Is the NRA doing enough in support of Philando Castile, who was killed by a Minnesota police officer at a traffic stop after explaining that he had a concealed carry permit for a firearm, then reaching for his ID?
After a white Minnesota police officer fatally shot a black man on Wednesday, gun control advocates weren’t the only ones criticizing the National Rifle Association. Some of the blowback was coming from within the organization.
The NRA is facing internal division as its members argue that the group did not do enough to defend gun owners’ rights by speaking out on behalf of Philando Castile of Falcon Heights, Minn., who was shot to death during a traffic stop.
Castile had a valid permit to carry a gun. He also reportedly informed the officer who shot him that he was armed in an attempt to head off a misunderstanding.
Still, Castile was killed by police, prompting outrage that following the rules was not enough to save him from a violent death. . . .
The NRA faces criticism from its members who argue that the group did not do enough to defend gun owners’ rights by speaking out on behalf of Castile.
The delay in addressing Castile’s death, compared with the promptness of the NRA statement after the Dallas shooting, has sparked complaints of a double standard in how the organization defends gun owners.
“Your lack of message concerning the Castile case disappoints me and makes me question my membership,” Marco Gallologic wrote on the NRA’s Facebook page. “…What do I pay fees for if you do not represent gun owners and our rights?”
“Your silence is causing NRA members such as myself to question/wonder what exactly you do and don’t stand for,” Facebook user Bruce Johnston wrote. . . .
Other firearms groups have reacted with alarm to the shooting. On Thursday, the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights group based in Bellevue, Wash., said that “exercising our right to bear arms should not translate to a death sentence over something so trivial as a traffic stop for a broken tail light.”