I'm not sure what the Gun Owners of America's Larry Pratt thought he had to gain by going on the air with The Young Turk's Cenk Uygur, but he found himself getting blasted after defending George Zimmerman for murdering Trayvon Martin and claiming he had a right to shoot him dead.
Pratt's argument; that one witness claimed he saw Zimmerman on the ground being beaten up by the unarmed kid who was 100 pounds lighter than him and once the guy he was stalking was getting the better of him in a fight, he had the right to shoot him dead. Unbelievable. Needless to say, Uygur went off on him for promoting that level of vigilantism.
This guy is a real piece of work. The Southern Poverty Law Center has this on his background from a report they issued in 2001.
Eight Lanes Out
Larry Pratt, 58
Larry Pratt, a gun rights absolutist whose Gun Owners of America (GOA) has been described as "eight lanes to the right" of the National Rifle Association, may well be the person who brought the concept of citizen militias to the radical right.
In 1990, Pratt wrote a book, Armed People Victorious, based on his study of "citizen defense patrols" used in Guatemala and the Philippines against Communist rebels — patrols that came to be known as death squads for their murderous brutality.
Picturing these groups in rosy terms, Pratt advocated similar militias in the United States — an idea that finally caught on when he was invited for a meeting of 160 extremists, including many famous white supremacists, in 1992.
It was at that meeting, hosted in Colorado by white supremacist minister Pete Peters, that the contours of the militia movement were laid out.
Pratt, whose GOA has grown since its 1975 founding to some 150,000 members today, hit the headlines in a big way when his associations with Peters and other professional racists were revealed, convincing arch-conservative Pat Buchanan to eject him as a national co-chair of Buchanan's 1996 presidential campaign.
The same year, it emerged that Pratt was a contributing editor to a periodical of the anti-Semitic United Sovereigns of America, and that his GOA had donated money to a white supremacist attorney's group.
Pratt is today close to the extremist Constitution Party and its radical theology.
And here he was back in 2009 arguing on Hardball that we should have everyone packing heat at presidential events.