Larry Pratt is the founder and executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, an NRA-type gun rights group. GOA describes itself as a “national grassroots organization representing more than 1.5 million Americans.” Pratt turns up on various media outlets from time to time where he typically takes a position on guns that is so extreme it might even make NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre cringe. Pratt’s extremism was on full display over Memorial Day weekend.
Pratt hosts a radio program known as the Gun Owners News Hour that airs on Saturday afternoons. On the May 28 edition of that show, he spoke to Robert Knight, who works for the American Civil Rights Union. That group paints itself as a right-wing alternative to the ACLU. During the conversation, Knight describes what could happen to the Supreme Court if a Democrat is elected president in November:
If a liberal Democrat is elected president, then there goes the Supreme Court, it could be two, three, four justices, and I think the Second Amendment would be in great peril if that happens.
Pratt indicates that a liberal-leaning Supreme Court cannot be allowed to happen, and says that an armed insurrection may become necessary to return the government to “constitutional balance.” He says,
And at that point, we would have to come to an understanding, which we’ve been sort of taught, it’s been taught out of us, that the courts do not have the last word on what the Constitution is. They decide particular cases, they don’t make law. Their decisions, unlike the Roe v. Wade usurpation, don’t extend to the whole of society, they’re not supposed to. And we may have to reassert that proper constitutional balance, and it may not be pretty. So, I’d much rather have an election where we solve this matter at the ballot box than have to resort to the bullet box.
Imagine what the gang on Fox News would have to say if a Democrat had called for removing George W. Bush from office by force. And Pratt isn’t alone in his suggestion that violent overthrow of a legitimately elected government may become necessary in the United States. His statement came just days after a guest on Glenn Beck’s radio program suggested that Americans may have to assassinate Donald Trump, should he get elected. The views of that guest got Beck suspended from Sirius XM for a week when he appeared to agree with the notion.
At least Pratt’s guest pushed back at his statement in a mild way. “Well, there’s impeachment, too,” Knight said in response to Pratt’s indication that he would support violence.
Pratt, of course, doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he says that courts “do not have the last word on what the Constitution is.” As most school children know, the case of Marbury v. Madison established the Supreme Court as the final word on the constitutionality of law. That has not always been a good thing, as decisions such as “Citizens United” reveal. But it has been accepted by most members of all three branches of government. And Congress has the power to overturn any SCOTUS decision by changing or rewriting the law in question.
People like Larry Pratt only seem to support democracy when those who agree with them are in charge of it.
Here is Pratt’s comment, via SoundCloud:[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/266800802″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images