It’s rare that this happened, maybe even a first for the National Rifle Association. The nation’s oldest civil rights organization has a strict protocol of not weighing in on tragedy. They don’t dabble in the media hype of it, unlike their anti-gun counterparts who pervasively use death to fundraise and score political points. After the horrific Newtown shooting in 2012, they temporarily shut down their Facebook page. Yet, the shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota by a police officer is a special case, as he was a concealed carry holder, who reportedly told the officer who killed him he was armed, and that he was going to reach for his identification when he was shot. On July 8, the NRA weighed in, saying that the shooting of Castile was “troubling.” They also said it needs to be “thoroughly investigated,” not offering any further comment.
You need to pass a background check to obtain a carry permit, so Castile was a law-abiding citizen who may have miscommunicated with law enforcement during the July 6 traffic stop that ended up being his last. His death was livestreamed on Facebook by his girlfriend before police took her into custody.