Washington, D.C., May 7, 2018 - Days after the National Rifle Association stoked fear through their annual national conference in Dallas, the organization announced that disgraced former member of the National Security Council and “fortunate felon” Oliver North, who was convicted by a federal court of three felonies as part of the Iran-Contra scandal before those convictions were later overturned, will take over as the organization’s new president later this month. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence responded to the announcement, noting North’s checkered history throughout his public career.
“Perhaps the NRA is feeling the pressure from the past few months to change their leadership - but it’s downright baffling that they’d choose to install a walking lightning rod at the top of the organization,” stated Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign. “Oliver North’s very name is synonymous with corruption and disgrace. This does, however, seem to open up a seat on the NRA’s board of directors - perhaps Scooter Libby or Paul Manafort would be available? In all seriousness, the NRA has utterly abandoned any pretense that they are ‘Freedom’s Safest Place.’ Instead, they are doubling down on a polarizing leadership style that serves only the interest of gun manufacturers at the expense of real American freedom - the right to live life without the fear of being shot.”
In the days leading up to last week’s convention, the Brady Campaign released a report documenting in month-by-month detail how the NRA reacted to numerous high-profile shootings and its efforts to block widely popular life-saving gun reforms.
“For an organization so concerned with law and order, picking a new leader who admitted that he lied to Congress is a truly remarkable decision,” added Brady co-president Avery Gardiner. “Now, the gun lobby - which has enshrined concealed carry reciprocity as one of its absolute top priorities - will be led by a man who’s own concealed carry permit was revoked because he was ‘not of good character.’, The NRA needs to decide what it thinks makes Americans safer. Is it a good guy with a gun? A bad guy with a gun? Or a Iranian terrorist with a gun?”
During North’s failed 1994 Senate campaign in Virginia, his opponent memorably referred to him as a “document-shredding, Constitution-trashing, Commander in Chief-bashing, Congress-thrashing, uniform-shaming, Ayatollah-loving, arms-dealing, criminal-protecting, résumé-enhancing, Noriega-coddling, Social Security-threatening, public school-denigrating, Swiss-banking-law-breaking, letter-faking, self-serving, election-losing, snake-oil salesman who can't tell the difference between the truth and a lie.” The Brady Campaign congratulates North on adding “NRA President” to this list.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.