Date: October 10, 2016
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Erich Pratt
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Erich Pratt is the executive director for Gun Owners of America. GOA is a national grassroots organization representing more than 1.5 million Americans dedicated to promoting the 2nd Amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.
Why is there a surge in gun sales in spite of increasing attacks on the Second Amendment? Erich believes it’s a universal principle that whenever something comes under attack, the numbers grow. He said that we’ve seen this with the Christian faith over the centuries and it’s happening with firearms.
Specifically he noted the attacks of the current administration and that now it’s to the point where many people want to own a gun before it becomes very difficult or impossible to do so. The other factor driving this trend in gun sales is the rise or at least the perception of the rise in terror attacks in America.
Erich indicated that for the past 17 plus months, each month has been record breaking. In fact, poles once showed that about one-third of America’s households owned firearms. That figure is now up to 44% which shows that a lot of first-time gun buyers have entered the market.
In last evening’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said she respects the Second Amendment but believes there should be comprehensive background checks and a closing of the gun show and online loopholes. Erich believes that her ‘but’ comment shows that she’s lying about respecting the Second Amendment. This is due to the restrictions she wants to put on that right and that if she really did respect it, she would appreciate the words, ‘…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’
The infringements she’s advocating shows that everyone who wants to have a gun needs permission from the government. These restrictions are not making things safe in states where they’ve been implemented. He noted California’s San Bernardino shooter situation and even nations such as France where reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who was robbed at gunpoint, wasn’t allowed to have her armed guard with her because of their very strict gun laws. Her answer is to hire a security team. Erich explained how hypocritical this is. You have wealthy, anti-gun proponents, telling us we can’t have guns or it should be difficult to obtain them, yet they have the finances to purchase their own security. Hillary Clinton’s situation is similar because she has her own (appointed in her case) armed protection people.
Erich also described the situation in Chicago. Again, this is an area with very strict gun control laws yet they’re one of the statistical leaders in gun crimes and murder. There is one exception to this. It’s in an area where a private citizen has started hiring security to patrol the streets.
Concerning the ‘loopholes’, Erich simply said that there are none. Whenever the opposition uses that term, that points to an element of freedom that’s left that they want to squelch, tighten or constrict. In other words, if you go to a gun dealer at a gun show, you would have to go through a background registration check. However, if you go to a private individual, you won’t have to go through that check. According to Erich, that’s not a loophole because it’s that way anywhere. You can buy from your parents, your grandfather or your neighbor. That’s perfectly legal as it would be at a gun show.
Also, you can’t buy a gun online and have it shipped to your doorstep. You can find out about guns being sold online but if the gun is in another state, it has to be shipped to a dealer, then you go through a background check. If the gun is in your state, you need to meet up with them to purchase it, just as you would if you were purchasing from your next door neighbor. So again, these are elements of freedom that we’ve had for over 200 years. Since they remain, the opposition wants to close them so they call them ‘loopholes’ as if something nefarious was happening when it’s nothing more than individuals exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Erich summarized it best when he told listeners that President Obama commissioned the CDC to study the gun issue in 2013. Their conclusion was that guns are used anywhere from 16 to 100 times more often to save life than to take life. That study was quickly scuttled.
This issue has many dimensions and Jim and Erich cover more as you’ll discover when you review this important edition of Crosstalk.