Newly minted National Rifle Association President Oliver North is making disparaging claims against advocates of gun control, labeling them as synonymous with terrorists.
“They call them activists. That’s what they’re calling themselves. They’re not activists — this is civil terrorism. This is the kind of thing that’s never been seen against a civil rights organization in America,” North said.
North made the remarks during an interview with The Washington Times published earlier this week. In addition to calling advocates of gun control “civil terrorists,” North also made comments that likened their actions to acts of war.
“They can do all the cyberwar against us — they’re doing it. They can use the media against us — they are,” North said. "They’ve gone after our bank accounts, our finances, our donors, and obviously individual members.”
These comments by North are deeply disturbing and imply that the tactics used by gun reform advocates are somehow outside of the law. In reality, these advocates are using fixtures of capitalism (including boycotts) in order to influence society, a perfectly reasonable way to effect change.
North sees it differently.
“You go back to the terrible days of Jim Crow and those kinds of things — even there you didn’t have this kind of thing,” he said.
More than 4,000 African-Americans were lynched during the era of Jim Crow. But somehow, North insists the NRA has it worse.
And the Parkland students, who witnessed a mass shooting in their own hallways and pushed for stronger gun laws? North has a few choice words for them as well.
“What they did very successfully with a frontal assault, and now intimidation and harassment and lawbreaking, is they confused the American people,” North said.
In actuality, it is North who is being purposefully confusing in his remarks. He is labeling those who want reasonable gun measures passed as terrorists, and he is using war imagery like “frontal assault” to insinuate that these individuals are plotting something more nefarious.
Certainly, those who support less-stringent gun laws are entitled to hold their opinions, and even advocate on behalf of them. But North’s hyperbolic statements go beyond reason, and his violent rhetoric irresponsibly paints those in favor of gun reform as enemies of the state. No one should take him seriously, but as he’s now the head of the NRA, he unfortunately has an enormous platform from which to disseminate his vitriol.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Lucas Jackson/Reuters