Prominent gun lobbyist Larry Pratt is doubling down on his insistence that members of Congress should have a “healthy fear” of being shot, lecturing a congresswoman who felt threatened by one of his group’s members that she just doesn’t understand the Constitution.
Right Wing Watch first reported Pratt’s comments in a March interview with radio host Bill Cunningham. Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, told Cunningham that a member of his group had spoken to a congresswoman who told him, “you want to shoot me, don’t you.”
“Well, that’s probably a healthy fear for them to have,” Pratt said. “You know, I’m kind of glad that’s in the back of their minds. Hopefully they’ll behave.”
The quote made it into a recent profile of Pratt in Rolling Stone, where it caught the eye of Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was critically injured in an assassination attempt, and of Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who it turns out was the threatened congresswoman Pratt had been talking about.
When Kelly called for elected officials to reject all future support from Pratt and Maloney called for an investigation into his comments, Pratt responded by calling Maloney “foolish.”
Then, this week, Pratt doubled down, issuing an open letter to Maloney, a New York Democrat, claiming that she does not understand the Constitution and telling her once again that she “should do her job in constant trepidation” that she will be shot: “Should you attempt 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.”
You reported that the Capitol Police and House sergeant-at-Arms concluded that there was “nothing to be done,” but since you apparently do not “get it,” allow me to explain the obvious. I have never encouraged, or even suggested, that anyone harm anyone. Rather, my speech was designed to educate citizens, and politicians, that it is the fact that Americans are armed that allows them to resist efforts to be dominated, intimidated, or controlled by politicians.
You should do your job in constant trepidation that:
* Should your constituents disapprove of your job performance, you will be publicly criticized from the soap box;
* Should you enact unconstitutional legislation in violation of your oath of office, you will be voted out via the ballot box;
* Should criminal charges be brought against Americans for crimes which are not authorized by the U.S. Constitution, these prosecutions will be nullified in the jury box; and
* Should you attempt 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.
Private ownership and skilled use of firearms is what enabled our country to gain its independence, and it is what continues to preserve our liberty. Someday, I hope that you study this aspect of the history of our great nation, that currently allows you to serve in the People’s House, and come to understand the great principles on which it was founded and continues to operate.