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Philando Castile Should Be the NRA's Perfect Cause Célèbre. There's Just One Problem.

Posted by on Jun. 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM
  • 21 Replies

Philando Castile Should Be the NRA's Perfect Cause Célèbre. There's Just One Problem.

Protests-Erupt-After-Minnesota-Officer-Acquitted-In-Killing-Of-Philando-Castile
Protestors carry a portrait of Philando Castile on June 16, 2017 in St Paul, Minnesota after Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted on all counts.

Getty Images

Philando Castile received his permit to carry a firearm from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office on June 4, 2015. A year later, Castile had a gun in his pocket when a Minnesota police officer named Jeronimo Yanez pulled him over and shot him dead. According to dashcam footage, Yanez decided to open fire after Castile told him, truthfully and calmly, that he had a gun on him. During a three-week-long trial that ended Friday in an acquittal, Yanez testified that he shot Castile because he believed Castile was reaching for his weapon and therefore presented an imminent threat to the officer’s life.

The jury’s decision to acquit Yanez, who had been charged with second-degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm, left Castile’s loved ones angry and heartbroken, sparked a 1,500-person protest in St. Paul, and provoked a profound outpouring of grief on social media.

Staying conspicuously silent on the Yanez verdict so far is an organization that can typically be counted on to offer extreme and uncompromising advocacy on behalf of licensed American gun owners: the National Rifle Association. As of Saturday afternoon, the NRA had issued no statement addressing the verdict, its pugnacious chief spokesman Wayne LaPierre had not been quoted in any media stories about it, and an email from Slate requesting comment had not received a response. For those who remember the aftermath of Castile’s death, this should come as no surprise: The NRA was almost completely silent then, too, putting out a tepid statement only after coming under intense pressure from some of its members. As was widely noted at the time, whoever wrote the statement—most likely LaPierre himself—couldn’t even bring himself to mention Philando Castile’s name.

On its face, the Castile case would seem to have all the trappings of a cause célèbre for the NRA. The group’s most fiercely held belief is supposed to be that law-abiding citizens shouldn’t be burdened—let alone killed in cold blood—by repressive agents of the government just because they want to protect themselves and exercise their Second Amendment rights. Castile should be a martyr for the NRA, while Yanez—who reached for the holster of his service weapon as soon as Castile mentioned he was armed—should be its bogeyman.

It feels banal to even say it out loud: If Castile had been white instead of black, the NRA would have been rallying behind him and his family since the moment of his death, and fundraising off his memory for the rest of time. Yes, it’s true that the organization is aligned with law enforcement in certain ways that partially explain its reluctance to get in the middle of a police shooting case. (For one thing, most of the NRA’s 5 million members, like most police officers across the country, are white and conservative.) It’s also true that, while many law enforcement leaders view the gun lobby’s most extreme policy goals—like concealed carry reciprocity—with serious unease, most rank and file cops do seem to believe that having more people around carrying legal guns would reduce, rather than increase, crime rates.

So maybe that’s why the NRA’s leaders are staying quiet on the Yanez verdict: They know that speaking up on Castile’s behalf would antagonize some corners of a law enforcement community whose good side they want to stay on. But even if that’s true, it doesn’t make the organization’s calculus any less craven, or less revealing about the hypocritical flimsiness of its supposed principles.

It also doesn’t change the fact that the NRA has chosen to stay on the sidelines of a case that should, by all rights, be the perfect example of everything their movement exists to oppose. Well, almost perfect.

by on Jun. 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM
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Replies (1-10):
nb34
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 8:43 AM
6 moms liked this

This is why we need a "black lives matter" movement. This is about his color of skin, and nothing else.

Sparkles4Lui
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 8:48 AM
"most of the NRA’s 5 million members, like most police officers across the country, are white and conservative.)"

Are there stats for this?
PamR
by Ruby Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 8:55 AM


Quoting Sparkles4Lui: "most of the NRA’s 5 million members, like most police officers across the country, are white and conservative.)" Are there stats for this?

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/safety-justice/police-department-officer-demographics-minority-representation.html

The NRA does not keep demographic information, but minority members make up less than 40% of their membership. 


Sparkles4Lui
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Thank you :)

Quoting PamR:

Quoting Sparkles4Lui: "most of the NRA’s 5 million members, like most police officers across the country, are white and conservative.)"

Are there stats for this?

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/safety-justice/police-department-officer-demographics-minority-representation.html

The NRA does not keep demographic information, but minority members make up less than 40% of their membership. 

joyfree
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 9:12 AM
2 moms liked this
I suspect we will hear very little from the cons except that they believe the officer's statement that Castile was "disobeying orders" and that is why he deserved to bleed out in the car while the cops didn't even call for an ambulance.

Disgusting. According to all reports, Philandro never knew a stranger and was liked by practically everyone.

This was a terrible miscarriage of "justice."

Meanwhile, in Ohio we wait on pins and needles for the verdict in the DuBose shooting.
couture-mommy
by 8.21.1831 on Jun. 19, 2017 at 10:11 AM
2 moms liked this
When a POC has a weapon... they are criminals.
couture-mommy
by 8.21.1831 on Jun. 19, 2017 at 10:11 AM
2 moms liked this
Thank you

Quoting nb34:

This is why we need a "black lives matter" movement. This is about his color of skin, and nothing else.

couture-mommy
by 8.21.1831 on Jun. 19, 2017 at 10:24 AM
2 moms liked this
If any of you white women on here need to understand why POC are so upset... watch the 1st 30 mins of "13th".

And I only say the 1st 30 mins because those whom I'm talking to NEVER want to understand, so they won't have the mental compasity to sit thru the rest of the documentary-- and it could be that some of you, even your husband's are ok with this shit regarding minorities but wouldn't be ok with it if it happened to your white sons.
nb34
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 10:54 AM

I haven't been able to watch that documentry yet. I just can't bring myself to watch it. I know, and understand all the injustices, watching it is going to only make me really upset and deppressed, that's the only reason I can't watch it. What is being done to black men in this country is just really wrong.

Quoting couture-mommy: If any of you white women on here need to understand why POC are so upset... watch the 1st 30 mins of "13th". And I only say the 1st 30 mins because those whom I'm talking to NEVER want to understand, so they won't have the mental compasity to sit thru the rest of the documentary-- and it could be that some of you, even your husband's are ok with this shit regarding minorities but wouldn't be ok with it if it happened to your white sons.


CraziestTexan39
by Bronze Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 10:58 AM
Oh I wholeheartedly agree with you. That documentary is profoundly and deeply affective on an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level. I'm a white woman that has black friends who I've always felt more comfortable around than white people, probably because of my dark complexion leading racists to believe I deserved to be harassed. The 13th made me weep, it made me angry, it made me want to do more. This verdict is a perfect example of the absolute injustice towards POC that is just past the dammed limit already. The cop being let off for dangerous discharge of a firearm REALLY pisses me off. There were two other innocent people in that car that most certainly did NOT "pose a threat" to his sorry life. He could've easily (accidentally) killed that little girl in the backseat or Diamond in the passenger seat and the fact that he was let off on that is proof enough that he was let off because they are all black. I have always on Philando Castile's side, what was done to him was absolutely fucked up. I agree that the silence from the NRA speaks volumes, because yes this case is perfect for their mantra and their cause. I joined the local BLM movement in my city around the same time of his murder. Now that I'm healthier and getting stronger each day, I'll be able to get out there and really be a part of it.

Quoting couture-mommy: If any of you white women on here need to understand why POC are so upset... watch the 1st 30 mins of "13th".



And I only say the 1st 30 mins because those whom I'm talking to NEVER want to understand, so they won't have the mental compasity to sit thru the rest of the documentary-- and it could be that some of you, even your husband's are ok with this shit regarding minorities but wouldn't be ok with it if it happened to your white sons.
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