The National Rifle Association chose its new president earlier this week, selecting Jim Porter, a 64-year-old Alabama attorney and the organization's current first vice president, to take the reins from outgoing president David Keene.
Porter will assume his new role on Monday, bringing with him a colorful past that includes matter-of-fact references to "the war of northern aggression" and the "fake" President Barack Obama. And all of that was from a single 2012 speech that was recently uncovered by the Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence and reported on by Media Matters. (Watch the entire video above.)
Addressing a crowd at the New York Rifle & Pistol Association's Annual Meeting, Porter used a history lesson to encourage the organization to return to its founding purpose: to train citizens to use "standard military firearms" so they'd be prepared to "fight tyranny."
“NRA was started 1871 right here in New York state," he said. "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."
Porter 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."
As Think Progress notes, the use of the term "standard military firearm" is significant. It channels the argument made in some pro-gun circles that the types of automatic weapons issued to service members should be made available to civilians, effectively to even the playing field if the government turns on its citizens.
Porter also launched an aggressive attack on 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,'" he said. "I say, let me tell you something bad that he’s done. His entire administration is anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-Second Amendment."
He went on to call Attorney General Eric Holder "rabidly un-American" and accused then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of "trying to kill the Second Amendment at the United Nations," in an apparent attempt to implicate her in a conspiracy theory circulated by some gun rights activists.
Porter made his first public appearance since the announcement on Friday at the NRA's annual convention, delivering a speech that suggested this rhetoric was likely to be par for the course.
“This is not a battle about gun rights,” Porter said. He claimed that he was engaged in a "culture war," according to the Associated Press. "(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors."