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A Fond Farewell

A Fond Farewell

Photo credit: Michael Ives

In an emotional farewell speech at the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits earlier this month in Nashville, Tenn., outgoing NRA President Jim Porter spoke of the incredible experience of following in his father’s footsteps as president of the National Rifle Association.

Porter’s father, Irvine Porter, was president of the NRA from 1959-1961. 

“It’s just such an honor to me,” Porter said during his address to those gathered at the Annual Meeting of Members. “You know, I grew up in this organization—literally. But to be paired with my hero, it’s just an honor … I’ll cherish the rest of my life.”

Porter pointed to last year’s elections as a prime example of how the NRA’s clout has grown over the years. And how the Association’s grassroots members continue to make a difference when the chips are down.

“I do wish my dad was here,” he said. “I know he’d be proud of me. He would be so proud of the NRA today. And so proud of the difference you made in last year’s election. You supported the NRA and your local pro-gun candidates. You donated your hard-earned money, sacrificed your personal time, and you—and millions and millions of gun owners just like you—went to the polls last fall and won a big victory for freedom!

“Together we handed President Obama a big defeat. We proved that Michael Bloomberg’s millions of dollars on the airwaves don’t stand up to millions of hard-working gun owners on the ground. We delivered pro-gun majorities in both houses of Congress. And Dirty Harry (Reid) lost his job as Senate majority leader!”

Porter cautioned, however, about the tenacity of those who would take away our right to keep and bear arms. While celebrating victory is appropriate, preparing for the next battle is critical."You know, I’m just a country lawyer from Alabama, and I surely don’t want to offend anyone. But I’ve got to tell you, when it comes to those elitists looking down their noses and telling us how to live, it’s time they got the message, loud and clear."

“We all know that our fight for freedom never ends, that those who would deny our rights are plotting even now to win back Congress in two years,” he warned. “The 2016 elections have already begun, setting up a historic struggle between us and those who want to vanquish our freedom forever. As long as you stay vigilant, as long as America’s 100 million gun owners remain engaged and active together, all of us together will stand and fight. We will win and, by God, we will take back the White House!”

Porter, the only person to have followed in his father’s footsteps as NRA president, is proud of his Alabama roots. And he holds little regard for elitists who look at normal, everyday Americans as less important than themselves.

“They think they’re better and smarter than we are, as if they’re more sophisticated and intellectually evolved than we are,” he said. “From Michael Bloomberg’s hypocrisy of denying our firearms freedom while surrounding himself with armed protection, to President Obama’s dictatorial executive orders to circumvent Congress and the will of the majority of Americans, to the media’s cultural attacks upon our freedom, our values a and our way of life.”

Porter had a special personal word for those elitists who like to meddle in the affairs of law-abiding Americans and tamper with their constitutional rights. 

“You know, I’m just a country lawyer from Alabama, and I surely don’t want to offend anyone,” Porter said. “But I’ve got to tell you, when it comes to those elitists looking down their noses and telling us how to live, it’s time they got the message, loud and clear. You elites live however you want. But when it comes to us, get your hands off our freedom and leave us the hell alone!”

Porter also detailed the many advances NRA has made over the past several decades, growing from a small Association into the nation’s premier civil rights organization fighting for the freedom of all Americans. He said those achievements are things all members should be proud of. 

“That is why I love the NRA so much, because of you and your commitment,” he said. “You raise good families, build strong communities and, in the face of every threat, you stand up and defend freedom.

“That’s a lot to be proud of, and a lot to leave as your legacy,” he concluded. “Ours is an enduring struggle that each generation must fight to secure and advance eternal freedom for all. I may leave this stage as your president, but I will never depart the battlefield of freedom. We will never surrender, never relinquish our liberty—and for our generation and Americans who come after, we will always stand and always fight for freedom!”