One of America’s foremost authorities on gun ownership rights spoke in Boise Thursday, offering a mixed vision of both trouble and hope for the country, while issuing a warning about Gov. Butch Otter’s state insurance exchange agenda.
After the nearly 90-minute luncheon engagement, Pratt spoke with IdahoReporter.com about the state’s choice to implement an insurance exchange in compliance with the federal Obamacare law.
“This should be a serious concern to gun owners,” Pratt said. “The state insurance exchanges will be collecting any and all types of personal information about private citizens and sending that information to multiple federal agencies. The concern now is that, based on one person’s diagnosis of a mental health problem, and without any judge or jury being involved, an individual’s constitutionally protect right to own a firearm will be denied.”
Pratt expressed puzzlement that Idaho’s state lawmakers have chosen to comply with the federal health care law. “The Obamacare law is so poorly written that the states can essentially nullify it by refusing to comply with it. A federally controlled exchange cannot collect as much personal data as a state insurance exchange can. I’m saddened, and quite frankly surprised, that Idaho would choose to be the handmaiden of the federal government in this way.”
During his formal presentation in Boise, he noted “We live in the midst of a worldview war,” said Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. He said that “we seem to be surrounded by people who believe they were born to rule, and that the rest of us schlubbs can’t get through the day without their nanny-state regulations of our lives.”
Of the current efforts of the president and Congress to limit private gun ownership rights, Pratt told the audience that “I’m seeing a real uptick in people pushing back. There is a rising tide of opposition across the country.”
While Pratt believes that “we need serious changes in Washington” to better secure private gun ownership rights, he cites Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., as examples of “the kind of leadership we need.”
Pratt expressed hope and optimism for gun rights based both on recent maneuvers by state legislatures, and by elected officials at the county level. “Multiple states are enacting nullification laws as a means of pushing back against federal gun regulations.”
Pratt cited several examples of county sheriffs in several states who have publicly refused to enforce federal gun control measures, and who have also pledged to arrest federal agents who may seek to enforce federal measures within their jurisdictions.
At one point during his presentation, Pratt offered details and analysis of the elementary school massacre in Connecticut last December.
“We now know that the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School went on for about 20 minutes,” he stated. “I have no direct personal experience with shootouts, fortunately, but research tells us that most shootouts last about 10 seconds. Imagine the horror of being caught in that slow, painful, murderous shootout for 20 minutes. One can imagine that there were some anti-gun teachers and other adults in that school, some of whom are now dead, yet for that gruesome 20-minute period were wishing that they had a gun.”
Note: The Thursday luncheon featuring Pratt was sponsored by the Idaho Freedom Foundation, which publishes IdahoReporter.com.