News & Politics

Rev. Al Sharpton Attacks the NRA

Al Sharpton seen at 2016 Essence Festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Saturday, July 2, 2016, in New Orleans. (Photo by [Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Increasingly irrelevant Rev. Al Sharpton has chastised the National Rifle Association for not “coming out and defending the gun rights” of the victims in two police involved shootings last week.  He went on to accuse the NRA of racism, saying “Maybe you mean the Second Amendment is for whites only.”

“Both of them were killed by police based on ‘they had a gun,’” Sharpton said a rally in Harlem. “Now I missed the NRA coming out and defending the gun rights they legally had. Where is the NRA? Where is [NRA president] Wayne LaPierre now? Do you have a Second Amendment right or did you not get down, Mr. Pierre, to the 14th, 15th and 16th amendments? Maybe you mean the Second Amendment is for whites only.”

As usual, Sharpton doesn’t know about what he is talking.  Neither of these issues has anything to do with gun rights and it’s in no way clear they were killed simply “because they had a gun.”

Most importantly, we do not know all the details of either the Alton Sterling or Philando Castile shooting. All we have is partial video that raises numerous questions about each incident.  The videos are horrific and alarming to watch but let’s wait for more information to come out.  Did police shoot them because they had a gun? Did they threaten the police with a gun or move like they might take some shots at the officers? We simply don’t know the answers to those questions.

Does Sharpton believe that anyone possessing a firearm, legally or illegally, falls under the responsibility of the NRA? One thing worth pointing out is that it’s not clear Alton Sterling could legally own a firearm.

The NRA did release a statement on the Sterling shooting.

Philando Sterling was shot and killed during a traffic stop.  A video taken by his girlfriend during the confrontation shows Sterling shot and bleeding, while she says he told the police he had a permit for his gun and was reaching for his identification.  The officer says, I told him not to get his hands up. We don’t know anything that happened prior to Sterling being shot, so it seems appropriate not to jump to conclusions until more information is available.

But race huckster Al Sharpton can’t bear to miss an opportunity push his misinformed narrative on the public.

“Where was the gun rights for Castile? Where were the gun rights for Sterling? You came to fight for gun rights when gays were played in Orlando. But are you going to meet me in Baton Rouge to stand up for Alton Sterling?” asked Sharpton. But what does he think the Second Amendment means? The NRA protects the right to keep and bear arms, but not some mythical right to do whatever you want with those arms.