So it appears that the new president of the National Rifle Association is actually more radical than Wayne LaPierre (boldface mine):
Porter has called President Barack Obama a “fake president,” Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly un-American” and the U.S. Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression.” On Friday, he repeated his call for training every U.S. citizen in the use of standard military firearms, to allow them to defend themselves against tyranny.
Gun control advocates say Porter makes outgoing NRA President David Keene look like a moderate on gun issues, even though Keene had said the NRA would try to punish lawmakers who voted in favor of expanded background checks and other gun control measures.
Tom Levenson offers the best insight into the implications of Porter’s utterances I’ve read so far (boldface mine):
…anyone who denies the reality of Obama’s right to his office is telling the majority of the American electorate that their votes are fakes too. That public decisions don’t count.
That — given that we’re talking NRA here — the armed rump of the American right, among whom are over-represented amongst those who want to refight the Civil War, are the arbiters of who gets to hold power, and damned be to the rest of us.
I don’t know what you all call an armed minority spreading such stuff, but to me? Well, it ain’t treason until someone actually takes up arms and attempts to enforce that view…but it sure is dancing near that line.
I’m not simply name calling here: this is dangerous talk. There is a responsibility that lands on the elected leadership of the right to reject such talk, to dismiss it, to banish it from public discourse, because the failure to do so expands what Obama wonkishly termed the permission sphere for anti-democratic behavior — along with increasing the potential for political violence itself.
It doesn’t help when NRA spokescritters say things like this (boldface mine):
Wayne LaPierre, the nation’s most visible gun-rights advocate, rallied supporters on Saturday for a renewed fight against gun control, saying membership is up since the Newtown massacre, and calling the effort to stop new limits a “long war” and a “fight for everything we care about.”
The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president vowed in remarks at the group’s national convention that “we will never surrender our guns.”
Anyway, what we have here is a situation where a relatively small minority of Americans are claiming the right, ultimately backed up by their possession of weapons, to define the True Nature of American Freedom.
Which is fine, I guess, at least according to CNN…
How this differs in any important philosophical regard from the position, of, say, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, I cannot say.
How it differs in any practical sense, well (McVeigh cough) who knows.
Yes, too many Democrats are de facto Rockefeller Republicans–and we desperately, urgently need better. But if these Democrats have a saving grace, it is that, unlike the Republican Party–which is completely in thrall to the NRA–they do not resemble the political wing of a paramilitary organization.
Something to be said for that.