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Jan 16 2013

Pratt: Gun Control Laws are ‘Pagan’

Ever since Newt Gingrich wrote his famous memo on how to use negative words to define their opponents (and probably before that), the right has been using that framing technique to sell their ideas. One of the weirdest words used to describe the left is “pagan,” which is used constantly by the religious right. Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, which makes the NRA look like a bunch of commies, even says that gun control laws are “pagan.” Oh, and we should impeach Obama.

Caller: If Obama’s going to be signing an executive order to take away our guns isn’t there something we can do to arrest this man? It’s a treasonous act. He’s swore an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.

Pratt: Yeah, it’s called impeachment and that would be, along with defunding, the kinds of messages that need to go to Capitol Hill: When are you going to impeach this guy? When are you going to defund his illegal activities? Republicans can’t continue, at least I hope they cannot, continue to be spectators while the country is being torn apart…

Pratt: Frankly, it almost would seem that animism won’t go away. The left, which is largely made up of people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ’s blood as being necessary for our salvation, view inanimate objects as possessing their own will. That’s animism, that’s a return to the most pagan of paganism and look at what nutty political views it ends up supporting.

What. The. Fuck.

22 comments

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  1. 1
    Brett McCoy

    Huh?

  2. 2
    slc1

    Frankly, it almost would seem that animism won’t go away. The left, which is largely made up of people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ’s blood as being necessary for our salvation, view inanimate objects as possessing their own will.

    So according to Mr. Pratt, Thomas Jefferson was an animist.

  3. 3
    Gretchen

    The left, which is largely made up of people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ’s blood as being necessary for our salvation, view inanimate objects as possessing their own will. That’s animism

    Memo to Larry Pratt: Women aren’t actually inanimate objects.

  4. 4
    Aliasalpha

    Animism? Because remotely sane people think that maybe guns really DO kill people that we also think that guns are actually alive?

  5. 5
    d.c.wilson

    Gah. I hardly no where to begin here:

    1. Learn the difference you not liking a policy and it being treasonous or unconstitutional.

    2. The republicans are not spectators in the country being torn apart. They are the prime instigators of it.

    3. You’re accusing others of embuing inanimate objects with special powers, yet you believe in magic blood from a two thousand year old zombie?

  6. 6
    fifthdentist

    Speaking of people who probably should NOT have guns …

  7. 7
    dmcclean

    Well played, Gretchen. :)

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    “What. The. Fuck.”

    Look, Ed Brayton, it’s really quite simple:
    1. The Right believes that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.
    2. The Left does not believe that.
    3. Ergo, the Left believe that guns kill people of their own free will (hence, “gun control”).

  9. 9
    Michael Heath

    Last evening I re-read Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in D.C. v. Heller. I remember J. Steven’s dissent vividly, but couldn’t recall the actual arguments in Scalia’s opinion. I now remember why, Scalia’s opinion was primarily one giant non sequitur with a few other fallacies thrown in to boot; and yet he got a majority of justices to join his position.

    I suggest anyone who wants to determine the validity of originalist arguments regarding both the 2nd Amendment and an individual’s constitutionally protected right to own and bear arms read at least Scalia and Steven’s dissent. J. Breyer’s dissent is also interesting because he brings one of the two critical topics Scalia avoids – which is the fact, the reality, that gun control debates are framed within competing interests – with others demanding their own rights which compete against those who own and bear arms.

    Scalia’s other avoided topic which serves as the crux of Steven’s argument is the well-documented intent of those who drafted, promoted, and ratified the 2nd Amendment. (Hint – it wasn’t about maintaining or developing the ability to revolt against authority.) J. Scalia’s dismissal of J. Steven’s original intent argument must be considered induction into the Hall of Fame of Hypocrisy. And yes, I know that Scalia is a textualist and not someone who first relies on original intent. It’s still hypocritical because Scalia avoids the evidence of intent to instead create what he imagined was the intent of others to what Steven’s reveals regarding what the framers actually argued when actually developing and ratifying this amendment.

    A person doesn’t have to read anything other than Scalia’s opinion to realize it’s a fatally defective argument – they don’t even need to know anything about the Constitution, constitutional law, or the gun control debate, but instead merely the attributes of a solid or defective argument. So it serves as a standard-bearer illustration of the level of incompetence of conservatives. On the other hand J. Steven’s opinion is worth our time simply to see an originalist argument well-argued. I don’t agree with Steven’s conclusions, I only note the premises he uses to construct an originalist set of premises to create his conclusion are as well developed as any originalist argument I’ve encountered.

  10. 10
    cuervocuero

    The left, which is largely made up of people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ’s blood as being necessary for our salvation…

    Apparently he heard someone say Shintoists and because his hearing aid needs new batteries he heard Satanists. But then, calling everyone in the “left” Satanists would just make an important and influential man like himself sound bugfug crazeee, so he goes for ‘pagan’, which is, so far as I can tell, dogwhistling code for everyone going to Heckfire, past and present, Dante’s fanfic heresy be damned.

    The ironic thing is (there always seems to be some kind of irony attached to things like this) the word ‘pagan’, at the time it started getting tossed around in Christian circles, essentially meant ‘countryside dweller’ ie: rural folk vs urban civility, ie: rednecks what hadn’t been literally beaten with the Christian stick to give up the ‘fake’ gods to which they ignorantly clung. Even in medieval times, Pagan could be a personal name indicating a rural origin. These days, such rural peeps are pretty much this babbler’s membership list.

  11. 11
    raven

    Ever since Newt Gingrich wrote his famous memo on how to use negative words to define their opponents (and probably before that),…

    I’d be a lot more insulted if someone called me a xian than called me a Pagan. That is why I’m no longer a xian.

    Thanks the the right wingnuts, xian is the new Pagan.

    The perversion of xianity the fundies have invented is the most primitive of superstitions.

    Magic books that they make into idols. witch doctors trying to kill Presidents with imprecatory prayer, shamans who can cure diseases with thoughts, resurrect the dead, and make car tires last longer. According to the fundies, we are surrounded by invisible angels and demons having huge battles that we are only vaguely aware of. And of course, con-people who make billions of dollars pandering to the superstitious.

  12. 12
    raven

    The fundies hate Pagans. Not too surprising, they hate everyone, including themselves sometimes.

    I used to occasionally pick up a Pagan newsletter. There are a lot of neoPagans on the west coast, probably more than there are fundies.

    About half the issue would be about what to do if a fundie xian:

    1. Your fundie boss fires you for being a Pagan.

    2. You are kicked out of rental housing for being a Pagan.

    3. Your fundie neighbors drive by and shoot up your house.

    For those types of reasons, a lot of Pagans keep a low profile. Fundie xians can be and occasionally are violent and known sponsors of terrorism. They spent over a thousand years massacring the Pagans. And it didn’t work. They are back.

  13. 13
    Captain Mike

    “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Which is exactly why I don’t keep people around in my house, and if I did I would probably keep them locked up.” — Kevin Nealon

  14. 14
    bubba707

    To say guns don’t kill people, people do is correct as far as it goes. What they leave out is so many Americans are crazy enough they should never be allowed a butter knife, much less a gun.

  15. 15
    Marcus Ranum

    One fun thing to tell fundies is “Imperial Rome was built on pagan values. They fell when they became christian. Look at what is happening to the US, today, and tell me that we should not be returning to the pagan values that made our country great!?” If you say it fast they won’t catch it and they’ll sit there scratching their heads waiting for it to make sense, which it won’t.

    (I know, Rome didn’t really fall ‘because of christianity’. But it sounds good!)

  16. 16
    Marcus Ranum

    PS – imperial Rome didn’t have gun control, either!

  17. 17
    busterggi

    John Merrick, (slightly paraphrased) “I am not an elephant! I am not an animist! I am a human being! I am a man!”

  18. 18
    kantalope

    D.C. v. Heller: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZS.html

    For those that want to take Michael Heath up on his offer….But don’t toss things at your monitor when on the first page you are told that the preparatory phrase and the operative phrase of the amendment just happen to be together and it doesn’t mean anything.

    I don’t think Pratt meant animism, I think he meant idolatrist and he was referring to himself.

    If gun nuts could be honest, which they can’t — they would just come out and say: “Guns are more important than kids….or anything”

  19. 19
    eric

    If it were dogs killing people, I wouldn’t want the dogs to have guns. If it were cats killing people, I wouldn’t want the cats to have guns. But since it’s people killing people….

  20. 20
    jnorris

    So according to Mr. Pratt, Thomas Jefferson was an animist.

    Just so you know Mr Pratt: Ol’ Tom did a bit of doodling and may have drawn a cartoon or two, but he did not invent anime!

  21. 21
    zmidponk

    When I saw the title of this post, I immediately thought of Isaiah 2:4:

    And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

  22. 22
    meg

    For anyone interested, he’ll be on Aussie TV tonight, on the 7.30 Report (not sure of a good comparison on US TV, but pretty much the best news review show we have here.) http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/ Should be online in about 12 hours or so.

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