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By Larry Pratt

June 18, 2004

In my first column on this subject (June 2003), I argued from history and theory that gun control is socialist.

One of the few thousand ladies that comprise the Million Mom March volunteered to show how right I am. Thank you, Laurel Redden.

Redden attended the greatly exaggerated rally four years ago when the misnamed Million Mom March had its debut on the Mall in Washington, DC. She was interviewed in a follow-up by Dick Dahl in Join Together Online, an anti-gun internet publication.

Redden became an activist at the time of the march four years ago. While it was the gun issue that pulled her trigger (if you will permit the expression), it is clear that gun control for her is part of an impulse to control much more -- namely, everything.

"The more I got involved, the more I realized that this goes way beyond the gun issue. What I found is that the same system that keeps common-sense gun laws from being enacted goes beyond that single issue.

"It is the same system that keeps our public education from being properly funded; it's the same system that places more importance in maintaining a huge military budget than in taking care of our citizens here at home. It's the mentality of 'every man for himself' and not looking at the bigger societal issues that go along with some of these things."

Socialists believe in government monopolies, including the control of speech. Among those popping the champagne when Congress passed the Incumbents Protection Act (pompously labeled Campaign Finance Reform) was the Mommies' parent organization, the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence. This is not surprising when it is known that the Brady Bunch's CEO is Michael Barnes, a former liberal Democrat member of Congress and former head of the socialist World Federalist Association (now renamed the Citizens for Global Solutions).

The anti-gunners were quite open about why they supported the campaign law -- it would help them overcome the political clout of the gun movement! What a commitment to the rules of the game -- not! The "system" that Redden complains about that keeps gun control laws from being passed has traditionally been referred to as the First Amendment and the rest of the Constitution.

The public education system that Redden is so eager to see get even more tax money than it has is the same system that indoctrinates kids to think like robots and disdain the liberties of free men. Government schooling, increasingly controlled by faceless bureaucrats in Washington, has turned out to be a major engine driving the U.S. toward a society controlled by a centralized, unaccountable government.

Redden juxtaposes 'bad' military spending with 'good' spending that takes care of citizens. This is an important part of the socialist doctrine, and Redden has embraced it hook, line and sinker. It's an interesting view; however, military spending is constitutional while taking care of citizens (e.g. welfare) is not.

In Redden's socialist worldview, the only alternative to socialism ("the bigger societal issues," including "taking care of" citizens) is the law of the jungle: dog-eat-dog individualism, every man for himself. Socialists are convinced that families cannot and will not provide for their own, and that churches and other voluntary organizations are inept and clueless as well. Charity only functions well when a socialist bureaucrat is in charge of it.

Redden and other socialists are apparently unaware of the Mayflower Compact that bound the fortunes of the crew and passengers of that ship together in a cooperative venture to settle Massachusetts in 1620. Socialists also assume that the individualism of the frontier enabled single families to raise barns all by themselves. They seem to have never heard of barn raising parties.

What can we learn from Redden's activist epiphany? Socialists such as Redden see the gun issue as a key to advancing their overall agenda. Socialists understand that an individual who relies on his own gun for self-defense may not, if he is consistent, be a sucker for government control of the rest of his life. Truly, the fight to preserve an armed citizenry is a key battle in the war to defend freedom.

� 2004 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved

Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 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 firearm issues in the states. GOA's work includes providing legal assistance to those involved in lawsuits 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 & Militias, 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.

The GOA web site is: Pratt's weekly talk show Live Fire is archived there at:   E-Mail: [email protected]








"What can we learn from Redden's activist epiphany? Socialists such as Redden see the gun issue as a key to advancing their overall agenda. Socialists understand that an individual who relies on his own gun for self-defense may not, if he is consistent, be a sucker for government control of the rest of his life."