The NRA Must Do More to Stand Up For Minorities’ Gun Rights

Guns Texas

The National Rifle Association is targeted by the political left more than any other interest group. When tragedies such as the Orlando nightclub shooting occur, liberals blast it for perpetuating a culture of violence that makes such occurrences possible. Most of the time, the NRA stands its ground and defends the Second Amendment. But recently, the group has shown willingness to compromise its positions, especially when minorities are involved.

Take, for instance, the recent shooting of Philando Castile. Castile was an African-American man shot by a police officer in his car. While not all of the facts are known at this time, we do know that Castile had a gun and had a valid Minnesota permit. According to reports, he also allegedly informed the officer of both of these facts before he was shot.

What proceeded the start of the Facebook live-stream broadcast by Castile’s girlfriend is unclear at this point. Regardless, the incident is clearly a Second Amendment issue that the NRA would be all over, right?

Well, sort of.

The NRA dragged its feet and did not respond in any way to the Falcon Heights shooting for almost two days. On its Facebook page, the group stated, “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.”

Okay, fine. Wanting to wait for more information to make a clear statement is acceptable; prudent even. That fact in vacuum is no cause for alarm. But reports from The Washington Post revealing that the organization is clearly divided on the issue in addition to group’s recent calls for watch list restrictions paint a more troubling picture.

Many of the NRA’s own members are attacking the organization’s stance on the Castile case, and some fear that the organization can’t adequately defend their right to carry in encounters with law enforcement.

Following the Pulse Night Club attack, the NRA released a troubling statement that called for increased restriction of American’s due process and – by proxy – their gun rights.

“Anyone on a terror watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing.  If an investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement, the government should be allowed to immediately go to court, block the sale, and arrest the terrorist.”

Related: The ACLU Is Now to the Right of the NRA and Trump On Critical Gun Policy

The ACLU stated, “The standards for inclusion on the No-Fly List are unconstitutionally vague, and innocent people are blacklisted without a fair process to correct government error.”
While many classifications are outside of civilian view, there is strong reason to believe that there are racial slants to selection for the lists. According to The Interceptwhich published the government’s guidelines back in 2014, it is possible for an individual to land on a list because they belong to a “category of individuals” with an “elevated threat level.”
I refuse to go so far as to call the NRA racist; that is asinine. But they absolutely must do a better job at showing minority communities they care about their rights, too.
The Second Amendment is not just for white people. It is for the black man pulled over by a police officer who is legally armed with a concealed carry permit. It is for the man of Middle Eastern descent who has a name that could place him on a government watch list. It is for the woman who wants to protect herself from potential attack on a college campus. It is even for the person who is extremely critical of the government on his or her twitter account.

The Second Amendment protects all of these people; it is time the NRA started protecting those who might not be extremely politically popular to defend.

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