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Pratt-tle

Dear Editor:

Just when you think the gun debate and the effort to recall representative McLachlan can’t get any more bizarre, comes this news. By the time this letter is printed, Larry Pratt, director of Gun Owners of America, has spoken at a fund-raising event in Durango for The San Juan Freedom Defense Committee, which is leading the recall. Among other radical conspiratorial notions, Pratt believes that the massacre at the theater in Aurora was part of a United Nations plot. Pratt believes the timing of James Holmes’ rampage at the theater, which left 12 people dead and 58 wounded, seemed designed to coincide with the negotiation of the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. Of course, this is total hogwash. Every credible report from police and prosecutors shows that Holmes acted alone (or maybe law enforcement is also part of a UN plot!) Further, the United Nations Treaty that Pratt is so concerned about didn’t even exist at the time of the shooting. I guess that fact is of no significance to Pratt and his disciples.

It is interesting to note that Pratt worked briefly for Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign in 1996. However, he stepped down from the campaign in response to reports that he had attended meetings organized by right-wing militia leaders, anti-Semites, and white supremacists, including the KKK and the Aryan Nation, reports he did not deny. Apparently, he was too extreme even for Buchanan’s far right-wing campaign. Wow!

Pratt recently said that that legislation denying firearms to the dangerously mentally ill was “a dictatorial power” that, “they use[d] … in Nazi Germany.” He has written for “the Jubilee,” an openly racist and anti-Semitic publication, and is a contributing editor to a newsletter published by United Sovereigns of America, a group that sells extremist materials including the fraudulent anti-Jewish “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Pratt’s garbage is an insult both to rational thought and to the victims of the Aurora shooting. Lasamoa Cross was at the Aurora theater with her boyfriend, A.J. Boik, who was killed. She said in an e-mail, “At the time, pundits like Larry Pratt rushed in to do media tours claiming that the shooting was some kind of United Nations conspiracy. Now a bunch of fringe gun groups are bringing him into Colorado for a fund-raiser. This is not only an insult to me, but shows how completely out of touch these guys are.”

So, I ask the supporters of the McLachlan recall, is this the kind of person you want to be associated with? Do you share Pratt’s fanatical views? If not, maybe you should rethink your position. And to the local businesses who are supporting the recall I would say, are you sure that all of your customers support the recall?

Without doubt, you are alienating some portion of the population you serve. Think please, and think carefully.

Becky Herman

This story was posted on April 18, 2013.