INDIANAPOLIS — Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the president of the National Rifle Association, on Friday warned gun-rights activists that they can’t cede power next year to what Mr. North called the “disarm America” movement.
“Our opponents call themselves call themselves gun control advocates - it sounds so sensible,” Mr. North said. “But of course, that’s not what they really are - they’re not. They should call themselves what they really are: the militant, well-funded vanguard of the disarm America movement. That’s what they really are.”
He said the Second Amendment is the “purest metaphor” for the idea of freedom and no other country has anything like it.
“If the disarm America movement takes control of our government, every single one of those God-given individual freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution will be up for grabs,” he said.
“Progressive socialists have seized the levers of power in state governments and the U.S. House of Representatives,” he said. “If they get the Senate in 2020 and, God forbid, capture the White House in two years, we can kiss our freedoms [goodbye].”
He said the NRA now has more than 5 million members.
“We need more,” said Mr. North, who was speaking at the annual “leadership forum” hosted by the NRA’s legislative-lobbying arm.
He said he’s “honored” to follow in the footsteps of the late Charlton Heston, the legendary actor and former NRA president.
“But I have to point out: Charlton Heston was Moses. Moses gave us 10 Commandments,” he said. “I’m a United States Marine. I’m here to deliver 10 million members before the 2020 election.”
The NRA announced in May 2018 that Mr. North, a longtime conservative pundit and TV host, would become the group’s newest president.
Mr. North was also a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal during the 1980s. He was accused of selling weapons illegally to Iran, and then shuttling money to the Contras, a U.S.-backed rebel group in Nicaragua.
He was convicted of three felonies that were later overturned.
He told The Washington Times last year his critics can say whatever they want about the matter, calling it “ancient history.”
“My reply is, I did my duty for Ronald Reagan just like I did it for every president since I was in the Marine Corps starting in 1961,” he said.