We, the membership of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department in the fatal shooting of Amir Locke, a human being. Amir was shot to death during the course of execution of a “no-knock” warrant, of which he was not a subject. MPD has claimed that Amir was in the process of brandishing his firearm at them when they fatally shot him, a firearm he was legally licensed to carry as a CCW license holder. What they conspicuously fail to mention is that prior to this, they forced entry into the room where he was sleeping, literally kicked him awake, shouted multiple orders at him simultaneously, and then shot him. The bodycam footage clearly shows this all occurring in a matter of seconds.

Like ostensibly all gun owners in this country who carry for self defense, Amir very likely believed that as long as he followed the laws and regulations of the State of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis concerning the carrying and use of his firearm in his own defense, that authorities such as MPD would respect his 2nd Amendment rights. The utter disregard for those same rights was the very least of the violations Amir Locke was made a victim to in that predawn raid.

This incident sadly once more highlights the two de facto sets of rules and standards for gun owners in this country. Americans of the “proper” complexion and political persuasion enjoy the protection of the oft-vaunted Second Amendment to its utmost extreme, even when flagrantly and openly abusing that right, whether they brandish and aim firearms at peaceful protestors, threaten and intimidate their perceived “enemies”, or even use their firearms to aggressively maim and kill people. The common thread here being that even in the case of white supremacist mass shooters, the perpetrators are treated humanely and civilly by police. Even when prosecuted under the law, they remain alive to appear in court for their crimes.

Meanwhile, people of color who choose to exercise this very same right are disproportionately at risk of outright hostility and in this case, the immediate and unhesitant use of lethal force by law enforcement. The case of Philando Castile, also a licensed carrier of a concealed firearm, bears a striking and tragic similarity. Both Amir and Philando followed the rules of their state to the letter, and were still shot to death by police despite doing nothing illegal or provably aggressive. Amir Locke was doing perhaps the least aggressive act a person can do when confronted with multiple armed and aggressive men with weapons drawn and aimed. He was sleeping.

We call for all advocates of the Second Amendment to condemn the repeated actions of not just the MPD, but all other police departments with a track record of utter disregard for the right of people of color and indeed all marginalized people to arm themselves in their own defense.

The message sent by allowing one group of Americans to, in some cases literally, get away with murder while violently punishing another group of Americans for exercising their so-called “Constitutional rights” in a clearly more peaceful and law abiding way could not be clearer. We call for an end to this lethal hypocrisy.