NRA Members Divided Over Group’s Response to Recent Shootings
Politics| | By Brian Delpozo
As the United States continues to reel from a recent spate of deadly shootings and the accompanying strife they’ve brought, the National Rifle Association is dealing with issues within its own ranks.
Some members and supporters of the group are upset about the seemingly incongruent ways the NRA reacted to two of the high profile shootings.
On July 8, the NRA’s official Facebook page posted and pinned a message addressing the deadly sniper style murders of five white Dallas police officers the previous day. The statement featured NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre expressing “deep anguish” at the deaths of the officers, and went on the say of the victims that, “With heavy hearts, NRA members honor their heroism and offer our deepest condolences to all of their families.”
Several hours later the group posted regarding the July 6 shooting of Philando Castile. The black Minnesota man was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop despite the fact that he seemingly followed the officers instructions and informed him that he had a legally purchased and state-permitted gun in the car.
Of the Castile incident, the NRA said, “the reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated.” The post further went on to say, “Rest assured, the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known” but never mentioned Castile by name or expressed sympathy.
Both Facebook posts quickly gained massive comment threads, with many members expressing dismay at the apparent lack of sympathy for Castile and his family, since the victim seemingly lived up to the group’s “responsible gun owner” ideal.
One NRA member spoke to ABC News on the statement saying, “I would have liked to have seen something more equitable and even” and, “It wasn’t as personal.”
He went on to expound on his fear that the shooting represented targeted harassment of gun owners.
“If I was carrying a gun into the shooting range or something, I don’t want to be targeted. It’s troubling,” he said.
Facebook member Marco Gallologic took a less tactful approach in his response to the group’s page, posting, “Your lack of any respectable statement on Castile and your almost jumping out of your own a– at light speed to comment on the tragedy in Dallas shows a disturbing contradiction. What do I pay fees for if you do not represent gun owners and our rights?”