lord. Please, Jesus, don’t tell me that he’s gone,” she said. “Please, officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”
The traffic stop occurred over a broken tail light, and the young daughter of the couple was in the back seat when the shooting occurred.
Castile’s family has been deeply hurt by Philando’s death, and they’ve done media interviews expressing their anguish.
“We hear about things like this happening all the time around the United States and the world, people being harmed and abused by people that we’re supposed to trust with our lives, people that are supposed to serve and protect us,” Castile’s uncle said. “And they tend to be our executioners and judges and murderers.”
The shooting in Dallas was carried out by Micah Xavier Johnson, a black veteran who claimed he wanted to kill police officers. The shooting occurred during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration, and many Black Lives Matter groups have condemned the shooting, according to ABC News.
“My heart goes out to the victims of all violence, when we think about what has happened over the past 48 hours,” activist DeRay McKesson said during an appearance on C-SPAN.
[Photo by John Gress/Getty Images]