Gun Owners of America Statement on Florida Shooting


Springfield, VA – Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA) Erich Pratt stated the following after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida:

“This tragedy breaks everyone’s heart at Gun Owners of America, and we send our sincere thoughts and prayers to everyone effected. It is disturbing to see a coward attack students who are so treasured by friends and loved ones.

“However, it is disgusting to see media pundits and politicians calling for gun control as the knee-jerk reaction to this tragedy.

“The fact is this tragedy happened in a gun free zone, where sadly over 98 percent of the public mass shootings occur.

“Furthermore, anti-gun liberals tell us that these types of shootings don’t occur in other countries. But that’s a lie. The U.S. is not even in the top ten when one compares international death rates resulting from mass shootings.

“Some lawmakers may seek to implement more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, such a the misnamed ‘NICS Fix’ legislation. However, no form of gun control will help prevent these tragedies.

“Instead, GOA calls on Congress to immediately pass the ‘Safe Students Act,’ legislation introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act, which enable evil doers by leaving teachers, school administrators, and parents unable to protect students. In fact, 81 percent of police officers support arming teachers to stop school shootings.

“Lastly, GOA calls on state legislatures, including Florida lawmakers, to pass Constitutional Carry legislation to remove the unnecessary legal barriers to carry a firearm.”

Erich Pratt, or another GOA spokesperson, is available for interviews. Gun Owners of America is a nonprofit lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over 1.5 million members and activists. For more information, visit GOA’s Newsroom.


  1. avatar rc says:

    Yup, that pretty much nails it.

  2. avatar Joe R. says:

    Nice push-back.

  3. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

    Well said.

  4. avatar 41mag says:

    Short and to the point.

    We protect ‘things’ with armed security.

    This is just waking more citizens to realize the myth of gun free zones.

    Defense is how we stop evil from happening.

  5. avatar anarchyst says:

    We protect money with people with guns…
    We protect banks with people with guns…
    We protect politicians and celebrities with people with guns…
    We protect government facilities and other high importance facilities with people with guns…
    We protect schools and our children with “gun free zones” and signs…
    What’s wrong with this picture??

    1. avatar Extractor says:

      Well, we protect our schools with ”Drug Free” signs too and that worked out well. Didn’t it?

  6. avatar Mike says:

    Well said…

    That said, Pratt needs a proof-reader. Many of his messages contain grammatical errors (people were affected, not effected). That shouldn’t diminish his message, but he is the CEO of an organization interfacing with media and the public, so he should try to minimize those errors.

  7. avatar JasonM says:

    That’s why I’m a GOA life member.

    1. avatar Treedodger says:

      Ditto 👍

    2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Going on 20 years myself.

    3. avatar Scoutino says:

      I have just joined GOA last week. And I like this message.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I would add that we need to call on state legislatures to repeal state level “gun-free school zone” laws that prohibit licensed concealed and/or open carry in schools.

  9. avatar Spirit of Nineteen Ninety Something says:

    Love it, totally agree. However, and I’m not coming from the same place that the liberal Left is coming from with this gripe, but…when are we going to stop with this mindless response of “thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers” garbage. That’s a given for most of us anyway. My boss actually got mad at my response the other day when she was sick and wouldn’t be into work…my response was “Yes ma’am.” She was mad I didn’t offer my thoughts and prayers…that is how hollow and automatic that response has become. Do I regret that innocent people had to die? Sure. Do I wish it didn’t happen? Sure. But babbling this “thoughts and prayers” garbage truly is getting old. I knew none of the victims, and while I can regret and be angry that this happened, “thoughts and prayers” has become such a meaningless response. Oh, you’re child died? Well I’m going to think about that today. Talk about the “least” one can do.

    That being said, GOA is the best bet we have in our country today. They aren’t sellouts like certain other “defenders” of gun rights in America. Of course that begs the question: if GOA becomes as big as the NRA, will they not take the same route the NRA has taken? One can only making a living defending the flock if there are always wolves lurking in the forest.

    1. avatar 2004done says:

      Spirit of 1990-something: We need not fear a lack of communists, I mean wolves, smiling behind every “victims are disarmed, this is a gun-free zone” sign. But “Hollow and Automatic?” That is becoming de rigueur in “post-modern” society, and that insincerity is NEVER acknowledged (at least being insincere is consistent, and not just for votes).’

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      I agree. It’s just a trite response at this point. It adds NOTHING. No family of the tragedy is going to say “well, I feel better because even though Johnny is in the hospital, the GOA told me that that they’re having thoughts and prayers.”

      If you wanna pray, pray. If you want to tell someone specifically that they’re in your thoughts, cool. But this blanket bit of text is little more than a trope now, and it’s being countered very well from the left.

      You can’t ignore the other side’s rhetoric just because you don’t agree with it.

    3. avatar Docduracoat says:

      My wife and I prayed for the wounded to recover, the dead to be taken into heaven and the families given solace
      I don’t know if it did any good
      Neither of us slept well that night as our daughter is scheduled to play them in lacrosse next month
      It was just good timing that she was not there on THAT day

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and community. And no, I’m not being sarcastic.

    4. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      About 8,500 Americans died yesterday. Most of them were tragedies to someone. Why associated deaths get people more spun up is beyond me. Everyday is a nightmare of death and suffering from an almost endless list of causes.

  10. avatar stateisevil says:

    The Florida GOP will not allow any significant pro gun legislation to become law. They say they are pro gun and that is sufficient for Florida voters. Accordingly, skools will remain “gun free zones” in the wake of yet another tragedy.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Yeah Florida is flat out fucked on any pro gun bills moving forward at this point. I’ll consider it a win if we manage to hold what we got.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Ultimately, that is what they’re banking on. By keeping that fear of gun control alive but without it being fully implemented they can get the most support.

        I’m not saying I have a ready solution for the problem, but let’s recognize that politically, the GOP does not have the motivation to actually move on this.

  11. avatar Hasaf says:

    I am a teacher and GOA is definitely going to get a check from me. Allowing teaches to be trained and armed will do more to make students feel safer than another “no guns” poster in the hallway.

  12. avatar Dan says:

    “The U.S. is not even in the top ten when one compares international death rates resulting from mass shootings.”

    How do we compare to other industrialized nations?

    1. avatar SurfGW says:

      The U.S. has a far higher rate of gun deaths than almost any industrial nation and our rate of gun deaths in many places like Chicago or parts of LA would scare people in war zones like Yemen or Iraq.
      Don’t believe the highly massaged statistics of GOA or Lott or NRA. Instead, use the numbers from joint anti-terror task forces who have to report to the President. No matter how you paint it, gun deaths are very high in this country, but also concentrated in gang areas.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        “Gun death” itself is a cherry-picked statistic. It’s self-evident that in a place with more guns than any other on earth, there will be more “gun deaths,” yet that tells you little about the actual homicide rate and virtually nothing about the rate of violent crime. If you want to know the truth about a criminal problem, you have to look at ALL the relevant crimes, not just a single tool.

      2. avatar Kenneth says:

        Instead of the loaded(and fake) term “gun deaths”(like knife and clubbing deaths don’t count… real sensitive to THOSE victims aren’t you?) that you used, why not use a stat that actually means something, like deaths by violent crime?
        Please to note: The US is number 83, well BELOW; Russia at #33, Mexico #21, Brazil #13, and South Africa at#8.
        Would you now like to argue about exactly WHAT constitutes an “industrialized” Country? Would you like to claim Russia ISN’T one of them?
        Since that is not a proper term, and does not refer to any specific countries, it can, OFC, mean whatever you want it to at any given moment. Just like the term “gun violence” you can change the numbers around to suit yourself at a whim, since no stats are kept on that. Stats are published on violent crime, and murders, armed robberies, rapes, and so forth, but nobody bothers to keep a rape at knifepoint separate from a rape at gunpoint. WHY do you think that might be????

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          “WHY do you think that might be????” – Because all rape is bad?

  13. avatar Ben There says:

    It is sad when the truth becomes a refreshing anomaly.

    1. avatar From England says:

      I’ve just looked at that link but I can’t believe those figures are right. England is only a few under the USA. Mass shootings are rare. To my knowledge, we have had maybe half a dozen mass shootings since the 80s

      1. avatar anarchyst says:

        For those who insist that “other countries” have found solutions to violence problems, here’s one for you. Great Britain likes to lecture us Americans on our supposed “gun violence” problem. For one, a gun is an inanimate object which REQUIRES ACTION by a HUMAN BEING in order to operate as intended…Take away the murder rate involving firearms in Americas urban areas (cities), and we are at the bottom as far as firearms misuse is concerned.
        In Great Britain, there have been many cases of home invasions (which are common because of a disarmed populace) where the home dweller was prosecuted to a much greater degree than the actual intruder, as the “crown” ( state prosecutor) made the determination that the home dweller used “too much force” against the intruder. There are many cases where the home dweller received a much harsher sentence than the intruder. That, my friends is British “justice”…

        1. avatar From England says:

          I am a member of the UK police. Most burglars in the UK run away when challenged and are not armed. I have seen homeowners injured by burglars and visa versa. I’ve never seen any homeowner prosecuted. We do have the right to use reasonable force to defend ourselves. There is a lot of misinformation on both sides of the pond.

        2. avatar Kenneth says:

          Well, I’m not a UK bobby but according to the Daily Mail, who got the stats from the Tory Party:

  14. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    What GOA neglects to mention is that all of those other countries with more mass shootings than the US are in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Central America. There, it’s cartels and warlords. Here, it’s everyday citizens.

    1. avatar Ragnar says:

      Gang bangers and drug dealers don’t count as “everyday citizens”.

      Just strip away our 2nd Amendment protections and confiscate our guns and you will see how fast our country becomes a land ruled by “cartels and warlords”. Some believe we already are.

    2. avatar C.S. says:

      LOL. We have a mostly unprotected 2000 mile border with a country run by cartels. As for the other, most of the shootings in the U.S. happen in places run by those people. It’s time you got off the plantation.

    3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      Good to know that Norway, Serbia, France, Macedonia, Albania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic are “in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Central America.” Because those are ten countries in Europe that have higher per capita mass shootings. Also, the EU as a whole has a higher rate.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Correction, the EU has an insignificantly, statistically speaking, lower rate of mass shootings. The EU fatality rate is higher. Again, statistically insignificant.

  15. avatar FB says:

    While I’m a fan of how strong the response is, providing some talking points or potential legislation for a how to deal with the core problems are in order. Specifically, how the mental health field diagnose and prescribe experimental psych drug doses is inherently primitive. Most of the mass shootings are linked to experimental dosages of psychiatric drugs which are changing the brain chemistry in these people. This is the core of the problem.

  16. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    The FBI is clearly inept. Or so it would seem. Having been shown to be without remorse regarding their attempts to throw a presidential election, I am becoming increasingly concerned there may be memos somewhere directing agents to keep hands off the loonies they uncover. The left is very good at playing the long game. We all know they could give a sweet shit about ordinary Americans.

  17. avatar SurfGW says:

    The intelligent sounding dumb comments are amazing:
    The 98% of school shootings statistics is simply because we make any place we value (schools, courthouses, hospitals) gun free, not because criminals target gun-free zones: criminals simply target places we value to get shock points.
    “We are not in the top 10” is a misinterpretation if the facts. If you take out RPG attacks (preferred by terrorists over rifles since they kill more), only El Salvador beats us… some towns like Chicago/Baltimore/Detroit actually surpass “conflict zones” like Yemen or Kabul or Syria.
    Just say that we need a serious debate and that GOA owners don’t support gun control. The political winds are against gun control and he does not have to do much. Spouting clear lies/obfuscation only undermines his stance.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      It’s 98% of mass shootings, not school shootings, since 1950. Schools weren’t gun free zones until 1990, at least federally. GFZs are different in just about every state, so “value[d]” places would be GFZs in some states, but not others. Hospitals are no more GFZs in Texas than gas stations are. (They have to have the 30.06/7 signs). Same with churches. Schools in Texas are also not necessarily GFZs, depending on definition of GFZ. (Teachers and staff can be armed under district policies. I don’t know the ins and outs of it).

      Can you give us a cite to the claim that only El Salvador is worse than America? Is it gun deaths not counting rpg’s

      Furthermore, if mass shootings is too specific for you (because that is what the claim from GOA is talking about), why is “gun deaths” not too specific?

      1. avatar Kenneth says:

        S/he won’t like this. S/he prefers numbers that s/he can move around at will, like the number of deaths caused by all arms, less RPGs, grenades(not rocket propelled, but easy enough to say later that s/he meant ALL types of grenades, including flash bangs), tanks, artillery, and any shot from “long range”(a nice,vague, term)…
        You know, all stats that nobody bothers to keep track of. Makes it easy to make up he/r ‘facts’ as s/he goes along.

  18. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Its time for me to join the GOA. I’m already a member of the JPFO and the NRA.

  19. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Nope…Won’t be happening in the “Socialist Republic Of Massachusetts…” A Typical “Communist- Authoritarian Police State….” Nope…They *Media Shills, STASI Police Chiefs, and my own workplace have been championing curtailing the 2nd Amendment…Or just flat out demands to repeal it by the usual anti-Trump SJWs, and Snowflakes…Nope…As the DemoCRAPic reps exclaim, “It’s only a Privilege here, and subject to being *regulated* out of existence….

  20. avatar Ing says:

    WHY ARE THE VIGLINK ADS LINKING “MASS SHOOTINGS”? Yes, I’m yelling. That’s…not okay.

  21. avatar #2a says:

    #GOA the true no comprise American #2a rights group

    #NRA sell out anti gun bill sponsor to scare gun owners the sky is falling into joining and donating dollars for their rich lifestyles and parties…

  22. avatar #2a says:

    Who gives a fudge about the KOmmi EU and it subjects with no rights!

    That why we left that shat hole and kicked the bastards out of this country!

    We are citizens with rights and the power is with the people who grant GOV privileges.

    At anytime those privileges can be REVOKED!!!!

    We are 7 times bigger than little UK that has more crime and killing with hands,bats,knives,fist,pipe sharp sticks…dead is dead is dead!!!

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