In a 2012 speech to the New York Rifle & Pistol Association, where he also refers to President Obama as a “fake president” and calls Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly unAmerican,” incoming National Rifle Association President Jim Porter applied an odd label to the war that ended slavery in the United States and put down the single greatest act of treason in our nation’s history:
The NRA was started, 1871, right here in New York state. It was started by some Yankee generals who didn’t like the way my southern boys had the ability to shoot in what we call the “War of Northern Aggression.” Now, y’all might call it the Civil War, but we call it the War of Northern Aggression down south.
But that was the very reason that they started the National Rifle Association, was to teach and train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm. And I am one who still feels very strongly that that is one of our most greatest charges that we can have today, is to train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm, so that when they have to fight for their country they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they have the wherewithal and the weapons to do it.
Setting aside Porter’s unfortunate label for the Civil War, his speech suggests the NRA could take an even sharper turn to the right than it has under its present leadership. One of the standard issue firearms for infantry servicemembers is either the M16 rifle or the M4 carbine, depending on the branch of service. Both come standard with the ability to fire 3-round bursts, and many models are fully automatic weapons. So when Porter calls for civilians to be trained “in the use of the standard military firearm,” these are the weapons he is describing.
Indeed, the the term “standard military firearm” may include even more deadly weapons. A former Army sergeant and Iraq War vet ThinkProgress spoke with identified the AT-4 antitank grenade launcher and the M203A1 grenade launcher as weapons she was trained to use as part of her standard issue training. In addition to her rifle and a standard issue pistol, she also carried a SAW M249 sub-machine gun as a standard armament during convoy missions. Here is video of what this weapon can do:
By contrast, the NRA’s outgoing president David Keene, recently told an audience at Harvard University that he believes “fully automatic weapons” should be illegal for civilian use.
(HT: Matt Gertz)