can act as if you didn’t see it, but you can’t act as if
you didn’t hear it. Hear what, you ask? The silence of the
NRA when it came to the shooting death of Philando Castile. That
silence was loud and clear: Black lives don’t matter. A legal
gun owner and carrier ended up being “carried by six,”
and arguably the loudest legislative lobbying group in America said
not a mumblin’ word. It’s clear that Castile had no
right—2nd Amendment or otherwise—that a white
man was bound to respect.
Castile shooting is akin to the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling,
Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, not only because the white person involved
got to walk away, but because there was no need for the NRA to inject
its two-cents worth of hindsight. The Castile shooting is also
unique from the others in that the incident provides every reason for
the NRA to inject 5 million cents of hindsight.
answer is elementary: racism. The majority of America’s gun
owners, if not Americans in general, are silent and complicit
racists. I assert this observation, not simply to call names or
idealogically label a group of people or incite inflammatory
rhetoric. Instead, I call out racists to illuminate an American
reality. The Washington Post reported that the most recent Census
counts roughly 245 million adults, aged 18 and over in the US.
Multiplying the adult population by the ownership rate gives us
between 73 and 81 million adult gun owners in this country. NRA
members account for about 5 million or 6 to 7 percent of that total.
gun as a tool of force coupled with political position— a
historically documented combination that has solidified America’s
brand of racial domination since its inception. At each phase of
social upheaval—abolition of slavery, civil rights movement,
the Republican Revolution—guns and legislation have breathed
life into society’s dying racial mores—a move that has
maintained the deeply indwelled state of institutional racism.
of this deadly combination is covered by the pointed hood of the
Second Amendment. It is a hood which Philando Castile would not be
allowed to wear, even if he was unaware that he truly didn’t
want to wear it. In other words, “the Second Amendment is for
us, not for you, Boy.” This claim to a right to bear arms was
not created for the Black man in America, and if you let white men
tell it, it will never be a privilege of the Black man in America.
Beside the suppression, disenfranchisement and/or denial of the right
to vote, the abridgement of Second Amendment is the grandest
hypocrisy of this country.
have the right to shoot and kill another person, regardless of the
circumstance. That is not an opinion I assert here, jury acquittals
from coast-to-coast bear out that fact. Philando Castile was shot and
killed by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer,
after being pulled over in Falcon Heights, a suburb of Saint Paul.
Castile was in a car with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her
four-year-old daughter when he was pulled over by Yanez and another
officer. Castile told the officer he had a firearm and a permit to
carry a firearm, and he had one hand in his pants pocket after being
asked for his license and registration. Castile was shot while
reaching for his ID and more relevant here, after telling Yanez he
was armed. The officer without provocation, panicked and began
shooting Castile. Yanez shot him dead.
most adequate description of the takeaway from the Castile murder
came from Paul Butler, law professor at Georgetown University and a
former federal prosecutor: “The victim did everything right,
everything he was supposed to do. The victim was very respectful,
very polite, letting the officer know what he was doing. None of that
made a difference.”
I said earlier, police have the right to shoot and kill another
person, regardless of the circumstance; civilians are simply
“deputized” to do the same…if they are white. I
look to Florida as the most prime of examples. Let’s compare
the cases George Zimmerman and Marissa Alexander. Both applied
“Stand Your Ground” provisions to defend their act of
discharging a firearm for their protection. One of them was Black,
the other white; one was male, one was female. Guess who went to
jail; then guess who walked free? I didn’t make up these
scenarios; this is no “fake news” (oooo, how I despise
that phrase). You do the math…
we know is that the NRA didn’t speak out in support of
Alexander, withstanding she was not a card-carrying member…but
neither was Zimmerman. In contrast, the NRA gave Zimmerman all kinds
of support, including but not limited to legal defense.
the propagandized American value system, people in this country hold
dear to their “rights,” even if they’re wrong. The
right to be racist—and practice racism—has been upheld by
the High Court time and time again. Most recently, the Supreme Court
decision partially upholding the so-called President Trump’s
travel ban (directed toward Muslims) or supporting trademark
protection for Washington’s NFL team to racially disparage the
Native peoples of this land. The right to publicly call you “nigger”
is a pride of white men. That’s not to say that he will, nor
that he even wants to, but he just wants to keep that right to do
so—as a Trump card—if the occasion ever arises.
this pro-Trump, pro-gun movement with Trump’s latest directive
to send Federal troops in to straighten Chicago which has recorded
over 1700 shootings this year where he wants to sweep up all the guns
in Chi-Town. He touts his plan to remove guns from Chicago streets,
but in reality, Blacks will be swept into a dragnet of the innocent
along with the guilty. Another war on us. I can’t hear you,
NRA, about Trump’s latest stunt to sweep Chicago clean of its
false public projection of why these people are compelled to own guns
has shifted, alongside the shift of conservative Republicans control
of political power in America. Just as the NRA’s focus has
shifted over time from its start as an organization focused on
training and marksmanship to one that is a major player in the battle
over gun control,
reasons why Americans own guns also have changed.
About half (48%) of gun owners said the main reason they owned a gun
is for protection, according to a Pew Research Center survey
conducted in February 2013. About three-in-ten (32%) said they owned
a gun for hunting. That was a turnaround from 1999 when 49% said they
owned a gun for hunting and 26% said they had a gun for protection in
an ABC News/Washington Post poll.
numbers clearly coincide with both the rise and height of the Tea
Party movement and the tide of Republican governorships and
legislature takeovers. This political dominance only emboldened gun
owners to come out of their proverbial closet and now tell the world
why they really own guns. In the same way Trump sold
Americans a lemon with “I’ll keep you safe,” then
he executes a ban of all Muslims traveling to the US. Trump and the
NRA are again translating the 2nd Amendment—for
them, not for you.