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Mar 06 2014

The gun fondlers just love the climate of fear

They even come right out and say it. Here’s Larry Pratt, of Gun Owners of America, pleased that fear of getting shot will keep congress in line.

I was told of a conversation that one of our members had had with a member of Congress. And he was lobbying on a gun issue, but he was, I knew the guy well enough to know that almost certainly he was mild-mannered, he was just explaining our position. And apropos of nothing, the congressman – congresswoman, actually – said, ‘You want to shoot me, don’t you.’ Well, that’s probably a healthy fear for them to have, even though that’s not the guy’s – he wasn’t saying anything about that, it wasn’t in his demeanor. But you know, I’m kind of glad that’s in the back of their minds. Hopefully they’ll behave.

Perhaps Larry Pratt ought to be politely shooed out of the halls of power as a barbarian who does not belong in the company of civilized lawmakers?

46 comments

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  1. 1
    ashleybell

    Boy the next election cycle is gonna be REAL interesting.

  2. 2
    robinjohnson

    apropos of nothing

    I bet it wasn’t.

  3. 3
    borax

    “Gun Owners of America; fuck those liberal gun-hating commies in the NRA.” I think that’s their official motto.

  4. 4
    grumpyoldfart

    Perhaps Larry Pratt ought to be politely shooed out of the halls of power as a barbarian who does not belong in the company of civilized lawmakers?

    The majority of you act like barbarians. She’s the type you’re going to get.

  5. 5
    Sagar Keer

    I’m curious about one thing with these gun-loving lobbyists & politicians. Are guns allowed unchecked at their offices & public meetings? At the NRA HQ, C-PAC, RNC???

  6. 6
    LykeX

    Gee, why would any congresswoman be worried about being shot. It’s not as if that ever really happens.

  7. 7
    ck

    Somewhat related to this: Fox News host suggests that IRS official testify to get the death threats to stop.

    Regardless, the message is clear: do what we want or we will kill you.

  8. 8
    Onamission5

    @robinjohnson #2:

    Indeed. But if course surely he was the very epitome of mild mannered and that uppity liberal woman totally overreacted. After all, Pratt wasn’t even there, so who knows better than him how badly the congresswoman misread the situation?

  9. 9
    otranreg

    I assume Larry Pratt tries to demonstrate that he is worthy of his surname.

  10. 10
    gussnarp

    Sick.

  11. 11
    A Masked Avenger

    … who does not belong in the company of civilized lawmakers?

    I see what you did there. Subtle use of oxymoron! Intended I’m guessing as a clever contrast between the overt barbarians beating their chest, on the one side, and the besuited aristocrats on the other, genteelly passing defense-of-marriage-acts, authorizations to slaughter the bejeebus out of brownish foreigners, multibillion-dollar handouts to wealthy cronies, etc.

    It raises various interesting questions, like whether the chest-beating barbarian is worse, or less bad, than the “civilized lawmaker” who condemns tens (or hundreds) of thousands to death by casually ceding war-making power to an apocalyptic madman who thinks he’s on a mission from God. A dead person doesn’t care, of course, whether he was shot by a lone barbarian or by a hellfire missile–but what about things like raw body count?

    That’s ignoring, of course, the fact that oftentimes the barbarian supports his civilized, lawmaking counterpart in passing evil legislation, and some of the civilized lawmakers count these barbarians in their political base. That leads to levels of meta-discussion. For example, is the evil a result of misuse of the political process, or is it intrinsic to it? The barbarian claims that guns are not the evil, but rather the misuse of them; some would say with equal conviction that the political process is not the problem, but only the misuse of it. In both cases, others might reply that the thing is too inherently dangerous to be put in peoples’ hands in the first place.

    You pack a great rhetorical punch in only two words, PZ.

  12. 12
    Alverant

    Sounds like a death threat to me making “Gun Owners of America” more of a terrorist organization.

  13. 13
    A Masked Avenger

    Are guns allowed unchecked at their offices & public meetings? At the NRA HQ, C-PAC, RNC???

    Far as I can tell, they allow people armed at their conventions, except as restricted by applicable laws. The 2010 annual convention was in North Carolina, which prohibits guns in the convention center. The following year it was in Pittsburgh, and carry was allowed.

  14. 14
    carlie

    I hope everyone has read the When may I shoot a student? piece in the NYTimes regarding the Idaho state senate passing a bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses.

  15. 15
    busterggi

    Pratt sounds as though he would like to shoot the congressman – not just because of disagreement but because he would enjoy it.

    I think someone else already said much the same thing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Maoist_China_rhetoric_and_political_slogans

  16. 16
    dhall

    It might be a rhetorical question, but do the more or less professional rabble rousers have any inkling of what they’re fostering the development of . . ? Or are they as clueless as those who buy into their spiel?

  17. 17
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    But, but, but… “An armed society is a polite society!”

    (Or should “polite” be “scared into submission”? So easy to mix those terms up.)

  18. 18
    vaiyt

    Everyone’s polite because they’re scared of being shot. And then some get shot anyway because some people will find others rude just for existing.

  19. 19
    anuran

    Larry Pratt is engaging in terrorism. He should be treated accordingly. If he were Muslim, a Black Revolutionary, a radical animal rights type or a Union organizer and said this he’d already be in custody.

  20. 20
    Holms

    They use threats because they can’t use data or logic to bolster their position.

  21. 21
    Alexander

    @2 robinjohnson / @16 dhall:

    Those were the thoughts that went through my head reading this, given that this entire story is (at best) second-hand. I would be highly curious to see a transcript of the conversation between the legislator and “a GOA member” (Pratt himself? How else could he know so much about this conversation?) to verify just how non-confrontational and “mild mannered” the discussion was.

  22. 22
    Bronze Dog

    For what it’s worth, I’m adding my vote that they’re advocating terrorism.

    But, but, but… “An armed society is a polite society!”

    (Or should “polite” be “scared into submission”? So easy to mix those terms up.)

    It’s polite/scared into submission with the not-uncommon exception of someone going on a shooting spree because they’ve been raised to think the use of guns is an acceptable solution to their problems because all other solutions are routinely ridiculed as “soft.”

  23. 23
    leeloodallasmultipass

    That “congressman–congresswoman actually” line is his way of saying “dames, amirite?” in a way he thinks he can’t be called out on. Otherwise there’s no reason not to just say “congresswoman” in the first place.

  24. 24
    anteprepro

    I hope everyone has read the When may I shoot a student? piece in the NYTimes regarding the Idaho state senate passing a bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses.

    That article is full of win.

  25. 25
    carlie

    I’ve seen reports of that shooting student article in Idaho newspaper websites, and the comments are full of “that professor is originally from Connecticut so his eastern liberal opinion doesn’t count” retorts.

  26. 26
    anteprepro

    I’ve seen reports of that shooting student article in Idaho newspaper websites, and the comments are full of “that professor is originally from Connecticut so his eastern liberal opinion doesn’t count” retorts.

    And I am stupider for knowing that. What is wrong with this country?

  27. 27
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    The more I hear from gun advocates, the more convinced I become that they should have their guns taken away.

  28. 28
    raven

    And apropos of nothing, the congressman congresswoman, actually said, You want to shoot me, don”t you. Well, that’s probably a healthy fear for them to have,…

    1. This is probably a lie. It doesn’t sound very realistic.

    2. It does sound like the sexual fantasy of some warped pervert who gets off on terrorizing women with guns.

  29. 29
    Rey Fox

    I hope everyone has read the When may I shoot a student? piece in the NYTimes

    I did, I found it disappointingly muddled.

  30. 30
    robro

    Those lovable gun lovers are up-in-arms over the new “smart gun,” the Armatix iP1…the “iPistol.” See the story here and here.

  31. 31
    lopsided

    How is this not terrorism??

  32. 32
    Anthony K

    How is this not terrorism??

    It’s only terrorism if you’re not white.

  33. 33
    kyoseki

    robro

    Those lovable gun lovers are up-in-arms over the new “smart gun,” the Armatix iP1…the “iPistol.”

    Nobody’s up in arms about the availability of the thing, they’re up in arms about the idea of making the technology mandatory even though it’s brand new and completely untested… and also, given that the vast majority of gun deaths are committed by the registered owner of a firearm, utterly useless at what it purports to do.

  34. 34
    robro

    Kyoseki @#33

    Well, whether they’re up in arms over the iP1 itself or up in arms over the possibility (negligible) that the technology might become mandatory and restrict their purported 2nd amendment rights*, they’re still up in arms. I should think that would make them happy but apparently not.

    Oh, and I’ve heard most of the lectures about guns. I live with a gun enthusiast.

    * Hunting slaves being one possible reason for that.

  35. 35
    kyoseki

    robro
    There’s already been calls by a couple of senators to make the tech mandatory.

    There’s one state senator in California (De Saulnier) who introduces the same smart gun bill every single year, it’s going to pass sooner or later.

    I do know a few of the really rabid paranoid types in the same vein as the aforementioned Larry Pratt who think it’s a secret gubmint plan to be able to render all firearms useless with the flip of a switch, but most of the people I know are just annoyed at yet another piece of useless, expensive and unreliable technology being mandated by people who don’t know what they’re talking about (see also: microstamping).

  36. 36
    jste

    @kyoseki
    Whilst I grant that the technology is untested, and that even if it works, won’t actually help in any appreciable way, I don’t think the majority of people up in arms about the technology know or care about that. They just hate the idea itself. Its really easy to jump on a bandwagon.

    Naked Bunny with a Whip, #27:

    The more I hear from gun advocates, the more convinced I become that they should have their guns taken away.

    Yes, so much yes. I’m sure there are plenty of responsible gun owners. I’m also sure very few of those are active lobbyists or advocates. Not the news-worthy advocates, anyway.

  37. 37
    robro

    kyoseki @#35

    …the same smart gun bill every single year, it’s going to pass sooner or later.

    So, you’re psychic? If you can predict the future, can you tell me where Apple stock will be in a year?

    …yet another piece of useless, expensive and unreliable technology being mandated by people who don’t know what they’re talking about (see also: microstamping).

    Two words: seat belts. Same arguments lo these many years ago. So many lives saved.

    So far no one has actually mandated the technology, so you’re concern is just a hypothetical worry. My psychic abilities tell me that it’s very unlikely that anyone in any state is going to do such a thing in the near future. So, you’re probably safe for a good part of your life.

    In the mean time, perhaps technologies will emerge that do make guns safer, that will be useful to at least slow down people’s reactions to use them to kill themselves or loved ones, not be too expensive (god knows we wouldn’t want deadly weapons to be expensive), and reliable. I don’t think that’s intrinsically bad for anyone. All guns manufactured today are safer than guns manufactured a 100 years ago or 200 years ago because of the application of new technologies, which is clearly a win for gun enthusiasts as well as the rest of us.

  38. 38
    kreativekaos

    Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.

    PZ, I like what you’ve expounded around Hitch’s statement and Knight’s response.
    Perhaps to hammer the point home even more, the challenge should be flipped on its head: Why are there so many actions that believers could and should be doing in living their faith(s), but do not.

  39. 39
    kreativekaos

    (sorry, posted #38 on wrong subject)

  40. 40
    kyoseki

    robro

    Two words: seat belts. Same arguments lo these many years ago. So many lives saved.

    That’s a bit of a stretch, in this case it would likely be closer to systems that automatically apply the brakes if they sense a collision, but even those aren’t mandatory.

    A huge part of the problem is that it’s untested and unproven, if the military & police adopt the technology, you’ll find far less resistance among gun owners about having it foisted on them.

    I’ll bet you they won’t, though, even though I’d imagine police would actually quite like something to stop their own gun being used against them.

    So far no one has actually mandated the technology, so you’re concern is just a hypothetical worry.

    Microstamping is already mandatory for all new handguns submitted to California’s handgun roster, despite the fact that no major gun manufacturer actually makes a handgun that uses the technology yet

    … so it’s not all *that* hypothetical, it really wouldn’t surprise me if we see it becoming mandatory for CA within the next couple of years, at least until the handgun roster itself is ruled unconstitutional.

    In the mean time, perhaps technologies will emerge that do make guns safer… and reliable. I don’t think that’s intrinsically bad for anyone.

    Neither do I, but this is not it and I really don’t like lawmakers leaping on the idea of using new technology to save us from stupidity.

    By all means introduce new technology, but you can only really start mandating it if it’s been shown to work.

  41. 41
    Holms

    Nobody’s up in arms about the availability of the thing, they’re up in arms about the idea of making the technology mandatory even though it’s brand new and completely untested…They may say that they have no problem with the guns merely being available, yet their actions were heavily aimed at the store owner, eventually pressuring him into retracting his support and removing it from his store. Hell, he even denied ever selling it in the first place.

    So, the actions of those supposedly not concerned about the availablity led to its unavailability, demonstrating their stated reason to be nothing more than a convenient pretext.

  42. 42
    kyoseki

    Holms

    So, the actions of those supposedly not concerned about the availablity led to its unavailability, demonstrating their stated reason to be nothing more than a convenient pretext.

    This was unacceptable behavior on their part, I won’t argue, but you have to realize that the outrage was still based in the text of De Saulnier’s smart gun bill, which stated:

    18 months following the Attorney General’s reporting that owner-authorized handguns are available for retail sale, as specified, a handgun would be unsafe if itwas not owner-authorized

    ie. the objection to it’s availability was still based in the language of SB293, the smart gun bill.

    Remember that this incident occurred in California, so the people shouting at Oak Tree Gun Club were intimately familiar with recent attempted firearms legislation – again, not saying this behavior was justified, I’m just explaining the underlying cause.

    If there was no history of legislation that said “as soon as this tech becomes available, it becomes mandatory” nobody would have batted an eyelid.

  43. 43
    robinjohnson

    “You want to shoot me, don’t you,” said by a serving politician to a whining lobbyist, sounds much more like a show of strength and contempt than it does of fear. “You want to shoot me? Well, tough – you can’t, because we have rules, which as a civilised person you’re expected to live by.” Pity it seems to have gone right over the gun filth’s head.

  44. 44
    Kagehi

    Yes, but this is “American Christian Terrorism”, so, like, not actually terrorism, or something, right?

  45. 45
    anteprepro

    If you are poor and Muslim, it’s Terrorism.
    If you are poor and Christian, it’s War.
    If you are rich and Christian, it’s Politics.

  46. 46
    nathanaelnerode

    I unfortunately have spent enough time studying history that I see Mr. Pratt’s point. I don’t agree with him on, probably, anything. But there seem to have been some elites in history who were simply unable to be swayed by anything short of the threat of the guillotine. (And you can guess which elite group I’m thinking of right there.)

    He is simply a bully to apply that thought to someone he can simply *vote* out of office if the majority agree with him.

    However, when very rich criminals seem to be able to buy off the prosecutors, you wonder what could possibly keep them in line. Fear? When the NSA violates the 4th amendment, you start thinking they need to be afraid of *something*.
    And when members of the Supreme Court actually steal our elections, as they did in 2000… you start to wonder what, if anything, will keep them in line. Fear, perhaps? Of what?

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