OPINION | The hypocrisy of the Women’s March on the NRA

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.

{mosads}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.

If a criminal attacks, having a gun provides the safest course of action. This is backed up by sources such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, as well as my own research.

Tamika Mallory and the liberal media apparently think that the poor should be satisfied with dialing 911 and hoping for the best. After all, they never criticize Democrats for denying people their right to self-defense.

Mallory constantly talks about becoming a gun control advocate after her son’s father, Jason Ryans, was shot to death 12 years ago. But she never mentions that gun control wouldn’t have done anything to change that outcome.

Ryans was beaten and shot to death by a drug gang that he was a member of because he stole drugs and guns from them.

Organizers of the Women’s March say they want to protect poor and urban minorities. But they aren’t really looking out for them any more than they represent all women. These are the most likely victims of violent crime — so why not let them defend themselves and their families? The result of the hefty fees is that only well-off people will have that protection.

John R. Lott, Jr., Ph.D. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author more recently of “The War on Guns” (Regnery, 2016).

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags Gun control Gun rights NRA Philando Castile Shooting of Philando Castile Tamika Mallory women's march on washington

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