You know it's going to be bad when the clip opens up with the claim that "liberals love guns. They just don't want [conservatives] to have guns." I just wasn't sure how bad until I watched the whole clip.
After co-host ‘Chief’ Steve Davis said that the left doesn’t want anyone who doesn’t work for the government to have guns and “they don’t care how many of us get killed, blown up, assaulted, murdered or whatever as long as they can control us by taking away our guns,” Solomon maintained that liberals are even okay with other liberals getting murdered: “It’s not just how many conservatives or Republicans [die] because these people that were killed and maimed and devastated and traumatized were overwhelmingly their people, they don’t care, they are like the Chinese who don’t care if they have a million casualties because they got a billion backups.”
But Solomon wasn’t finished: “I believe they will put together a racial force to go against an opposite race resistance, basically a black force to go against a white resistance, and then they will claim anyone resisting the black force they are doing it because they are racist.”
They. Who is they, do you think? "They" is black people, armed to the teeth and commanded by President Obama.
And from there, it just spirals into some kind of dystopian middle-school fantasy, guided by wingnut and Twitter denizen Greg W. Howard, who first claims that race relations were "healing" before Obama was elected. Yes, sure they were. This is how well they were healing. Greg W. Howard, in his own words:
Howard agreed: “You may be right because he has been sowing the seeds of racial hatred; we were healing quite well as a nation on racial issues until Obama came along and now we have a lot of racial discord.”
After arguing that Obama is “not American” and not a natural born citizen, Howard maintained that Obama may begin “wiping out a few hundred people who own guns, pull a large scale Waco or a Ruby Ridge type incident” and have it “tinged it with racial overtones.” But just in case Obama goes through with his plans to “take down” the Internet, “people are setting up phone-trees all over the place” to stop Obama in his tracks.
Yes, that whole racial hatred thing was healing quite nicely until Howard and his ilk decided to attack the African-American president with accusations that he's not really a citizen, right? See, that's how their minds work. They're the ones sowing all the hatred, setting up phone trees to make sure the black dude doesn't kill their internet after he takes away all their guns, and yet it's all President Obama's fault.
They weren't even close to done with the paranoid gnashing of teeth and wailing from the rafters:
“If Obama can take your guns away he can take your car, he can take your home, he can take your bank account, he can take your very life,” Howard said.
Unsurprisingly, Pratt agreed with their insane ramblings: “I do agree that the Obama administration would definitely be capable of something as evil as you were suggesting.”
However, Pratt warned that “a lot of people resolved, ‘no more free Wacos,’” and that if Obama “starts playing the massacre game the way you did at Waco, well, you’re going to get surrounded, you won’t be able to go home safely, your family won’t be safe.”
This is why race relations suck in this country. It has nothing to do with Obama, and everything to do with deranged lunatics who have weapons and don't take their meds regularly. People like Solomon and Howard are a dime a dozen. They're the reason mental health services need beefing up in this country. The sad part is that Pratt and LaPierre use them and their paranoia to whip up some profits for their gun manufacturer keepers. Being paranoid is bad enough. Being a paranoid puppet is just pathetic.
I didn't think I'd ever see the day when conservatives would disagree with their hero Antonin Scalia, but that's what's happening in the current gun control debate. It also points out how far outside the norm these gun nuts are when trying to defend the gun manufacturers over all Americans. When Larry Pratt says guns without limits, ---he's really just trying to be the pitchman for every gun /ammo manufacturer and supplier in America. It is really that simple.
WALLACE: OK. I want to get into one last issue, a bigger issue. Mr. Pratt, you say, one of the -- maybe the basic problem here, is that President Obama's disdain for the constitutional right to bear arms and, in fact, you have compared him to George III, British monarch during the American Revolution.
PRATT: He might be learning from his example.
WALLACE: Yes. But when the Supreme Court ruled on the Second Amendment in the 2008 case, the Heller case here in D.C., I want to put up what Justice Scalia said. Let's put it up on the screen. "There seems to us, no doubt on the basis of text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to bear arms. Of course, the right was not unlimited." In fact, in his decision, Scalia talked about restrictions on what kinds of guns can be --
WALLACE: -- guns can be sold, who can buy them and, where they can be carried. So, yes, he said, there is a Second Amendment individual right, but he didn't say it's without limits.
PRATT: Well, that was unfortunate because the Amendment does provide its own degree of scrutiny. It says shall not be infringed. And, we know that at least one justice, Mr. Thomas, takes that point of view.This is not something where the government is supposed to be free to tell we, the people, the government's boss, how much -- how far we can go with the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is there to constrain the government. Not the people.
WALLACE: So you think that Scalia was wrong when he said that that right is not unlimited?
PRATT: He was not speaking from a constitutional perspective.
WALLACE: And, finally, Ms. Tanden --
TANDEN: That was the Supreme Court Justice.
TANDEN: That was the Supreme Court justice.
WALLACE: Well, you disagree with Supreme Court justices all the time.
TANDEN: I do. But I'm surprised he is disagreeing with Justice Scalia on this issue.
The NRA puppets like Pratt are trying to get rid of every gun control law in America. It's pathetic and dangerous, but very profitable for all parties involved.
The result, anyway, was highly amusing, producing entertaining exchanges such as this:
PRATT: I honestly don't understand why you would rather have people be victims of a crime than be able to defend themselves. It's incomprehensible.
MORGAN: You're an unbelievably stupid man, aren't you?
PRATT: It seems to me that you're morally obtuse. You seem to prefer being a victim to being able to prevail over the criminal element. And I don't know why you want to be the criminal's friend.
MORGAN: What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever.
And then there was the way it all wrapped up:
MORGAN: Yes, I know -- I know why sales of these weapons have been soaring in the last few days. It's down to idiots like you.
Mr. Pratt, thank you for joining me.
When we come back --
PRATT: Thank you for your high-level argument, Mr. Morgan. It's really good.
MORGAN: You know what, you wouldn't understand the meaning of the phrase high-level argument. You are a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense. You shame your country.
PRATT: Disarmament is dangerous. (INAUDIBLE) into role model.
MORGAN: Yes. Sure. I know all about role models and you're not one of them.
Over at the wingnut media-watch outfit Newsbusters, the piteous wailing was tremendous:
It's one thing for an anchor or host to disagree with his guest, but to attack them for a differing view is not what journalism is supposed to be about. Or is that no longer important to CNN as it struggles to get viewers as well as its relevancy back?
The reality is that there are many in this nation that believe that the current gun laws promote violence rather than reduce it, and that if there had been someone armed at Sandy Hook Elementary School as well as the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the shootings either wouldn't have taken place at all or would have resulted in less loss of life.
Irrespective of what the anti-gun left represented by folks such as Morgan think, this is a position that has its place in this debate even after this most recent event.
Yes, that's a position, all right. We would call that the "incredibly stupid and morally disgusting" position. And Morgan has every right to be disgusted. Something would be wrong with him if he weren't.
And something is wrong with Pratt and his defenders.
Matthews, who loves nothing more than hurling himself through cracked-open doors like this, was all too happy to oblige with a “prepared for what?”
Pratt: “To take on our government. [And this] government has gone overboard.” He continued that it’s time to take action “when elections are stolen.”
Holy mother of god, this man is insane. This man is advocating insurrection and will be on television tomorrow and the day after continuing to be given a platform for this bastardization of the Second Amendment.
Dave Neiwert, who is far more calm about traitors like Larry Pratt than I am, points out that this is a typical "insurrectionist interpretation" of the Second Amendment, familiar to militia groups and Doomsday preppers.
As Susie has already noted, a number of pro-gun nutcases -- including gun-rights lobbyists like Larry Pratt, with actual influence inside the Beltway -- have responded to the atrocity at Sandy Hook with the atrocious argument that "gun free zone" policies caused the massacre, and that what we ought to be doing is arming our schoolteachers.
Yes, these people are evil. And insane. And unfortunately, they play a real role in our politics.
One of the realities about the right-wing gun lobby that has frozen politicians into inaction when it comes to dealing with the mass proliferation of guns and their attendant violence in America is that they in fact are only partially about guns. They really are broad-ranging far-right organizing vehicles, attacking liberal politics and policies on a number of fronts -- including taxes, the environment, abortion rights, and yes, education.
Indeed, their contribution to our national conversation about education largely consists of a steady flow of vicious rhetoric attacking public schooling and public schoolteachers. They usually depict them as incompetents and parasites, not to mention "socialists." Their broader, Randian politics constantly undermine public schools, from gutting their funding to perpetuating degrading perceptions of educators.
And no one is more prone to those vicious attacks than Larry Pratt, the longtime head honcho at Gun Owners of America, one of the most conspiracy-prone of all the right-wing gun orgs. Pratt was one of the originators of the militia movement of the 1990s, and he's still doing his best to pollute American politics with similarly toxic concepts.
I reported about Pratt's activities related to Tea Party organizing for AlterNet back in 2010, based in part on an appearance he made at a Tea Party event in Montana that year. (You can see the longer video I made at that event here.)
Here's what Pratt told that crowd:
You know, one of the big problems – I don't have to, this is not a news flash to anybody here – but one of the big challenges that we face in getting the freedom message across is what's happening in the schools. The schools are propagation, propaganda centers for the hard left. And kids are coming out not only ignorant of basic facts, but actually instructed that being an independent person and self-reliant is not the goal in life and that we ought to be a bunch of drones like in Europe.
I heard an example of this kind of indoctrination. Seems that this sixth-grade class was getting drilled by the teacher as she was asking, 'Well, how many people support President Obama?' And all the hands went up save Johnny's. And Johnny kind of stared back at the teacher. She said, 'You don't support President Obama?' He said, 'No ma'am.' 'Why not, Johnny?' 'Well, my daddy's a Republican, and my mama's a Republican, so I'm a Republican.' And the teacher said, 'Well, now Johnny, if your mama were an idiot, and your daddy were a moron, what would that make you?' [Pause] 'An Obama supporter.' [Applause]
Here's Larry Pratt, explaining how federal mandated health care is a major threat to the 2nd Amendment. Because to a wingnut hammer, everything looks like a nail!
I guess you can't blame Larry Pratt for trying. After all, twisting reality into a paranoid pretzel has worked so many, many times before for these shameless right-wing shills. But I doubt they'll get away with it this time, because people are not going to let go of this one quite so easily: Kindergartners, blown away in their classrooms.
Pratt, a former VA state legislator, is also an extreme-right agitatorusing fear. (Gun Owners of America has been praised as the "only no-compromise gun lobby in America" by Rep. Ron Paul. Unlike that spineless NRA!) And he's just doing his job, right? Well, no. He's not a public defender just trying to give an accused person a fair trial. He's a scum-sucking bottom-feeder who sees himself as a "patriot". Instilling fear in people is what feeds his ego.That's why, if there's really such a thing as hell, I'll bet that the allegedly Christian Larry Pratt's going there.
But you know what I'd really like? If the network and cable news shows would stop validating his insanity by inviting him on as a guest -- especially now:
While citizens and advocates of gun control are responding to Friday’s horrific school shooting in Connecticut by calling on Congress to enact sensible gun regulations, some gun advocacy groups are blaming supporters of the tighter restrictions for the tragedy.
Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, issued a statement this evening attributing the massacre to gun regulations, arguing that had weapons been permitted on school grounds, the murders could have been avoided:
“Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to insure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.”
[...] Preliminary reports indicate that the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, was “heavily armed” with “multiple weapons when he entered the school.” He was also reported to be wearing camouflage and a bullet proof vest. At least three guns were used — two pistols and, according to the BBC and AP, a .223-caliber assault rifle.
I'm so very tired of these shoot 'em up fantasies that dominate the psyches of so many conservatives. Seriously? You would rather have inexperienced teachers shooting back instead of shepherding those kids to safety? And what would have happened if they hit one of the kids? Ask any experienced cop just how confusing is it when you're in the middle of a free-fire zone.