I rarely do this…but I feel compelled.
I — like many of you — follow the news and am shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of Philando Castile in Minnesota, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and — at this writing — five Dallas police officers patrolling a peaceful protest.
President Obama said in reference to the deaths of Castile and Sterling — two black men shot by white officers, “These are not isolated incidents. They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.”
The president referenced statistics showing — in part — that black men are three times as likely to be pulled over than whites and twice as likely to be shot.
The President also labeled the shootings in Dallas as “vicious, calculated and despicable” and ordered flags nationwide flown at half-staff to honor the fallen officers. Amen to that.
I do want to drill down a bit though.
The National Rifle Association’s CEO Wayne LaPierre also issued a statement on the fallen Dallas officers. It read — in part:
“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 people of Dallas.”
Again…I agree with the sentiment.
Yet..the NRA — when it comes to the deadly shootings of Philando Castile (1st photo below) and Alton Sterling (2nd photo below) — for a while remained conspicuously silent.
And remember, while both black men had weapons on them, video shows Sterling being restrained and not reaching for a weapon when he was killed and Castile was licensed to carry a concealed firearm — which he reportedly told officers before he was shot and later died.
Late Friday, the NRA did issue a statement on the Castile case essentially saying it could say nothing yet.
“The reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated. In the meantime it is important for the NRA not to comment while the investigation is ongoing. Rest assured, the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known.”
Support not nearly as forceful for Castile as for the Dallas officers.
Should anyone wonder why there is a perception that the NRA doesn’t stand up for ALL gun owners?
All I ask is for equal anguish from the NRA. Two other families are devastated by what many are seeing as an irresponsible use of deadly force.
As President Obama said about mending the mistrust between the black community and law enforcement, “We must do better.”