Larry Pratt

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For the baseball player, see Larry Pratt (baseball).
Larry Pratt
Larry Pratt by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Larry Pratt, September 2011
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 19th district
In office
1980–1981
Personal details
Born ( 1942 -11-13) November 13, 1942 (age 72)
Camden, New Jersey
Political party Republican
Other political
affiliations
Libertarian (1994)
U.S. Taxpayers Party (1996)
Spouse(s) Priscilla Pratt
Children 4
Residence Springfield, VA
Alma mater American University (B.A.)
Committees Conservation and Natural Resources; Labor and Commerce
Religion Presbyterian Church in America

Lawrence D. "Larry" Pratt (born November 13, 1942) is the executive director of Gun Owners of America, a United States-based firearms lobbying group, and a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates. He is also Vice Chairman of the American Institute for Cancer Research.[1]

Early life[edit]

Larry Pratt was born in Camden, New Jersey on November 13, 1942. His father was an electrical engineer. Several years after graduating from American University with a degree in political science, Pratt took the helm of Gun Owners of America in 1976, one year after the organization was founded.[2]

Political career[edit]

Pratt was elected to the state legislature of Virginia, as a Republican member of the 1981 session of the Virginia House of Delegates, elected from the 19th District in Fairfax County. He was also a Reagan delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention.[3]

In October 1992, at Estes Park, Colorado, Pratt was noted as a moderate conservative presenter at a three-day meeting organized by Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters in the wake of the Ruby Ridge incident.[4][5][6] In 1994, Pratt unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Nevada State Assembly as a Libertarian, winning 27% of the vote.[7]

In the 1996 U.S. presidential election, Pratt served as a co-chairman of Pat Buchanan's campaign. In February 1996, the liberal Center for Public Integrity issued a report that claimed Pratt spoke at meetings organized by white supremacist and militia leaders. Pratt denied any tie to racism, calling the report a smear aimed at hurting Buchanan before the New Hampshire primary election. However, Pratt was forced to resign his position with the Buchanan campaign.[8][9][10]

Pratt also addressed delegates at the 1996 national convention of the U.S. Taxpayers Party[11] (renamed the Constitution Party in 1999).

In Northern Ireland in 2004, Pratt accompanied loyalist and paramilitary sympathizer Willie Frazer on a tour of South Armagh whilst calling for the Protestant population to be routinely armed.[12]

Political organizations[edit]

Pratt has founded a variety of organizations, including English First (lobbying organization), Gun Owners of America, U.S. Border Control, and Committee to Protect the Family.[13]

Pratt is the president of English First, an organization within the English-only movement.[14] The organization was founded in 1986, and works to pass English Only amendments at both state and federal levels. Pratt also helped found and served as secretary of the Council for Inter-American Security, which was founded in 1976.[3][13] Pratt has served as a board member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, founded by Paul Weyrich.

Larry Pratt has also been listed as a member of the Council for National Policy (CNP).[15][16][17] A January 13, 2001 article in The Guardian explored Pratt's relationship with then-Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, stating they knew each other from the CNP.[18] The January 11, 2001 edition of TIME Magazine included an article on Pratt and Ashcroft's relationship.[14]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Pratt used his Committee to Protect the Family organization to raise $150,000 for the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue which paid $50,000 in court-imposed fines.[19][20]

Pratt was a contributing editor to a periodical of the anti-Semitic United Sovereigns of America, and that his GOA had donated money to a white supremacist attorney's group.[21]

Radio and television appearances[edit]

Pratt has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programs such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Political Cesspool, Crossfire, Larry King Live, Hannity & Colmes, Piers Morgan Live and The Phil Donahue Show.

In reference to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Pratt declared that Martin was at fault for not running away after knocking down George Zimmerman, who was following Trayvon under suspicion.[22] "[Martin] should have run away," Pratt said. "He had his stalker on the ground. Once Martin had neutralized the threat, that's when he should have taken off to get out of there. He doubled down, and he started to really beat the tar out of the guy." Pratt also claimed that Martin was on top of Zimmerman after Zimmerman tried to make a "citizen's arrest" of Martin. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur posed a hypothetical scenario in which he stalked Pratt, and Pratt proceeded to assault Uygur after Uygur approached him. Pratt insinuated that Uygur had the right to shoot Pratt once Pratt assaulted him.[23]

The day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Pratt stated: ""Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to ensure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to ensure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun."[24]

Books[edit]

  • Armed People Victorious (1990).
  • Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution and Citizen Militias (1995).
  • On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty (2001).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American Institute for Cancer Research - Our Leadership". 
  2. ^ Bruni, Frank (September 26, 1999). "Speaking Up for Guns, Lots of Them, for Nearly Anyone". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "Lawrence D. Pratt". Institute for First Amendment Studies. 1998. Retrieved September 23, 2008. 
  4. ^ Frederick Clarkson, Eternal Hostility (Common Courage Press: Monroe, Maine, 1997), p. 21.
  5. ^ Leonard Zeskin, "Armed and Dangerous", Rolling Stone; November 2, 1995.
  6. ^ "Southern Poverty Law Center: Bombs, Bullets, Bodies". Splcenter.org. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.boogieonline.com/revolution/politics/lpus/election/1994/
  8. ^ "Larry Pratt Drops From Buchanan Campaign". Anti-Defamation League. June 19, 1996. Retrieved September 23, 2008. 
  9. ^ "j. - News Analysis: Buchanan dogged by links to extremists". Jewishsf.com. February 23, 1996. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Buchanan Co-chair Resigns After CAUSE Foundation & Other White Supremacist/Militia Connections Revealed". Western North Carolina Citizens For An End To Institutional Bigotry. Retrieved September 23, 2008. 
  11. ^ Shasha Abramsky, "'When God laughs, it's not funny,' the U.S. Taxpayers Party prepares for doomsday", The Progressive; October 1996.
  12. ^ "Newshound: Links to daily newspaper articles about Northern Ireland". Nuzhound.com. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "PublicEye.org - Anti-Immigrant Organizations". Archived from the original on February 9, 2004. 
  14. ^ a b Elain Shannon, et al., "John Ashcroft's Dubious Pen Pal", TIME; Thursday, Jan 11, 2001.
  15. ^ "Council for National Policy Unofficial Information Page". Archived from the original on July 13, 2005. 
  16. ^ "Lawrence D Pratt". NameBase. Archived from the original on January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  17. ^ The Council For National Policy
  18. ^ Kettle, Martin (January 13, 2001). "Bush's choice linked to 'guns for pupils' group". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  19. ^ By Frederick Clarkson. "Southern Poverty Law Center: Anti-Abortion Extremists". Splcenter.org. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Operation Rescue". Montana Human Rights Network. Retrieved September 23, 2008. 
  21. ^ http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2001/summer/false-patriots?page=0,8.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "Gun advocate to Cenk: 'Martin should have run away' (Part 2)". Current.com. Retrieved March 25, 2012. [dead link]
  23. ^ Fri, Heather On (March 23, 2012). "Cenk Uygur Blasts Gun Owners of America's Larry Pratt for Defending Murder of Trayvon Martin | Video Cafe". Videocafe.crooksandliars.com. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  24. ^ Harris, Paul (15 December 2012). "Tearful and angry, Americans target gun control after Newtown shooting". The Observer (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 24 December 2012. 

External links[edit]