gun control

Gun Lobbyist: Gun Restrictions Are Like Banning The Bible

Last week, Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb joined Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt on his “Pray in Jesus Name” program, where he argued that banning specific types of firearms is akin to banning specific books, for instance the Bible.  

Speaking about his group’s contention that the attorney general of Massachusetts is improperly restricting the sale of some semiautomatic handguns, Gottlieb asked viewers to compare the “bureaucracy that is allowed to decide what guns you can own and you can’t own” with a scenario in which “the government was deciding what books you can read or books you couldn’t read.”

“You could have a book about Satan,” he continued, “but you couldn’t have the Bible.”

“A lot of First Amendment, Second Amendment issues are really kind of tied together,” he said, in that “you really can’t unravel the Bill of Rights or shred one part of it without shredding the whole document.”

Larry Pratt: 'The Second Amendment Was Designed For People Just Like The President' And 'Democrats Who Want To Take Our Rights'

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, spoke to Roger Fredinburg on his far-right radio show in April about the attempt by Congress to restrict armor-piercing bullets. Pratt, responding to Fredinburg’s theory that the left wants to take away everyone’s rifles, said “we figured that’s kinda what they were up to.”

“The Second Amendment was designed for people just like the president and his administration,” Pratt said. “And yes, if the New York Times and the Rolling Stone, and whoever else wants to have a hissy fit, yes, our guns are in our hands for people like those in our government right now that think they wanna go tyrannical on us, we’ve got something for ‘em. That’s what it’s all about.”

“The Second Amendment,” he continued, “is not about hunting, it’s not about target shooting, it’s about Democrats who want to take our rights.”

Fredinburg, building off of the tyrannical Democrats theory, argued that “if you’re a Christian or subscribe to traditional Judeo-Christian values today, you’re considered a hate monger...if you’re a pervert, a deviant, a derelict, you know someone who’s captured by a decadent lifestyle, whatever, your rights are protected. But the good people, their rights are not being protected.”  Pratt, agreeing that the left hates guns and religion, replied, “What a rhetorical sleight of hand, isn’t it?  They say they’re for diversity, they say they’re for freedom of speech, and ‘you’re free to say anything you’d like as long as you agree with me.’ What hypocrites!”

Rafael Cruz: Gay Marriage Undermines Freedom And Therefore Turns Us Into Slaves

During an April speech at Easley First Wesleyan Church in Easley, South Carolina, Rafael Cruz said that while the unlimited right to bear arms is God-ordained, allowing gay people to marry will destroy freedom and turn us all into “slaves.”

“We do not get the right to bear arms from the Second Amendment… the Second Amendment assumes you already have that right because that right is intrinsic in our unalienable right to life,” he said. “You see, if you have an unalienable right to life, you also have the right to protect that life and protect the life of your loved ones. So the attack on the Second Amendment ultimately goes to the unalienable right to life.”

Not so with gay marriage, Cruz said, which is not a right but an attack on freedom.

The gay marriage case at the Supreme Court, he claimed, “is not about homosexual marriage, it’s about religious freedom. Because if the Court rules that homosexual marriage is a right, mark my words, the next thing will be going to a church and saying ‘you must perform homosexual marriage, or we’ll put you in jail’ or ‘you must hire a homosexual pastor, or we’ll put you in jail.’”

Cruz added that marriage isn’t necessary for gay and lesbian couples since civil unions — which his son has fought against — are legal in a number of places.

This attack on religion, concluded Cruz, is an attack on the liberty of conservative Christians and “of course, if you don’t have liberty, you’re a slave and if you’re a slave, you can’t pursue happiness.”

Larry Pratt: Obama Follows In Hitler's Footsteps, Creating A Race War To Take Away Our Guns

We recently noted that Sen. Ted Cruz has agreed to be the “first of several” Republican presidential candidates to join the far-right gun group Gun Owners of America in “tele-Town Hall” conferences to make their case for the group’s endorsement. This is problematic for a number of reasons, including that the gun group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, is a fringe extremist who enjoys threatening Democratic elected officials with assassination and warning of an impending Obama-led race war.

Although Pratt has indulged in race-war speculation a number of times, when Alan Colmes asked him about those comments last year, he denied ever making them, saying that when he discusses a “black force” he is taking about ninjas. Even so, we were not exactly surprised to hear Pratt asked yet again about an Obama-led “black race war” and to hear him respond that such a thing indeed exists and is a plot to take away everyone’s guns.

Back in January, Pratt appeared on the far-right radio show “Voices of Global Freedom,” hosted by a man who goes by Roy “Backpack Baron” and his friend “Yoda,” where he spoke for an hour about the danger of President Obama taking away Americans’ guns. “Yoda” questioned Pratt as to how he sees gun regulation “tying in with [Obama’s] brazen support, with Al Sharpton and others, despite the cop ambush in New York and Vegas and elsewhere, he’s brazenly supporting this black race war. How, if at all, does this tie into our guns?”

Pratt responded that said race war is an idea “right out of Saul Alinsky,” whom he called Obama’s “intellectual mentor.” He argued Obama is following Alinsky’s “idea that you create a crisis so that you can so disorient society so that it begins to collapse.”

“Yoda” went on to argue that Obama, like Vladimir Lenin, believes “the best way to confiscate guns is a thorough comprehensive registration.”

Pratt took this argument one step further, stating that historically “it’s not just Lenin” who used gun registration laws to disenfranchise citizens, but “it’s pretty much anybody that has ever gone after the people’s guns…Hitler built on the Weimar German registration of firearms and went after the Jews first …And that’s pretty typical of how these elitist governments operate. And it becomes dangerous when they have a very aggressive anti-this or that group type of ideology. Lenin was against the middle class farmers beginning in Ukraine. Hitler was against the Jews.”

“Yoda” was able to connect the dots, asking his viewers to question if there is a “coincidence with what Obama is doing and what did Hitler do.”

Larry Pratt: Obama 'Has Made It Very Clear He Doesn't Like The United States'

Larry Pratt, the far-right conspiracy theorist executive director of Gun Owners of America, who will be hosting a presidential campaign call with Sen. Ted Cruz next week, claimed last month that President Obama has “made it very clear he doesn’t like the United States” and that “he thinks that Christianity is at best on par with jihad.”

Pratt told fringe conservative commentator Stuart Vener that Obama ”doesn’t like people speaking against the dirt bag Muhammad like I just did, he thinks that that is a name to be revered, he thinks that Christianity at best is on par with jihad.”

Agreeing with Vener’s claim that Obama “wants to take everyone’s guns away,” Pratt hailed former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani for “speaking the truth” when he alleged that the president doesn’t love America.

Denouncing Islam as a “extremely murderous, extremely violent” religion, Pratt praises the Europeans who finally “got themselves together” during the Crusades to get “rid of the Muslim dirt bags”.

We’d also like to note that the cohost for Vener’s show, “Stuart Vener Tells It Like It Is!,” is a genie.

        

As Washington Begins Debate on Gun Violence Bills, National Responses Vary

As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider a package of gun violence prevention proposals this week, the current debate on the role of guns in society has led to a variety of legislative responses in D.C. and across the nation.
PFAW

Rand Paul Raising Money for Right-of-NRA Gun Group

PFAW’s recent Right Wing Watch in Focus report on opposition to more effective regulation of guns noted that promoting conspiracy theories is a primary strategy used by extremists to block common sense policies.  New evidence comes in the form of a recent email from Sen. Rand Paul raising money for the National Association for Gun Rights, a group that is so far out there it thinks the National Rifle Association has gone soft.

Rand Paul’s letter uses inflammatory rhetoric to push the conspiracy theory that registration of guns and requiring background checks for gun purposes – which is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans, including gun owners – is just a prelude to “confiscation” by the “gun-grabbers.”

And make no mistake, the gun-grabbers’ TRUE motives behind gun registration is always the same -- outright gun CONFISCATION, and to do that they must first register every gun and gun owner.

Another letter Paul signed for the group argues that President Obama is working to empower United Nations bureaucrats to confiscate Americans’ guns:

I don't know about you, but watching anti-American globalists plot against our Constitution makes me sick.

PFAW’s report on opposition to addressing gun violence notes that there are real consequences to the promotion of conspiracy theories by elected officials:

It is also true that the failure to challenge extremist and dishonest rhetoric can lead to damaging consequences for our common public life.  The promotion of false conspiracy theories, the claims by public figures that their political opponents are out to destroy freedom and America itself, and the false equation of sensible, broadly supported laws with the elimination of the rights of hunters and other gun owners, can foster a dangerous extremism, including threats of violence.

One of Rand Paul’s letters refers to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill restricting ownership of assault weapons as “the effective END of the Second Amendment in America.”

I can hardly even think about what a DISASTER for our country it would be should President Obama, Senator Feinstein and their anti-gun pals succeed in ramming this monstrosity down our throats.

An earlier alert from the National Association for Gun Rights was labeled: “Obama declares war.”

Why is Rand Paul raising money for these guys?

Young Elected Officials Call for Gun Violence Prevention Reforms

Daniel Hernandez - Rep. Gabby Giffords' heroic intern, now a school board member in AZ - appeared on the Ed Show to discuss a letter from 42 members of PFAW’s Young Elected Officials Action program urging gun violence prevention reforms.
PFAW

Ted Cruz: Don't Believe What I Said to the Supreme Court

Did Sen. Cruz contradict his previous statement to the Supreme Court that its 2008 Heller ruling would not undermine federal and state assault weapon bans?
PFAW

Gun Violence Prevention Legislation Advances, Newtown Unites, and the Gun Lobby Doubles Down

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved gun violence prevention legislation with the support of Newtown citizens and other families across the nation. NRA officials, meanwhile, continue to rely on incendiary rhetoric and fear mongering.
PFAW

The Lobby Against Common Sense: The Right's Campaign Against Gun Violence Reform and How We Can Defeat It

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.

Common Sense Gun Solutions Struggle Against Mindless NRA and GOP Opposition

The big gun lobby and its yes men in Congress, it seems, are much more interested in protecting the loose regulations of the gun industry than they are with taking practical steps towards public safety.
PFAW

Tell Congress: Listen to Common Sense, NOT the NRA's Lies

NRA officials are waging a campaign of misinformation and fear mongering in opposition to common sense reforms that could reduce gun violence -- many of which the NRA's own members overwhelmingly support.

PFAW Praises President Obama’s Common Sense Plan to Reduce Gun Violence

People For the American Way praised President Obama for putting forward bold proposals to combat gun violence and joins him in urging Congress to take swift action on the issue.
PFAW

PFAW Praises President’s Gun Violence Plan, Urges Quick Action From Congress

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today praised President Obama for putting forward bold proposals to combat gun violence and urged Congress to quickly take action on the issue.

“Our dire situation requires bold action,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “We’ve seen too many American lives lost to senseless gun violence. The president is correct to recognize that there is no one solution to this national blight, just as there is no one cause. We must take quick and meaningful action to prevent further tragedies by restricting access to weapons of war.”

“Gun violence is a threat to everyone in America, but it particularly plagues young African Americans,” added Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way. “We are morally required to do everything we possibly can to keep our children safe and free from fear, whether they are in the classroom or playing on the streets in their neighborhood, whether they live in Newtown or in Chicago or in the District of Columbia. These proposals are an important step in the right direction.”

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Steve Deace Ties Connecticut Shooting to Public Schools' 'Culture of Death'

Right-wing talk show host Steve Deace writes on his Facebook page that the public school system is partly to blame for the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, because public schools, he claims, promote a “culture of death.”

 

Joel Gilbert Speculates That Obama May Have Been Behind Aurora Shooting

Joel Gilbert, the filmmaker whose theory that President Obama is secretly the son of American labor activist Frank Marshall Davis was recently promoted by the chairman of the Alabama GOP, is apparently open to any number of Obama-related conspiracy theories.

In an interview with master conspiracy theorist Alex Jones back in July, Gilbert asserted that the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater could very well have been orchestrated by the Obama administration in an effort to promote gun control. "I hate to say it, but you can't put anything past them," he said:

Gun Owners of America Director Suggests Armed Citizens Could Have Stopped Holocaust, Warns of Post-Colorado Shooting Gun Control

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.

Contempt: Republican Witch-Hunt Makes History

On Thursday, President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, became the first sitting cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress. The blatantly political move by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives was the culmination of a multiyear plan by right-wing activists and politicians to undermine the nation’s top law enforcement official. Let’s recall how we got here. 

Attorney General Holder has had a target on his back from day one. He has played a key role in, among other things, defending voting rights for all Americans and advancing equal rights for gays and lesbians – things that the right wing vehemently opposes. In the case of the Fast and Furious program, which Holder’s opponents used to find him in contempt, he was the person who shut it down:
The problem of gunwalking was a field-driven tactic that dated back to the George W. Bush Administration, and it was this Administration’s Attorney General who ended it. Attorney General Holder has said repeatedly that fighting criminal activity along the Southwest Border – including the illegal trafficking of guns to Mexico – is a top priority of the Department. Eric Holder has been an excellent Attorney General and just yesterday the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee acknowledged that he had no evidence – or even the suspicion – that the Attorney General knew of the misguided tactics used in this operation.

Incredibly, the very same politicians who condemned Holder were supportive when President Bush asserted executive privilege in an unprecedented and expansive way to conceal potentially illegal activity by government employees. On the other hand, Holder and the Obama administration have gone to great lengths to accommodate the often unreasonable demands of Republicans in Congress:

Over the past fourteen months, the Justice Department accommodated Congressional investigators, producing 7,600 pages of documents, and testifying at eleven Congressional hearings. In an act of good faith, this week the Administration made an additional offer which would have resulted in the Committee getting unprecedented access to documents dispelling any notion of an intent to mislead.

Holder and the Obama administration only asserted executive privilege when Republicans demanded documents that would put the agents fighting gun violence at risk. This is yet another irony.

As Right Wing Watch reported, Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee and Holder’s chief inquisitor, has been pushing a conspiracy theory for months that Obama and Holder intentionally allowed gun-smuggling to Mexico in order to boost violence and use it as the justification for an assault weapons ban here. It’s such a completely unhinged and baseless argument that it’s hard to take seriously. But Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the NRA and even elected officials like Issa have aggressively pushed this lie and whipped their base into fever pitch.

While Holder is taking it on the chin for protecting agents working to keep us safe, the right wing is saying that the Obama administration intentionally let people, including an American border patrol agent, get killed as part of some gun control conspiracy. In reality, Mexico is awash with American guns. And the right-wing created the extremely lax gun control system that makes it possible.

In the Republican House of Representatives, where up is often down and black is white, the people working to prevent gun violence are smeared as having blood on their hands. That’s why Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rightly called the contempt vote a “heinous act” and “unprincipled.” Sadly, a full 17 House Democrats were successfully pressured by the NRA to part ways with Pelosi and condemn Holder.

It’s clear now, if it wasn’t already, that we’re up against people who will say just about anything to win. We should expect more nonsense heading into the election. But ultimately the best way to beat back their lies is going to the ballot box.

 

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