NRA’s New President

I’ve read a few introductions to the new President of the NRA, Jim Porter. The NY Times has a good one, which describes Porter as, “if not freaking crazy, certainly aggressively provocative”.

At Think Progress they’ve highlighted some text from a speech given last year by Porter. Usually pulling quotes from past speeches is suspect, but this seems worth the attention. Here’s Porter on the NRA:

The NRA was started, 1871, right here in New York state. It was started by some Yankee generals who didn’t like the way my southern boys had the ability to shoot in what we call the “War of Northern Aggression.” Now, y’all might call it the Civil War, but we call it the War of Northern Aggression down south.

But that was the very reason that they started the National Rifle Association, was to teach and train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm. And I am one who still feels very strongly that that is one of our most greatest charges that we can have today, is to train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm, so that when they have to fight for their country they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they have the wherewithal and the weapons to do it.

Got to love the manner in which the Lost Cause revisionist Civil War history is combined with a new call for an armed citizenry “ready to fight tyranny.” Though Porter does not speak to me when making such speeches, I am still discomfited.

This kind of rhetoric makes for nervous interaction between varying cultural elements. When the Gun Salesman Wayne LaPierre says its not paranoia to buy a gun, but survival; or Jim Porter say the NRA members are the “protectors of freedom” and the NRA is fighting a culture war, I fear they may be too interested in the war, and not really concerned about our culture.

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