At The Hill: The false claims behind the Women’s March on the NRA

I have a new op-ed at The Hill newspaper about false statements being made by the organizers of the Women's March on the NRA today and the mainstream media.  The piece starts this way:
The Women’s March protest today at NRA headquarters was partially sparked by false allegations that the organization hasn’t defended Philando Castile — an African American and concealed handgun permit holder shot by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez
While the March’s co-president, Tamika Mallory, demands that the NRA defend Castile's Second Amendment rights, she ignores statements that do just that by the gun group's female and black spokespersons. 
Perhaps the Women’s March organizers don't really want the NRA to be seen defending gun rights for blacks or any other minority groups. Rather, they want people to think of the NRA as a white supremacist organization that ignores women. 
The accusations of racism started a month ago on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. After Officer Yanez was acquitted, host Trevor Noah complained that the NRA had been “completely silent” about the shooting. He described Castile as a “legal gun owner” who had done nothing wrong. Liberal, mainstream media publications such as the New York Daily News and Vanity Fair have carried similar attacks. 
But whether one believes that Castile disobeyed the officer’s multiple orders not to reach for his gun, the NRA has been anything but silent. Right after the shooting last summer, the NRA posted that the incident was “troubling and must be thoroughly investigated.”
Following last month's jury verdict, NRA national spokesperson Dana Loesch quickly declared that the acquittal was a miscarriage of justice. 
More recently, Loesch told CNN on July 10, “I am speaking for the NRA. Loesch went on to say: “I have spoken out on this quite a bit. I think it’s absolutely awful. I think it’s completely unfortunate. I don’t agree with every single decision that comes out from courtrooms in America. Do I believe that Philando Castile deserved to lose his life over a stop? I absolutely do not.” 
Colion Noir, who has a popular show on NRA TV, immediately posted to Facebook after the ruling: “I keep asking myself, would he have done the same thing if Philando were white? As I put on my Monday morning quarterback jersey, it is my opinion that Philando Castile should be alive today. I believe there was a better way to handle the initial stop.” 
In a video a few days later on the NRA website, Noir said: “As I watched Philando Castile dying in that car, I watched myself die, and it evoked every emotion in my body . . . [that the officer] walking away from this case a free and clear man is just wrong.” 
If Castile was in fact reaching for his gun, that would be incredibly rare behavior for a permit holder. As a whole, permit holders are extremely law-abiding, and it is a wonderful thing that more and more blacks are choosing to protect themselves. 
But it is actually Democrats, the self-proclaimed champions of the poor, who make it so difficult for lower-income blacks to defend themselves. When it comes to voting, Democrats see free ID cards as oppressive and racially discriminatory. But when it comes to guns, there’s no hesitation to impose fees, expensive training requirements, ID laws, and onerous background checks. 
The cops can't be everywhere at once. Indeed, they’re well aware of the fact that they almost never respond to live crime scenes. Officers know that the only solution is to let people protect themselves. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.



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