Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, implied this week that Judge Merrick Garland could be assassinated if he continues to rule in “opposition to the Second Amendment,” saying that “the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go.”
The gun activist made the comments on “Trunews,” an End-Times-themed radio program hosted by Rick Wiles, a notorious right-wing conspiracy theorist. Pratt has delivered similar warnings to other officials who he believes are hostile to the Second Amendment.
Pratt, an activist with ties to the militia movement whose extremist gun group has been heralded by Ted Cruz, repeated two debunked claims about Garland, President Obama’s nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat, falsely claiming that Garland voted in support of a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and a national gun registry.
“He voted against Dick Heller,” Pratt said. “He voted against the idea that any citizen of the District of Columbia has an individual right to keep and bear arms. This is the guy that has been told to us by many folks, including the president, that ‘this is a moderate.’ Well, I guess in the Kremlin there are moderates but that’s not the kind of moderate we need on the Supreme Court.”
He added: “He also voted to uphold Bill Clinton’s registration scheme in an earlier decision, so his track record is consistent and it’s one of opposition to the Second Amendment.”
This prompted Wiles to ask what would happen to the Second Amendment if Garland were to join the Supreme Court.
“Judicially, it’s in a heap of trouble,” Pratt said. “Happily, the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go, I think.”
He went on to say that Republicans in Congress should impeach jurists like Garland for their supposed hostility to the Constitution.
Pratt has a history of saying that the Second Amendment is meant to give people the right to assassinate or intimidate leaders they don’t like.
In Pratt’s view, the Second Amendment was created in order to instill in politicians “a healthy fear” in “the back of their minds” that they will be assassinated so “they’ll behave.”
He explicitly told Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., that she “should do her job in constant trepidation,” knowing that if she tries “to disarm Americans the way the British crown tried 240 years ago, the same sovereign people who constituted this government using the cartridge box someday may need to reconstitute it, as clearly anticipated by the Declaration of Independence.”
When Alan Colmes asked him if he really does believe that politicians “should have a healthy fear of being shot,” Pratt replied: “Sure, that’s what the Second Amendment is all about.”
Despite such rhetoric, Sen. Cruz has diligently courted and raised money for Pratt’s group:
Cruz has a close relationship with GOA, boasting of their endorsement at a presidential debate in September, joining a conference call with its members in which he credited the group for his election to the Senate, and appointing the group’s chairman, Tim Macy, to lead the “Second Amendment Coalition” he launched just days after 14 people were shot and killed in San Bernardino, California.
When GOA mobilized to help defeat background check legislation in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, the New York Times identified Cruz as the gun group’s “key ally in the Senate.”