The Second Amendment Foundation, a prominent gun rights group, has called for an independent investigation into the death of Philando Castile, the man shot by police yesterday in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. "Wednesday night's shooting of Philando Castile is very troubling, especially to the firearms community, because he was a legally-armed private citizen who may have done nothing more than reach for his identification and carry permit," said Alan Gottlieb, the group's founder, in a press release. "We have received calls of alarm today from many of our members across the country. They are justifiably concerned that a law-abiding citizen may have been wrongfully killed."
Here are the rest of Gottlieb's comments:
"America's 13 million citizens who are licensed to carry deserve to know exactly what happened and why," Gottlieb stated. "There are conflicting explanations, and only an independent investigation can hopefully reveal the truth.
"We understand that Gov. Mark Dayton has asked the White House for a federal investigation," he added, "and we believe that either the Minnesota State Patrol, or an agency of equal stature from another state could also be invited to investigate.
"We are cognizant of the racial overtones arising from Mr. Castile's death," Gottlieb noted. "The concerns of our members, and honest gun owners everywhere, go even deeper. Exercising our right to bear arms should not translate to a death sentence over something so trivial as a traffic stop for a broken tail light, and we are going to watch this case with a magnifying glass."
The National Rifle Association has yet to make an official statement about the shooting. Cam Edwards—host of the NRA podcast Cam & Co.—did comment today while "we don't yet know all of the circumstances…what we know does not look good."