New NRA President Oliver North slanders anti-gun violence protesters as violent thugs

Moments later, the former Iran Contra scandal figure complained that he is being slandered by the media.

New National Rifle Association President Oliver North on Fox & Friends
New National Rifle Association President Oliver North on Fox & Friends on Tuesday. CREDIT: Fox News screenshot

One day after being announced as the new president of the National Rifle Association, former Iran-Contra scandal figure and ex-Fox News host Oliver “Ollie” North went on Fox & Friends on Tuesday to complain about the anti-gun violence movement’s attacks on the NRA.

“It is under attack,” North said. “Quite frankly, I have never seen anything quite like it. They have hacked into almost everything that they could. They have threatened the officers, the directors, the staff. The harassment goes beyond simply yelling at people. It now includes vandalism. It’s slashed tires and broken windshields, things like that. There is no place for that in America.”

In the months since the Parkland mass school shooting, hundreds of thousands of Americans have rallied in Washington, D.C. and across the country to protest against gun violence and the National Rifle Association’s grip on lawmakers. The student-led protests have been non-violent and law-abiding.

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As a result of the NRA’s intransigence to support even the most basic proposals to keep semi-automatic weapons out of the hands of kids, domestic abusers, and criminals, North’s organization is viewed unfavorably by the American public for the first time in decades.

The NRA’s media team did not immediately respond to a ThinkProgress request for comment regarding the slashed tires and broken windshields North referenced in his comments. But his portrayal of a peaceful national movement protesting against gun violence and pressuring the NRA to stop blocking legislation like universal background checks is deeply dishonest.

Ironically, moments after slandering a national anti-violence movement, North was asked about an Los Angeles Times opinion piece that described North — who was convicted of obstructing Congress with regard to his role in illegally selling arms to Iran in the 1980s, but later saw his conviction overturned on a technicality — as “one of the most infamous gun runners in the world.”

North called the description “slanderous” and said that “everybody knows what I did back in the 80’s for our president.”


CLARIFICATION: This post has been updated to make clear that North is a former Fox News host.