Less than twelve hours after the tragic killing of five police officers, the NRA has issued a statement offering condolences to the families of the officers — but so far has remained silent about the deaths of African Americans Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.
Following the shooting death of Alton Sterling on Wednesday — who was carrying a gun in his pocket when he was shot while pinned to the ground by Baton Rouge police officers — critics of the gun organization waited in vain for a statement on the death of the father of five.
No more than 24 hours later, 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot to death by a Minnesota police officer during a routine traffic stop as he sat in a car with his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter. At the time Castile was shot, he was reportedly reaching for his wallet while explaining to the officer that he had a gun as well as a concealed carry permit.
Again, news organizations and NRA observers received no acknowledgment from the gun rights organization that two gun owners, both black, had been been killed by police.
With regard to Thursday night’s Dallas shooting, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, finally issued a statement.
“On behalf of the more than five million members of the National Rifle Association, and especially on behalf of our members from the law enforcement community, I want to express the deep anguish all of us feel for the heroic Dallas law enforcement officers who were killed and wounded, as well as to those who so bravely ran toward danger to defend the city and people of Dallas,” he wrote.
One of the identified shooters in Dallas, Micah Xavier Johnson, appears to have used a rifle similar to one used in most of America’s most recent mass shootings, including the one in Orlando that claimed 49 lives less than a month ago.