It looks like the NRA has no intention of toning down the batshit crazy, and calls for “responsible NRA leadership” just got shot in the thigh and left to bleed out behind the ol’ shed. The new NRA president (the job rotates every two years, presumably because maintaining such a high level of indignant batshit crazy is a high-effort job) is current NRA vice president Jim Porter, who ascends to the job because apparently every last member of the NRA leadership is entirely off their rockers. Let’s meet Jim, shall we?
“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.”
Oh gawd, it’s one of these guys. Two things to note on this: One, the new president of the NRA said this last freaking year, not in the goddamn 1890s or 1930s or 1960s, Two, from the video he appears to be literally blowing smoke out his ass while he says it. That, my friends, is some damn fine camerawork.
Whether or not President Buford T. Possumpants here is still pissed off that the northern states ran off with all of his great-grandfather’s black help is probably a minor point. His language afterwards on having the “weapons to fight tyranny” is more alarming, since it echoes common militia rhetoric and because every individual nutcases’ threshold for defining “tyranny,” thus necessitating the patriotic murder of whatever government worker happens to knock on their door, seems to be appallingly low. What Porter really brings to table, however, is a commitment to the same absolutely batshit-crazy “tyranny”-laced conspiracy theories that have become synonymous with America’s militia movement, ex-Birchers, tea partiers, certain actual congressmen and other people who shout a lot and wear cookware on their heads:
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.”
Ah, the treaty meant to prevent arms shipments to drug cartels, terrorists and actual freaking child armies—the one that would have had no actual impact inside the United States, but was rejected by Republicans because they were certain that not shipping military weapons to holy-effing-damn African child armies was likely a step towards disarming the patriotic American gun-loving public, paving the way for a U.N.-backed, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama planned dictatorship primarily centered around bicycle paths and manatee-friendly sustainable housing. That was a fine day for America. Not quite as fine as when the very same crowd rejected an international treaty on decent treatment of disabled people on largely the exact same conspiratorial grounds (the bicycle paths, you see, will allow U.N. monitors more efficient access when coming to spirit away your children, and having gone to CPAC I can attest that “the U.N. spiriting away your children” is actually a fucking thing, with these people, and God help me for even having to be in the same room with some of them), but a fine day, nonetheless.
So the new NRA president is a man still bitter about the Civil War, a man who sees U.N.-backed conspiracies and imminent “tyranny” around every corner, and a man who is dedicated towards providing America’s best beer-swilling patriots weapons powerful enough to fend off that invisible tyranny whenever anyone, anywhere wakes up in a cold sweat and decides they want to try. Well, you can’t say he doesn’t represent their base.
All right, so we have our answer: Yes, the NRA is quite dedicated to being America’s most visible and powerful group of fear mongering, tin-hat wearing conspiracy peddlers. Yes, their only response to a series of high-profile shootings that have appalled all more decent people is to demand people buy more guns and be able to shoot at people in more places, for more reasons, and that shooting the government is especially important because sometimes the government just needs shooting. Yes, our elected leaders in government are cowering in terror from a group run by people whose pants threaten to burst into actual flame when they talk.
I have the feeling we haven’t even begun to see how insane, and how irresponsible, the NRA can get. This is going to get much, much worse so long as these people retain (inexplicable) power in the halls of our government.