In the midst of the most promising time for the gun violence prevention debate in decades, the National Rifle Association will name a new president at their annual meeting May 3-5.
Alabama lawyer Jim Porter will replace current NRA President David Keene, whose two-year term is expiring.
Here’s what the media should know about Porter, a conspiracy theorist who calls the Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression” and represents more of the same for the organization:
1. Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss. Don’t expect Porter to be a breath of fresh air bringing with him a new way of doing things. As is traditional, Porter will come to the presidency following two years as first vice president and two years as second vice president of the organization. He has also been the head of the NRA’s legal affairs committee and a trustee of the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund. Porter’s father was the NRA’s president from 1959 to 1961 and chaired the 1977 annual meeting at which hardliners took over the organization and began transforming it into the no-compromise lobbying powerhouse the group remains today.
2. Porter Believes “Un-American” Eric Holder And Hillary Clinton Tried To “Kill The Second Amendment At The United Nations.” Porter said during a June 2012 speech at the New York Rifle & Pistol Association’s Annual Meeting that Attorney General Eric Holder, who he termed “rabidly un-American,” was “trying to kill the Second Amendment at the United Nations” with the help of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He attributed this to the proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, which he claimed would “make it illegal for individuals all over the world to own firearms.” This is a blatant misrepresentation of the treaty, which deals with the international arms trade, not private ownership.
3. Porter Calls The Civil War The “War Of Northern Aggression.” Explaining the NRA’s roots during the same June 2012 speech, Porter said, “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.”
4. Porter Thinks President Obama Wants European-Style Socialism. In a February 2011 interview with NRA News, Porter said: “I think everybody had a wake-up call after the Democrats took over Congress in 2006, and I think they had a huge shock when President Obama was elected in 2008. Most folks never would believe that there would be a run on our rights, our individual rights like there’s been in this country. And people are so concerned that where this government wants to take us is to a European socialistic, bureaucratic type of government. And it’s been a wake-up call.”
5. With Porter As President, We’ll See More Of Wayne LaPierre. In recent months, current NRA President Keene has split major media appearances with Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. But unlike Keene, Porter doesn’t have a great deal of experience as a media personality, and reportedly plans to “serve a behind-the-scenes role” and let LaPierre, known for his fiery speeches and apocalyptic conspiracies, be the “face of the organization.”
For more on Porter, check out this profile from the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence’s Meet The NRA project.