The NAACP Offers a Solution to the Recent Shootings in NYC – and You Won’t Like It

In the wake of the recent shootings of two New York City police officers, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has issued a press release calling for stronger gun control laws. It also called for greater attention to the problem of mental illness. The group asked that caution be taken in trying to connect the murder of the officers to the local and national anti-police protests that have taken place since the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, saying:

While some may suggest a causal link between these killings and the recent protests and activism focused on the serious issue of police violence against unarmed African-Americans, we caution against escalating an already tense national state through rumor and conjecture.

This is not the first time the NAACP has taken a position in favor of gun control. In 2003, the group brought suit against 45 gun manufacturers. “The gun industry has refused to take even basic measures to keep criminals and prohibited persons from obtaining firearms,” NAACP President/CEO Kweisi Mfume said at the time, “The industry must be as responsible as any other and it must stop dumping firearms in over-saturated markets. The obvious result of dumping guns is that they will increasingly find their way into the hands of criminals.”

A position statement on the NAACP website says they have:

…consistently opposed various pieces of legislation which will result in the proliferation of guns and gun violence. Specifically, we have opposed and continue to work against legislation which would restrict states’ ability to control who may and may not carry a concealed weapon within their borders, undermine the ability of police to verify the validity of gun permits, and allow gun traffickers to more easily bring illegal guns into their respective states.

Ismaaily Brinsley shot and killed Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu while they were sitting in their police car. The shooter had previously posted on social media about his anger toward police when no indictments were brought against officers in the Brown and Garner cases. It is unknown whether Brinsley participated in any of the anti-police protests.

It should be noted that New York has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country already in place.