Oliver North completed his first and apparently his only term as president of the National Rifle Association on Monday.
News of North’s ousting was announced as the Second Amendment group held its annual convention in Indianapolis. His departure comes on the heels of New York’s attorney general launching a probe into the group’s finances, which could reportedly re-evaluate the tax-exempt status it currently enjoys.
According to the Associated Press, North’s ousting followed a power struggle with long-time NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who has been essentially running the lobby group for 30 years. If the reports are accurate, LaPierre clearly emerged on top.
“Please know I hoped to be with you today as NRA president endorsed for reelection. I’m now informed that will not happen,” North said in a statement read to NRA members attending the convention.
The AP further reports that LaPierre received two standing ovations during his appearance, indicating that he was the clear favorite for long-time members. Details of the conflict between himself and North remain unclear at this time.
Naturally, these developments have been met with a lot of cheerleading from the anti-gun left, who see the New York probe as well as the leadership shakeup as evidence that the NRA’s collapse is imminent. NRA supporter and Fox News economist John Lott couldn’t disagree more. However, he does concede that the back-and-forth does put the Second Amendment in danger.
“Try as they might, those on the left cannot wish the Second Amendment out of existence. But if they can silence the NRA they will deprive the amendment – and every American – of an important defender of our freedom,” Lott wrote.
Lott is probably right. The NRA has enduring far worse than this, as its history shows. The organization has been demonized by the left for decades, but that hasn’t stopped it from increasing its membership rolls for years. It has even managed to operate relatively unscathed despite being headquartered in New York — one of the worst states for gun rights in America.
North’s departure as president is, if anything, a short stumble that could have been avoided. What matters now is the group’s capacity to fight anti-gun legislation wherever it can. After all, if it can’t do that, the NRA will prove that it is no longer necessary or relevant.
~ Firearm Daily