In a press release issued May 7, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre referred to the appointment as “the most exciting news” for NRA members since Charlton Heston became leader of the Association.
“Oliver North is a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader. In these times, I can think of no one better suited to serve as our President. NRA members are proud to stand with him,” LaPierre added.
For those familiar with North’s term as a National Security Council staff member during Ronald Reagan’s administration, LaPierre’s ringing endorsement may not resonate. In fact, given LaPierre’s frequent invocations of the threat of Latin American drug gangs operating on US soil in his voluble opposition to gun control proposals, many may find his words perversely ironic.
North, then a US Marine, joined the Reagan administration in 1981. Then, removing the left-wing government of Nicaragua was top of the government’s agenda — this was to be achieved by funding the Contras, violent guerrillas engaged in a brutal civil war with the ruling Sandinistas.
However, unfortunately for Reagan et al, such was the Contras’ concerted campaign of terrorism against civilians — which included targeting healthcare clinics and aid workers for assassination, kidnap, torture, execution, rape, theft and arson — the US Congress began stripping away funding for the group, before banning all US…