NRA Announces Gunrunning Lawbreaker As New President

Meet the new boss. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association announced on Monday that Oliver North — yes, the one from the ’80s — would be the organization’s next president.

“Oliver North is a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s chief executive, in a statement. “In these times, I can think of no one better suited to serve as our President.”

LaPierre often serves as the public face of the NRA. North will take over from little-known Pete Brownell, who announced on Monday that he would not seek a second term in leadership.

North etched his name into the American consciousness in the mid-1980s when, as an aide to President Reagan, he secretly helped facilitate arms sales to Iran, then used the money to fund anti-Communist forces in Nicaragua. The resulting scandal, known as Iran-Contra, did serious damage to Reagan during his second term. North was convicted of three felonies, but all three were overturned by a federal judge in 1990.

Since then, North has become something of a populist hero among Republicans who see his victimization by a dishonorable establishment as a badge of honor. In that way, North is the perfect pick for the NRA, which has effectively become the paramilitary wing of a an increasingly fringe-friendly GOP.

As the NRA has become more and more intertwined with the Republican Party, it has in large transitioned from traditional Second Amendment advocacy to full-on propaganda. It churns out bizarre, paranoid videos, rails against the liberal media, and feeds on the paranoia of its most ardent fans.

North should fit right in.

NRA Announces Gunrunning Lawbreaker As New President