gun lobby

At NRA Convention Trump Helps Stoke Fear, Feed Gun Industry Profits

From the moment Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, certain members of the media have been eagerly predicting his pivot away from the far right into the mainstream of American politics.

Today, while collecting the National Rifle Association’s endorsement at the group’s annual convention, he continued to keep both his campaign and his rhetoric firmly rooted in the policies and rhetoric of the far right.  

Trump began his speech by claiming that Hillary Clinton wants to “abolish the Second Amendment.” Politifact rated this Trump claim “false” nine days ago.

In uttering this lie, Trump aligns himself with a longstanding NRA strategy. In both 2008 and 2012, the organization and its leadership made similar claims about Barack Obama, yet none of them ever came to pass. NRA board member Grover Norquist even acknowledged these statements were hyperbole.

Creating a climate of fear around the notion that a Democratic president will strip Americans of gun rights is not only designed to whip conservative voters into a frenzy, it also benefits the bottom line of the NRA’s benefactors in the gun industry.

As Jarret Murphy explained in The Nation:

There is no divorcing the politics of guns from their profits. America’s gun lobby and gun industry both benefit from creating a fearful vision of life in the United States—a picture of criminals constantly menacing our families and a government hellbent on taking our guns—that is very effective at selling weapons. In fact, in large part because of the way anxieties about his gun policies have been manipulated, the Obama era has been a golden age for firearms manufacturers, and the run-up to Election 2012 could be for Glock and Remington what the Christmas shopping season is for Macy’s and Sears: a time to cash in before the narrative changes.

This sentiment was reflected by gun industry analyst Jim Barrett, who told The Blaze in 2012, “The driver [of the gun industry's financial success] is President Obama. He is the best thing that ever happened to the firearm industry.”

The Blaze reported in the run-up to the 2012 election:

Major gun company stock prices are up. The number of federally licensed, retail gun dealers is increasing for the first time in nearly 20 years. The U.S. gun lobby is bursting with cash and political clout.

The NRA’s endorsement, if nothing else, means that Donald Trump will attempt to keep this gravy train of fear fueling the bottom line for gun manufacturers for another four years.

Ted Nugent Fantasizes About Hillary Clinton Being Shot; GOP Still Wants His Org To Vet Supreme Court Nominees

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that the Senate won’t confirm any Supreme Court nominee unless that nominee has the support of the National Rifle Association, which has been stretching the truth in its efforts to oppose the nomination of Merrick Garland.

The absurdity of this position was reinforced yesterday when, as Media Matters reported, NRA board member and perpetual loose cannon Ted Nugent posted on his Facebook page a fake video of Hillary Clinton being shot, with the caption “I got your guncontrol right here bitch!”

This is who McConnell wants in charge of vetting Supreme Court justices?

This sort of gleeful violence is nothing new to Nugent, who in a 2007 onstage rant relished the prospect of killing Clinton and then-candidate Obama:

Decked out in full-on camouflage hunting gear, Nugent wielded two machine guns while raging, "Obama, he's a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary," he continued. "You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch." Nugent summed up his eloquent speech by screaming "freedom!"

Earlier this year, Nugent engaged in a week-long anti-Semitic meltdown, including posting a Facebook meme alleging that Jewish politicians and activists are “behind gun control.”

Stunningly, there seems to be no organized effort within the NRA to fire Nugent, even as some NRA members have been waging a campaign to oust anti-tax activist Grover Norquist from the organization’s board because they claim he is a Muslim Brotherhood agent.

Nugent, not surprisingly, is enthusiastically backing Donald Trump in the presidential race.

So, Senate Republicans are refusing to so much as hold a hearing on Garland’s nomination in the hope that Trump will become president and nominate someone who has been approved by Nugent and his organization? Sounds reasonable.

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?

Louie Gohmert: 'The Hippies And The Troublemakers' Are Taking Over

Earlier this year, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, attributed the popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders to the fact that “we let some of the hippies from the ‘60s” start “teaching the teachers” in universities.

Gohmert brought up the subject again in an interview Monday with Armed America Radio’s Mark Walters, where he explained that “a lot of the hippies and the troublemakers from the ‘60s and the early ‘70s” figured out that instead of “blowing up the Pentagon or blowing up police cars,” they could just become teachers.

This means, he said, “that the socialists that wanted to destroy the country in the ‘60s and ‘70s have figured out you just miseducate the kids and you’re well on your way to taking over the country.”

It’s thanks to these same teachers, he said, that “people have heard over and over how horrible guns are.”

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.

Rafael Cruz: 'One More Liberal Justice' Could Allow A Dictator To Turn Guns On Americans

Rafael Cruz, the father and top campaign surrogate of Sen. Ted Cruz, warned in a radio interview today that if “one more liberal justice” is confirmed to the Supreme Court, “we will lose our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” which could lead to a dictator turning guns against the American people.

“One more liberal justice with that way of thinking and we will lose our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” Cruz said on Breitbart’s SiriusXM program. “And think back in history: Every dictator that has taken the guns away from the population has used them against the population.”

“It is imperative that we elect as president someone that you can be certain that will only nominate to the Supreme Court justices that are committed to following the Constitution and the rule of law, not to legislate from the bench,” he said. “Otherwise, if we lose the court, it may take a whole generation to recover it and I don’t think we have the time.”

Cruz issued a similar warning in November, before the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, saying that “praise God there are 300 million guns in American in the hands of private citizens.”

Cruz also repeated his claim that the American public education system is being used by communists to indoctrinate children into “an anti-Christian worldview.”

“What has happened in America is that we have believed this lie of separation of church and state, which is not in the Constitution, is not in the Declaration,” Cruz said. “The total opposite is true. One of the very first Bibles printed in America was printed under the auspices of Congress to be the principal textbook in high schools, primary schools and universities.”

Cruz frequently uses the story about Congress printing Bibles to be used as textbooks in his attempts to refute the idea of church-state separation. The story, unsurprisingly, is a myth promoted by Cruz’s friend, the political operative David Barton, who is running a super PAC backing Ted Cruz’s candidacy.

He went on to say that this all changed when the Humanist Manifesto, an “ominous document,” was signed in 1933, leading to “immorality and chaos and secular humanism.” He then repeated his claim that John Dewey, the public education reformer and signer of the Humanist Manifesto “was a member of the American Communist Party.” (Dewey was in fact an “avowed anti-Communist.”)

All of this, he said, has led to the Common Core educational standards “brainwashing” public school students with an “anti-Christian worldview in an attempt to secularize America.”

“So, since 1933, those concepts of secular humanism have been immersed in our public school system,” he said, “and now, with Common Core, they have been elevated to a new level. And Common Core is not really about standards, it’s about brainwashing our kids with secular humanism, with an anti-Christian worldview, with what’s called situational ethics … And so what has happened is that kids are being brainwashed with this worldview that is an anti-Christian worldview in an attempt to secularize America.”

Cruz Gun Adviser: Obama Nominated Garland To 'Ruin The Second Amendment And Destroy This Country'

A top gun-rights adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign claimed this weekend that President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court is “his last-ditch effort” to “ruin the Second Amendment and destroy this country.”

Tim Macy, the chairman of the radical gun group Gun Owners of America and co-chair of Cruz’s “Second Amendment Coalition,” discussed the Supreme Court nomination in an interview Sunday with Mark Walters on “Armed America Radio.”

Macy said that Obama has “run up against the wall every time he’s tried” to “destroy the country” with gun restrictions, but that the Supreme Court vacancy is “his last-ditch effort before he leaves office to ruin the Second Amendment and destroy this country with Merrick Garland as his pick.”

Macy falsely claimed that Garland “supported the D.C. gun ban” — in fact, Garland, a federal appeals court judge in Washington, D.C., voted to rehear a case involving Washington’s handgun ban, which does not indicate at all where he stood on the merits of the case. In fact, Garland voted the same way as other judges on the court including Judge A. Raymond Randolph, whom Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times once called “one of the most outspoken and agenda-driven conservatives on the entire federal bench.”

“Clearly, if Garland got back on the court, the whole Heller decision, individual right to bear arms, would be put in severe jeopardy,” Macy claimed, “and you would have to imagine it would be gotten rid of as quick as the court could get another case up before them, they’d be looking for the case to bring up.”

Macy also brought up another case that gun groups have been using to attack Garland, in which Garland joined in a ruling that held that the FBI could temporarily store background check information from gun sales for audit purposes. Macy absurdly claimed that this shows that Garland “supports the ability of a president to illegally use executive power to advance liberal causes like taking guns away from honest citizens.”

These, he said, were all reasons to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell so that he “keeps that nomination on hold until the president’s gone and we have a new president.”

Phyllis Schlafly: No SCOTUS Nominee 'Until We Have A Republican Who Will Appoint Somebody In The Nature of Scalia'

Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-feminist icon and enthusiastic Donald Trump endorser, characteristically abandoned all pretense of nonpartisanship when discussing the Supreme Court vacancy in a recent interview with “Armed America Radio,” saying that Republicans should hold firm in blocking a nominee until a Republican is in the White House.

“We need the Republicans to stand firm and say, ‘We’ve got a big election coming up and that should change the complexion of the Supreme Court and we don’t want any new nominee on the court until we have a Republican who will appoint somebody of the nature of Scalia,’” Schlafly told host Mark Walters on March 20. (She did not specify whether she was simply hoping that the next president will be a Republican or if she was suggesting that the GOP block all Democratic Supreme Court picks in the future.)

This prompted Walters to ask her about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency, which Schlafly said made her “scared to death.”

The solution, she said, was for Republicans to unite around Trump because “your gun rights and all kinds of other rights” are on the line.

“We have a two-party system in this country and if you want a third party I invite you to move to Europe, where they have lots of useless third parties,” she said.

In an op-ed yesterday, Schlafly invoked the late First Lady Nancy Reagan’s anti-drug campaign in urging the GOP to obstruct Obama’s Supreme Court nominee:

The U.S. Senate should follow the famous advice of the late First Lady Nancy Reagan and “just say no” to Obama’s nominee.

Larry Pratt: Obama 'Hates America The Way Muslims Do'

Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, welcomed pastor and prominent Donald Trump endorser Carl Gallups to his “Gun Owners News Hour” radio program last week, where the two discussed what they believe is an Islamist infiltration of the White House.

Pratt claimed that Obama is “facilitating” the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. even though “Islam is kind of like the Nazism of our age.”

“According to Obama’s own books and writings, he comes out of the Sunni Muslim tradition himself,” Gallups said. “Now, I’m not claiming that he is a down-on-the-prayer-carpet-five-times-a-day-praying-to-Mecca Muslim, but that’s his heritage, that’s his background and he certainly does acquiesce to the Sunni Muslim tradition.”

“And whatever his allegiance, secret or open, to Islam,” Pratt added, “he hates America the way Muslims do, and that’s not a secret.”

Gallups went on to explain his (false) birther theory that “not a single hospital in America claims [Obama’s] birth.”

The discussion inevitably turned to top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who conspiracy theorists have been accusing for years of being a Muslim Brotherhood agent infiltrating the government.

The two implied that Abedin’s marriage to former Rep. Anthony Weiner is part of the conspiracy because otherwise, in Gallups’ words, Abedin would have been the victim of a “mercy killing” by now because Weiner is Jewish.

“And then, of course, when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, who does she make chief of staff? Huma Abedin,” Gallups explained. “Who is she married to? Anthony Weiner. Who was he? Well, he’s a congressman, a Democrat congressman, and look at this: who happens to be Jewish. Now, for a Sunni Muslim who’s so ingrained into the Sunni Muslim system that her entire family is deeply involved in the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the most radical arms of Sunni Islam you can get, to marry a Jew? I mean, how does that happen without retribution? I mean, in the Middle East, we have mercy killings, I mean even in the United States we’ve had Muslim families do this when their daughters pull a stunt like that.”

“It kind of suggests that maybe there’s something more to it than meets the eye,” Pratt agreed. “Part of it, I guess, is called ‘taqiyya,’ the willingness to lie if it suits your purposes as a Muslim.”

Pratt's organization, Gun Owners of America, has endorsed and been embraced by Sen. Ted Cruz.

Conservatives Make Pathetic Effort To Claim Garland Is 'Hostile' To Gun Rights

As soon as President Obama announced his nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court seat left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network and the Republican National Committee unveiled embarrassingly thin dossiers to frame Garland — whom conservatives have previously praised — as an unconfirmable liberal activist.

Both organizations decided to focus their criticism on the claim that Garland is “hostile” to gun rights, something that other conservative groups have picked up and run with. The National Rifle Association, in turn, is out with a petition urging the Senate to reject Garland’s nomination, also claiming that he’s “hostile to the Second Amendment.”

The NRA cites three cases that it says show that Garland “supports a handgun ban” and “supports a national gun registry.” Not one shows anything of the sort.

Claim 1: “In 2007, he ruled in favor of reviewing the D.C. Circuit’s decision that invalidated the city’s handgun ban – the very ban Scalia helped overturn at the Supreme Court.”

The facts: A divided panel of three other judges of the D.C. Circuit Court, on which Garland sits, reversed a lower court ruling and found that a Washington, D.C., handgun ban was unconstitutional. The full court then had an opportunity to vote on whether the case should be reheard by all the judges on the entire D.C. Circuit. Garland was one of four members of the court, including a decidedly conservative colleague, Raymond Randolph, who voted to rehear the case. That vote indicates absolutely nothing about what Garland thought about the merits of the case and certainly doesn’t mean that Garland “supports a handgun ban” as the NRA claims. After all, this was before the Supreme Court ruling in Heller and, regardless of ideology, it made perfect sense for a judge to want the full circuit to consider the case.

Claim 2: “In 2004, he ruled against rehearing another pivotal Second Amendment case, thereby casting a vote against the individual right to Keep and Bear Arms.”

The facts: It’s the same story here. The NRA seems to be referring to the 2005 case Seegers v. Gonzales, which had to do with whether the parties suing had standing to challenge D.C.’s handgun law; the substance of the Second Amendment argument was not at issue. This time, Garland voted with the majority of his colleagues to deny a full-court rehearing of the case. Again, that vote gave absolutely no indication of how he felt about the issue of standing (to say nothing of the merits of the Second Amendment case) and definitely was not “a vote against the individual right to Keep and Bear Arms.”

Claim 3: “In 2000, he ruled in favor of the federal government’s plan to keep gun owners’ personal information in an unofficial national registry.”

The facts: In this case, NRA of America v. Reno, the NRA claimed that a regulation requiring information from gun background checks to be temporarily retained violated a law requiring background check records to be destroyed. Garland joined in an opinion finding that the law didn’t prohibit the temporary storage of that data “for audit purposes,” after which it would be destroyed as required by law. From this, the NRA falsely concludes that Garland “supports a national gun registry.”

There is frankly nothing in Garland’s record that indicates his substantive views, if any, on the Second Amendment. Could it possibly be that conservative groups are grasping at straws in an attempt to justify their blanket obstruction of the Supreme Court nomination process?

Rick Wiles: Obama Cried At Gun Violence Press Conference Because 'He's So Happy' To Be Starting A Civil War

End Times radio personality Rick Wiles invited Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, onto his program yesterday to discuss President Obama’s executive action expanding background checks on gun sales, which the two agreed could lead to civil war.

Wiles told Pratt that he thought Obama, whom he called “The Fuhrer His Royal Majesty King Barry Obama I,” teared up at the press conference announcing the move because he “was so overjoyed.”

Pratt wasn’t so sure, saying, “I am surprised to learn that tears were spotted coming from his eyes, because if there ever were a cold fish on two feet, he is the one,” and wondering if Obama “found a way” to make tears come out of his eyes.

“I think he cried because he’s so happy that the civil war he’s wanted to start for seven years is ready to happen,” Wiles said. “I think that’s why he’s crying.”

“Well, if he were to push some of the things that he’s done, that indeed could happen,” Pratt responded.

Gun Lobbyist: Bundy Ranch 'Came Very Close' To Starting A 'Civil War' Against The Government

Larry Pratt, the executive director of Ted Cruz’s favorite gun group, Gun Owners of America, said in a radio interview last week that the armed standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada last year “came very close” to starting “a civil war between the people and the government,” but that the war was averted when the Bureau of Land Management backed down in the face of armed protesters.

Pratt spoke with Arizona radio host Dave Hodges, whose nationally broadcast “The Common Sense Show” is an outlet for anti-government conspiracy theories. Hodges, discussing potential executive actions on guns from President Obama, asked Pratt if he agreed that “if we did not own guns, this government, this tyranny, would roll right over us and we may find ourselves all in chains.”

“The Second Amendment is all about keeping government out of control, to keep it from moving off in a tyrannical direction,” Pratt responded. “And the most recent deployment of the Second Amendment occurred about three years ago in Bunkerville, Nevada, on Cliven Bundy’s ranch.”

Saying that the federal agents attempting to collect more than $1 million of unpaid fees for Bundy’s use of public land were acting “like a bunch of Jesse James outlaws,” Pratt boasted that their “plan didn’t work out because Americans came from all over the country during that standoff, with their guns.”

“Well, I think someday, Larry, the government’s going to back down,” Hodges said, “and I think that if Obama persists in the strategy of inventing false reasons to come get our guns, we’re going to see widespread violence and resistance. I mean, how do you gauge the American public’s mood and attitude toward gun confiscation?”

“Well, I think that standoff in Bunkerville, Nevada, was perhaps a canary in the coal mine and it told us that there is danger ahead,” Pratt responded. “But it also told the government that if you push too hard there will be pushback. And people did come with their guns and their ammunition and they were ready to shoot if the government attacked.”

“That seems to me to have been a lesson that was being sent to the government,” he continued, “and right now I don’t think any Democrat, let alone Republican, wants to have that kind of situation where their view’s precipitating the outbreak of civil war. And we came very close to that. And it wouldn’t have been a civil war between the North and the South, this would have been a civil war between the people and the government.”

The two went on to discuss Obama’s potential executive action requiring large gun dealers to conduct background checks, which Pratt has said Gun Owners of America will “openly defy.” Pratt gave Hodges some more details of this planned defiance, saying that if Obama were to go forward in the action, he would find somebody in his home state of Virginia to illegally buy a gun from or sell one to.

“Come and get us, Mr. President!” he declared. “You have no authority and if you try to exercise it we’re going to have you in court and your head spinning.”

Gun Owners Of America Vows To 'Openly Defy' Obama Executive Order On Guns

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said on Friday that if President Obama implements an executive order expanding background check requirements for gun dealers, his group will “make a very public effort to openly defy the law” in what he described as a national version of the armed showdown at the Bundy ranch in Nevada.

Pratt’s group has gotten some very public support recently from GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who touted GOA’s endorsement in a presidential debate and recently sent a fundraising email on behalf of the group. The president of GOA also chairs Cruz’s Second Amendment Coalition.

Pratt told Aaron McIntire, who was guest-hosting Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace’s program, that GOA has a plan in the works to defy any such order. “If the president goes ahead and tries to do something for which he doesn’t have legal authority, let alone have constitutional authority, we’re going to make a very public effort to openly defy the law,” he said. “‘Come and get us’ would be, I guess, the flag flying here at Gun Owners of America.”

Pratt never specified what exactly open defiance of background check regulations would look like, but he said something like it happened “in a microcosm” at the Bundy ranch, where armed militia groups faced off against the Bureau of Land Management in defense of a rancher who had failed to pay more than $1 million in fees for using public land.

“I think it would be a major blunder for this administration to go ahead and initiate a gun control agenda that it admittedly cannot get through the Congress,” Pratt said. “The Constitution bars it as well. And yet for them to even talk about it gets people’s ire going pretty well and for them to actually try to do something I guarantee you will produce open defiance here at Gun Owners of America. I will have a courier deliver a letter to the White House announcing that you can take your extraordinary illegal and unconstitutional measures and you can clean your ear with them, because we’re not complying.”

“It’s just to the point where they’ve gone too far,” he continued. “They tried this in a microcosm in Bunkerville, Nevada. They had invaded a man’s land in a dispute over what was his proper use of it and while the matter was in court they weren’t going to wait, they were going to decide it with raw force. Well, that didn’t work out so well because the American people, armed, rallied to that rancher and came daily, toward the end hourly, to his ranch to defend him with guns. And so the federal government backed down. That was the Second Amendment at work in its full and robust fashion. And I would have thought the administration would have learned a lesson, but here we are in the last period of this president’s term … so I guess what we’re seeing is the full Obama, and it’s not very pretty.”

Ted Cruz Raises Money For Radical Gun Group To Fight Obama's 'Left-Wing Hatred Of Your Liberty'

Ted Cruz sent a fundraising email on behalf of the radical gun group Gun Owners of America yesterday, boasting that he was “honored to work with GOA” to stop gun legislation after the Sandy Hook massacre and declaring that President Obama’s gun control efforts “have nothing to do with keeping Americans safe, and everything to do with his left-wing hatred of your liberty and your rights under the Constitution.”

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.”

GOA is, in the words of the Southern Poverty Law Center, “a more radical alternative to the National Rifle Association,” which through an absolutist stance against any and all gun regulation has helped to push both the NRA and the gun debate to the right and away from any possible compromise.

But what’s most troubling about GOA is the radicalism of its executive director, Larry Pratt, who has ties to white supremacists and the militia movement and whose insurrectionist view of the Second Amendment is bolstered by a steady stream of conspiracy theories, many of them directed at President Obama. Just this weekend, for instance, Pratt speculated that although the president has tried to remove “pro-American” officers from the military, he has not gotten all of them, so if he were to try to commandeer the military as his own private defense force he would likely meet with a violent insurrection.

Pratt’s and GOA’s extremism is evidently no problem for Cruz, however, who signed on to an email raising funds for the group that sounds exactly like any of Pratt’s rants, declaring that President Obama “hates the 2nd Amendment for the same reason he hates most of what is in the Bill of Rights – it limits the power of government and protects the liberty of individuals” and that the president is “angry at the American people for rising up against him in defense of our liberty.” He urges GOA members to sign a petition calling for the defunding of a potential Obama proposal to expand background checks at gun shows and, of course, to give generously to GOA so that the group can continue “exposing the truth behind the anti-gun politicians’ real agenda of mass confiscation.”

Here are some excerpts:

Dear Fellow Patriot,

This is not a fundraising letter for my campaign.

You see, I am writing you today about something more important than any one man or one election: your 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

My father fled an oppressive regime in Cuba where the people were not citizens, they were mere tools of the state.

That is why, during my time as Texas’ Solicitor General and in the U.S. Senate, I have taken all threats to the 2nd Amendment very seriously. The ability of people to arm themselves has been critical to securing liberty from monarchs and tyrants throughout history. And the 2nd Amendment upholds your fundamental right to protect yourself and your family from harm.

But President Obama disagrees. He hates the 2nd Amendment for the same reason he hates most of what is in the Bill of Rights – it limits the power of government and protects the liberty of individuals.

*** And so, just as he did in 2013, the president is trying to exploit a tragic shooting by unhinged lunatics as a reason to weaken the 2nd Amendment and punish law-abiding citizens. ***

However, he is not bothering to try and pass a law in Congress – he is scheming to do an “end run” around Congress and use Executive Orders to impose more intrusive background checks, restrictions on private sellers, and other illegal anti-gun regulations that will weaken your rights while not doing anything to keep Americans safe.

Congress has a chance to stop him, but we must act quickly and we must hear directly from millions of citizens like you.

Specifically, I am urging pro-2nd Amendment colleagues in the House and Senate to use the appropriations process – the “power of the purse” granted Congress by the Constitution – to defund President Obama’s Executive Gun Grab.

If the Obama ATF has no money to enforce his lawless anti-gun regulations, the president will be powerless to enact his grand schemes to shred the Constitution by executive decree.

Only with a huge grassroots outpouring from the American people can we stop the president’s desperate push for new gun controls . Why am I so confident this can work?

Because I already saw it work back in 2013. Do you remember how, in the wake of the sickening massacre at Sandy Hook, the president chose to use that tragedy as an excuse to further his long-standing hostility to the 2nd Amendment?

Back then, I was honored to work with GOA and lead a massive outpouring of grassroots opposition that shut down the Obama Gun Grab (shocking the media and the D.C. elites), but obviously, the fight is not over.

And, it is clear to me (and I know it is to you) that President Obama’s new plans to impose gun control by Executive Order have nothing to do with keeping Americans safe, and everything to do with his left-wing hatred of your liberty and your rights under the Constitution.

Gun Owners of America – an organization dedicated to no-compromise grassroots lobbying in support of the 2nd Amendment – has developed a massive plan to stop the Obama gun grab dead in its tracks . But there’s not much time to put it into action!

The good news is, we can stop them. But this fight will not be easy – or cheap.

That’s why, in addition to your signed PETITION, I hope you’ll agree to make a generous contribution to help stop the Obama Executive Gun Grab.

Your generous contribution will help pay for GOA’s massive mail, phone, and digital program designed to mobilize upwards of four million Americans to lobby their elected officials. That way, you and I can ensure all my colleagues in the House and Senate really begin to feel the heat.

Your contribution will also help GOA launch a full-scale public relations and advertising campaign nationwide, exposing the truth behind the anti-gun politicians’ real agenda of mass confiscation.

Gun Owners of America has already prepared hard-hitting ads calling on Congressmen and Senators by name to oppose President Obama’s radical, anti-liberty, anti-Constitution agenda.

But GOA needs an urgent – and substantial – influx of dollars from individual citizens to put this nationwide plan into action.

If GOA has the resources to put the full plan into action, we can send a strong message to everyone in Washington that the American people are not going to sit idly by and watch a failed, lame-duck president destroy the 2nd Amendment with his last gasp of power.

If we can send that message loud and clear, I can tell you the last thing any of my fellow senators will want to do in an election year is anger you and the millions of other Americans who take your 2nd Amendment rights seriously .

That’s why I urge you to act TODAY!

We’re staring head-on at one of the most desperate gun-control pushes we’ve ever seen, all brought to us by a president who is angry at the American people for rising up against him in defense of our liberty. President Obama is counting on you to be too distracted by other issues to do anything about his plans to shred the 2nd Amendment with the stroke of a pen in the Oval Office.

 

Gun Activists: Obama Raising Private Army Of Undocumented Immigrants, Refugees, Federal Employees & 'Soviet Troops'

Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, perhaps more than any other activist on the Right provides a direct bridge between the Republican establishment and the chain-email conspiracy theories festering on the right-wing internet.

This was perfectly illustrated this weekend when, just one day after Sen. Ted Cruz announced that GOA’s chairman and Pratt’s boss Tim Macy would head up his presidential campaign’s “Second Amendment Coalition,” Pratt took to his “Gun Owners News Hour” radio program to discuss how President Obama is secretly building up a private army that can only be defeated if patriotic members of the military turn against him.

Pratt’s guest on Saturday’s program was Lawrence C. Mackin, the author of a new novel called “The Police Revolt of 2016,” which imagines a ragtag group of police officers and military personnel who must organize a revolution when “a group of radical Islamists allied with Obama's private internal army composed of units from the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, are planning to establish an Islamic dictatorship within the United States,” a premise that Pratt said was “not too fictional.”

Mackin came prepared with a great number of conspiracy theories that he had found on the internet, telling Pratt that Obama signed a deal with Russia “to bring Soviet troops into this country in the event that we needed extra security, such as a Super Bowl event, for example” as part of his “plan to build up his private internal army within the United States.”

Also manning Obama’s private army, Mackin said, would be undocumented immigrants and “all the illegal aliens from the Middle East that he’s bringing into this country right now,” who are “all men.”

Mackin also informed Pratt that former DHS secretary Janet Napolitano “stated that she wanted to buy an AR-15 rifle — that’s a personal defense weapon — for every federal employee” so that they could also join “Obama’s private army.”

His book, he told Pratt, is not that “far-fetched” because all of these things are already happening in the Obama administration.

Pratt agreed that the premise was entirely realistic because “as much as the president has tried to cull the military of senior officers who are known to be pro-American … he certainly hasn’t gotten them all, so if it ever did come down the rubber meeting the road, the president really couldn’t be sure that he would be giving an order that would be followed.”

If the president’s plan to build a private army continues, Pratt said, “at some point the guys and gals would say, that’s it, he’s gone too far, today’s the day, let’s go, let’s roll.”

I think we’re at that point right now,” Mackin said, “but again, we’re just looking for a leader.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Pratt brought up the debunked rumor that the nuclear deal with Iran included a mutual defense agreement that would require the U.S. to attack Israel if Israel attacked Iran, which Mackin said was just more proof that Obama is a “radical Muslim.”

Gun Activists Claim Obama Celebrated 'Holy Grail' Of Planned Parenthood Shooting

In an interview on Sunday with Mark Walters of Armed American Radio, the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb claimed that the deadly attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was “the Holy Grail of Obama’s political agenda.”

Walters, saying it didn’t matter where the shooting took place, told Gottlieb, “Make no mistake, they love that it was at a Planned Parenthood clinic.”

“This is the Holy Grail of Obama’s political agenda,” Gottlieb responded, “his love for Planned Parenthood and his hatred of guns.”

Walters continued that he “could almost hear the whoops and hoops and hollers” from the Obama administration after the shooting because “these people don’t care about the victims, they care about politicizing it.”

Anti-choice activist Troy Newman made a similar claim after the shooting, saying that it was “exactly what” Planned Parenthood had “been hoping for.”

Gun Lobbyist: Gunman Attacked Planned Parenthood Because He Knew It Was Full Of Unarmed Liberals

Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, whose endorsement Sen. Ted Cruz boasted of in a September presidential debate, claimed yesterday that the gunman who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last week chose his target because he knew it was a “Democrat place” and his victims would be unarmed. The patients at the Planned Parenthood were likely unarmed liberals, Pratt said, because “conservatives typically don’t knock off their children.”

In an interview with Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman, the radical gun lobbyist agreed with Kaufman that the Colorado Springs attacker shouldn’t have been allowed to have a gun, a rather odd statement seeing that Pratt wants to abolish all background checks for gun buyers.

But, Pratt said, “bad guys have a way of getting guns” and the real “pity is that nobody in the danger zone was able to protect themselves and shoot back.”

Kaufman asked why that was, given Colorado Springs’ permissive gun laws.

“They can [carry] if they wish,” Pratt answered, “but apparently when you’re talking about, let’s face it, a Planned Parenthood clinic: liberal. Conservatives typically don’t knock off their children, they’re kind of looking forward to having them. So, Planned Parenthood, they give to Democrats, it’s a Democrat place. So that’s where this dirtbag decided to go.”

He added that the Planned Parenthood was “unofficially” a gun-free zone because “that’s the way liberals think.”

Pratt did not mention that one of the three people the Colorado Springs shooter killed was a well-armed (and reportedly conservative) police officer.

This is similar to Pratt’s response to previous mass shootings. When a man killed six people and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, Pratt alleged that the gunman “didn’t find any resistance” because his victims were Democrats. (In that incident, an armed person nearby almost shot the wrong person.) He similarly blamed this year’s shooting at a church in Charleston on church’s pastor's support for gun restrictions.

Ted Cruz Boasts Of Endorsement From Radical Gun Group

At last night’s debate, Sen. Ted Cruz attempted to show his Second Amendment bona fides by touting his recent endorsement from Gun Owners of America, a group that thinks the National Rifle Association is not extreme enough on gun rights.

Cruz boasted of his role writing an amicus brief in District of Columbia v. Heller, the case in which the Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms, and his work in the Senate to defeat a bill expanding gun background checks shortly after the Sandy Hook school massacre. He then said that he was “honored to be endorsed by Gun Owners of America as the strongest supporter of the Second Amendment on this stage today”:

You mentioned that the U.S. Supreme Court had rightly upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms. I was proud to lead 31 states before the U.S. Supreme Court defending the Second Amendment, and we won that landmark victory. And indeed, just a couple of years ago, when Harry Reid and Barack Obama came after the right to keep and bear arms of millions of Americans, I was proud to lead the fight in the United States Senate to protect our right to keep and bear arms, and for that reason. I was honored to be endorsed by Gun Owners of America as the strongest supporter of the Second Amendment on this stage today, and I will fight every day to defend the Bill of Rights.

Cruz didn’t mention that he got GOA’s endorsement because he was the only candidate in the race to return the group’s candidate survey. He also didn’t mention any of the reasons he’s the only candidate willing to publicly support GOA.

Although Cruz may be GOA’s only outspoken ally in the presidential race, he has been a good one for them. During the effort to defeat the background checks bill, the New York Times reported that Cruz was GOA’s “key ally in the Senate.” Cruz is the also the only candidate to have agreed to give a telephone briefing to GOA’s members; in his briefing, he praised GOA’s members as “fighters” and “patriots” and thanks them for helping him get elected to the Senate.

Cruz evidently has no qualms about associating with a group that promotes paranoia about an impending race war, birther conspiracy theories about President Obama, and not-so-veiled threats that elected officials will face assassination if they step out of line.

To begin with, the gun group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, has a long history on the fringes of the radical right that was too extreme for even Pat Buchanan, who dropped him from his 1996 presidential campaign because of his ties with white supremecist groups. As we wrote back in May:

Pratt has long stood at the intersection of the “mainstream” right, Christian nationalists, and fringe militia movements. In 1996, he was forced to step down from a position on Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign when it came to light that he had spoken at a militia event featuring a number of neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic activists. Several years earlier, Pratt had coauthored what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the book that “introduced the concept of citizen militias to the radical right.”

A few days after the Oklahoma City bombing, he spoke to a far-right “Christian Patriots” group on the “biblical mandate to arm,” telling them that whoever had taken on the government “beast” in Oklahoma knew that “they can’t rely on the Lord to take vengeance.”

Pratt continues to push wild conspiracy theories about impending government takeovers and race wars and frequently tells elected officials that they should fear being shot by his group’s members:

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!”

Pratt also pushes all manner of conspiracy theories regarding President Obama. 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.

Pratt repeatedly suggests that President Obama will seek to bring violence against white Christians, possibly in the form of race riots. In a 2013 conversation with far-right pundit Stan Solomon, Pratt predicted that “there is inevitably going to be some kind of social implosion, some kind of neighbor-against-neighbor” violence brought about by “these folks in power.” When Solomon predicted that that “implosion” would take the form of a race war pitting “black, Muslim and/or atheist…have-nots” on “Christian, heterosexual white haves,” Pratt replied that he wasn’t “stretching” anything.

Just this week, Pratt joined conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Alex Jones to discuss how the military and police departments will be ready to turn on President Obama if he tries to impose any sort of tyrannical government.

Larry Pratt: States Should Arrest Federal Agents Enforcing Gun Laws

Gun Owners of America’s executive director, Larry Pratt, commended states that have passed laws “nullifying” federal gun regulations, saying that states should arrest federal agents enforcing gun laws that they think violate the Second Amendment, just as they should have ignored the Fugitive Slave Act to arrest slave-catchers coming into northern states.

In an interview on VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program on August 4, Pratt fielded a question from a caller who asked what Americans can do “when the man in the Oval Office lacks competence” and is possibly “borderline insane” like “Nero, Hitler and Mao Zedong.”

The answer, Pratt said, was nullification.

“We’re blessed in this country that we do still have something left of our federal system,” he responded. “And there are a number of states that have passed laws in one area or another that have told the feds, ‘Don’t stick your nose in here.’ And, in fact, in some of the cases, and I’m thinking of Kansas particularly, if they find that you’re involved in unconstitutional activity regarding the Second Amendment in Kansas, they’ll arrest you. And that’s the way it should be.

“That’s what states did in the run-up to the War Between the States. Many of the northern states, I remember specifically Wisconsin enacted legislation that led to the arrest of a slave-catcher who had pursued a slave into Wisconsin, and they nailed him and they put him in jail.”

Top Gun Lobbyist Praises 'Muslim-Free' Gun Shop: 'If They Don't Want To Sell To The Enemy, Then Good For Them'

A Florida gun shop owner is facing a lawsuit after declaring his business to be a “Muslim-free zone” because he refuses to “arm and train those who wish to do harm to my fellow people.”

This stance has, unsurprisingly, earned the shop owner the approval of Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, who told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow yesterday that “if they don't want to sell to the enemy, then good for them."

"These are private stores and they're free to do what they wish," says Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America. "And if they don't want to sell to the enemy, then good for them."

Pratt, meanwhile suggests that other gun stores should follow the Florida one.

"Why would we want to sell guns to people who, when they go to hear a sermon on Friday, are told to go shoot everybody else?" he asks.

Last year, when an Arkansas gun range owner similarly banned Muslims from her business, Pratt said he wanted to give her an award.

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