Why is the NRA silent on Philando Castile?

Jana Shortal reached out to the NRA twice without receiving a comment. But the National African American Gun Association did want to talk. http://kare11.tv/2sCD7qp

This is a story about Philando Castile, and his second amendment right to bear arms – which he exercised legally.

It's a story about who is talking about that, and who isn't.

Trevor Noah piled on where the Washington Post left off, publicly asking the NRA why it remains silent. Especially after what the group said last year, two days after Castile was shot on July 8, 2016.

It said, "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."

Right now all the facts are known.

The case is closed.

But the NRA, no matter the pressure from Noah, or the Twitter posts demanding answers, or even KARE 11's inquiries – Jana Shortal asked twice without response – remains silent.

It's still silent.

But Shortal did find a gun rights group that wanted to speak: the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA).

"I think it needs to be emphasized, this was a good guy who had a legal license to carry, but he was still shot," said NAAGA President Philip Smith. "Those institutions or groups that still don't want to talk about that, that's on them. I know we are gonna talk about it. Our members are talking about it. Black folks in our communities across the nation are talking about it."

Smith has 20,000 members in his association, and more than a thousand of them are police officers.

And Castile's case has dominated what they talk about, as it touches the second amendment, police, and being a black man all at the same time.

Smith says they all don't feel the same way about this, and that is OK. He thinks disagreement in the open air is a heck of a lot better than silence.

"I'll say this," he said. "I know several people in the NRA. I would hope they are going to be making a statement shortly about this. I know we are. ... It really would go a long way with our community if those different organizations speak out to talk about it, regardless of view or opinion. Say something."

The NRA has 5 million members. It speaks out about major cases often, to defend the rights of lawful gun owners.

It's that fact that is raising the questions here.

And those questions just keep getting asked, louder, when the NRA again remains silent.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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