Update: The National Rifle Association (NRA) has finally spoke up on behalf of Philando Castile, who was gunned down by a police officer.
"The reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated," the gun rights organization vaguely said in a statement.
The short statement from the NRA hardly addresses the issue of police brutality in the United States, showing their true colors by ignoring of ignoring the lives of those in the African-American community.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) wasted no time issuing a statement following the tragic shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers — yet, they’ve still said nothing about the back-to-back deaths of two innocent black men.
The NRA’s executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, offered warm condolences to the families of the slain officers:
“On behalf of the more than five million members of the National Rifle Association, and especially on behalf of our members from the law enforcement community, I want to express the deep anguish all of us feel for the heroic Dallas law enforcement officers who were killed and wounded, as well as to those who so bravely ran toward danger to defend the city and the people of Dallas,” the message read.
People have been waiting for days, expecting the NRA to speak up on behalf of Philando Castile — the Minnesota black man who had a concealed carry permit for his firearm and was gunned down by a police officer in front of his fiancée and her four-year-old daughter.
The gun rights advocates still haven’t acknowledged the tragedy, but were right on time to pay their respects to the slain officers.
Alton Sterling, who was killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana a day before Castile, was said to also be carrying a gun (which is still being questioned); however, the officers who approached him didn’t even bother to find out if he was licensed to carry before killing him in cold blood.
Americans continue to wait in vain for the NRA to speak up on that issue as well.
Let’s be clear: Senseless violence in any capacity against anyone is wrong. There is absolutely no justification for the acts committed against all of these innocent people in the last week; however, it is extremely frustrating to witness the obvious double standard play out before our eyes amid these difficult times.
The deaths of these officers have completely overshadowed the ongoing issue at hand, which are the constant and repeated murders of black men and women throughout the nation.
The NRA’s response, or lack thereof, confirms critics’ belief that the organization only advocates for conservative, white gun owners.
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) — who owns a gun — said it best in a speech Friday morning during the Congressional Black Caucus’ press conference:
“The hypocrisy there is so blatant,” he said. “I always thought the NRA was not concerned about me. And I hunt and I fish and I own a gun. But the last few days have clarified it for me — that their Second Amendment concern is not a voice of concern for African Americans. And I just believe that we cannot give them a pass on not making a comment.”
According to Think Progress, The only inkling of acknowledgement the NRA offered to the deaths of Sterling and Castile was a comment on their web show that the killings, “did not look good,” — but, as written in their statement, they are in “deep anguish” with “heavy hearts” over the deaths of the Dallas cops.
This pattern of ignoring the plight of the black community and disregarding African-American lives is exactly why there was a demonstration going on in Dallas in the first place.
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user Gage Skidmore