Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt has been widely credited with helping to bring down the Senate background checks bill last month, thanks in part to his cozy relationship with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and his sway among Cruz’s colleagues.
Pratt is also a radical anti-government conspiracy theorist who routinely compares President Obama to King George III and entertains conspiracy theories about the president provoking a race war and setting the police on Christian conservatives.
In an interview with conspiracy theorist Pete Santilli earlier this month, Pratt went even further than usual, detailing what he sees as a plan by the president to turn the Department of Homeland Security into a private army “equally as powerful as the military” -- that is, if the president “can’t actually commandeer the military” first.
A lite version of this DHS conspiracy theory, which holds that the agency is hoarding ammunition in order to keep it away from gun owners, has inspired an actual bill in Congress.
Santilli: Now, Mr. Pratt, here’s my most important discussion that I’d like to have with you, and my most important concern just observing the Department of Homeland Security and the amount of ammunition and guns and the way they’re staffing up. Do you think that that DHS is a fighting force built by Barack Obama’s administration to potentially be used by the American people, even in opposition to a military that choose to be constitutional? Is that one of your greatest fears?
Pratt: During his ’08 campaign, the president had talked about setting up some kind of, what do you call it, a national security force, something of that sort that would be equally as powerful as the military. Well, that should have told us what he was up to. If he can’t actually commandeer the military, then he’ll bulk up the Department of Homeland Insecurity and he’ll have them buy a gazillion bullets. At the time they bought 100 million for this year, they already had 250 million, give or take, on hand. What is that all about? And these are anti-personnel rounds. These are not target practice rounds. They’re not semiwadcutters, they’re not even the military ball ammo, they’re anti-personnel.
Santilli: And that would be billions, not millions, right?
Pratt: It’s 100 million a year for the next ten years, well over a billion, which will then be five times, give or take, what they already have on hand. If nothing else, it would seem to be a strategy designed to drive up the price and lower the availability of ammunition in particular, firearms in general, but ammunition in particular.
While the rest of the conservative movement is already several conspiracy theories ahead of him, Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt is still hung up on Fast and Furious, the troubled Justice Department operation started under the Bush administration that Pratt and others believe was actually orchestrated by President Obama to promote gun control.
So Pratt is elated by the scandals – some legitimate and some not so much – plaguing the Obama administration this week because, he says, they might finally allow for the chance to impeach the president over Fast and Furious. “If this isn’t the time when you can get him both politically and legally,” he told host Stan Solomon of the Talk to Solomon Show, “I don’t know when.”
Pratt and Solomon then had a baffling exchange about how to remove the president from the White House after his impeachment, involving forcing him to dangle from the bottom of a helicopter and something about gangrene:
Pratt: This last week has been a spectacular spinning out of control of the future of the president. He is no longer the big guy in town. I don’t know who that might be to take his place yet, but it sure is not he. And he’s gonna be doing well not to end up just exactly like Richard Nixon. They still have helicopters that can fly you out of the White House on that last flight.
Solomon: Yeah, right, and of course, with a little luck he can be dangling from the bottom of one.
Pratt: Gangrene One!
Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America celebrated the defeat of the Manchin-Toomey bill to expand background checks on firearms purchases during an appearance on The Steve Deace Show yesterday. Pratt, who previously attacked gun safety laws as “paganism,” told Deace that prayer stifled the new legislation (before making a Bill Clinton joke).
Pratt: The one thing that the other side will never understand about how a small group like ours was able to do what we did is because we pray. That’s so far outside their box that you could tell them that and they would probably think you were kidding or so what, you know what I mean.
Deace: They would probably think you’re referring to p-r-e-y and wondering why you want to pick on endangered species too, Larry.
Pratt: Either that or we had Bill Clinton loose among us.
He also claimed that Sen. Toomey should be “committed” if he honestly believed that his legislation would not create a national gun registry. “You are functionally so stupid that you can’t operate in the modern world if you believe that,” Pratt said.
Deace: I’ve been around a lot of politicians, particularly because I live in the first in the nation caucus state, so I’ve seen them in their staffs lie with impunity, but Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania’s contention that they were going to do these background checks and collect all the data that they would need for a national gun registry that his bill says they are not allowed to do. So government is going to collect all this data and then restrain itself from actually utilizing it? That one ranks right up there with absolutely some of the dumbest and most incredulous lies I’ve ever heard a politician expect voters to actually buy; I mean that’s just crazy.
Pratt: And if he believes that himself then we really need to get him committed. You are functionally so stupid that you can’t operate in the modern world if you believe that. So I think you’re supposition is closer to what actually was likely going on in his mind. This was just a boldfaced effort to get the gun registry.
Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt spoke with Stan Solomon about the Boston marathon bombing, and they both agreed that the left is actually pleased with the attack because it might result in increased government control.
After co-host ‘Chief’ Steve Davis said that the left doesn’t want anyone who doesn’t work for the government to have guns and “they don’t care how many of us get killed, blown up, assaulted, murdered or whatever as long as they can control us by taking away our guns,” Solomon maintained that liberals are even okay with other liberals getting murdered: “It’s not just how many conservatives or Republicans [die] because these people that were killed and maimed and devastated and traumatized were overwhelmingly their people, they don’t care, they are like the Chinese who don’t care if they have a million casualties because they got a billion backups.”
Naturally, Pratt agreed and likened liberals to terrorists.
“That’s exactly right,” Pratt said, “this is mission oriented, they don’t care who the victims are, if anything it might be to their liking because maybe they’re thinking that will make the liberals all the more prone to want more control, which plays right into the hands of terrorists and criminals, but then I repeat myself.”
In earlier interviews, Pratt and Solomon warned that President Obama is bent on launching a race war that will target upper-class white heterosexual Christians.
Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America spoke to conservative talk show host Steve Deace yesterday to denounce the compromise background check proposal backed by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
He predicted that if the Senate approves their proposal then Speaker John Boehner will push it through the House, saying that “Boehner has effectively become Nancy Pelosi in male drag” and “cries” in the face of Democrats and “RINO Republicans.”
Boehner has effectively become Nancy Pelosi in male drag. He’s doing what she would do as Speaker of the House. He is really the head of the Democrat Party plus a rump of RINO Republicans. It’s just stunning. Only twelve of the House caucus Republicans would vote against him for re-election. Now admittedly that means they get nothing for the next two years except heartache and abuse because the only people Boehner ever gets mad at and will fight are conservative Republicans. For everybody else, he cries.
Pratt and Deace later echoed claims made by Erick Erickson and Tony Perkins that the Obama administration may prohibit Christians and Republicans from owning a gun and turn them into the targets of the police.
Deace: Am I wrong to be paranoid that Pat Toomey’s new compromise federal background check may one day flag Christians as being dangerous and shouldn’t own weapons because they are part of a domestic hate group?
Pratt: That is certainly something that would suit Janet Napolitano, the head of the “department of homeland insecurity,” she has been publishing materials exactly to that effect. She doesn’t publish anything about how Islam is an inherently violent, murderous religion invented by some Arab imperialist long after the supposed death of Mohammad. No no no, it’s people that take the Constitution literally, people that are pro-life, people that are pro-Second Amendment, probably underscore those people because they have guns and guns are bad if they are outside the hands of anybody under her authority. I think that’s the mindset of too many folks in the federal government, certainly “department of homeland insecurity” has made that very clear when they’ve advised police departments: these are the chaps to look for and I’m sure they were saying if you had a Ron Paul bumper sticker, no doubt one time in the past if you had a Pat Toomey bumper sticker but I think he’s on the approved list now.
Larry Pratt, the extremist and conspiratorial leader of Gun Owners of America, last week gave a speech to We the People Tea Party of Northwest Louisiana where he mused that liberals should not be allowed to own guns.
After saying that President Obama held a shotgun “girly like” while skeet shooting, the Shreveport Times reports that Pratt told the group that Democrats like Obama “almost got me convinced to modify my purist Second Amendment position: there are people that shouldn’t have guns, angry liberals should not have guns.”
Gun Owners of America has been enjoying its moment in the media spotlight recently, placing spokespeople on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, drawing attention for its Capitol Hill lobbying efforts, and even being cited in official Senate Republican talking points about a filibustered judicial nominee.
Adding to the evidence this week was GOA’s legislative counsel Michael Hammond, who joined VCY America’s Jim Schneider on Crosstalk radio Wednesday in order to share his theories that universal background check legislation might well lead to government-led genocide; that gun control advocates “bear some responsibility” for the Sandy Hook shooting; and that liberals have become “paranoic” and “racist against people who hold traditional American values.”
Schneider kicked things off by reading an email he’d been cc’d on explaining how universal background checks would lead us down a slippery slope to “confiscation” and “tyrannization.” Hammond wholeheartedly agreed, adding that there is a “real danger” that those would in turn lead to “extermination” and “genocide” not unlike in Nazi Germany:
Schneider: Let’s talk about this universal background check. Someone was drafting a letter to the president and they copied me in on the email, and here’s what they said, and I’d like to get your reaction to it. They said that the consequence of a background check can be reduced to a simple formula: Examination (universal background checks) leads to registration (local, state and federal databases), which leads to investigation (bureaucratic decisions regarding fitness or need to bear arms), and that leads to confiscation, which leads to tyrannization (the oppression and genocide against a subgroup, whether by its ethnicity, religion, political views or status or against the entirety of a state citizen). So they use examination, goes to registration to investigation, confiscation, and tyrannization or…
Hammond: Which leads to extermination. And I was actively involved in rebuilding the Polish Solidarity Trade Union, which ultimately overthrew communism in the Eastern Bloc, and I can say that both when I talked to these people, they said, you know, ‘The Soviets have all these tanks stationed in our country and we have nothing.’ And let me say that 40 years before in the Warsaw ghetto uprising, the Nazis, who the first thing they did when they came into power was ban firearms, they exterminated the Jews in Warsaw and they did so because the government was the only one who was armed. And, if you watch documentaries of that period, the people facing mass slaughter and saying, ‘We just, what do we do? We have no firearms.” And so ultimately, registration, confiscation, tyrannization has the real danger of leading to extermination.
Schneider: So you wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that progression that this writer was talking about.
Hammond: No. I think there’s a danger that you go in that direction. There’s certainly been governments in our lifetime that have engaged in genocide on a very significant scale. And I have been on the radio in a lot of them, in places like Holland, in places like Poland, in places like the old Soviet Union, and I say to these people, ‘If, in America, we ever reach the point in which you were during our lifetimes, we would like to think that we would be able to defend ourselves.’
Later, discussing the Sandy Hook school shooting, Hammond said that Connecticut gun control advocates “bear some responsibility for what happened in Newtown” because they prevented teachers from carrying guns:
Hammond: Connecticut, as you probably know, had among the most stiffest gun control in the world prior to the shooting at Newtown, and as a result of politicians like Chris Murphy and Sen. Blumenthal and the other little Democrat politicians in that state. And all the gun control they had didn’t stop Newtown. As a matter of fact, what it said to Adam Lanza is, ‘You can kill all these kids, you can get your fifteen minutes of fame, you don’t have to worry that we’re going to allow any principles, staff or teachers to shoot back at you.’ These people in some respects, I think, horrifically bear some responsibility for what happened in Newtown.
Finally, Hammond reminisced about going to school during the Vietnam War and seeing “fourteen year-old kids walking up and down the hall with semi-automatic rifles.”
“Exactly what has happened to our country that we have become so paranoic, that we have become so gun-hating, in cases of the liberal media, and that the liberal media has become so almost racist against people who hold traditional American values?” he asked.
Hammond: When I was a kid, and there are very few advantages in life to being very, very, very old, but one, it means you have a little perspective. When I was kid during the Vietnam War, in high school, fourteen to seventeen year-old kids ended up walking back and forth across the campus, across the playground, up and down the halls, up and down the sidewalks of my ghetto school – it wasn’t a rural or suburban school, it was a ghetto school – with M1 semi-automatic firearms, fully functional, except they didn’t have a firing pin but you couldn’t tell that to look at them. Fourteen year-old kids walking up and down the hall with semi-automatic rifles, no one, no one thought that we were going to shoot up the school.
I graduated in 1967. 1968 they passed the first big gun control law, the Gun Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 [sic]. Now look, we’ve gone 40 years and we’ve reached the point in which holding up a Pop-Tart is considered threatening. Exactly what has happened to our country that we have become so paranoic, that we have become so gun-hating, in cases of the liberal media, and that the liberal media has become so almost racist against people who hold traditional American values?
Gun Owners of America, a fringe group that hovers to the right of the National Rifle Association, is wading into the debate over Caitlin Halligan, one of President Obama's nominees to the hugely influential DC Circuit Court of Appeals. GOA's beef with Halligan is that when she was solicitor general of New York, she represented the state in its suit against gun manufacturers – a position she took for a client rather than one she espoused herself.
In an action alert today, GOA asks its members to call on their senators to oppose Halligan, calling her the “most anti-Second Amendment nominee in recent history,” a “zealot” and a “radical leftist.”
Among those who might disagree with GOA’s assessment of Halligan are former Bush judicial nominee Miguel Estrada, Reagan administration attorney Carter Phillips, and numerous law enforcement groups, all of whom have endorsed her nomination.
But the GOA’s extreme language should come as no surprise. After all, this is the same group that speculated that the Aurora movie theater shooting was an inside job, said that armed citizens could have stopped the Holocaust, claimed that the Affordable Care Act would “take away your guns,” and warned President Obama that he should “remember King George III’s experience.” Recently, GOA president Larry Pratt has gone even further, agreeing with theories that President Obama is raising a black army to massacre white Americans and that the president intends to pit “Christian, heterosexual white haves” against “black Muslim and/or atheist…have-nots.”
Here at Right Wing Watch, we’ve been closely following the right-wing freak-out over President Obama’s proposed gun violence prevention reforms. The president’s proposals, which include requiring background checks on all gun sales and restricting access to certain assault weapons aren’t exactly radical -- about three-quarters of Americans support them. But right-wing politicians and organizations are going off the rails in opposition, claiming that the president wants to set up gulags and gas chambers in order to bring about the “complete destruction of Western civilization”; that he is preparing the military to “fire on American citizens” and kill hundreds of thousands; that he using Obamacare to collect information on gun owners; and he is instigating a race war pitting “Christian, heterosexual white haves” against “black Muslim and/or atheist…have-nots.”
Stunningly, this small, extreme faction has for many years succeeded at defeating gun violence prevention efforts at the federal level. A new report from Right Wing Watch’s Peter Montgomery takes a closer look at the activists and groups who are holding up federal gun violence reform, how they have succeeded, and how they can be defeated. Peter writes:
While the White House, governors, Congress and other public officials grapple with policy responses to last month’s mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, many Americans wonder whether the massacre of young children will provide momentum for more effective laws that previous killing sprees – even one that gravely wounded a member of Congress – have not.
Some assume, wrongly, that nothing can be done. Politicians’ fear of the $200+ million National Rifle Association (NRA) is generally cited as the reason for weak gun laws that undermine law enforcement and put citizens at higher risk from gun crimes. The power of the NRA to determine the outcome of elections may well be more myth than reality, but even the perception of such power can give the group tremendous political muscle, along with its aggressive lobbying and strong-arm political tactics.
The NRA is not alone in attempting to prevent effective regulation of guns and promoting reckless policies that leave Americans vulnerable to crime. Its efforts are supported by the same kind of coalition that undermines the nation’s ability to solve a wide range of problems. Corporations, right-wing ideologues, and Religious Right leaders work together to misinform Americans, generate unfounded fears, and prevent passage of broadly supported solutions.
Understanding the extremism and dishonesty at the heart of right-wing obstructionism is crucial to overcoming it.
Last week, we reported that Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America joined conservative talk show host Stan Solomon to warn about President Obama’s alleged plans to incite violence and bring about a race war against white Americans.
We found another interview between Pratt and Solomon from January, in which they went into even more detail about the looming race war and denounced new legislative efforts to prevent gun violence.
Pratt claimed that “some kind of social implosion” is inevitable during Obama’s second term, and that “it would be a wonderful surprise if it did not happen.”
Solomon specifically claimed that under President Obama we will witness attacks “on Christian, heterosexual white haves by black, Muslim and/or atheist — not that there’s much difference — black have-nots.”
He warned that “if you are a white person in this country, and this holds for all quality people of any color, but I’m saying specifically if you are a white, heterosexual, Christian, working, married person” and don’t own a gun, then “there is at least a substantial chance that you and/or some member of your family will be hurt and/or killed.”
Pratt agreed with Solomon’s dire prediction, saying the host wasn’t “stretching to say that.” He added that the “Alinskyites” who control the Obama administration think “this is the time” to “bring violence about.”
Pratt: We’re up against people who know exactly what they want to do and how they want to do it. We had four years to watch them when they were somewhat guarded but now, certainly for Obama, he doesn’t care and you can tell already he’s making his moves and it’s not going to be pretty. I’m getting the sense; I have never heard so many people talk about the fact that they think that there is inevitably going to be some kind of social implosion, some kind of neighbor-against-neighbor; that these folks in power are seeking that kind of a confrontation and that it would be a wonderful surprise if it did not happen.
Solomon: I’ve said on this show on a couple of occasions that I believe that in the year 2013 we’re going to see an explosion of attacks on halves by have-nots. But more specifically on white halves by black have-nots; more specifically on Christian, heterosexual white haves by black, Muslim and/or atheist — not that there’s much difference — black have-nots. It’s just what I see. I believe if you are a white person in this country, and this holds for all quality people of any color, but I’m saying specifically if you are a white, heterosexual, Christian, working, married person, if you don’t have a gun on you, know how to use it and make sure that everyone in your family who is of age has a weapon and knows how to use it, there is at least a substantial chance that you and/or some member of your family will be hurt and/or killed.
Pratt: I don’t think there’s anything stretching to say that. I think there are people who really want to bring violence about because they see that as the engine of social change. That’s exactly the target for the Alinskyites. I think they must figure that they have got their guy in power, they will then have some of the agencies of the police powers of the state at their back and this is the time to go for it.
Later, Solomon mused that “the best thing that can happen to a liberal is to be mugged,” and wondered why Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) still supports gun control after she was mugged in 1995, to which Pratt replied: “Well, maybe she liked it.”
Gun Owners of America president Larry Pratt appeared Tuesday on the Talk to Solomon Show alongside conservative blogger Greg W. Howard, of Twittergate fame, for another chance to spew anti-Obama conspiracy theories.
Pratt predicted that President Obama may begin confiscating guns in order to provoke a violent response to justify further oppression, which host Stan Solomon feared would lead to the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people.
Pratt once again insisted that Obama is acting like King George III, a sentiment with which Solomon concurred, saying, “That will happen quickly and they will wipe those people out to set an example.”
But Solomon wasn’t finished: “I believe they will put together a racial force to go against an opposite race resistance, basically a black force to go against a white resistance, and then they will claim anyone resisting the black force they are doing it because they are racist.”
Howard agreed: “You may be right because he has been sowing the seeds of racial hatred; we were healing quite well as a nation on racial issues until Obama came along and now we have a lot of racial discord.”
After arguing that Obama is “not American” and not a natural born citizen, Howard maintained that Obama may begin “wiping out a few hundred people who own guns, pull a large scale Waco or a Ruby Ridge type incident” and have it “tinged it with racial overtones.” But just in case Obama goes through with his plans to “take down” the Internet, “people are setting up phone-trees all over the place” to stop Obama in his tracks.
“If Obama can take your guns away he can take your car, he can take your home, he can take your bank account, he can take your very life,” Howard said.
Unsurprisingly, Pratt agreed with their insane ramblings: “I do agree that the Obama administration would definitely be capable of something as evil as you were suggesting.”
However, Pratt warned that “a lot of people resolved, ‘no more free Wacos,’” and that if Obama “starts playing the massacre game the way you did at Waco, well, you’re going to get surrounded, you won’t be able to go home safely, your family won’t be safe.”
Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America once again compared President Obama to King George III during an interview with the UK’s Channel 4 News. He told reporter Matt Frei that Americans don’t accept the “statistical argument” that a lack of gun control is linked to higher levels of gun violence, arguing that the Second Amendment is meant to “keep the government at bay.”
“When the colonists said you’ve become a tyrant, stop it, and when he wouldn’t stop, we shot, and we got rid of your King,” Pratt said, who went on to liken Obama to King George III.
Pratt said that President Obama “should remember King George III’s experience” as he “seems to forget that he was democratically elected.”
Later in the interview, Pratt said that people are “already being encouraged by the President’s actions and his words to go and buy firearms” because Obama is “doing all he can to destroy” the Second Amendment.
He added that he is “not calling the President a tyrant yet, but the President certainly has indicated he has a low regard for the law and a low regard for the Constitution.”
They would be going door-to-door to see if you’ve registered your guns. That would be, I think, a very dangerous thing for them to do. I think they had better consider how it worked out for George III.
They don’t want to be told that they’ve crossed the line and become rebels against the Constitution. They have crossed the same line that George III did and they should consider how that ended for him. Actually, he ended up in a nut house, it was pretty stressful for him and he couldn’t handle it. That’s where I see this administration; they are just completely detached from the Constitution and from the law.
Larry Pratt has been making the rounds criticizing any new laws aimed at addressing gun violence and today appeared on Crosstalk with Vic Eliason to argue that President Obama should be impeached if he signs any executive order regarding gun policy. But Pratt, the head of Gun Owners for America, didn’t say what an executive order would entail, and executive orders have been used by Presidents Bush (41) and Clinton in the past to prohibit the import of certain assault weapons. He told one caller that any executive order would be unconstitutional and merit impeachment.
Caller: If Obama’s going to be signing an executive order to take away our guns isn’t there something we can do to arrest this man? It’s a treasonous act. He’s swore an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.
Pratt: Yeah, it’s called impeachment and that would be, along with defunding, the kinds of messages that need to go to Capitol Hill: When are you going to impeach this guy? When are you going to defund his illegal activities? Republicans can’t continue, at least I hope they cannot, continue to be spectators while the country is being torn apart.
Pratt’s gun group has a decidedly Religious Right bent, and so it came as no surprise that he said any laws on gun safety actually represent “the most pagan of paganism” because it “view[s] inanimate objects” like guns “as possessing their own will.”
Pratt: Frankly, it almost would seem that animism won’t go away. The left, which is largely made up of people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ’s blood as being necessary for our salvation, view inanimate objects as possessing their own will. That’s animism, that’s a return to the most pagan of paganism and look at what nutty political views it ends up supporting.
Eliason and Pratt then went on to discuss discredited conspiracy theories about government purchases of firearms and ammunition, which Pratt said proves that “the administration seems to view the American people as the enemy.”
Eliason: We talk about the humongous amounts of cartridges and bullets that are being sent or I guess assigned to some of the federal agencies that you wonder, why in the world are they getting bullets? You know what I’m talking about.
Pratt: I sure do and I think that is another indication that the administration seems to view the American people as the enemy. They are buying anti-personnel rounds from what we can tell; they are not buying practice rounds.
Eliason: No, they’re hollow-point.
According to Pratt, Obama is a “dictator” and implied that any new gun laws will face violent resistance. He argued that law enforcement agencies shouldn’t “obey such an outrageous executive order,” warning that those who carry them out may end up like war criminal Lt. William Calley or the Germans executed “for following orders after World War II.”
Pratt: It’s the talk of a dictator, ‘I will do what I want, whatever seems right in my own eyes I’m going to do,’ and the idea that there’s any restraints imposed by the Constitution is simply not acceptable to the ruling crowd in Washington and they’re getting bolder because now they don’t have to stand for re-election. I believe, first of all, they understand they probably don’t have the votes in the Congress so why make their Democrat buddies go walk the plank and vote against the Second Amendment, they remember what happened in ’94 when that happened and I don’t think they want a repeat of that.
But what they may not understand is that people are watching. If there is an executive order issued in lieu of congressional action, which would be unconstitutional either way, then I’m hearing such resentment and anger and opposition that their simply going to lose any credibility the federal government might have had. It’s going to be a byword, it’s going to be a joke and people are not going to obey such an outrageous executive order.
Eliason: People would be marching in the streets.
Pratt: That would be the nicest thing that would happen.
Eliason: The frightening thing is this: if the President makes such an executive order and seeks to enforce it, is the military or who is there to enforce it if the order goes through?
Pratt: Then he has to ask how many of those police officers and soldiers would actually carry out such an obviously outrageous order. We had consequences rightly come to Lt. Calley for the slaughter of the people of the little village of My Lai and we hung Germans for following orders after World War II.
Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt went back on VCY America’s Crosstalk, where he last month insisted that the health care reform law was meant to “take away your guns,” to talk to host Jim Schneider about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Pratt agreed with a caller who said that drugs such as Prozac were leading people to kill and another caller wondered if drugs are “raising a bunch of Manchurian candidates.” A man purporting to be Lanza’s uncle had claimed that he was using an antipsychotic drug, Fanapt, but the “uncle” turned out to be an imposter.
Just as many other right-wing commentators blamed the Newtown massacre on the public school system, even though Lanza was homeschooled, Pratt suggested that corporal punishment, along with the arming of teachers, would ensure that schools aren’t “death traps for kids.”
Caller: These kids are on psychotropic drugs, mainly Prozac, which makes them homicidal or suicidal and a lot of the teachers who can’t handle these kids are recommending that they go in for psychiatric treatment and next thing you know they are on these drugs.
Pratt: The teachers aren’t allowed to spank them anymore, which didn’t have any long lasting effects other than, ‘I don’t want that to happen again so I’ll behave in the future.’ But the drugs, as you were getting to I think change their minds.
Caller: I also wanted to know on the coattails of the gentleman that mentioned Prozac: are we raising a bunch of Manchurian candidates?
Pratt: That’s a valid question. I guess there could be long-term damage done by these drugs that may not manifest themselves until sometime in the future because of who knows what stimulus that occurs. But it’s just a very dangerous thing to be playing with the makeup of people’s minds. It’s so avoidable, all we have do is admit that children need discipline, they respond well to it and then things are much more under control. We’ve lost control of our schools in so many places in the United States and it really could be addressed effectively and we refuse to. It’s almost equivalent to the refusal to talk about using drugs in self-defense and making it so teachers, principals and janitors could be armed at schools. ‘Everybody knows that guns and children don’t mix,’ well no, actually everybody doesn’t know that, and in fact that notion, as I have said before today, that notion is unhappily the big reason why schools are such death traps for kids.
After warning against government “confiscation” of firearms, Pratt floated debunked conspiracy theories about the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security purchasing ammunition for nefarious reasons and maintained that all policing on the federal level is unconstitutional.
Pratt: I think the more people invest in protecting themselves in this fashion, paying all this money for firearms to defend themselves, any call for confiscation such as came from the Governor of New York and I gather other politicians as well is going to be met with, shall we say, no respect.
Schneider: Perhaps on that issue there have been a number of stories that have come out recently that the US government is just buying up massive rounds of ammunition. One story indicated the Department of Homeland Security has purchased over a billion rounds of hollow point ammunition for domestic purposes, not for military purposes. Some stories have indicated that even the Social Security Administration has purchased 174,000 rounds of ammo. Is there any truth for this or is this some kind of hype that’s out of control?
Pratt: The reports continue and they are in the mainline press. When you read about the Social Security buying large quantities of ammunition, whatever for? Did somebody lose their check and they’re going to go shoot them up? What exactly is it that Social Security Administration needs a police force at all let alone buying that many rounds? Target practice I don’t think consumes that many and frankly they shouldn’t be having target practices, they shouldn’t have police forces at the federal level, those are not constitutional.
We have to admit that things are getting very confusing when right-wing gun advocates are now worrying that criticism of their agenda is putting them at risk of becoming victims of hate crimes:
Statements made by broadcasters including CNN’s Piers Morgan and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, as well as comments on social media have contributed to an environment of hate directed against law-abiding Americans who are being demonized for a crime they did not commit, said Joseph P. Tartaro, the president of the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation.
Morgan called one national gun rights leader Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America: “an unbelievably stupid man,” he said.
Matthews suggested gun owners are, “..people on the far-right (who) never lose their passion…Normal people have other interests like their spouses, their lives, their children, and even their generalized politics isn’t driven by one issue,” he said
“This kind of rhetoric does not contribute to any rational discussion,” [Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF executive vice president] said.
“Vitriol like this only promotes hate, but apparently it’s okay to perpetuate bigotry so long as you are an anti-gunner, and a liberal. If anyone is harmed as a result of this hate campaign, we expect them to be prosecuted under the hate crimes laws,” he said.
“If this hate speech leads to hate crimes,” Gottlieb concluded, “people like Piers Morgan and Chris Matthews will be partly responsible.”
Of course, actual hate crimes legislation only applies to crimes commited on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability; gun ownership does not qualify.
The leader of the Religious Right gun group Gun Owners of America is warning that the government, through the health care reform law and a new service program, is going after everyday Americans. Larry Pratt, the organization’s executive director who has ties to white supremacists, appeared on VCY America’s Crosstalk to float a number of conspiracies. Pratt alleged that the left is to blame for the Benghazi attack because of its “profound dislike of self-defense” and refusal to “believe in self-defense either personally or as a matter of national self-defense.”
Later, he also spoke to a caller about the latest right-wing conspiracy that FEMA Corps, a program dedicated to training “young volunteers to physically and psychologically handle the demands of working in hazardous areas,” is actually an armed brigade that may be used to persecute political opponents.
Caller: They have this website, “FEMA Corps First Graduating Class,” somebody found it on ItMakesSenseBlog.com and it was like 231 kids and they’ve got 2,500 armored fighting vehicles ready to go, I was just wondering if you have spotted any of that information yet.
Pratt: Now that is very interesting that FEMA would have armored personnel carriers, that is what it sounds like you are describing, is that helpful in fighting the aftermath of a Hurricane? That’s really amazing. It shows the total disconnect of the federal government from the Constitution.
But Pratt wasn’t done yet, as he went on to say that Obamacare will help the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to “take away your guns.”
There’s a big one that doesn’t get much attention as a gun measure but it is, and that’s Obamacare. Obamacare among its many unconstitutional aspects, I’m sorry Supreme Court, has made privacy something that only applies between consenting adults but not certainly our relationship with the government. It says that all of our medical records are available to be pawed through by bureaucrats somewhere in Washington, looking for a reason to disenfranchise gun owners, to say ‘oh you have a medical diagnosis that means you might be a danger to yourself or others so we’re going to come and knock on the door for the BATF to take away your guns.’
Of course, the law that screens out people such as mentally ill individuals through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to prevent them from purchasing guns was signed by President Bush, and the health care reform law [PDF] explicitly does not allow for a gigantic gun owner database or discrimination against people who own guns:
‘‘(c) PROTECTION OF SECOND AMENDMENT GUN RIGHTS.—
‘‘(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.— A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—
‘‘(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or
‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.
‘‘(2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to— ‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;
‘‘(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or
‘‘(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.
‘‘(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATABANKS.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.
‘‘(4) LIMITATION ON DETERMINATION OF PREMIUM RATES OR ELIGIBILITY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.— A premium rate may not be increased, health insurance coverage may not be denied, and a discount, rebate, or reward offered for participation in a wellness program may not be reduced or withheld under any health benefit plan issued pursuant to or in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act on the basis of, or on reliance upon—
‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or
‘‘(B) the lawful use or storage of a firearm or ammunition.
‘‘(5) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS.— No individual shall be required to disclose any information under any data collection activity authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act relating to—
‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or
‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.’’
Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt, who earlier this week floated the theory that the Colorado theater shooting was an inside job aimed at promoting gun control, was back on the press circuit today. In an interview with Iowa radio host Steve Deace, Pratt urged listeners to compare the dozen deaths in the Aurora movie theater with the millions of deaths in Nazi concentration camps – deaths which he claims occurred because the Nazi government had taken away the guns of the German populace, preventing them from “shooting back”:
Well, we tragically lost 12 people. How many people a day were lost in concentration camps that were populated by...well, two things had happened: ‘Jews are bad, Jews are bad, Jews are bad, Jews are bad, all the evil in the world is Jews, Jews, Jews,’ and disarmament of the German population. They started coming for the Jews, and they came for other people as well. Nobody shoots back!
When they started to, when George III thought he could muscle us around with his Redcoat troops, we taught him a thing or two that actually, Mr. George, you need to learn a lesson yourself and that is you violated all of the charters that protect the rights of Englishmen.
Pratt drew not-so-subtle parallels between King George and President Obama, warning that the president, if reelected, will act immediately to close down gun shops. “The guy is clearly the imperial president,” Pratt said:
Here’s what I think might happen after the election. If the president, God forbid, is reelected, I can see him telling gun stores through the Justice Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, you’re no longer gonna be able to sell caliber handguns above 380, and if you do we’ll pull your license and you’ll be out of business that day. And you’ll no longer be able to sell semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that are capable of firing more than a fixed magazine load of three to five rounds, in other words one that can accept a large magazine. You just won’t be able to be in business if you want to sell those kinds of firearms. That I can see the president doing. Unconstutional, illegal. But then his position on forcing churches to dispense abortifacants, his position on undoing the amnesty laws, his positions on so many things. A court order telling him to allow drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, ‘No way, Jose,’ was basically his response, although I don’t think he speaks that much Spanish.
So the guy is clearly the imperial president. He thinks he, ‘Well, I was elected, I won the election,’ he told the Republicans once in a rare meeting with Republicans. He doesn’t accept criticism kindly, he gets angry quite quickly, he’s very thin-skinned.