Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, often blames mass shootings on a lack of armed “good guys with guns” ready to take down a shooter, saying that the ideal situation is for everyone to pack heat when they go to church, school, a political event or a bar.
Pratt was questioned about this vision on CNN yesterday during a discussion of the recent mass shooting at a Florida gay club, which Pratt persisted in calling a “gun-free zone” despite the fact that shooter was met by an armed guard. After Pratt criticized Florida for preventing patrons of establishments that serve alcohol from carrying concealed firearms, Costello responded that “when people drink the state of Florida probably doesn't think it's a very good idea to arm patrons."
The solution to this, Pratt responded, was not to regulate guns at bars but for bars to “control the amount of booze” they sell so that patrons can remain armed.
Crooks and Liars caught the exchange:
Conservative South Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman, who briefly served as chief of staff to former Republican Rep. Allen West, said today that she did not believe that the terrorist who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando this weekend targeted the location out of animosity toward gay people, but instead because he knew that club-goers would be unarmed.
“How long does he have to be the president before he figures out that what we had happen in Orlando was a terrorist act?” Kaufman asked of President Obama, who called the massacre an “act of terror and an act of hate.”
“I don’t care if the guy was gay, I don’t care if his wife took him there, he launched an attack of terror against the patrons of the Pulse nightclub,” Kaufman said. “I don’t look at them as gay patrons, they are the patrons, they are fellow human beings. It could have been any nightclub in anywhere in any country. When you’re crazy like that, the last thing I think you’re concerned about is the gender preference of your victims. I just don’t believe it. I don’t think this was a hate crime, I think this was an act of terrorism, I think he knew he had a group of people who were in a gun-free zone and who don’t carry guns for the most part anyway … I don’t know any gay men who carry.”
While Florida concealed carry permit holders are not allowed to bring firearms into establishments that serve alcohol, the Orlando attacker did confront “good guys with guns”: He exchanged fire with an off-duty police officer who was guarding the club and two other police officers during the attack.
Yesterday, Kaufman interviewed former Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt, who said that politicians who support gun regulations are “complicit” in the Orlando shooting. Kaufman and Pratt urged listeners to defy gun-free zone regulations and carry firearms even where they are prohibited.
“Listen, I have had it with no-gun zones, I have had it with soft targets, and I recognize the fact that from now on, I’m responsible for my security,” Kaufman said, to an “amen” from Pratt.
They two said that if they had been in the club that was attacked, things would have turned out differently.
“Had I been one of those people cowering in the bathroom, I would have done more than text home,” Kaufman said.
“Yeah, shooting a text and shooting a gun are really enormously different in how effective they can be against a dirtbag with a gun,” Pratt said. “And for our legislators to keep insisting that somehow we are going to be better off in a gun-free zone, that makes them complicit. And I’ll say it to their face, they are complicit with what happens in Orlando…”
“And you and I both agree that what they’re forcing people to do is become lawbreakers themselves,” Kaufman said. “Law-abiding citizens are not going to abide by these laws in the future because they want a fighting chance.”
“Not if they want to survive and they go to any place that’s quote-unquote ‘gun free,’” Pratt responded.
Kaufman added that gun-free zones are impeding her “free access to places”: “Look, I don’t have to march into a post office with a gun or into a federal courthouse with a gun, but I’ll be darned if I’m told where I can eat, where I can drink, where I can dance by the government. And since I don’t go without a gun, they have begun to impinge upon my free access to places.”
Larry Pratt, the former executive director of Gun Owners of America, reacted yesterday to a Ninth Circuit ruling that there is no constitutional right to carry concealed weapons outside of the home, saying that the court was displaying a “totalitarian mindset” like that of King George III “and we know how that turned out.”
“The Ninth Circuit clearly is showing the mentality of a totalitarian mindset,” Pratt told WorldNetDaily’s Radio America. “And they were the very kind of people that our forefathers objected to and sent letters of remonstrance to King George saying ‘you got it wrong, stop doing this.’ And King George was tone-deaf, and we know how that turned out.”
Larry Pratt, the former executive director of Gun Owners of America, added Hillary Clinton this week to the list of public officials who he has warned will face violence from gun owners if they impose regulations on guns.
Pratt, who said last month that if conservatives lose at the “ballot box” they might “have to resort to the bullet box,” said in an interview on the “Crosstalk” radio program on Tuesday that Clinton’s support for some gun regulations may be an attempt to disarm civilians so that she can impose tyranny.
The Second Amendment means, he told Clinton, that “if you even try to go off in a tyrannical direction, the Constitution protects the people’s right to protect the people themselves against people like you.”
What she’s telling me is that she may understand the meaning of the Second Amendment, which is even scarier, because the Second Amendment is meant to tell people like her that might be thinking about going off in a tyrannical direction: ‘Don’t even think about it.’ Because the Second Amendment has recognized the right people have to possess the kind of firearms that your protectors have, Mrs. Clinton, and if you even think, if you even try to go off in a tyrannical direction, the Constitution protects the people’s right to protect the people themselves against people like you.
Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, said on his “Gun Owners News Hour” radio program this weekend that if a Democrat wins the White House and the Supreme Court starts issuing decisions in favor of gun regulations, conservatives may turn to the “bullet box” to rectify the situation.
Pratt was interviewing Robert Knight, a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union, who warned that “if a liberal Democrat is elected president, then there goes the Supreme Court, it could be two, three, four justices, and I think the Second Amendment would be in great peril if that happens.”
Pratt responded that if such a court interprets the Constitution in ways that conservatives don’t like, they may have to restore “proper constitutional balance” through the “bullet box”:
And at that point, we would have to come to an understanding, which we’ve been sort of taught, it’s been taught out of us, that the courts do not have the last word on what the Constitution is. They decide particular cases, they don’t make law. Their decisions, unlike the Roe v. Wade usurpation, don’t extend to the whole of society, they’re not supposed to. And we may have to reassert that proper constitutional balance, and it may not be pretty. So, I’d much rather have an election where we solve this matter at the ballot box than have to resort to the bullet box.
Knight responded: “Well, there’s impeachment, too.”
Pratt has previously hinted at his willingness to use violence against Supreme Court justices with whom he disagrees, issuing a warning to Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, saying that “the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland.”
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.
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!"
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.
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 evidence. While these attacks on Garland’s record have been widely discredited, several 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?
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.”
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, 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.”
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, 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, 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.
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?
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.
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.”
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 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.