Autry Pruitt: Diversity at SHOT Show Shattered Expectations

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Lars Larson wasn’t the only nationally syndicated radio host I ran into at SHOT Show 2015. I also had the privilege of speaking with Autry Pruitt, the host of UrRepublic and a TownHall contributor.

Not familiar with UrRepublic, well don’t worry, because neither was I. But after talking with Mr. Pruitt he expressed to me that he represents a different brand of political philosophy: Progressive Libertarianism.

If I understand it correctly, Pruitt wants to hold big corporations accountable while keeping big government in check. In other words, he believes that equal time and attention should be paid to exposing both free-market swindlers and nanny-state bureaucrats — as opposed to just focusing on one and turning a blind eye to the other as some political parties have a tendency of doing. Does that make sense? I think so.

In any event, in our brief interview we covered several topics, including the diversity at SHOT Show, something Pruitt was happily surprised by.

“One of my favorite things is that a lot of people often talk about SHOT Show or gun owners as being white and old, this show has dispelled that myth,” explained Pruitt.

“The greatest audience I’ve had has been at the show,” he continued. “They’ve all come and listened to music and even if we disagree in other areas politically we are all Second Amendment supporters.”

So true. I can attest to that. Not everyone at SHOT is a 40-plus-year-old white dude from middle America who watches Fox News seven days a week (not that there’s anything wrong with Fox News). There are people from all over the country with different ethnic backgrounds and varying political perspectives at SHOT. But as Autry noted, the one thing we all have in common is we believe the right to keep and bear arms is an essential liberty.

I also asked Pruitt about his thoughts on universal background checks, a questioned I asked many of my interviewees at the show as it is a hot-button topic.

“We feel that background checks, all that stuff, is just an effort to further separate you from you Second Amendment rights,” said Pruitt.

“Crazy people don’t get guns by going through a background check, he added. “They get guns from doing what Adam [Lanza] did, breaking into a safe, killing their mother and taking the gun.”

Yeah, I agree with him. Begin to make something difficult and you begin to make it impossible. That’s really the purpose of many of these gun-control laws. Increase the burdens and you will decrease the number of people willing to exercise that right.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Bombeiro February 5, 2015, 4:38 pm

    The right to responsible gun ownership by law-abiding citizens is not a right vs left, conservative vs liberal, republican vs democrat, white vs black issue. It is an AMERICAN ISSUE. The sooner we stop treating this as a polarizing topic and accept that, the more likely that we will have legislation and enforcement that will support that right. If BOTH sides of the political spectrum would stop polarizing this and acknowledge that we can have differences on other issues but still be united on THIS one, we’ll have a powerful force to effect change. Back in the day, the NRA, for example, wasn’t perceived (internally and externally) as a conservative organization. It was a nonpartisan group whose members came from all walks of life and advocated for safe and responsible use of firearms. Now, it’s completely antagonistic and aggressively takes a partisan stance. Rather than reaching out in a positive way and educating those who misunderstand firearms and the positive role they can play in society, they elect to demonize them, further creating a divide in this country. Ever hear of you attract more flies with honey than vinegar? The NRA is missing out on a huge opportunity to create a positive coalition that will be huge and effective at protecting the second amendment. And as far as the media goes, all of the major cable news outlets are guilty of “getting it wrong”, spreading misinformation, and stirring up partisanship, rather than educating the misinformed. A recent independent study showed that ALL THREE, Fox, MSNBC, and CNN, presented correct facts and information less than 40% of the time. So the other 60+% was full of errors. With stats like that, from the self-proclaimed authoritative sources of the truth, no wonder people are misinformed and biased.

    • Bruce February 5, 2015, 8:49 pm

      Well spoken….

    • Carl February 5, 2015, 10:07 pm

      Well said Bombeiro. Back in the day when I was a member of the NRA they were the organization of which you spoke. Today, they are no more than political PAC stuffing the pockets of both democratics and republicans. As a black male who happen to enjoy weapons and the shooting sports, I would find it very hard to find myself at annual meeting of the NRA. I am sitting in the audience knowing that in the back room they are saying that “Obamer” has been the best gun saleman that we have had in years and then turing around on stage staying down with Obama. In addition, I would be very uncomfortable knowing that some of my fellow audience memebers had just gotten off line call people that look just like me urban shooter, thugs, gangsters and liberals. I am in the state of mind that the only thing that I can say is that the only thing that I can agree too is that we disagree. We see the world through two different sets of eye’s and experience’s. I can agree with some of the things Mr.Autry Pruitt said. He said that he liked to look at events differently. Then to justify what happened to Mike Brown he put everything together. What happened at the store was different from what happen on scene where Mike Brown was killed. If you believe statements made; the chief said that officer did not know the event’s that happened at the store. that would lead you to beleive something was in play.

    • Carl February 5, 2015, 10:09 pm

      Well said Bombeiro. Back in the day when I was a member of the NRA they were the organization of which you spoke. Today, they are no more than political PAC stuffing the pockets of both democratics and republicans. As a black male who happen to enjoy weapons and the shooting sports, I would find it very hard to find myself at annual meeting of the NRA. I am sitting in the audience knowing that in the back room they are saying that “Obamer” has been the best gun saleman that we have had in years and then turing around on stage staying down with Obama. In addition, I would be very uncomfortable knowing that some of my fellow audience memebers had just gotten off line call people that look just like me urban shooter, thugs, gangsters and liberals. I am in the state of mind that the only thing that I can say is that the only thing that I can agree too is that we disagree. We see the world through two different sets of eye’s and experience’s. I can agree with some of the things Mr.Autry Pruitt said. He said that he liked to look at events differently. Then to justify what happened to Mike Brown he put everything together. What happened at the store was different from what happen on scene where Mike Brown was killed. If you believe statements made; the chief said that officer did not know the event’s that happened at the store. that would lead you to beleive something was in play.

  • Kivei February 5, 2015, 1:35 pm

    Good !!! The shooting world needs people from all races to stand up to big government over reach. It would be a positive mention to have more minority personalities representing the American shooters. Many forget that the post Civil War era had laws specifically denying gun rights to blacks and Asians. Almost every state has history where minorities were unjustly killed. Mob violence by the “good citizens”, haunts most communities. Lynching was not just a “southern thing”.

    • Carl February 5, 2015, 10:34 pm

      Yes, you are correct. The shooting world does need more people to stand up. However, it is not likely to happen anytime soon. Have you read what they have to say about other folk on some of these gun and weapons blogs. Let me tell you it is not pretty. The fact is that gun control has always been about keeping weapons out the hands of people that they consider less or other than. You can find video titles such as “No guns for Jews” or “No guns for Negros”. The facts are that black folks and others have had weapons for hunting and self defense. Hunters would have been the first group followed by those black vets returning form the wars. You also had the Deacon’s for defense who helped protect Dr. King and the second amendment sister’s. I would also list the early Black Panther movement before they were corrupted and infiltrated to the demise of the group.

  • redstone February 5, 2015, 10:50 am

    Yep Fox News is just about as bad as MSNBC. Maddow, Schultz, Matthews, all propagandists for the liberal, progressive, anti gun crowd. At least Fox differentiates between the news segments and editorial comments of their shows. Before you talk about spoon fed propaganda, you better take a look in the mirror. You won’t like what you see.

    • Occams February 5, 2015, 1:01 pm

      As I stated, wake up.

      Sadly, you proved my point, Red.

  • Occams February 5, 2015, 9:56 am

    “Not that there’s anything wrong with Fox News” ?

    Not unless, like ALL MSM, you want fantasy BS, prowar-chickenhawking, a-terrorist-behind-every-bush type nonsense.

    No, no.’Nothing wrong’ with 100%, spoon-fed propaganda.

    Anyone watching or listening to propaganda shills like MSM, Rush, Hannity, Beck……?

    Wake up; Your country desperately needs you.

    “Americans are the most misdirected, misinformed, and therefore, the most gullible people on the planet” ~ Alan Hart, author

    • Kivaari February 5, 2015, 1:40 pm

      Americans for the most part are not too bright. They elected Obama, twice. FNC is much more balanced than MSNBC. Watch them and read more elsewhere. Liberal radio and TV fails in the market place because people get tired of the hate speech and lies pumped out by libs.

  • Jim4440 February 5, 2015, 8:18 am

    WOW! Another guy with some common sense. Our side is definitely picking up steam. Freedom for the Folks!

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