Erin Palette Reflects on the Change of NRA Presidents

So I was on my way home when I got news that NRA President Peter Brownell was stepping down and Oliver North was to be the new NRA President

Erin Palette chimes in:

Regardless of the fact that Oliver North’s convictions were vacated on appeal, he is not only a man tarred with the specter of scandal but is also associated with illegally smuggling guns. Appointing a convicted-if-vacated gunrunner to be the public face of a national gun right organization is as short-sighted and tone-deaf as appointing not-convicted-but-clearly-guilty child murderer Casey Anthony to run the Girl Scouts of America.

I understand that the Iran Contras were a political shit-show, but that’s what I think when I hear “Oliver North”, so much that I’ve really tuned him out ever since. So while he’s been a VERY active member of the NRA Board of Directors, and I can’t recall a year where I haven’t seen him at the Annual Meeting where he didn’t give a speech (BTW that’s more than many of the Board of Directors can Say), But I never bothered to listen.

Go read Erin’s whole article, she has a lot to say on the subject that’s worth your time.

Some have said “Well the Anti-Gun side won’t be happy with ANY President the NRA has”, which is true, but somebody like Charlton Heston got the NRA a lot of positive press, and his other political endeavors such as Civil Rights made him tough for the anti-gunners to attack….they did, but it was easy to see their motives. Also former President Sandy Froman was awesome, a Jewish Woman from the San Francisco Bay Area, go ahead, attack her, call her a “Terrorist!”

I know he won’t do it, but I’d love to see Tom Selleck as an NRA President.

He’d get attacked (and probably killed off of his several very lucrative acting jobs) but it would be a net positive for the NRA

But a convicted gun-runner who was selling guns to honest-to-god terrorists, I don’t care about the fallout or his dedication, that’s playing into the enemy’s hand.

I understand that the President of the NRA is more-or-less a ceremonial position. Erin ends her post with this:

Will the NRA survive this? I don’t know. I hope they do, because they’re the nation’s oldest and largest gun rights organization. It’s going to depend on a lot of
factors, including what their new president says and does. Maybe they will take my words to heart and understand that inclusionary language will bring them more members, more money, and more political influence than divisive rhetoric.

But if they won’t… perhaps they don’t deserve to survive this.

I highly doubt this will kill the NRA, but I don’t foresee it HELPING the organization, and while it is large, the current political climate shows it needs a LOT of help right now.

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12 Responses to Erin Palette Reflects on the Change of NRA Presidents

  1. Miguel says:

    I am always fascinated about how people love to leave two very important aspects in North affair: Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage by Iran and after a failed rescue attempt, the government at the time decided pretty much to forget about them. At the same time in Nicaragua, the communists were well on their way to play the infamous dominoes with the region and the only force standing up was the Contras who , thanks again to a pussy US government and Congress, were short on military supplies and weapons. Col North was trying to do what Jimmy Carter and the Democrats did not have the balls to do: Stop Communists & rescue Americans.
    For that, he was forced to walk the coals.
    Fast forward 30 years We have an Iran still under the charge of Islamic assholes actively fucking around in the Middle East, accomplice in the death and wounding of many of our service men and women and developing nuclear weapons. On this side of the pond, Sandinista & Communist asshole Daniel Ortega is back again in power while Nicaragua is plunging in chaos and his fellow political mates are in power in Venezuela and Bolivia while the Brazilian communist is now serving time for corruption.

    Let’s face it, Ollie colored outside the lines, but history has proven he was right on doing what he did.

    • Angus McThag says:

      So, in addition to everything that I, Erin and Weerd have objected to; you’re saying Ollie did it all for nothing?

      Not exactly a ringing endorsement or defense of the man.

      • Miguel says:

        He stood & tried when the rest of the Government had their balls packed securely away from their bodies.

        Did he accomplish his goal? No. But as for failure, I reckon the biggest loser according to history is one peanut farmer and former president of the United States. But I guess he would be a better president of the NRA since he was not convicted gun runner. Right?

        • Weerd Beard says:

          A false Dichotomy. There are huge numbers of people who could be the NRA President, and of that lot many are neither convicted gun runners or anti-gun antisemitic former Presidents.

          Please note, in no way did I say Col North was a bad person, I didn’t say that because in no way could I make an informed statement of that. I did say he was tainted with scandal, and tainted with running guns which is EXACTLY the kind of taint the NRA does not need.

          Maybe he’ll be the best President since Chuck Heston, maybe he’ll turn the self-defeating nature of the NRA around…I will be right beside you applauding him if that is the case, but right now, from where I’m standing this does NOT look like a smart move.

        • Erin Palette says:

          Practically every argument I’ve had on Facebook has been a rehash of this one. People love to assume I’m attacking Oliver North’s character and/or saying the Iran-Contra Affair was wrong.

          I have quite carefully said nothing of the sort. Whether or not North did what was “illegal but necessary” is entirely irrelevant in this era of “Feels, not Facts.”

          What I have been saying is that Bloomberg and the rest of the anti-freedom gang have been accusing gun owners of being criminals-in-waiting for years. You’re familiar with their argument “Everyone’s a law-abiding gun owner… until they’re not”, aren’t you? And how we’ve countered with how gun owners are historically the most law-abiding people in the people?

          How’s it look for us, then, when the nation’s pre-eminent gun rights organization appoints as their spokesman someone who was tried for arms smuggling and convicted of three felonies related to it? I say it makes us look really freaking hypocritical.

          • Erin Palette says:

            Put another way, “Why would you appoint the #1 name that comes to everyone’s mind when you say ‘Shady Arms Deal’ when half the country is already convinced the NRA exists to facilitate shady arms deals?”

  2. Glenn B says:

    I will not comment on Oliver North as president of the NRA except to say I tend to agree with those who oppose him as NRA president. That said, I need to clear up something Erin just wrote because, with all due respect, I think she is absolutely wrong in on one point. Oliver North is not the number one person that comes to everyone’s mind when you say “Shady Arms Deal”. In fact, the folks who come to mind, for may of us, when you speak of shady arms dealing is President Obama and AG Holder. Yes Oliver North comes to mind for those of us old enough to recall the Iran-Contra boondoggle or for those of us who have at least some knowledge of fairly recent U.S. history and North may become the poster child for the anti-gun left based on his history but there is no way that everyone has his name pop into their heads before the names Obama & Holder when talking about shady arms deals. ;>)

    • Weerd Beard says:

      A very valid point, Glenn.

      But at best it’s a argument of moral equivalency, and as antis attempt to say: “We are better than that”. But at the same time, in the NRA, maybe we aren’t…

      • Erin Palette says:

        OK, that’s fair. The problem is that the far left doesn’t see (or won’t admit) that Holder did anything wrong with Operation Fast and Furious.

        So perhaps I amend it to say that North is the #1 name that comes to _the hard left’s mind_ when you say ‘shady arms deal’?

  3. fast richard says:

    Having been a supporter of the Contras and an opponent of the Sandinistas, although admittedly from a safe distance, I have always had a hard time getting very upset about Ollie North’s shenanigans. His schemes may have been unwise, but sometimes doing the right thing is unwise.

    As for making him NRA president, the only way to have a non-controversial leader or spokesman for the NRA is to have a bland nonentity. I could fill that job description myself, but that would be useless in the fight for gun rights.

    Also, comparing Ollie North to Casey Anthony is disgusting and offensive enough to greatly reduce my respect for both Weerd and Erin.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Well there is controversy that can be used for good and controversy that can be used for Ill. Just look at Charlton Heston’s “From My Cold Dead Hands” Speech. It’s still being used to invoke outrage in our opponents and as a rallying cry from our side.

      Same with Wayne LaPierre’s “The Only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Of course in the same speech he blamed video games for Sandy Hook. So those are examples of both a good and bad controversial statement.

      I may be wrong, but overall with Col North’s 2nd Amendment Activism he leaves me uninspired….AND he has the baggage of being a gun runner.

      I think it’s a bad idea.

    • Erin Palette says:

      Casey Anthony = Found not guilty of murdering her daughter Kaylee. Would still be a bad choice as the head of anything involving children because, innocent or not, she still has the specter of child murder surrounding her.

      Oliver North = Convicted of felonies related to gun running, though later determined to be innocent and the convictions vacated. Still has the specter of gun running surrounding him, which makes him a bad choice as the head of anything involving firearms.

      [compares the two]

      Sorry, fast richard, I don’t see what you’re disgusted and offended by. Would you mind explaining?

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