What is Wrong with People? (GOA Edition)

Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America:

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

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

One could say a lot of thing about such a quote, but the one that leaps immediately to mind:  Pratt needs a remedial political science course focusing on what real “tyranny” looks like.

Of course, Pratt is head of an organization that thinks the NRA is too compromising on gun control, so that puts his ideological bent into perspective.

FILED UNDER: Guns and Gun Control, US Politics, , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Robert George says:

    Weird Al Yankovic needs to do a song, “Tyrannical” to the tune of Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” — and he needs to do it NOW!

  2. Mark says:

    These are your blog colleagues’ political allies.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    Pratt’s disconnect from reality would be hilarious if it weren’t so widespread.

  4. MBunge says:

    People who think like Pratt have been around forever. The problem is that one side of our political spectrum has given up on enforcing any intellectual or behavioral standards. There’s a whole cottage industry of conservatives finding stupid and outrageous things said by those on the Left. The difference is those folks have little to no power or influence in the Democratic Party and every one knows it.


  5. humanoid.panda says:
  6. gVOR08 says:

    @MBunge: That can’t be said too often. The issue isn’t that we have ignorant, prejudiced, and/or delusional people. As you say, we always have. It’s two things. Technology has made it very profitable to feed their beliefs and one of our major political parties, the one that supposedly represents our elite, has embraced them.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Dear Mr Pratt: You are wrong. The 2nd Amendment exists so that people like me are able to defend our democratically elected government from treasonous sons of b**ches like you.

    one OzarkHillbilly

  8. ernieyeball says:

    I suspect the authors of Our Great Charter had citizens like Pratt in mind when they included this paragraph in Article I, Sec. 8:

    The Congress shall have the power to…provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;..

  9. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And yet, where would a person be safer — at a GOA event, or an Occupy Wall Street event? There were murders, assaults, and rapes at the Occupy events, but I don’t recall the last time there was any kind of violence at a GOA event, an NRA event, a Tea Party event, a gun show…

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Or, if the Occupy reference isn’t recent enough, how about the “events” in Ferguson, in Baltimore…

  11. dazedandconfused says:

    That kind of talk is reinforced by the donations that come in after making it in several areas of politics. Emotions stir “action” and about the only action the average guy is willing to engage in is sending money. There are the few out there though…

    I suspect Michele Bachman’s example of being about the best fund raiser the GOP had for a time is being aped by Cruz, Gohmert, et al, and one of the primary reasons a strident racist like Ted Nugent remains a member in good standing on the NRA BOD, and Wayne continues to run that outfit. I wonder if they are aware they are playing with fire sometimes.

  12. JKB says:


    You really don’t understand the purpose of the Constitution.

    Why on Earth would there need to be an enumerated right for citizens to keep and bear arms to defend the government in the document that defines and limits that government?

  13. @JKB: It might have something to do with the actual text of the second amendment:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    It mentions the militia right there in the amendment.

  14. One can debate what the clause means, but one cannot pretend like the topic is irrelevant.

  15. Further, the Framers were well versed in Locke. If they wanted a constitution right to rebel against the government they would have included it.

    Indeed, based on a Lockean concept of rebellion against true tyranny the right is inherent and would not need to be codified.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I don’t think that “militia” clause is in the bright shiny Constitution in their heads.

  17. ernieyeball says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Or, if the Occupy reference isn’t recent enough, how about the “events” in Ferguson, in Baltimore…

    I’ve been to gun shows and I’ve been in riots.
    I had a lot more fun at the riots!

  18. Dave D says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Idk you could google gun show shootings here is one example : http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/01/26/1500431/for-the-sixth-time-in-one-week-man-shot-at-gun-show/

    And you could look at gun crime associated with occupy in which there wasn’t any but the nypd had baseless claims: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/10/26/occupy-wall-street-led-to-rise-in-gun-crime-police-say/

  19. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And yet, where would a person be safer — at a GOA event, or an Occupy Wall Street event?

    Depends on who you are, I guess.

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Dave D: Weak, Dave. I was talking about crime in general, and deliberate acts of violence. Your gun show anecdotes all involve accidents, not deliberate acts, and I never said gun crimes at the Occupy events.

    I’d even go so far as to say that if some of the rape victims had had guns, then they might not have become victims. But they were unarmed and couldn’t defend themselves against their attackers.

    Got any honest points to make?

  21. Dave D says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You asked where you would be safer and accident or not your risk of being seriously injured is higher at gun shows than at occupy. But the next time someone is accidentally shot and killed we’ll just explain to their family it doesn’t count because it wasn’t a deliberate act of violence that killed them.

  22. ernieyeball says:

    But they were unarmed and couldn’t defend themselves against their attackers.

    On February 2, 2013, Kyle and a companion, Chad Littlefield, were shot and killed by Eddie Ray Routh at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas. Both men were armed with .45-caliber 1911-style pistols when they were killed, but neither gun had been unholstered or fired. The safety catches were still on. Kyle was killed with a .45-caliber pistol, while Littlefield was shot with a 9mm SIG Sauer handgun. Both guns belonged to Kyle.

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Dave D: My apologies. You are quite right; there wasn’t a distinction being drawn between accidental and deliberate injuries. I intended to imply that, but I didn’t explicitly say so.

    Either way, I stand by my point: I’d feel a hell of a lot safer attending a GOA event than I would an “Occupy” event. And here’s a link, which has a further link for documentation.

  24. dennis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Either way, I stand by my point: I’d feel a hell of a lot safer attending a GOA event than I would an “Occupy” event.

    Cuz o’ all those brown folk at the Occupy event, huh? SMGDH …

  25. Pinky says:

    @dennis: Sarah Michelle Gellar what? Eh, it doesn’t matter. The random letters part of your comment didn’t make any less sense than the words part.