Trevor Noah Blasts the NRA for Failing to Defend Philando Castile

June 20th 2017

Mike Rothschild

On the "Daily Show" Monday night, host Trevor Noah blasted the National Rifle Association (NRA) for staying silent after the acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez for shooting legal gun owner Philando Castile.

Castile was killed July 2016 during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. After being pulled over while driving with his girlfriend and daughter, Castile informed Yanez that he was a permit-holding gun owner and had a firearm in his car, whereby he reached for his identification, and was shot seven times by Yanez. The officer went on trial for manslaughter, and was acquitted on June 16.

When Castile was killed, the NRA released a tepid statement referencing "the reports from Minnesota," claiming, "the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known."

However, the facts have been made known, and the NRA still hasn't said anything. So Noah called them out, getting praise from people on Twitter for calling out the gun rights organization:



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"You would think that one powerful group in America would ... be losing their God damn minds over this: the NRA," Noah said. "But for some reason, on this particular case, they've been completely silent."

Pointing out that "an officer of the state depriving a citizen of his life because he was legally carrying a firearm" is what the NRA theoretically exists to prevent, Noah then played a fiery speech by group President Wayne LaPierre, who claimed "there is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families," with all the guns one chooses.

But Noah explained that apparently, that right doesn't exist if the gun owner is black, and in that case, the only right the group is protecting is their own right to remain silent on the matter.

While the NRA has been silent on both social media and to reporters (multiple news outlets have reached out, only to be ignored), there have been angry reactions by gun owners to both the Yanez verdict and the NRA's lack of comment.

Shortly after the shooting, the Chicago Tribune complied Facebook posts from NRA members asking the group to speak out in support of a man killed while holding a legal permit.

After the verdict, the Washington Post spoke to Phillip Smith, head of the National African American Gun Association, who told the paper, "it troubles me tremendously when I see a young man following the rules, doing what he’s supposed to be doing, and there’s still no accountability from a legal perspective.”

And prominent black gun rights activist Colion Noir wrote a long Facebook post blasting "covert racism" among police by saying, "Yanez walking away from this case a free and clear man is just wrong." However, Noir also told the Guardian that he "didn't know what [the NRA] would say" regarding the shooting, and that whatever statement they did make would be taken out of context to make the group "seem anti-black."

At this point, nothing that any gun owner has said about Castile has changed the NRA's stance that a black legal gun owner being killed by agents of the state is not worth commenting on.