(Photo sources: Twitter – @NRA and Philando Castile/ Facebook)

The recent acquittal of Minneapolis police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile has surprisingly caused outrage among many members of the National Rifle Association. At issue is a prime example of a licensed gun owner who was killed while in possession of a legal firearm. A jury believed Yanez when he said that he was in imminent fear for his life after Castile stated he was licensed to carry and was not reaching for his weapon. Yanez fired his weapon into the vehicle killing Castile and his dying moments were live streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend.

This was a clear case of an American citizen who exercised his Second Amendment rights to legally bear a firearm and was killed for it. Castile should be a poster child for gun ownership and gun rights by the NRA and yet the organization that has called itself “the oldest civil rights organization in America” gave a lackluster response when Castile was shot by police stating on its Facebook page two days after the shooting: “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.”

Not once was the name of Castile officially mentioned by the NRA in its statement. Even now the leadership of the NRA has not mentioned Castile and his rights as a gun owner. The silence has not gone unnoticed among its more than five million members on social media. Going to the official NRA Facebook page there are numerous statements that ask directly “What about Philando Castile” and the NRA’s silence.

One poster wrote, “Is this for White concealed and carry owners only? Because Philando Castile’s case proves it doesn’t work for us. So what is your vaunted advise [sic] for Black Americans that exercise our 2nd amend rights in regards to Law Enforcement?”

It’s a sentiment echoed by others across social media who ask if the NRA is really the National Rifle Association for White people? These questions are what sparked the creation of Black gun rights groups. One such group is the National African American Gun Association led by Phillip Smith. SSmithstated recently to the media that “It troubles me tremendously when I see a young man following the rules, doing what he’s supposed to be doing, and there’s still no accountability from a legal perspective.”

Mo Barnes

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

  • Oak510finest

    The NRA is a white supremacist front organization. They are in favor of everyone having a gun, except black people.

  • Cruddy

    Why is anyone surprised? The NRA is racist even though it promotes its token Blacks like Colion Noir. If you are Black you shouldnt be a NRA member anyway. You should join the NAAG.

  • britishrose

    if there was ever a time to rally in the streets and act a fool it would be now . we all knew that gun laws didnt apply to blacks like nothing else does too . we always gotta be targeted for exerciseing our rights, so this means . if treyvon marton had a registered gun and shot zimmerman instead , he would be in prison by now?? more then likely yes if you can say its ok , for this man to die and justice not served . you let zimmerman walk for carrying a gun registered . but told by 911 not to shot , but reframe from following victim? yet he disobeyed the law order and he walked? so yes nra is a white organization ran by kkk memeber , is the reason they have done nothing for the familie of philando castillo . that little scary ass cop. with racist up bring was just wanting to kill a black man and retire. he will get a severance pay out . instead of a cot and a cheese sandwich which he deserve to be eating all his dam life . what about death row. ? i see how the law works , they refusing to arrest these cops cause they know , the miltary is link to these killing. to investigate their mental issue would cost the country millions .domino efect , basically if you start locking them up other , sickos from post war ptsd untreated will refram from applying , there would be no cops hired . they know what they doning . they will continue to avoid the elephant in the room . half the cops in any city should not be working period . unless they are treated by a dorctor and cleared . these are gulf war veteran let go by obama . and instead of job they could handle they go apply for a job where they can kill at will , with no punishment . they dont care bout being fired or standing trial .. they already know they fixin to be aquitted . goverment need to investigate the link to all these killings and the war that bush started

  • herrbrahms

    Is it the NRA’s fault that a jury acquitted a defendant?

    I personally think that Yanez should have been convicted. I also thought that Cosby should have been convicted, but I didn’t get my wish there either.