An Open Letter to Larry Pratt and Phil Van Cleave
Michael Kreitzer, Budget Guns and Gear Reviews
You can watch the episode of The Right of the People where I talk about this here.
For those who may not know, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America and Phil Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League were recently featured on an episode of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show, “Who is America?”
Cohen, poorly disguised as an Israeli counter-terrorism “expert”, interviewed the men about a fake program to train and arm schoolchildren as young as FOUR YEARS OLD, allegedly called “Kinderguardians”.
Both gun rights leaders were duped, and bought Cohen’s over-the-top accent and preposterous story hook, line, and sinker. Pratt was recorded agreeing that toddlers were “uncorrupted by homosexuality” and made good child soldiers, and even laughed uproariously about a spousal rape joke, asking to make sure that the bit wasn’t going to be “on the tape.” He then introduced Cohen to several lawmakers and ex lawmakers who fell for the scheme as well.
Van Cleave, meanwhile, held various firearms festooned with stuffed animals and extolled on their virtues and how to use them. For instance, he explained that in order to use the “Puppy Pistol”, you had to first put his lunch box in his tummy (as he slid a magazine into its grip) and “point his mouth” at the bad man. He then spouted about how the “Uzicorn” was good for girls. To make matters worse, he also capered about while singing a nursery rhyme about how kids should shoot an attacker in the “Head, shoulders, not the toes, not the toes!”
The saddest thing about the entire ordeal is that both of these men are giants in the gun-rights community. Both have led their respective organizations for many years, even decades, and have been tireless warriors in the fight for our freedoms.
But I don’t think they can continue.
Therefore, I am writing the following letter and sending it to both men’s organizations. While I am not a member of the VCDL, the aftereffects of Mr. Van Cleave’s actions have tarred us all with the same soiled brush. As for the GOA, I AM a member of that organization, and so am giving my opinion.
“To Larry Pratt, GOA, and Phil Van Cleave, VCDL
In light of the recent video from Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show, “Who is America”, I feel that I have no choice but to contact you via your organizations and ask that you both do the right thing for our cause and resign your positions with Gun Owners of America and the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League.
This is not something that I do lightly, for I am cognizant of your great contributions to, and your tireless efforts in, the fight to advance our firearms rights. I thank you for being the stalwart defenders of our liberties and for being mighty warriors on behalf of ALL Americans. I am truly appreciative for the sacrifices in time, money, sweat, and personal commitment that you’ve made.
That being said, I believe that if you are TRULY committed to the cause, the best thing that you can do at this point is to make one final sacrifice and step down from any leadership positions. Your unfortunate actions in the aforementioned video have rendered you ineffective, and indeed have made you a detriment, for the gun rights movement. In short, your credibility is GONE, and so is the credibility of any organization or cause with which you are associated.
Please do the right thing. Resign immediately and rest on your well-deserved laurels.
Hopefully, this appeal doesn’t fall on deaf ears…