Seven years ago today Philando Castile was shot and killed by St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop after Castile informed the officer that he had a firearm on him. Yanez was charged with second degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm, but was acquitted of all charges by a jury in 2017; a decision that still doesn’t sit right with many Second Amendment advocates.
The gun control group Giffords tried to exploit Castile’s death on social media on Thursday, calling it “another example of how the 2A is not applied equally to Black gun owners.”
Seven years ago today, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer in front of his girlfriend and daughter. He had a permit to carry and disclosed this to the officer, and his murder is another example of how the 2A is not applied equally to Black gun owners. pic.twitter.com/viyrlJCoZt
— GIFFORDS (@GIFFORDS_org) July 6, 2023
That’s pretty rich coming from a group whose founder admits her goal is “no more guns“, and the pushback from actual Second Amendment supporters was both swift and devastating.
Very strange comment coming from you guys considering that your organization doesn't think the 2A even applied to Castile that day (since you don't believe there's a right to bear arms outside the home at all) https://t.co/uj95sm5TOg
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) July 6, 2023
And is the solution for this problem:
(A) Pass more laws criminalizing gun owners
(B) Portray concealed carriers as unstable hotheads
(C) Spread the idea that the presence of a gun is an inherent threat
(D) None of the above https://t.co/ZkiojKNCBY
— Open Source Defense (@opensrcdefense) July 6, 2023
Giffords be like
"so sad how Castile was murdered for peaceably carrying a firearm in his own vehicle. We don't want people like him killed, just thrown in prison." https://t.co/CcXaLbexWo
— Kostas Moros (@MorosKostas) July 6, 2023
You're trying to ban ALL carry outside the home, including in your own car as in New Jersey to ensure that he'd at least be in prison if he hadn't been murdered.
Stop trying to make his murderers the only people allowed to carry effective tools for self defense.
He did nothing…
— Hunter123 (@Hunter11001001) July 6, 2023
Giffords sent a subsequent tweet stating “our hearts are with his family as we recommit to fighting the racism that fuels police violence and implicit bias,” but the truth is that they’re far more busy trying to put more laws on the books that will be enforced by supposedly racist law enforcement officers than they are in trying to change the culture of policing. Giffords is a gun control group, not an organization devoted to criminal justice reform or ending implicit bias in law enforcement, and their professed concern seems awful thin when you think about all of the new, non-violent, possessory crimes they want to carve out of our constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms.
Under New Jersey’s “carry killer” legislation, for example, it’s a felony offense to bear arms in almost every public space. Who’s responsible for enforcing those laws? Armed police. Yet Giffords had nothing but praise for the new law when Gov. Phil Murphy put pen to paper; not even expressing the slightest amount of concern about how the law would be enforced given the supposed racism and bias inherent in policing.
“Earlier this year, radical conservatives on the Supreme Court issued a dangerous ruling that undermined many states’ concealed carry laws, including New Jersey’s. Thankfully, Governor Murphy, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Speaker Craig Coughlin, and the New Jersey legislature stepped up and have taken decisive action to keep Garden State communities safe. We applaud them for their courageous leadership. As study after study has confirmed, having more guns in public places only increases the threat to public safety and the likelihood of violent crime. The comprehensive legislation signed today is a critical step in the right direction. As our nation continues to experience elevated rates of gun violence, we’re grateful for leaders like Governor Murphy who have the courage to act on this life-or-death issue,” said Adam Skaggs, Chief Counsel and Policy Director, Giffords Law Center.
As the FPC said in a follow up to their first response to Giffords, “Philando Castile’s murder shows that the Second Amendment is not applied equally to Black gun owners, which is why we’re working to ensure that it doesn’t apply to anyone.”
That pretty much nails it. Their goal is “No more guns”, not “the Second Amendment for all”, and their crocodile tears can’t disguise the contempt that Giffords holds for anyone who dares to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, including concealed carry holders like Castile.