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An Outreach of What's Right What's Left Ministry




Betrayed By The Bench

Clueless At Department Of Homeland Security

Global Deception

Much Ado About Nothing

Power tends to corrupt –
even our Founders

The Imperial Judiciary



Larry Pratt

Biography: Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for more than 25 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.  

GOA lobbies for the pro?gun position in Washington and is involved in firearms issues in the states. GOA's work includes providing legal assistance to those involved in law suits with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the federal firearms law enforcement agency.

Pratt has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programs such as NBC's Today show, CBS' Good Morning America, CNN's Crossfire and Larry King Live, Fox's Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC's Phil Donahue show and many others. He has debated Congressmen James Traficant, Jr. (D-OH), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Vice President Al Gore, among others. His columns have appeared in newspapers across the country.

He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty The Constitution & Citizen Militias, in 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.

Pratt has held elective office in the state legislature of Virginia, serving in the House of Delegates. Pratt directs a number of other public interest organizations and serves as the Vice-Chairman of the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Gun Owners of America








Betrayed By The Bench

Larry Pratt

John Stormer is an amazing author. He has sold over 11 million books. One, None Dare Call It Treason, sold 7 million. That was in 1964 when there was no internet, no faxes, no talk shows for conservatives. Stormer may have been the first to put a coupon in the back of the book for additional orders.

So, a new book by John Stormer means we can assume that he has something else to say. Indeed he does.

In Betrayed by the Bench, Stormer traces the lawlessness of so many of today's rulings to the revolt against the common law that is Christian through and through. The revolt was led from the Harvard Law School by professors such as its Dean, Roscoe Pound. The replacement was the tyranny of case law.

The case law preferred by Pound and his followers allowed them to slip out from under the constraints of the timeless and universal precepts foundational to the Common Law. Case law allows judges to "make law." One of Pound's followers, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, made this amazing statement: "We are under a constitution, but the constitution is what we say it is."

Equally as amazing as Hughes' assertion was the failure to impeach him for violating his oath of office. But as Stormer points out, the idea of absolutes binding men died in the pulpits before it died in the civil realm.

Stormer calls the result of judicial lawmaking "an on-going Constitutional Convention." I would call it a coup d'etat. This coup has been hard to spot because the judges did not have a bunch of colonels circling the seat of government with tanks. We have witnessed a coup by increments -- something that is much harder to detect.

There has been a concerted effort to exclude the Declaration of Independence from the corpus of binding law. This is a legal impossibility in view of the nature of the Declaration -- it is a contract much the same as Articles of Incorporation are. No one is at liberty to unilaterally change the terms of a contract.

Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, had this to say about the foundational role of the Declaration for the Constitution and laws made pursuant to it:

The virtue which had been infused into the Constitution of the United States…was no other than... those abstract principles which had been first proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence -- namely the self-evident truths of the natural and unalienable rights of man... and the sovereignty of the people, always subordinate to the rule of right and wrong, and always responsible to the Supreme Ruler of the universe for the rightful exercise of that power. This was the platform upon which the Constitution of the United States had been erected.

The boldness of the Court's usurpation is somewhat like the old line of the crook who is caught in the act exclaiming, "Who do you believe, me or your lying eyes?" To give but one example, consider the 14th Amendment. The 39th Congress expressly stipulated that the Amendment was not designed to control schools, voting and elections. Indeed, that was so well understood that the 15th Amendment was enacted in order to deal with voting.

The record of the clear intent of the framers of the 14th Amendment has not stopped the Supreme Court from inventing the doctrine of incorporation out of thin air. This has allowed the Supremes to increase consolidation of power in their own hands (and in the hands of their willing accomplices in the legislative and the executive branches) in Washington. This has been done at the expense of the Constitutional reservation of most governmental powers to the states and to the people.

Incorporation might be best understood by thinking of it as incorporating stolen powers. The lack of jurisdiction for many of the Court's decisions is comparable to the city of Paris levying a tax to be paid by citizens of the United States in the U.S.

Incorporation is now being expanded by a majority (six of the nine justices) of the Supremes to allow for foreign law as a guide to their judicial lawmaking. When the Court recently overturned capital punishment for an 18-year old who had cold-bloodedly murdered a neighbor when he was just a "child" of 17, Justice Breyer claimed the support of the murder law in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe! The country run by a thug who has proclaimed himself a black Hitler!

Gun owners should not be surprised when the gun control laws of some other thugocracy such as Cuba form the basis of a Supreme rape of the 2nd Amendment. Americans generally should not be surprised at any unconstitutional notion the Supremes may take into their heads.

One challenge we face in freeing ourselves from this judicial tyranny is that they have the benefit of a mind fake that has us believing that anything, no matter how outrageous, that comes out of the mouth of a judge is law. Hence we see other government officials -- who have all taken the same oath of office to uphold the Constitution -- violating their oaths by obeying unconstitutional edicts of the Supreme Court. This is otherwise known as "upholding the rule of law." Of course, it is anything but.

Until "We the People" remember that we only gave the crowd in Washington a very limited amount of power to do only a very few things, we will continue to be ruled by unelected and unaccountable politicians wrapped in black robes.

(My Live Fire interview with John Stormer can be heard at Stormer's Betrayed by the Bench can be ordered from Liberty Bell Press at



Clueless At Department Of Homeland Security

Larry Pratt

Outside of official Washington, most Americans understand that profiling would make it easier to go after terrorists.

Refusal to profile has led to Washington bureaucrats and policy makers tending to view the entire population as suspected terrorists.

One consequence of this is the very visible and extremely aggravating practice of patting down octogenarians going through airport security while refusing to treat Middle Eastern men as a high risk category. Indeed, airlines can be fined if more than two such individuals are singled out for greater scrutiny per flight.

The idea seems to be that if we treat everybody nicely, or at least aggravate everyone to an equal degree, terrorists won't get mad at us. A study of the history of Islamic terrorists, and what they believe, easily dispels the notion that they will respond to niceness. It is all the more aggravating that the rest of us have to suffer the loss of our liberties because of this blind refusal.

The problem has now been notched up quite a bit. The Department of Homeland "Security" has determined that ANY involvement in armed struggle against a government classifies the group involved -- and those who provide material support to the group -- as terrorists.

In practical terms, this means that if the Rwandan Tutsi's had not been conned by the UN into surrendering their weapons, and had fought back against the genocide conducted by the government, they would have been terrorists. Do we really want a definition that sets up a preference for genocide over self defense?

Similarly, the Sudanese in the south of that country have suffered some 2,000,000 dead in the genocidal jihad conducted by the Islamic thugocracy controlling the capital of Khartoum. By fighting back, the South has achieved a semi-autonomous status and more or less eliminated the murderous attacks from the jihadists. Are we now to consider their resistance to have been terrorism?

Now, in February of 2006, the Department of Homeland "Security's" insane definition of terrorism is being applied to some Burmese Christian refugees resisting extermination by the socialist thugs ruling in Rangoon. The State Department had cleared the way for some 150,000 Karen refugees to be given refugee status and admitted to the US for asylum. But the new definition of terrorism at Homeland Insecurity has blocked that. No terrorist is going to get into the US under their watch! Right.

It is disturbing that Homeland "Security" is using a definition of terrorism that is very consistent with the view of armed resistance at the UN. For years, the UN has pushed for gun control (meaning civilian disarmament). They use the term "non-state actors" to describe those who should not have guns. Guess who a non-state actor is. Rwandan victims of genocide. Southern Sudanese freedom fighters. Karen refugees in Burma. Average, hard-working Americans such as Minutemen volunteers on our borders?

One more problem with this definition should be addressed -- our own State Department is in danger of becoming a terrorist enterprise because they have given "material support" to the Karen refugees. Further, anyone who has helped relieve the suffering of these people, such as Christian Freedom International located in Front Royal, Virginia is also a terrorist.

It is time to deliver a message to the Clueless Ones at Homeland "Security". The President, Senate and House of Representatives need to hear that a better definition of "terrorist" is needed. Self defense hardly belongs in the definition of terrorist. If the definition of terrorist is not changed, perhaps we can at least get Washington to send the Karen a large shipment of weapons and ammunition. That way they won't run out of bullets the next time they are attacked.

Jim Jacobsen, head of Christian Freedom International, told me in an interview I gave him on my Live Fire radio show that time is running out for the Karens. People wishing to contact the President and their Congressmen can do so through the Gun Owners of America Legislative Action Center -- on the GOA web site. Check to send your own message rather than one of those that have been pre-written on other issues. All you need to get going is to type in your zip code.



Global Deception

Larry Pratt

The UN, left to itself, will end up giving corruption and socialism a bad name. Joseph Klein has written Global Deception to show why. He pinpoints the UN's greatest threat in his subtitle: The UN's Stealth Assault on America's Freedom.

The corruption of the UN leadership, and its heavy hitter supporters such as Canadian oil billionaire, Maurice Strong, is a litany of hypocrisy on a par with the glitterati of Hollywood. "Do as I say, not as I do."

Most readers are aware of Kofi Annan, the pious critic of greedy capitalists, who plunged so deeply into the Oil for Food scandal that he smells like an Iraqi oil well. Perhaps not as many are familiar with Maurice Strong who wants Americans to lose millions of job and to live in poverty so that his earth-hugging theories can be imposed on America -- and the rest of the West. Strong is a Malthusian through and through who "knows" that it is impossible for Mother Earth to support as many people as are presently living. (Ever wonder why environmentalists don't want DDT used that could have saved the millions who have died from malaria?)

This has not kept Strong from investing in a robber-baron auto company in Communist China so that he can export SUV's at 30% under the competition now in the US. The Chery Automobile Company is a mega-polluter, but it seems to be OK if Strong is making money thereby.

The proper response to Maurice Strong's pagan religion spelled out in his Earth Charter is laughter -- more than any of the late night comedians can evoke. Strong actually cooked up a pompous ceremony for marching his Earth Charter into the UN's holies of holies in New York City. The Charter was contained in an Ark of Hope -- obviously for him, an improvement on the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Ten Commandments Moses brought down from the mountain. Strong's pollution-belching SUV factory in China violates his own Earth Charter. Do you suppose that New York Times investigative reporters are, gas masks at the ready, on the trail of this?

But as Klein points out in Global Deception, corruption and hypocrisy is not the greatest threat to America's freedoms. Rather, it is a very carefully developed stealth campaign to steal America's freedoms while we are not looking.

He provides a detailed account of how the pro-abortion forces are working through Non Governmental Organizations (NGO's) to lobby at the UN (which funds many of the NGO's) to advance socialism as the tyranny of choice for a world government run out of the UN.

After Klein reviews the workings of the pro-abortion NGO's, he ends up with a general game plan that is being followed in other areas such as guns. This is the heart of the stealth campaign against America's freedoms.

A favorite of the stealth campaigners is to have the UN set up "impact committee reviews" of a particular issue. These are not committees of an elected body comprised of popularly elected members. Impact committees, like the stakeholder councils which are used to strangle landowners' rights, produce self-serving statements designed to push legislatures, especially the recalcitrant elected bodies in the United States, toward the NGO's desired objectives.

A related tactic finds the NGO's "helping" legislatures produce the politically correct votes. This actually means that foreigners are lobbying legislative bodies in the U.S. We are supposed to accept that, but apologize for the "unilateralism" of the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, when he criticizes the UN.

The end game is to capitalize on the growing menace to our freedom in the growing lawlessness of the US judicial system. Right now there is a lawsuit against a couple of federal agencies brought by two NGO's on an environmental matter. They got the case accepted on the basis of the unratified (by the US) Kyoto global warming treaty. This shows where this is all heading -- this is the kind of international "law" that US courts are willing to accept instead of the Constitution the judges take an oath to uphold.

Regarding firearms, the UN has been frantically seeking to disarm American citizens. Thanks to John Bolton at the UN, the US has refused to sign on to global gun registration treaties. But right now, the UN, working in cahoots with the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) has managed to dry up many gun parts coming into the United States.

This backdoor gun control has been pulled off in a truly stealthy fashion. Many firearms factories are in countries which ill advisedly signed on to a UN gun control agreement (the Small Arms Treaty). The Treaty enables the UN to require that ratifying countries and their firearms companies go through the UN as a clearing house for all small arms and ammunition sales. Having done this, the UN now requires that all transactions be done with Euros rather than US dollars. This has jacked up the price by one third for guns and ammo orders as far back as three years. The price increased because Euros are more expensive for holders of US dollars. This is a stealth attack worthy of currency manipulator and gun control fanatic, George Soros.

The BATFE has chimed in with further restrictions on what handguns can be imported. They can easily do this be simply changing the definition of what is a sporting arm. Since the BATFE has no technical manuals or procedures written down, they can be as capricious as they think they can get away with.

In a related arena, political correctness has probably driven the destruction by the US military of arms and ammo found in Iraqi caches. Much of what was found in these caches could have been sold to reduce the burden of the cost of the war -- and to lower prices in the US for those items.

We don't really need to reform the UN, as nice as that sounds. We need to leave the UN and remove it from any presence in the US. When the US needs to talk to other countries in any multilateral fashion, we can host a meeting of ambassadors from countries representing the Coalition of the Willing. That is true multilateralism, not the perverted multilateralism that the UN has come to mean. Think of UN-style multilateralism as a code word for Kofi for World Kleptocrat-in-chief.

Historically, think of the matter this way. George III's kleptocracy sought to sustain itself by assaulting the freedoms of English colonists in America. Kofi Annan is simply the political great grandson of England's King George III. Let's give Kofi a red coat and treat him accordingly.

[My Live Fire interview with Joseph Klein can be found at]



Much Ado About Nothing

Larry Pratt

The hunting accident that occurred when Vice President Dick Cheney shot a hunting buddy during a bird hunt is only of interest because it involved the Vice President.

Hunting accidents happen every year, although it is also true that fatal gun accidents of all kind are continuing to decline. Most recently there have been 770 accidental firearms deaths per year. This has occurred at the same time that the number of firearms owned by private citizens in this country has nearly tripled since 1967 -- a year that saw 2700 fatal firearms accidents.

To put these numbers into perspective, consider that there are about 40,000 deaths from automobile accidents each year. That means that using your car is about 57 times more likely to kill you than is Dick Cheney's shotgun.

Some are trying to invent a story out of Cheney's failure to hold a press conference right away. Those same people don't seem to find any problem with a truly fatal accident involving another prominent person, Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. Kennedy left the scene of an accident and let a girl drown. He spent the night trying to figure out what his story would be.

Perhaps that is why so many of the media have let Kennedy alone -- at least he held a news conference as soon as he had his story straight.

Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada has criticized Cheney for not holding a news conference right away. This is the same Senator who had a stroke and took three days to say anything to the media. Again, the Sen. Kennedy rule probably protects Sen. Reid, since his aides claim that the delay was occasioned by their desire to have all the tests in so they would have their story straight.

As long as you were thinking of the media, delay is OK. It is only inexcusable if you were not thinking first of the media -- you know, like getting the poor victim of the accident to the hospital and making sure he was alright.

Other "interesting delays" in our recent history involved the 30 hours Hillary Clinton needed to contact the media about the violent death of her law partner/White House counsel, Vince Foster. Where was the media outrage following Hillary's delay?

One reporter asked if Gun Owners of America was not afraid that the Cheney incident would lead to a call for more gun control. I explained the facts above about declining accidental firearms fatalities. He responded that, "Didn't we think that calls for a renewal of the semi-auto ban (which he incorrectly called 'assault weapons') could result from this incident?"

All I could do was laugh. What a non-sequitur.

I am not sure that even Sarah Brady would try to make that stretch, but then, maybe I had better wait a while.



Power tends to corrupt –
even our Founders

By Larry Pratt

April 15, 2006

Most conservatives tend to put the Founders on a pedestal.

Based on what they wrote – both in the Constitution and in their public statements – much of that honor is deserved. What is surprising, is how quickly the Founders themselves forgot their own words, when in power.

Lord Acton is famous for his maxim that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." We can be glad that the Founders designed a government that made it hard to get absolute power. But, some of the most eloquent defenders of limited government forgot all the talk, when they had a chance to do the walk.

The biggest and earliest offender seems to have been Alexander Hamilton, the author of several of the essays in the Federalist Papers, which argued for ratification of the new Constitution (in 1787).

In Federalist 48, Hamilton argued that, regarding freedom of the press, no powers had been given to the new government to restrain it:

"For why declare that things shall not be done, which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said that liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?"

But, the same Alexander Hamilton, in 1798 (about a decade after writing the above words), supported the Sedition Act, which made it a crime to criticize a federal official. Indeed, newspaper editors were clapped in jail for having had the temerity to question President John Adams.

Critics were alarmed at the claims of the Federalists, including Hamilton, that the Constitution had implied powers, which let the new government do just about anything that Congress had a majority vote to support. A crisis demanded unanimity in the minds of the Federalists, and the danger they perceived from the French Revolution was seen as an immediate crisis.

When Virginia and Kentucky enacted resolutions of nullification of the Sedition Act (and its companion Alien Act), the Federalists proclaimed that only the Supreme Court could overturn an act of Congress. This was an entirely different view from that expressed by the Federalist writer Alexander Hamilton, who had even justified using state militias to restrain federal tyranny!

The Alien and Sedition laws were subject to intense debate, because of the initiatives of Virginia and Kentucky. The debate led to John Adams being a one-term President, and the election of his arch-enemy, Thomas Jefferson. Did the Federalists see the tyrannical potential of their Sedition law? Probably so, since it had been set to expire just before Thomas Jefferson took office. What was okay in the hands of the Federalists was not going to be handed to their enemies – the Republicans led by Jefferson.

The New England states all decried the Virginia and Kentucky Legislatures' resolutions of nullification. But when the War of 1812 began, they strenuously objected to the war, on the grounds that their trade with England, and their livelihood were going down the drain. When attacks on the British in Canada were attempted, these states withdrew their militias from federal control. To many in Virginia and Kentucky, it seemed that the Northern states were now supporting nullification!

What a difference a few years made, when the tables had been turned! For that matter, states such as Virginia and Kentucky were among the biggest supporters of the War of 1812, and their citizens tended to think of the New Englanders as treasonous for withdrawing their militias from the war. Of course, they forgot that they had been viewed as traitors in 1798, when they tried to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts.

It is striking how many of our current debates over what powers are authorized by the Constitution, are but echoes of the heated arguments that fill the annals of our early Republic. The Founders, themselves, had as much trouble restraining their own greed for power as we do today.

I seldom quote anything from France with approval, but they do have an excellent saying: "The more it changes, the more it stays the same."

These events have been masterfully recorded in book by William Watkins entitled, Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy. I had the privilege of interviewing Watkins on my radio show, Live Fire, which is archived on the Gun Owners of America web site.


Larry Pratt is Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members, located at 8001 Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151.



The Imperial Judiciary

Larry Pratt

Does the Constitution provide for judicial supremacy through the process of judicial review? Attorney Edwin Vieira, J.D. answers with an emphatic "No!" in his book Imperial Judiciary.

Vieira makes a convincing argument that the Supreme Court (and other courts as well) have pulled off the equivalent of a coup d'etat. They believe, and too many Americans believe with them, that an opinion of the Supreme Court is a part of the Constitution. If the opinion contradicts the Constitution, then the Constitution, according to this view, has been amended. Overlooked is the simple fact that an unconstitutional decision of the Supreme Court is not worthy of respect and should be ignored by all other officials who have taken the same oath of office taken by the judges.

If there are competing interpretations of the Constitution among officials in different branches of government, "We the People" are to decide the issue at the ballot box.

Consider that the Supreme Court has the authority to make decisions only in those areas We the People have delegated. A look at Article III of the Constitution does not reveal a heavy work load for the Supremes: the court has original jurisdiction in cases involving states as well as diplomats. All other cases are brought on appeals, and if the lower courts are eliminated by Congress which has that authority, that ends the discussion.

The Congress does not need to send a constitutional amendment to the states when the Court makes an unconstitutional decision. There is nothing to amend, just correct by legislation (or impeachment) removing jurisdiction.

No jurisdiction, no cases, no bad decisions. What is stopping that from happening? The Congress. They have not used the power they have. Why? Well, two reasons. One is that "We the People" have not demanded that the members of Congress act. A second reason is that until We the People act, the Congress enjoys passing the buck to the Supreme Court saying, "We have to do this because the Court said so." This charade will continue until We the People make it happen.

If the Court can indeed amend the Constitution with a five-to-four majority, are we to believe that the Court can re-amend by the same vote of five judges the next time around? You have to agree that, even though this is not in the Constitution, such power is more efficient than getting two-thirds of the Congress and three-fourths of the state legislatures to concur. The only problem seems to be that the Supremes are acting outside the law. No wonder they want us to believe in an evolving Constitution (as long as they are the agents of evolution).

One of the excuses for the audacious claim to amending the Constitution by judicial fiat is reference to foreign law and international morality. This, of course, can mean anything a judge wishes to say it means. Who is to interpret what foreign law? That of Cuba? France? Iran? Whose morality? Kofi Anan and the UN kleptocrats? Or perhaps the thugs ruling China? Yet the Supreme Court has used this fiction to attack the capital punishment laws of the states with absolutely no authority to rule in this area. Again, the Congress needs to strip the ability to bring such cases to the lower courts (if not eliminating those courts altogether!).

If foreign law can be used to legalize sexual behavior that has been illegal in the states and progressively eliminate capital punishment, it is only a matter of time until the Court decides that:

* euthanasia is legal (after all, the Dutch think it's great),

* search and seizure protections are replaced by the greater interests of the state to invade our privacy (works for the Chinese Communists),

* political dissent is stifled (Castro tolerates none of that), and

* firearms ownership is reserved for those working for the government or who belong to select hunting clubs (just like England and most other countries of the world).

Second Amendment supporters should be aware that the 1997 Brady Law decision by the Supreme Court (Printz v. U.S.) includes a minority opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer. He argued that the Court should have decided the case by looking at the comparative experiences of other countries. In other words, the thought that foreign law could trump the Second Amendment has already been polished by the foreign-law loving members of the Court.

Vieira puts gun control in an interesting perspective by comparing the notion that "gun control" is permitted by the Second Amendment the same way as "occupational control" is permitted by the Thirteenth Amendment which abolishes slavery.

I interviewed Edwin Vieira on my Live Fire radio show (archived at His book, How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary, is available at






















































































































































































































































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