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article imageNRA's Jim Porter: Civil War was 'war of northern aggression'

By JohnThomas Didymus     May 4, 2013 in Politics
The NRA selected a new president earlier this week, a Birmingham, Alabama attorney Jim Porter, 64. Porter will take over from David Keene at the NRA's annual convention this weekend in Houston.
According to ABC News, before his selection, he was first vice president of the NRA and chairman of the group's Legal Affairs Committee.
Observers have taken a keen interest in the antecedents of the man whose father, Irving C. Porter, was the NRA president from 1959-1961, and who will be joining the association's executive president as the gun lobby's spokesman.
Spotlight is being focused on several "inflammatory remarks" credited to him in the past few years which are taken to indicate that the NRA will be shifting to a higher level of pro-gun activism under his watch.
In line with expectations of a more aggressive NRA is David Keen's remark about Porter after he emerged as new NRA president. The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports that Keen, giving his view on what to expect of the association's new president, said: "At this stage of the NRA’s history, Jim Porter will be the perfect match for president."
Progressives and gun control activists may already have an answer to the comedian Conan O'Brien's joke about Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of NRA, at the White House Correspondents' Dinner when, noting that LaPierre was only the executive vice president, asked, "How freaking crazy do you have to be to be the actual president of the NRA?” (The New York Times).
And talking about being "crazy," The New York Times notes that among the less inflammatory of his remarks in recent years was when he said that the Obama administration "wants to take us... to a European, socialistic, bureaucratic type of government" and that Democrats have made "a run on our rights, our individual rights."
Notable among his remarks are his references to the Civil War as "the war of northern aggression" and to Obama as "fake president," both assertions made during a single speech in 2012, as The Huffington Post notes.
Soon after he was selected NRA president, the Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence dug out a video of his 2012 speech for the instruction of the public (see above).
The video shows Porter delivering a speech in 2012 to the New York Rifle & Pistol Association. He urged the NRA to return to what he said was the purpose at inception: training citizens in the use of "standard military firearms" to prepare them to "fight tyranny." He called Obama a fake president, described the Attorney General Eric Holder as "rabidly unAmerican." He pandered to right-wing conspiracy theories by accusing then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of "trying to kill the Second Amendment at the United Nations." He called the war that Americans fought to end the evil of slavery "northern war of aggression."
In the context of a recent Digital Journal report about a survey that that found that "44% or Republicans say armed revolution might be necessary," some will find Porter's statements disturbing. Many will also wonder how far pro-gun activists and their right wing allies are willing to carry out saber-rattling threats of an armed insurgency against the government they were unable to vote out of power.
Potter 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."
He continued: "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 greatest charges that we can have today, is to train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm so 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."
Think Progress notes that the "standard military firearms" for US infantry are the M16 rifle or the M4 carbine. Think Progress writes: "Both with the ability to fire 3-round bursts, and many models are fully automatic weapons. So when Porter calls for civilians to be trained 'in the use of the standard military firearm,' these are the weapons he is describing."
Think Progress notes further that the term "standard military firearm" could be extended to cover deadlier weapons.
The website writes:
A former Army sergeant and Iraq War vet... identified the AT-4 antitank grenade launcher and the M203A1 grenade launcher as weapons she was trained to use as part of her standard issue training. In addition to her rifle and a standard issue pistol, she also carried a SAW M249 sub-machine gun as a standard armament during convoy missions. Here is video of what this weapon can do:
Observers have been quick to point out the surprisingly sharp contrast between Porter and the outgoing president David Keene, who recently said at a speech in Harvard University that "fully automatic weapons" should not be available to civilians.
Porter also attacked Obama and his administration:
I get so sick and tired of all these people with this fake president that we got who wants to say, 'Well, you know he hadn't done anything bad for gun owners,' I say, let me tell you something bad that he’s done. His entire administration is anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-Second Amendment.
Observers have also noted that his speech during his first public appearance after he was chosen president only confirm expectations that the NRA will be taking a sharper turn to the right under his watch. He said the "battle" is not only about gun rights but also a "culture war," and added, "(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors."
He continued: "Every time you take your nephew to the gun club, every time you take your daughter skeet shooting, every time you take your grandchildren out, we’re passing on the legacy of freedom."
The New York Times sums up the impression of the man from the perspective of his opponents: "For Mr. Porter, shooting = freedom."
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