HOUSTON (AP) — The incoming leader of the National Rifle Association has a long history with the powerful gun rights lobby and a penchant for bold statements that are sure to inflame an already explosive national debate over gun control.
James Porter, an Alabama attorney and first vice president of the NRA, assumes the presidency on Monday after the group's national convention wraps up in Houston. He didn't wait until then to ignite a new furor over gun control, telling the NRA grassroots organizers on Friday they are the front line of a "culture war" that goes beyond gun rights.
"(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors," Porter said.
Porter, 64, whose father was NRA president from 1959-1961, is part of the small, Birmingham, Ala., law firm of Porter, Porter & Hassinger. The firm's website notes its expertise in defending gun manufacturers in lawsuits.
Porter takes over the organization as the NRA finds itself in a national fight over gun control in Washington, D.C., and state capitols around the country. The NRA had a major victory regarding gun control with the defeat in the U.S. Senate of a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales. But it lost ground in some places as several states passed laws expanding background checks and banning large ammunition magazines after December's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
Glen Caroline, director of the NRA's grassroots division, noted the coming fight over gun control in the 2014 elections. "Our senators are on record. They cannot hide from those votes," Caroline said.
As shown by his "culture war" comment Friday and others in his past, Porter's style is likely to be one that fans the flames of an emotionally combustible debate.
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.
Taken from http://news.yahoo.co...-060450994.html
HOUSTON (AP) — The National Rifle Association kicked off its annual convention Friday with a warning to its members they are engaged in a "culture war" that stretches beyond gun rights, further ramping up emotions surrounding the gun control debate.
NRA First Vice President James Porter, a Birmingham, Ala., attorney who will assume the organization's presidency Monday, issued a full-throated challenge to President Barack Obama in the wake of a major victory regarding gun control and called on members to dig in for a long fight that will stretch into the 2014 elections.
More than 70,000 NRA members are expected to attend the three-day convention amid the backdrop of the national debate over gun control and the defeat of a U.S. Senate bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales. It was introduced after December's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. A small gathering of gun control supporters were outside of the convention in Houston.
Porter's remarks came in a short speech to about 300 people at a grass-roots organizing meeting and set the tone for a "Stand and Fight"-themed convention that is part gun trade show, political rally and strategy meeting.
"This is not a battle about gun rights," Porter said, calling it "a culture war."
"(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors," said Porter, whose father was NRA president from 1959-1960.
Rob Heagy, a former parole officer from San Francisco, agreed with Porter's description of a culture war.
"It is a cultural fight on those 10 guarantees," he said, referring to the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. "Mr. Obama said he wasn't going after our guns. As soon as the Connecticut thing happened, he came after our guns."
That theme carried throughout the day and reached a crescendo in a 3 ½-hour political rally punctuated by fiery speeches from state and national conservative leaders.
"You stood up when freedom was under assault and you stood in the gap, you made a difference," former U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told the cheering crowd of more than 3,500 at the rally.
"This is a critical time in American history. Something big is happening in America," Santorum said. "Stand for America. Fight for America."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized gun control supporters as opportunists who prey on the raw emotions of tragic events.
"You can almost set your watch for how long it takes for people who hate guns, who hate gun owners, to start a new campaign," after a mass shooting, Perry said.
Obama, who has pushed for gun control measures, was a prime target for criticism the entire day. NRA Executive Director Chris Cox bragged about the organization's political victory.
"It was great to see the president throw a temper tantrum in the Rose Garden," Cox said.
Taken from http://news.yahoo.co...-163302097.html
I love the NRA....