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Rolling Stone Magazine’s latest anti-gun polemic is a tome-length effort at taking down Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt. In The Zealot: Larry Pratt Is the Gun Lobby’s Secret WeaponAlexander Zaitchik recounts – in mind-numbing detail – Pratt’s career, highlighting his alleged links to everything from white supremacists and neo-Nazis to the biblically-inspired basis for his uncompromising views on the Second Amendment. There’s no shortage of guilt by association employed, as well as some rather spectacular glossing over of salient points that wouldn’t otherwise fit the article’s narrative. Perhaps no example is as illustrative as Zaitchik’s rendering of the roots of the Waco siege . . .

The NRA and GOA may have been moving in the same general direction, but the larger group never followed Pratt to the outer fringes of the right. When ATF agent Robert Rodriguez infiltrated the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, it was a GOA video that David Koresh played for him. According to a Treasury Department report cited by (author Leonard) Zeskind, the video “portrayed ATF as an evil agency that threatened the liberty of U.S. citizens.” This view of the agency hardened when the ATF led a siege of the compound in April of 1993 that killed 76.

See? It’s all so clear. If GOA hadn’t produced its poisonous anti-government propaganda and distributed it to impressionable fringe wack-a-doodles like David Koresh, Janet Reno wouldn’t have found it necessary to save all of those children by immolating them. Or something like that.

Zaitchik similarly glosses over some thorny facts of the Ruby Ridge confrontation, too — impressively, without actually implicating Pratt or the GOA in that particular debacle — but you get the idea. The novella-length article’s take-away: the gun rights movement is led by ultra-right wing extremists and is rooted in racism, homophobia, anti-semitism with a soupçon of insurrectionist anti-governmentalism.

And while the NRA may occupy a slightly less reactionary position a little more toward the center of the real crazies like Pratt, it’s only their political pragmatism that’s restrains their baser, true instincts. It’s an ambitious, if transparent effort to tar the entire gun rights movement. As to its effectiveness, that remains to be seen.

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  1. … the video “portrayed ATF as an evil agency that threatened the liberty of U.S. citizens” …

    So what’s the problem?

    • See its like this – ATF weren’t jackbooted thugs until GAO called them out as jackbooted thugs which forced them to become jackbooted thugs (And to burn a bunch of peaceful citizens).

      So how will the gun loving potheads here take this pothead magazines “journalism”?

      • Didn’t GHWB burn his NRA card after the NRA called the ATF jack-booted thugs? Soooo…. this is basically the libs new strategy. Pick off the low hanging fruit first, leave the NRA for last since the full frontal assault wasn’t working.

      • Calling the ATF “jack-booted government thugs” started with Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) in 1981.

        Dingell is an old-fashioned Democrat and a strong 2A supporter — the last of a dead breed. Dingell announced that he’s not seeking his 30th term in Congress.

      • “So how will the gun loving potheads here take this pothead magazines “journalism”?”

        As a proud, freedom loving supporter of Marijuana legalization I think Rolling Stone magazine is a pathetic, retrograde, desperately idiotic and morally degenerate publication (sort of an MSNBC for people who can read without moving their lips). I think the same about Fox News and it’s illegal alien hugging, money grubbing, war mongering, gun hating owner, Rupert Murdoch.

        For libertarians there has always been a quandary when dealing with our brain dead two party system. The problem with the liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican paradigm is that it is intellectually bankrupt and both sides seem bent on destroying what is left of our liberty, albeit in different ways and for different reasons. If the only viable choice is Tweedledum or Tweedledee then we really don’t have a choice at all.

        • “sort of an MSNBC for people who can read without moving their lips”
          May be going a little too far there- I’m pretty sure at least some of it’s readers DO move their lips
          Did you see their article on women and guns? The one where they point out that women are getting guns out of fear, but they shouldn’t be afraid because violence is down?

      • Seems to me, if you have an inside man who brings you intel on their hatred for a particular agency, judicious use of that intel would NOT be to send that agency to resolve the issue.

  2. Rolling Stone: News source of idiots nationwide.

    Here’s the good news: circulation is down and idiots don’t become idiots by reading Rolling Stone(r).

    They, however, will never become high-information types by reading RS tripe.


    • “I also find it amusing how Progressives throw in the anti-Semitism charge when outside of the dimwitted Jewish left Progressives are virtual Nazis.”

      Two problems with that statement. First, “Progressive” Jews aren’t as a group dimwitted at all, rather they are dangerously misguided or just plain malevolent. Second, they shouldn’t be exempted from the Nazi label just because they are Jews. There were some high ranking Nazi officials who by the standards of the time and place were Jewish. Michael Bloomberg fits the description of a Nazi Gauleiter quite nicely, as do many other prominent “Progressive” Jews. Substituting the oxymoronic term Liberal Fascist for “Nazi” clarifies the issue I think.

      • That is somewhat of a myth. The only high ranking Nazi official who had sufficient Jewish ancestry to be under a cloud for it was Luftwaffe Field Marshall Erhard Mlch. Milch’s father was Jewish but not his mother so he was merely a “mixed race.” He survived because he was under the protection of Herman Goring who he served with in WWI.

        There were a few other “questionable” German military officers who served the Nazis during the war. Field Marshall Erich von Manstein nee von Lewinsky was the most the prominent. He was descended from a famous 18th Century Polish Rabbi. His ancestry was sufficiently ancient that it didn’t count. He was an opportunist and a careerist who wholeheartedly supported the Nazi agenda just to get ahead. Wouldn’t surprise me if another he and another famous Lewinsky share common ancestry.

        Admiral Gunter Lutjens, badly misportrayed as an ardent Nazi in the movie “Sink the Bismarck!,” was married to a half Jewish woman. He and his family were protected by Grand Admirals Raeder and Donitz. Beyond that I can think of no WWII senior German officers who had a Jewish connection.

  3. wonder if Larry even realized the enormous power he wields in this world. I would bet he is shocked.
    Definitely shows he is doing a great job, or the rags wouldn’t be trying to defame or destroy him.

    • Exactly, exactly. And this article can only increase Pratt’s standing and influence. (I wonder if an editor at Rolling Stone is secretly in favor of guns…)

  4. Yeah, Rolling Stone that did an airbrushed full on the knees BJ worshipful puff piece of Boston Bomber Tsarneav. Enough said

  5. Rolling Stone is desperately trying to remain (Begin to be?) relevant in the world of low-information voters who dislike money because their parents buy them things.
    As for being a serious editorial about the evil and carnage of the “fringe”, it is simply pandering to a base. See above.
    The gritty, in your face style of journalism that was essentially pioneered by H.S. Thompson is now being attended to by those who selectively assume that the world can be a peaceful and beautiful place with nothing more than the abolition of discipline.
    I wonder if these geniuses have ever perused through a copy of “Lord of the Flies”?
    Probably not.

    • I don’t see how they could have perused that book. Isn’t it banned in a number of school systems long with 1984, Catcher in the Rye, and others?

    • They dislike money, but celebrate celebrities, musicians and movie actors that make millions who are all part of the 1%? Or is it, they hate the 1% unless it is the 1% they like and then everything is cool!

      I still for the life of me do not understand why the Kardashian’s are so loved

      • If you’ve ever seen the posterior side of Kim, you’d realize why they have viewership. If that’s not it, I’m as confused as you. 🙂

  6. When I read Rolling Stone articles like this I smell fear and desperation. I think we might be winning.

    • It is desperation. Unfortunately, when dealing with leftists, desperation evolves to desperate acts. I have read a number of posts and articles where these leftists have openly threatened the lives of NRA members. The question remains: How far will they go.

  7. So who reads Rolling stone? The same dip##its who thought the Sarnyev boy would make a dreamy cover? How’d you like to see it smiling at you after he blew your legs off or KILLED your CHILD? I’m not a fan of Pratt but I don’t condemn him Hey I wish the NRA got rid of certain folks but the have my overwhelming support.

  8. Rolling Stone recently had to retract his royal low-ness Bloomburg’s article on the state of Colorado politics because of the insulting tone and distortions. Maybe they can be pressured into dumping this crap in the hopper too. Looks to me that Rolling Stone needs a major shake up in their editorial staff? Like maybe find some folks that can at least stay in the same ballpark as the truth?

    • There are few things more sad or irrelevant than old, burned-out hippies. Just apply that sentiment to Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone was big in 1972. Now, not so much.

  9. maybe this is a new tact for the antis? Attack the smaller group (GOA) and label them as the far fringe instead of the NRA which has more $$$ and voters? Sorta like pick off the weakest/smallest one of the herd to feast upon. Interesting, but this too shall fail. Single issue voters are motivated. people who have views that are easily influenced or go along to get along are not motivated. #takebackthesenate2014

  10. Do not go view the article. Do not comment. This is how they drive internet ad revenue, by publishing sensationalist hit pieces that drive page views. Remember, every time you click on a Rolling or New York Times page you are making them money. A tiny amount of money to be sure, but money none the less. Ignore their drivel and let that rag die on the vine.

  11. …the gun rights movement is led by ultra-right wing extremists…

    Then it must really get them steaming when Blue Dog Democrats such as myself are also part of the gun rights movement. Eff off Rolling Stone.

  12. It must be nice to be able to blame a handful of organizations for all the failures of your ill-considered Utopian belief systems.

  13. i believe there is a racist undercurrent to the gun rights movement. The links, though tenuous, is definitely there. Its maddening and sad at the same time.

    • When you have an organization like the NRA, with 5 million dues paying members, who are supporting the 100 million gun owners in the country, yes, statistically, you may find a tiny handful of hateful bigots, but they are the exception, not the norm. Now, the gun CONTROL movement? That has always been rooted in racism, from its start during the Civil War with the black codes, which stated that no freed slave was allowed to be armed, to the Jim Crow laws that supported that same idea, even to today, where every form 4473 still asks what race you are before you can buy a gun, because the writers of the 1968 Gun Control act didn’t want guns to fall into the hands of blacks. You tell me which side is more rooted in racism.

    • Wow, you just smeared an entire civil rights movement with reckless innuendo and a complete lack of specific facts. With “friends” like you who needs enemies?

    • Speaking as a minority (Mexican by ethnicity, American by nationality and love), I couldn’t disagree more. While there are certainly racists in any organization I’ve personally found it rare amongst gun enthusiasts. Much less than I’ve seen it elsewhere. Maybe Dan could put in his two cents worth, as well. Sure, we may be under-represented in shooting circles, but that is not indicative of racism. That itself is sad, since those who were raised with old-school Mexican values have very similar values to the POTG.

      At least not real racism. I’m not talking about the “Gee, my feelings are hurt” cr@p from someone being insensitive. Insensitivity isn’t racism. I’m talking about the real thing… You know, the run out of cub scouts, being spat upon, “You don’t mind your daughter marrying on of them” type of racism that the thin skinned whiners know nothing about.

      Personally, I have found that the greatest institutionalized racism I’ve seen has been in progressive organizations. Ronald Reagan may have pushed me from Democrat to Independent, but it was the slave class of illegal immigrants protected and encouraged by California liberals that pushed me from Independent to Republican. That and the way so many Hispanics there had traded ideas such as honor and respect for handouts. That time in California is actually the only time in my 50+ years that I’ve ever been ashamed of my ethnic heritage.

  14. Hey, they’ve always been a classy rag–remember back when they ran the nude photos of Janis Joplin after she over-dosed.

  15. “…when the ATF led a siege of the compound in April of 1993 that killed 76.”

    The ATF assaulted the private residence in February 28 with 76 agents, 4 of whom were killed with 15 Branch Davidians dead. Later in April after months of terror, the FBI and special forces gassed and burned what could be called an inter-racial group of men, women and children. Most were non-white.

    The government was not going to let anyone live. See the McNulty’s “FLIR Project” which exposes the government lies about what really happened that day. I am not a conspiracy theorist and have a high threshold of proof which the video meets. The flashes observed on the FLIR footage are not solar “glint” but match the signature and timing of automatic weapons fire.

  16. This Rolling Stone article is a clear example of how History suffers so easily from Revisionism.

    I think the book, “No More Waco’s”
    by Dave Kopel and Paul Blackman wrote a pretty good book on the whole situation.

    I thought it was a pretty good effort at exposing the truth.

  17. I may be dumb, but exactly how is Gun ownership and the NRA rooted in Racism ?, The NRA was the first civil rights group that advocated for Blacks to own Firearms to protect themselves from the Klan and other groups that wanted to kill them. As far as Hitler ?, he was one of the first people to ban Guns on a nationwide scale. As far as the ATF agency being an evil agency ?, well we all knew that before the Waco guy was born, I mean I can not remember a year going by were they have not been involved is some corruption story. As far as the GOA is concerned, how is demanding that the government follow the supreme law of the land extremist ?.

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