Larry Pratt

Larry Pratt: Founders Would Want Everyone To Carry An M-16 'At A Minimum'

Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, insisted over the weekend that the founding fathers would have wanted every military-age man in the U.S. to carry an M-16 rifle “at a minimum.”

Pratt invited Don Brockett, the author of a book called “The Tyrannical Rule of the U.S. Supreme Court,” to his “Gun Owners News Hour” program on Saturday. Brocket argued that the Second Amendment exists to allow states to defend themselves against invasion, which he said could mean that people should be allowed to have “equal weaponry” to an “invading army,” such as rocket-propelled grenades.

“In Article 1, Section 10, where the state can’t engage in war unless it’s invaded, well how can it defend itself if it’s being invaded if the people don’t have any Second Amendment right to arms?” Brockett asked. “And I maintain in the book, even though some may think this is going too far, that you’re entitled to the same measure of weapons as the weapons that might be used against you. So does that mean everybody can have an RPG in their home? I don’t know. I think we need to discuss it, because how could you stop the invading army unless you have the equal weaponry? Or if you want to provide it by your national guard, which can be distributed to individual citizens when that need comes about.”

Pratt responded that the Militia Acts of 1792 “seemed to provide for making sure all militia-age men had to have military firearms. Now, I suppose in today’s context, at a minimum that would be the machine gun battle rifle, the M-16, or whatever its modern, even more modern equivalent is, that every American soldier would be carrying. That would seem to me, if those were laws consistent with the Second Amendment, then that would be kind of what the founders and their successors had in mind.”

Brockett then brought up the possibility of a state needing to be prepared to repel “an invading army,” including perhaps “the federal government invading the state.”

Larry Pratt: Every Clinton Nominee Will Be 'A Hardcore, Committed Hater Of The Constitution'

Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, was a big Ted Cruz backer in the Republican primary but said this week that he is now supporting Donald Trump because Hillary Clinton “hates the country” and “wants to destroy it” and will make sure that every judicial nominee and member of her administration is “a hardcore, committed hater of the Constitution.”

Pratt told St. Louis radio host Marc Cox yesterday that Clinton sees Australia’s strict gun laws as “her model” (Clinton once said that one aspect of Australia’s gun regulations “would be worth considering”), to which Cox replied that Second Amendment views would be Clinton’s “litmus test” for Supreme Court nominees.

Pratt lamented that Republicans have sometimes made judicial nominations and other appointments based on personal ties rather than ideology. “They don’t make that mistake on the left,” he said. “If you’re not a hardcore, committed hater of the Constitution, basically seeking to quote ‘fundamentally transform America,’ you’re not going to have any place at their table.”

He added that despite his “reservations” about Trump, the alternative is somebody who “hates the country, wants to destroy it.”

Larry Pratt: If Police Can’t Control Milwaukee Unrest, 'The Looters Should Be Shot'

Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, responded to the recent riots in Milwaukee following a police shooting by saying that armed vigilantes should be able to shoot people looting businesses if the police are unable to keep the situation under control.

Pratt had the following exchange with conservative radio host Rusty Humphries on his “Trending Today USA” program yesterday:

Transcript via USA Radio, emphases are ours:

HUMPHRIES: Is it working though? I mean they still shut the city down. Communist groups are now going to Milwaukee to help the revolution.

PRATT: Well, hopefully, there has been a minimum of property destruction. It’s one thing that people can’t drive around, it’s another thing if they started torching people’s businesses.

HUMPHRIES: Mm well what is this from, from the Gun Owners of America? What is your position on this?

PRATT: Well, we think that the authorities definitely should do their job, should keep cities safe, and if need be they should make massive arrests and take…

HUMPHRIES: Your gun you’re gun group shouldn’t just be around there shooting folk.

PRATT: Right. Well, I’ll tell you who should be getting shot – if the cops can’t contain the looters, the looters should be shot.

HUMPHRIES: So are you calling for that we should be out there hunting down looters?

PRATT: I’m calling for the cops to be given free rein to keep things under control so that people don’t have to defend themselves by shooting the looters.

Trump Adopts Language Of Gun Extremists With 'Second Amendment' Remedies Comment

Donald Trump has spent his presidential campaign parroting things that he “hears” from others, often with no regard to the reliability of the source or the extremism of his role models.

This afternoon, Trump created yet another controversy when he suggested that violence might be an option if Hillary Clinton is allowed to nominate Supreme Court justices.

If Clinton “gets to pick her judges,” he said, there’s “nothing you can do.”

“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is,” he added. “I don’t know.”

While Trump may have concocted this idea all on his own, his comment sounds like it could have come straight from the mouth of a certain segment of anti-government, anti-gun-regulation extremists.

A key proponent of the idea that elected officials and judges must always be on the lookout for armed citizens taking matters into their own hands is Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, who was a key figure in the rise of the militia movement in the 1990s.

Back in May, Pratt expressed basically the same sentiment as Trump, saying that conservatives might have to resort to the “bullet box” to reclaim the courts if they can’t “solve this matter at the ballot box.”

Pratt made similar comments in March about President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, saying, “the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go.”

As Brian wrote at the time, this was part of a long pattern for Pratt:

Pratt has a history of saying that the Second Amendment is meant to give people the right to assassinate or intimidate leaders they don’t like.

In Pratt’s view, the Second Amendment was created in order to instill in politicians “a healthy fear” in “the back of their minds” that they will be assassinated so “they’ll behave.”

He explicitly told Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., that she “should do her job in constant trepidation,” knowing that if she tries “to disarm Americans the way the British crown tried 240 years ago, the same sovereign people who constituted this government using the cartridge box someday may need to reconstitute it, as clearly anticipated by the Declaration of Independence.”

When Alan Colmes asked him if he really does believe that politicians “should have a healthy fear of being shot,” Pratt replied: “Sure, that’s what the Second Amendment is all about.

The sentiment of “Second Amendment remedies” is essential to the militia movement’s view of freedom – that they get to impose their own idea of liberty on everybody else using the threat of violent force.

Mike Vanderboegh, who ran a militia group called the Three Percenters, used this talking point at a 2014 rally against new gun regulations in Washington state, saying that the gun rights movement may need to fall back on “Second Amendment remedies.”

Trump has already shown his willingness to embrace this kind of anti-government extremism with his courting of Sheriff David Clarke, a frequent Fox News guest who is involved with the Oath Keepers and other insurrectionist groups.

The language is nothing new for Trump’s campaign, either. One of his advisers, Roger Stone, recently said that people should protest in the streets if Trump is defeated in November, predicting that it could be a “ bloodbath.” In the past, Stone has said that Hillary Clinton should be “executed.” Another adviser said last month that “Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

The violent words were all his own, but they followed a well-worn path.

Larry Pratt: 'Control The Amount Of Booze' Bars Sell So That Patrons Can Carry Firearms

Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, often blames mass shootings on a lack of armed “good guys with guns” ready to take down a shooter, saying that the ideal situation is for everyone to pack heat when they go to churchschool, a political event or a bar.

Pratt was questioned about this vision on CNN yesterday during a discussion of the recent mass shooting at a Florida gay club, which Pratt persisted in calling a “gun-free zone” despite the fact that shooter was met by an armed guard. After Pratt criticized Florida for preventing patrons of establishments that serve alcohol from carrying concealed firearms, Costello responded that “when people drink the state of Florida probably doesn't think it's a very good idea to arm patrons."

The solution to this, Pratt responded, was not to regulate guns at bars but for bars to “control the amount of booze” they sell so that patrons can remain armed.

Crooks and Liars caught the exchange:

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/20/16

Larry Pratt: Eliminate The Ninth Circuit In Punishment For Concealed Carry Ruling

Larry Pratt, an official with Gun Owners of America, suggested last week that Congress eliminate the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in response to the court’s recent ruling that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect the right of individual citizens to carry concealed firearms in public.

Pratt joined Sam Bushman on his “Liberty Roundtable” program on Friday, where Bushman called the ruling “psychotic” and accused the Ninth Circuit judges of being “King George clones” responsible for “the destruction of the Second Amendment.” Bushman also called for “the patriots” to retaliate as they did when “King George came for the guns” in the 1700s.

Pratt responded that through Congress’ power of the purse, “it can simply say that in the Ninth Circuit or any federal court, questions of concealed carry may not be considered, period, paragraph, and no funds will be available for such consideration. Takes it off the table right there. They could also — and I might even prefer  — to remove that jurisdiction from the courts.”

“The only court that is constitutional, that must exist, that must be able to operate, is the Supreme Court,” Pratt continued. “If Congress decided that they actually stood for something, they could tell the Ninth Circuit, ‘You’re the former Ninth Circuit, we’ve decided we can do without you. You guys make life so difficult, it’s gonna be better without you. Buh-bye.’” 

Conservative Radio Host: Orlando Club Targeted Because Patrons Were Unarmed, Not Because They Were Gay

Conservative South Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman, who briefly served as chief of staff to former Republican Rep. Allen West, said today that she did not believe that the terrorist who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando this weekend targeted the location out of animosity toward gay people, but instead because he knew that club-goers would be unarmed.

“How long does he have to be the president before he figures out that what we had happen in Orlando was a terrorist act?” Kaufman asked of President Obama, who called the massacre an “act of terror and an act of hate.”

“I don’t care if the guy was gay, I don’t care if his wife took him there, he launched an attack of terror against the patrons of the Pulse nightclub,” Kaufman said. “I don’t look at them as gay patrons, they are the patrons, they are fellow human beings. It could have been any nightclub in anywhere in any country. When you’re crazy like that, the last thing I think you’re concerned about is the gender preference of your victims. I just don’t believe it. I don’t think this was a hate crime, I think this was an act of terrorism, I think he knew he had a group of people who were in a gun-free zone and who don’t carry guns for the most part anyway … I don’t know any gay men who carry.”

While Florida concealed carry permit holders are not allowed to bring firearms into establishments that serve alcohol, the Orlando attacker did confront “good guys with guns”: He exchanged fire with an off-duty police officer who was guarding the club and two other police officers during the attack.

Yesterday, Kaufman interviewed former Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt, who said that politicians who support gun regulations are “complicit” in the Orlando shooting. Kaufman and Pratt urged listeners to defy gun-free zone regulations and carry firearms even where they are prohibited.

“Listen, I have had it with no-gun zones, I have had it with soft targets, and I recognize the fact that from now on, I’m responsible for my security,” Kaufman said, to an “amen” from Pratt.

They two said that if they had been in the club that was attacked, things would have turned out differently.

“Had I been one of those people cowering in the bathroom, I would have done more than text home,” Kaufman said.

“Yeah, shooting a text and shooting a gun are really enormously different in how effective they can be against a dirtbag with a gun,” Pratt said. “And for our legislators to keep insisting that somehow we are going to be better off in a gun-free zone, that makes them complicit. And I’ll say it to their face, they are complicit with what happens in Orlando…”

“And you and I both agree that what they’re forcing people to do is become lawbreakers themselves,” Kaufman said. “Law-abiding citizens are not going to abide by these laws in the future because they want a fighting chance.”

“Not if they want to survive and they go to any place that’s quote-unquote ‘gun free,’” Pratt responded.

Kaufman added that gun-free zones are impeding her “free access to places”: “Look, I don’t have to march into a post office with a gun or into a federal courthouse with a gun, but I’ll be darned if I’m told where I can eat, where I can drink, where I can dance by the government. And since I don’t go without a gun, they have begun to impinge upon my free access to places.”

Larry Pratt Compares Ninth Circuit To King George: 'We Know How That Turned Out'

Larry Pratt, the former executive director of Gun Owners of America, reacted yesterday to a Ninth Circuit ruling that there is no constitutional right to carry concealed weapons outside of the home, saying that the court was displaying a “totalitarian mindset” like that of King George III “and we know how that turned out.”

“The Ninth Circuit clearly is showing the mentality of a totalitarian mindset,” Pratt told WorldNetDaily’s Radio America. “And they were the very kind of people that our forefathers objected to and sent letters of remonstrance to King George saying ‘you got it wrong, stop doing this.’ And King George was tone-deaf, and we know how that turned out.”

Larry Pratt: Gun Owners Keeping Hillary Clinton From Imposing Tyranny

Larry Pratt, the former executive director of Gun Owners of America, added Hillary Clinton this week to the list of public officials who he has warned will face violence from gun owners if they impose regulations on guns.

Pratt, who said last month that if conservatives lose at the “ballot box” they might “have to resort to the bullet box,” said in an interview on the “Crosstalk” radio program on Tuesday that Clinton’s support for some gun regulations may be an attempt to disarm civilians so that she can impose tyranny.

The Second Amendment means, he told Clinton, that “if you even try to go off in a tyrannical direction, the Constitution protects the people’s right to protect the people themselves against people like you.”

What she’s telling me is that she may understand the meaning of the Second Amendment, which is even scarier, because the Second Amendment is meant to tell people like her that might be thinking about going off in a tyrannical direction: ‘Don’t even think about it.’ Because the Second Amendment has recognized the right people have to possess the kind of firearms that your protectors have, Mrs. Clinton, and if you even think, if you even try to go off in a tyrannical direction, the Constitution protects the people’s right to protect the people themselves against people like you.

Pratt has made similar comments about other public officials including President ObamaRep. Carolyn Maloney and Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/2/16

Larry Pratt: If Conservatives Lose The Supreme Court, We May 'Have To Resort To The Bullet Box'

Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, said on his “Gun Owners News Hour” radio program this weekend that if a Democrat wins the White House and the Supreme Court starts issuing decisions in favor of gun regulations, conservatives may turn to the “bullet box” to rectify the situation.

Pratt was interviewing Robert Knight, a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union, who warned that “if a liberal Democrat is elected president, then there goes the Supreme Court, it could be two, three, four justices, and I think the Second Amendment would be in great peril if that happens.”

Pratt responded that if such a court interprets the Constitution in ways that conservatives don’t like, they may have to restore “proper constitutional balance” through the “bullet box”:

And at that point, we would have to come to an understanding, which we’ve been sort of taught, it’s been taught out of us, that the courts do not have the last word on what the Constitution is. They decide particular cases, they don’t make law. Their decisions, unlike the Roe v. Wade usurpation, don’t extend to the whole of society, they’re not supposed to. And we may have to reassert that proper constitutional balance, and it may not be pretty. So, I’d much rather have an election where we solve this matter at the ballot box than have to resort to the bullet box.

Knight responded: “Well, there’s impeachment, too.”

Pratt has previously hinted at his willingness to use violence against Supreme Court justices with whom he disagrees, issuing a warning to Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, saying that “the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland.”

GOP Taking Supreme Court Orders From Radical Gun Group

Among the groups pressuring Republicans in the Senate to continue their blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is Gun Owners of America, a gun lobby group that holds considerable sway on Capitol Hill despite its history of promoting wild conspiracy theories, frequent warnings to elected officials that they should fear assassination and deep ties to radical militia groups and white supremacists.

GOA has circulated a petition to its members claiming that Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, “would reverse your ability to own a gun” and “hates the Second Amendment,” basing its claims on exceedingly thin evidenceWhile these attacks on Garland’s record have been widely discreditedseveral Republican senators have pointed to the judge’s supposed disrespect for the Second Amendment as a reason to oppose him.

GOA’s general counsel, Michael Hammond, brought these claims to an op-ed in USA Today on Sunday, which GOA followed up with a video claiming again that Garland “hates the Second Amendment” and that if he gets on the court “good people will go to prison for exercising their constitutional rights.” Obama’s nomination of Garland, the video warns, is “the most significant step in his sordid trail towards transforming our nation.”

This paranoid and exaggerated language is typical of a group that has ties to the violent militia fringes of the Right and stays afloat by promoting conspiracy theories about various federal plots to snatch law-abiding people’s guns.

Tim Macy, the group’s chairman and the head of a “Second Amendment Coalition” on Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, used similar rhetoric in March when he said that the Garland nomination was Obama’s “last-ditch effort” to “ruin the Second Amendment and destroy this country.”

The group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, went even further when he implied that Garland should fear assassination if he displeases gun groups. “Happily, the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go, I think,” Pratt told radical radio host Rick Wiles.

Pratt frequently makes similar comments. We wrote last year:

In an interview last year, Pratt said that being afraid of assassination was “a healthy fear” for members of Congress to have, because that’s what makes them “behave.” When Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, who had felt threatened by one of GOA’s members, complained about his comments, Pratt doubled down, saying that elected officials should fear “ the cartridge box” and accusing the congresswoman of being “ foolish” and having “a hissy fit .” Later, he boasted that Democratic proponents of stricter gun laws are “afraid of getting shot and they ought to be!”

On his weekly radio program last year, Pratt said that President Obama should learn from the example of Charles I, who was executed for treason in the 17th century:

Pratt’s view of the Second Amendment as a tool for a well-armed minority of insurrectionists to take on a government they disagree with comes straight from the fringe militia movement, which Pratt helped shape in the 1990s.

And that’s not all. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “In 1996, Pratt was forced to resign as co-chairman of Patrick J. Buchanan's presidential campaign when it was publicized that he had been a speaker at the 1992 Gathering of Christian Men in Estes Park, Colo., where he rubbed shoulders with neo-Nazis, Klansmen, adherents of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology, and other radicals.”

More recently, Pratt was a cheerleader for the armed militias who staged a standoff with the federal government at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada, saying that the incident came “very close” to provoking “a civil war between the people and the government.”

In his role at the helm of GOA, Pratt is happy to stir up conspiracy theories and anti-government paranoia in an effort to turn his group’s membership against any attempt at reasonable gun law reform.

He has humored radical radio hosts who have suggested that the Sandy Hook school and Aurora movie theater massacres were inside jobs designed by the government.

And, as we wrote last year, Pratt has plenty of conspiracy theories of his own:

… He has claimed that Obama is building up a private security force within the Department of Homeland Security to use for his own purposes “if he can’t actually commandeer the military”; warned that Obama will enlist undocumented immigrants into a private “ Praetorian guard” and advise police officers to go after people with conservative bumper stickers ; said Obamacare will ultimately “take away your guns”; feared Obama is stockpiling “anti-personnel rounds” because he “ seems to view the American people as the enemy”; claimed that Obama “had to steal” the 2012 presidential election and even buys into the fringe birther theory that holds that the president’s “real father” was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis.

Here is Pratt talking with fringe radio host Stan Solomon about the possibility that President Obama will start a race war:

This is who the GOP wants to listen to on the Supreme Court?

Rafael Cruz: 'Tremendous Religious Persecution' In America Part Of Plan To Impose Communism

Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, who has a long history in the fringes of the militia movement and once addressed a neo-Nazi event, now peddles various conspiracy theories while telling elected officials that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that they fear assassination. So, naturally, Rafael Cruz, the father and campaign surrogate of Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz,joined Pratt on his radio program last weekend to promote his recent book and his son’s presidential candidacy.

The younger Cruz has close ties to Gun Owners of America, including raising money for it, speaking to its members , boasting of its endorsement at a Republican debate, and appointing its chairman to head his campaign’s “Second Amendment Coalition.”

Rafael Cruz told Pratt that he was “so grateful” for GOA’s work, before launching into a discussion of how President Obama’s attempts to “take our guns away” and the “tremendous religious persecution” of Christians and Jews in America is all part of a plan to impose a murderous communist dictatorship.

Pratt, discussing the Batista and Castro regimes in Cruz’s native Cuba, mused that “arguably it could have made a difference” in Cuba “had people been able to defend themselves and had there been the militia tradition that we still sort of have in the United States.”

Cruz responded that the issue of gun rights is “critical” right now in the U.S., especially given the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“That means if we get one more liberal justice with the same mind, we could all lose our right to keep and bear arms,” he said. “And I’ll tell you what, look at history, every dictator that has taken away the guns from the population have then used those guns to kill the population by the millions. Stalin did it, Hitler did it, Mao did it, Pol Pot did it, Castro did it, they’ve all done it. And Obama has been trying for the last seven years to take our guns away!”

Later in the interview, Cruz alleged that there is “tremendous religious persecution in America,” specifically against Christians and Jews, which he says is all part of an effort to destroy God and impose communism.

“You know, Larry, if we look at America,” he said, “there is tremendous religious persecution in America, more specifically, persecution against Christians and Jews in America. Well, we’ve got to realize that that is not the objective, that is only the means. You see, communism, socialism, Marxism — we can’t get caught up in semantics, it’s all the same — it requires for government to become your god. And in order for government to become your god, the must destroy the concept of God, and that’s what’s behind this attack on religion.”

The mutual admiration between Pratt and the Cruz family was evident during the hour-long interview.

“Thank you for standing in the gap, my brother,” Cruz told Pratt. “I know that you have been very instrumental in protecting that fundamental right for us.”

“Well, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Sen. Ted Cruz on more than one occasion,” Pratt replied.

This prompted Cruz to proudly bring up his son’s efforts to stop gun legislation in the wake of the Newtown school massacre. In particular, he said he was proud of the “leadership” his son his son showed in the infamous condescending lecture he delivered to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at a committee hearing, which prompted Feinstein to tell Cruz, “I am not a sixth grader.”

Cruz told listeners to Google the exchange “if they want to get a laugh,” assuring them that they would “get a laugh for sure.”

“You know, she does have a point,” Pratt responded. “If he even implied that she was a sixth grader, it would have been insulting to a sixth grader, so I’m glad he’s not guilty of that.”

The two then erupted in laughter.

Jesse Lee Peterson: Black Americans Are In 'An Evil State,' Which Is Why They Didn't Back Ben Carson

Conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson appeared on the “Gun Owners News Hour” with Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt last weekend, where he repeated the thesis of his most recent book , which is that racism in America does not exist, but rather is a myth perpetuated by people like President Obama who was raised to hate white people and is incapable of feeling love.

Peterson told Pratt that once Americans “dispel that notion that racism exists,” liberals will lose power because “their father the Devil” feeds on such lies.

The two then, for some reason, started comparing and contrasting Dr. Ben Carson, the former Republican presidential candidate, with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor who became a right-wing lightning rod during Obama’s first presidential campaign.

Peterson told Pratt that African American voters didn’t support Carson’s presidential bid because they’re in an “evil state” and “prefer evil over good.”

“And yet, in their fallen state of anger, most blacks see Dr. Carson as the enemy and they see Jeremiah Wright as the good guy,” he said. “And even though Jeremiah Wright speaks evil, he is evil, but because they’re in that evil state, they identify with him over a good, decent man like Dr. Ben Carson. And blacks would never vote for him, the majority would never vote for him because any time a person who’s good like that, they see them as a sell-out, they don’t accept good, they prefer evil over good and they call evil good and they call good evil.”

Earlier in the program, Peterson expounded on his theory that President Obama has been sympathetic toward the Black Lives Matter movement because he was raised by a mother who "hated her own race” and grew up without his father so “he doesn’t feel love, he has nothing but anger in his heart.”

Pratt evidently thought this was very perceptive and said that the president “has developed a very cold shell to cover that with and when I see him, it’s almost like looking at a robot, the lack of human emotion that’s on display.” Meanwhile, he said, the president has a “Mt. Vesuvius” of anger bubbling underneath.

Peterson agreed that “Obama is evil, he’s cold-hearted, he doesn’t care about anyone but Obama” but voters have never really understood “how wicked this man is.”

Paranoia-Rama: More Donald Trump Conspiracy Theories And The Liberal Plot 'To Enslave' America

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Even as the GOP appears to be on the verge of nominating Donald Trump for president, it seems that not a day goes by without the candidate or his campaign promoting bizarre claims or flagrantly disregarding the truth.

5) What The Trump Campaign Considers ‘Proof’

While we would typically use this space to share conspiracy theories touted by Ted Cruz, this week we couldn’t pass up the chance to discuss a conspiracy theory about Ted Cruz.

The Texas senator, who is Trump’s strongest remaining rival in the GOP presidential race, has spent the last couple of weeks locked in a “You started it!” back-and-forth with Trump. (For the record, Trump started it).

Things escalated when Cruz accused the Trump campaign of planting a story in the National Enquirer alleging that Cruz has had extramarital affairs with several women, including former adviser Amanda Carpenter. Carpenter and Cruz have both denied the allegations.

Trump denied that his team planted the Enquirer story, while at the same time saying that “Ted Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz.”

And Trump’s director of social media, Dan Scavino, was more than happy to push the allegations about Cruz’s supposed affair with Carpenter, posting a positively bizarre video involving temporary tattoos, a men’s jacket and cheese that he sees as proof of their relationship.

Given the sheer number of insane conspiracy theories embraced by Trump and his campaign, it isn’t too surprising that Scavino would publicize this insane video.

4) Donald Trump Debunked…Again

Donald Trump told CNN in February that he was most likely facing an IRS audit “because of religion” and “because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian and I feel strongly about it.”

Trump’s campaign eventually released a statement from his lawyers confirming that the GOP presidential frontrunner is being audited … but debunking Trump’s claim that the audit is an act of anti-Christian persecution.

The press release not only offers no proof that Trump is a victim of religious persecution, but explicitly debunks his argument, stating that the IRS’ scrutiny of his tax returns is “consistent with the IRS’ practice for large and complex businesses.”

But Trump will no doubt continue to claim that “Christianity is under siege” and that he is one of the foremost victims.

3) Watch Out, It’s A Pen!

The Secret Service may have denied a petition (started by a liberal satirist but apparently signed by many true believers) to allow guns into the Republican National Convention this year, but it turns out GOP may face a bigger security threat: journalists carrying pens.

After then-Breitbart news reporter Michelle Fields said that Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbed her and bruised her arm at a campaign event, Lewandowski claimed he “never touched” Fields and Trump himself said that Fields “made up” the assault.

However, after video was released corroborating Fields’ story and a Florida police department charged Lewandowski with simple battery, the campaign changed its story.

No longer denying that the incident ever happened, the candidate and his defenders are now ludicrously arguing that Lewandowski heroically stopped Fields from getting too close to Trump, who was signing autographs and speaking with other members of the press at the time.

Trump said Fields’ pen was “very dangerous” and could’ve been a “little bomb,” and even suggested that she was the one assaulting him.

Televangelist Pat Robertson, who has praised Trump repeatedly on his “700 Club” program, similarly alleged that Fields “rushed” the candidate and “could’ve had a bomb.”

2) False Flag

Leave it to Alex Jones, the InfoWars conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter, to allege that Lewandowski’s grabbing of Fields was somehow her fault and was part of “a frame job.”

“You talk about a staged event, you talk about a false flag, that’s a frame-up,” Jones said, suggesting that Fields, who at the time was working for the conservative outlet Breitbart, somehow wanted to get bruised by Lewandowski so she could manipulate “women to go basically vote for Hillary.”

1) ‘Plans To Enslave An Entire Nation’

During a recent broadcast of “Trunews,” Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America and ex-Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, discussed the supposed threat of Democracy Spring, a protest calling for money-in-politics reform, with host Rick Wiles.

Stockman called the planned protest “a threat to our national security” and “a threat to our nation’s survival,” while Pratt thought the people involved in the Democracy Spring campaign would try to “take over” the U.S.

Unfortunately, according to Pratt, members of the media are covering up this insidious plot because they “don’t want to talk about plans to overthrow a government, they don’t want to talk about plans to enslave an entire nation and yet it happens before our very eyes.”

Right-Wing Author: 'Insane' Gay Rights And Liberalism Driving People To Suicide And Addiction

David Kupelian, the managing editor of WorldNetDaily, joined Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt on “ Gun Owners News Hour” this weekend to discuss his recent book, “The Snapping of the American Mind,” in which he argues that liberal ideologies are driving Americans to suicide and addiction.

Kupelian’s book, which has won plaudits from conservative activists including Phyllis Schlafly, Matt Barber, David Barton, Dinesh D’Souza and former Rep. Michele Bachmann, argues that the “progressive Left” is “whether intentionally or not, promoting widespread dependency, debauchery, family breakdown, crime, corruption, addiction, despair, and suicide.”

Kupelian told Pratt that examples of “completely insane” progressive advances include “the sexual revolution and the LGBT movement,” including the choice of 50 genders on Facebook, “forcing teenage girls to have to shower with boys,” and marriage equality.

“These are things that most people, and a few years ago everybody, would have said is not only wrong but is completely insane, okay?” he said. “A few years ago, we would have said two men getting married is completely insane. Everybody in the world of all religions, left, right, center, everybody would have said you’re completely insane.”

“The case that I’m making in ‘The Snapping of the American Mind,’” he explained, “is that you know how we hear about all the suicides going on now, we hear about the huge upsurge among white, middle-class people living in the suburbs, we hear about the huge amount, one in four middle-aged women are taking antidepressants, we have all this individual pathology, all this wretchedness, all the suffering of the addiction and the 110 million people with sexually transmitted diseases. 110 million! All of these things, I’m saying that the left is the primary cause of all of this depression, anxiety, the huge amount of mental illness, of addiction, of suicide, all of these things that we hear about in a way that we sometimes hear about them in the news, but disconnect them from the source.

Other topics covered in Kupelian’s book, according to WND, include:

  • How the Left has succeeded in redefining not just “marriage,” but the rest of Americans’ core values, from “equality” to “justice” to “freedom”;
  • Why America, unquestionably the least racist nation on earth, is now being portrayed as a deeply racist pariah state;
  • Why the United States is intentionally being flooded with millions of needy, dependent, Third World immigrants;
  • How a group that amputates healthy body parts and has a 41 percent attempted suicide rate is officially declared “normal,” yet new “research” suggests conservatives have malformed brains;
  • Which of the two major US political parties has a far higher incidence of mental illness;
  • Why Americans today are more stressed-out, confused, conflicted, and addicted than at any time in the nation’s history—and where this ominous trend is leading.

Larry Pratt: Liberals Have 'Plans To Enslave An Entire Nation'

Former Texas Republican congressman Steve Stockman and gun activist Larry Pratt joined conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles on his “Trunews” radio program last week to talk about how totalitarian socialists are in the process of overthrowing the U.S. government with what Pratt called “plans to enslave an entire nation.”

Wiles asked Pratt and Stockman about the planned Democracy Spring events in April, when activists intend to use civil disobedience to demand that lawmakers “take immediate action to end the corruption of big money in our politics and ensure free and fair elections.”

Stockman said that Democracy Spring is actually about introducing socialism to America. “I think it’s a threat to our national security and I think it’s a threat to our nation’s survival,” he said. Pratt agreed that Democracy Spring is a socialist movement to “take over” the country, insisting that members of the media “don’t want to talk about plans to overthrow a government, they don’t want to talk about plans to enslave an entire nation and yet it happens before our very eyes.”

Wiles then seemed to confuse César Chávez with Hugo Chávez, incorrectly alleging that the late Venezuelan leader rather than the famous labor activist coined the “Yes We Can” phrase that President Obama used in his 2008 campaign. “Every communist in America in 2008 knew precisely what Barack Obama was saying to them every time he said ‘Yes we can,’” he said.

Courting Extremism: Gun Activist Warns Garland While Other Conservatives Reach For New Bogus Attacks

Courting Extremism is a weekly feature on conservative responses to the Supreme Court vacancy.

Unable to come up with any honest attacks against Judge Merrick Garland’s record, conservatives continue to try to find new ways to justify the Republican leadership’s refusal to even hold hearings on Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. At least one activist, Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt, even suggested that the Second Amendment was designed in part to stop people like Garland.

Here are the five most ridiculous conservative pro-obstruction arguments of the week:

5) The NRA Rule

Mitch McConnell continues to move the goalposts on his party’s Supreme Court blockade. First, the Republican leader flatly declared that the Senate would not consider any nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court until a new president is in office.

Then, in an interview on Sunday with Fox News, McConnell added a new caveat, declaring that as long as Republicans hold a majority, the Senate would not confirm Garland because he is facing opposition from conservative groups like the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Rifle Association.

McConnell’s comments are particularly revealing, as he and other Republicans have insisted that their Supreme Court blockade isn’t about politics but is about a (nonexistent) Senate tradition to refuse to hold confirmation votes for Supreme Court nominees during election years.

If McConnell was taking this stance truly out of principle rather than partisanship, there would be no need to cite pressure from the NFIB and NRA. His statement also seems to imply that Republicans may obstruct any nominee if a Democrat succeeds Obama, seeing that the two right-wing groups are unlikely to support anyone nominated by a Democratic president.

4) Perpetual Obstructionism

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly appears to be on the side of those who think that only a Republican president should be allowed to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

She told Armed America Radio this week that Senate Republicans need to clearly state that “we don’t want any new nominee on the court until we have a Republican who will appoint somebody of the nature of Scalia.”

“The Court can continue to function indefinitely with fewer than nine Justices, as it has many times in our history,” Schlafly wrote in an op-ed. She then suggested that if a Republican becomes president, a Republican Senate could use the opportunity to pack the court with more than nine justices:

If Republicans elect the next president and retain control of Congress, there will be plenty of time to add new Justices to the Supreme Court. One scholar proposed expanding the size of the Court to 11 or more Justices, since a larger Court reduces the likelihood that any single appointee would fundamentally change the Court’s direction.

In addition to controlling the size of the Supreme Court, Congress could also authorize the President to nominate new Justices on a regular timetable — say, one during each two-year term of Congress. Under that system, a new Justice would join the Supreme Court every two years, regardless of whether an existing Justice dies or retires during that period.

3) If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Anti-choice activists are desperately trying to find reasons to oppose Garland’s nomination.

First, abortion rights opponents expressed outrage that Garland attended a book party celebrating the release of journalist Linda Greenhouse’s biography of Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Now the outlet has LifeSiteNews run an article alleging that Garland “ruled against Priests for Life in a case involving the HHS mandate.”

Garland, however, wasn’t one of the three judges on the D.C. Circuit to hear Priests for Life’s challenge to the contraception mandate. LifeSiteNews was angry that Garland voted against rehearing the case — the three judge panel ruled unanimously against Priests for Life — before the full court of appeals, or an en banc review.

As Paul wrote, such a vote does not constitute a ruling against the group, despite LifeSiteNews’ claim:

A vote for or against en banc review, absent an accompanying opinion, does not necessarily tell you anything about why the judge voted that way. In fact, several of the judges wrote or joined lengthy opinions explaining why they were for or against an en banc review. Chief Judge Garland joined none of them. Neither did George W. Bush nominee Thomas Griffith or Clinton nominee David Tatel, both of whom voted along with Chief Judge Garland not to rehear the case. The majority of the court voted against en banc review, so we don’t know how Garland would have voted on the merits of the case.

The challenge to the contraception mandate was inevitably headed to the Supreme Court as several other circuit courts heard similar challenges. Indeed, the high court heard arguments on the Zubik case earlier this week.

2) He’s An Extremist!

After President Obama took office, the Judicial Confirmation Network changed its name to the Judicial Crisis Network and changed its mission from encouraging the speedy confirmation of judicial nominees to advocating for obstructionism and no-votes.

Unsurprisingly, the group, like some of its allies in the conservative movement, is also changing its tune on Garland.

Just six years ago, JCN spokesperson Carrie Severino hinted that her group wouldn’t put up much of a fight if Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court. “[O]f those the president could nominate, we could do a lot worse than Merrick Garland,” Severino told the Washington Post at the time. “He’s the best scenario we could hope for to bring the tension and the politics in the city down a notch for the summer.”

Fast forward six years, and all of a sudden JCN is attacking Garland as a left-wing extremist in this new web ad:

1) ‘The Second Amendment Is All About People Like Judge Garland’

Conservative groups have repeatedly claimed that Garland opposed a challenge to a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and supported a national gun registry.

“He voted against Dick Heller,” Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt said on “Trunews” this week. “He voted against the idea that any citizen of the District of Columbia has an individual right to keep and bear arms.” “He also voted to uphold Bill Clinton’s registration scheme,” he added, claiming that the judge’s track record demonstrates “opposition to the Second Amendment.”

However, Garland did not rule on the merits of the Heller case and he never came anywhere close to approving a national gun registry, as Pratt alleged.

“This is the guy that has been told to us by many folks, including the president, that ‘this is a moderate,’” Pratt said. “Well, I guess in the Kremlin there are moderates but that’s not the kind of moderate we need on the Supreme Court.”

Then, Pratt issued a veiled warning to Garland similar to those he has given Democratic officials whom he considers anti-Second Amendment. When the program’s host, Rick Wiles, asked if Garland would shift “the balance of power” on the court against the Second Amendment, Pratt responded: “Judicially, it’s in a heap of trouble. Happily, the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland so there is a limit to how far he can go, I think.”

Pratt: 'The Second Amendment Is All About People Like Judge Garland'

Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, implied this week that Judge Merrick Garland could be assassinated if he continues to rule in “opposition to the Second Amendment,” saying that “the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go.”

The gun activist made the comments on “Trunews,” an End-Times-themed radio program hosted by Rick Wiles, a notorious right-wing conspiracy theorist. Pratt has delivered similar warnings to other officials who he believes are hostile to the Second Amendment.

Pratt, an activist with ties to the militia movement whose extremist gun group has been heralded by Ted Cruz, repeated two debunked claims about Garland, President Obama’s nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat, falsely claiming that Garland voted in support of a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and a national gun registry.

“He voted against Dick Heller,” Pratt said. “He voted against the idea that any citizen of the District of Columbia has an individual right to keep and bear arms. This is the guy that has been told to us by many folks, including the president, that ‘this is a moderate.’ Well, I guess in the Kremlin there are moderates but that’s not the kind of moderate we need on the Supreme Court.”

He added: “He also voted to uphold Bill Clinton’s registration scheme in an earlier decision, so his track record is consistent and it’s one of opposition to the Second Amendment.”

This prompted Wiles to ask what would happen to the Second Amendment if Garland were to join the Supreme Court.

“Judicially, it’s in a heap of trouble,” Pratt said. “Happily, the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go, I think.”

He went on to say that Republicans in Congress should impeach jurists like Garland for their supposed hostility to the Constitution.

Pratt has a history of saying that the Second Amendment is meant to give people the right to assassinate or intimidate leaders they don’t like.

In Pratt’s view, the Second Amendment was created in order to instill in politicians “a healthy fear” in “the back of their minds” that they will be assassinated so “they’ll behave.”

He explicitly told Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., that she “should do her job in constant trepidation,” knowing that if she tries “to disarm Americans the way the British crown tried 240 years ago, the same sovereign people who constituted this government using the cartridge box someday may need to reconstitute it, as clearly anticipated by the Declaration of Independence.”

When Alan Colmes asked him if he really does believe that politicians “should have a healthy fear of being shot,” Pratt replied: “Sure, that’s what the Second Amendment is all about.

Despite such rhetoric, Sen. Cruz has diligently courted and raised money for Pratt's group:

Cruz has a close relationship with GOA, boasting of their endorsement at a presidential debate in September, joining a conference call with its members in which he credited the group for his election to the Senate, and appointing the group’s chairman, Tim Macy, to lead the “Second Amendment Coalition” he launched just days after 14 people were shot and killed in San Bernardino, California.

When GOA mobilized to help defeat background check legislation in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, the New York Times identified Cruz as the gun group’s “key ally in the Senate.”
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