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Larry Pratt of Virginia is a member of two different national Tea Party networks: Tea Party Nation and 1776 Tea Party. He is also executive director of Gun Owners of America, which bills itself as a “no compromise” organization opposed to all forms of gun control.

In 1992 Pratt spoke at a Colorado meeting of Aryan Nations leaders; former Ku Klux Klansmen; and adherents of so-called “Christian Identity,” a doctrine in which Jews are literally considered Satanic and persons of color are referred to as “mud people.” Pratt had accepted the invitation from Pete Peters, author of a pamphlet called “The Death Penalty for Homosexuals.” Although Pratt has said he does not share those organizations’ views on race, he attended the meeting to promote his version of the Second Amendment — which included the necessity of citizen-formed militias. “The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting,” he told the Aryans in Colorado.

Pratt spent much of the mid-1990s promoting the militia movement at survivalist expos and political meetings. Using the examples of Guatemala and the Philippines, he wrote a 70-page booklet (Armed People Victorious) that argued in favor of militias assuming the powers of law enforcement: “The history of the United States … was the history of an armed people with functioning militias involved in civil defense (or police work, if you will),” he writes. “It is time that the United States return to reliance on an armed people.”

Critics described this as a prescription for vigilantism and death squads, and after his views and associations became public, Pratt had to resign as Pat Buchanan’s Republican Party campaign co-chair in 1996.

Devin Burghart

Author Devin Burghart

is vice president of IREHR. He coordinates our Seattle office, directs our research efforts, and manages our online communications. He has researched, written, and organized on virtually all facets of contemporary white nationalism since 1992, and is internationally recognized for this effort. Devin is frequently quoted as an expert by print, broadcast, and online media outlets. In 2007, he was awarded a Petra Foundation fellowship. more...

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