Well, well, well… for those who thought that the National Rifle Association, at least to the extent of the professionals who do its public bidding, was little more than a money-grubbing arm of the culture wars, rather than any kind of “principled civil rights organization,” we have this hit piece on the NRA (as it were) from WaPo. Specifically, the piece notes the deafening silence of the NRA leadership on one of the clearest infringements on Second Amendment rights we have ever seen, to wit, the apparent summary execution (by a White police officer) of one Philandro Castle (a Black man) in Minnesota during a traffic stop over an alleged broken tail light, after Mr. Castle verbally advised officers that he had a concealed carry permit, and that he was going to slowly reach for his wallet to provide them license and registration. Slate provides more details on Mr. Castle’s history of being stopped (and the NRA’s curious non-response.)
I wasn’t there, bubbela, be it in Minnesota, in Louisiana, or in Ferguson, MO or even in nearby Staten Island, NY, or in any of the other myriad places it seems that the encounters of Black (and Brown) persons with (often but by no means always White) police officers have gone horribly, fatally wrong. I can’t– and I won’t– judge the merits of any particular episode… I will just note that as a cumulative matter, this sort of thing keeps happening, and even in the era of “everyone has a cell phone camera”… does not appear to be so much as slowing down. It is unfortunate that the response of some to this unfortunate (but seemingly eternal) trend has gone beyond thoughtful and peaceful protests and into the realm of violence against officers– but that’s missing the point on the NRA silence, here, as would be commenting on the President’s reaction.
From the NRA’s own website:
The National Rifle Association is America’s longest-standing civil rights organization. Together with our more than five million members, we’re proud defenders of history’s patriots and diligent protectors of the Second Amendment.
Well then. The apparent, at least, execution of an American citizen by officials of the government for no other apparent reason than his entirely lawful exercise of Second Amendment rights, it seems, should trump, oh… everything else as far as that goes, don’t you think? Millions of NRA members should be taking to the streets themselves, whether in alliance or at least in parallel with Black Lives Matter and other protestors. I would think so, anyway. Or…
Or does Mr. Castle’s race provide, ahem, the usual exemption with respect to considerations of constitutional rights? We’re waiting NRA…