USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Kevin Dixie and I got together on the 5th Anniversary of the Philando Castile killing to talk about some of the lessons that can be learned from the incident and reflect on how the gun community responded to the event at the time.
A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to visit the “Say Their Names” Memorial in Minneapolis, MN. Philando’s marker is in the front row, third from the left. I hadn’t really thought about the incident in any detail for many years until I stood in front of that marker. It’s an incident that deserves more attention and (overdue) conversation.
If you recall, there were a lot of questions about why the NRA, and other leading gun rights organizations, didn’t get more involved in the case at the time. Certainly, some people pointed to the racial issues. Some people suggested it was because they didn’t want to appear to be “against” law enforcement. Kevin observed that while those issues may have been underlying the lack of support for “Justice for Philando” from the gun community, it was the presence of drugs that allowed the gun community leadership to side-step the situation. He considers the insignificant issue of marijuana (which played no role in the shooting incident itself) was a scapegoat issue. It is certainly true that there is still a strong portion of the gun community that has a traditionally conservative opinion on the legalization of drugs. For all the “FREEDOM!” cries, we all know that there is no unity amongst the 100 Million+ Gun Owners in this country in regard to all individual liberties. The blow-up over our friend Chris Cheng being on the cover of Recoil Magazine was a recent reminder.
We also spent a lot of time talking about Interacting with Law Enforcement while Armed. This is a topic that both he and I have addressed for our students for many years. In fact, I worked with legal experts and experienced police officers to produce extensive training information on the topic through Personal Defense Network. I’ve also worked to improve law enforcement training in the area of dealing with responsibly armed citizens over the last 15 years, as the number of legally armed people in our country has grown astronomically. With this year’s additional Permitless Carry States, I estimate that there are 50 Million Americans than can carry a concealed firearm for personal defense if they want to. Kevin and I have discussed issues of mandatory training in the past.
While neither of us supports mandatory training to privately carry a gun, we believe that law enforcement officers must be well trained in dealing with armed citizens to avoid situations like the Castile killing.
There are lessons to be learned for both police and gun carriers.
We spent a significant amount of time addressing citizen behavior during traffic stops while armed and shared some of our experiences, good and bad when pulled over while armed. We also talked about the reality of how some people might be nervous for different reasons when they are pulled over, even if they are legally and responsibly carrying their firearms.
Both Kevin and I serve on the Board of Second Amendment Organization, are armed defense educators, and have worked in law enforcement. We’ve covered these issues before and have spent decades working to expand and defend gun rights and educate both gun owners and police officers. This week, on the 5th Anniversary of Philando Castile’s death, it seemed important to talk about how this one incident hits on so many topics that are sometimes controversial, but incredibly important to the gun rights community.
If you haven’t seen the video of the Castile shooting itself, or if you don’t recall the details, you can see the important parts in the video above.
About Rob Pincus
Rob Pincus has been educating people about defensive shooting and related personal defense topics for over two decades. He is the Executive Director of the Personal Defense Network and the owner of I.C.E. Training Company. He has authored several books, produced over 100 training DVDs, appeared on several TV & Radio shows, and trained military, law enforcement, and armed individuals around the world. His advice focuses on efficiency and practicality based on his own experiences and continuing research of both real-world events and cutting-edge training practices. www.icetraining.us