Two days after the death of Philando Castile, the National Rifle Association addressed the shooting on Friday, following some prodding from TheWrap over the group’s stance on the killing by police of the reportedly legally-armed Minnesotan.
The gun-rights organization’s statement came via its Twitter account, little more than an hour after we left an unreturned voicemail for an NRA spokesman.
“As the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, the NRA proudly supports the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms for defense of themselves and others regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation,” the statement reads. “The reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated.”
In the meantime, the group said it won’t comment on the ongoing investigation.
– NRA (@NRA) July 8, 2016
“Rest assured, the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known,” the group added.
A mushy statement perhaps, but it’s more than the group’s Twitter feed has had to say on the topic since the shooting took place on Wednesday.
The message was posted shortly after TheWrap reached out for comment on reports that Castile may have had a permit to legally carry a gun. (While Castile’s fiancée said in a video documenting the shooting that he was licensed to carry a firearm, the New York Times reported that authorities were unable to confirm a permit.)
Castile was reportedly pulled over for a broken taillight. What did the NRA think about a citizen with a legal right to carry a firearm being gunned down by police during a traffic stop?
While a spokesman for the organization has not yet responded to our inquiry, now we know. Sort of. After a little coaxing.
It’s not as though the NRA’s Twitter account has been inactive in the days since Castile’s shooting. On Friday morning, following Thursday night’s fatal shooting of five police officers in Dallas, NRA vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre issued a statement that read, in part, “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 the people of Dallas.”
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether that statement came after prompting from an outside party.