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Pressler Endorses Clinton on Post-Orlando Imperative to Fight NRA

Want moral courage from a South Dakota Senator? You’ll have to turn to former Senator Larry Pressler, who has been provoked by the Orlando massacre to endorse Hillary Clinton. Here’s the statement attributed to Pressler on Twitter:

Pressler endorse Clinton 20160612

Pressler says we need to take on the National Rifle Association. A relatively new convert to Mormonism, Pressler also says Republcians need to stand against Trump’s familiar and dangerous call for religious persecution:

But gun control isn’t the only reason why Pressler is ready to join “Republicans for Clinton” — he’s also concerned about Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims.

“This election is starting to sound like the German elections in [the late 1920s],” Pressler said. “This is a very dangerous national conversation we’re slipping into.”

Pressler, a Mormon Sunday school teacher, said he understands all too well the dangers of singling out a particular religious group.

In 1838, Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs ordered Mormons to be killed, which forced many to leave the state before eventually resettling in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Trump makes “Mormons very nervous,” Pressler said.

“Mormons are the only religious group besides the Jews who have been ordered by the government to be extinguished, killed,” he said.

“The worst thing is for Republicans to be silent,” Pressler added. “A lot of Republicans are just saying, ‘I’ll sit it out, I won’t vote.’ Or, ‘I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.’ But if they don’t vote, they are giving more power to dark forces” [Tim Devaney, “Former GOP Senator Endorses Clinton After Orlando Shooting,” The Hill, 2016.06.13].

Silence is the worst response… may we cross-apply Pressler’s call for action to the Democratic protest against Speaker Ryan’s moment of silence for the Orlando victims last night?

Former Republican Pressler’s declaration for Hillary Clinton is the third time in a row that he has backed the Democratic candidate for President.


  1. barry freed 2016-06-14

    So he advocates the disarming of Mormans? When does that start, or is it, once again, only “them” that see a ban?

  2. Steve Sibson 2016-06-14

    “Trump makes “Mormons very nervous,” Pressler said.”

    And Islamic Jihadists don’t? Pressler lacks discernment.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-14

    “disarming of Mormons”? Barry, please clarify.

  4. Nick Nemec 2016-06-14

    Steve, Pressler’s point,apparent to me, is that the Mormon history as a despised religious minority causes Mormons to be extra skeptical of Trump because of Trumps bashing of all Muslims as a group. I’m sure jihadists also worry Pressler and other Mormons.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-14

    Bingo. As Nick says, people who have experience outside the comfortable majority understand the danger of Trump’s rhetoric.

    Interestingly, Pressler chose to be part of that particular religious minority relatively late in life, yet he’s able to put his concerns in the context of his new co-religionists’ experience.

  6. Steve Sibson 2016-06-14

    “Trumps bashing of all Muslims as a group”

    That is a false allegation. Trump’s position is that we have not found a way to filter out the violent Jihadists. Until then, we need to put a hold a letting more in. Again, Pressler lacks discernment.

  7. Roger Cornelius 2016-06-14

    Yesterday Trump renewed his call to ban ALL Muslims!
    He made no exceptions regarding a screening process.
    Sibson, your refusal to report news as reported is pathetic.

  8. mike from iowa 2016-06-14

    No one has figured out a way to filter any minute grains of truth from anything that Drumpf#$k spews out of his mouth.

  9. Nick Nemec 2016-06-14

    Steve, the lack of discernment is not Pressler’s but yours. Trump has repeatedly call for the banning of Muslims from the US. Trump would establish religious tests in America, a totally un-American proposition.

  10. Bob Newland 2016-06-14

    I have become a fan of Lilburn Boggs.

  11. Steve Sibson 2016-06-14

    Nick, immigration has always been that way. The president has an obligation to make sure our enemies are stopped at our borders. Sad that the democratic pluralists are against that.

    And now I wonder if Pressler’s lack of discernment will incorrectly argue that Mormonism is a Christian religion. That all plays into the ecumenical inter-faith movement that will set up Satan’s New World Order, as prophesied in the Book of Revelation.

  12. Nick Nemec 2016-06-14

    Good grief. The argument is not if Mormonism is a true Christian religion but rather should the US establish religious tests. I and most of American history say no, Trump, Sibson, and apparently several million of Trumps supporters say yes.

  13. Steve Sibson 2016-06-14

    “should the US establish religious tests”

    I have denied religious tests. I have stated the immigration policy does and should have restrictions as to who can come across our borders. If a religion proclaims to be our enemy, then we are to ignore that?

    And I have made the argument that Pressler’s position in that regard lacks discernment. Cory pointed out his recent Mormon transformation, so I do not consider that issue off topic. The issue that I have brought to the table is that the Islamic inclusion is part of the inter-faith movement that does have Biblical Christian implications. I am warning Christians not to be a part of it. We should not be bullied by the liberals into going along with this so-called democratic pluralism.

  14. Sam2 2016-06-14

    Trump is right on this one. We need to get a handle on who is entering our country. This is not a case of gun control – it is a case of how the system failed. The man was on a terrorist watch list and also was able to purchase guns in legal fashion.

    This is another example of an attack in gun free zones. Once again Trump is right gun free zones are targets for mass violence since those in the zone have no defense.

    It is clear Preseler has lost his mind.

  15. mike from iowa 2016-06-14

    Mateen was born and raised/radicalized in these here United States of America, Wingnuts and the NRA prevented our gubmint from keeping this killer from purchasing guns. Drumpf#$k knows nothing at all. Place the blame squarely on radical,right wing kristians, where it belongs, Sam2.

  16. mike from iowa 2016-06-14

    Mateen was born in Queens, New York. So was Drumpf#$k. Maybe we should be spying on Drumpf#$k?

  17. Roger Cornelius 2016-06-14

    Pressler is absolutely right about Trump.
    So far Trump has said he wants Muslims banned, wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out. Instead he has offered no sympathy to the families in Orlando, (which makes me suspect he supports the murder of gays) and has called out the president for not saying ‘radical Islamist, as if that if going to change anything.
    Last week on CNN Wolf Blitzer interviewed the most responsible republican conservative I can think of, Mitt Romney.
    It is too bad Romney’s comments didn’t get more coverage since they reinforce Pressler’s observations.
    Romney’s thinks that if Trump is elected that he will cause what he refers to as Trump’s ‘trickle down racism’
    Essentially what that means is Trump and his followers can target any racial or religious group he chooses for some kind or retribution.
    In fact, Trump has already employed ‘trickle down racism’ in this primary season by targeting Mexicans and Muslims.
    Does this mean that anytime Trump gets a wild hair up his butt he is entitled to bully them into submission?
    If Trump employs these means to bully whoever he chooses, he will violate the very values of this country and of democracy.
    But what the hell, Trump has no understanding of democracy.

  18. Steve Sibson 2016-06-14

    “Wolf Blitzer interviewed the most responsible republican conservative I can think of, Mitt Romney.”

    Romney is as much of a liberal Mormon as Pressler, if not more so.

  19. happy camper 2016-06-14

    Pressler is an idiot. Who becomes Mormon, and why? Oh yeah because they’re an idiot. Or senile. People without a brain make me nervous.

  20. grudznick 2016-06-14

    I’ve often thought that if I were to become a Christian I would take the Mormon route. At least back in the day. You know.

  21. jerry 2016-06-14

    Here is yet another lesson in courage from twiddle dee and twiddle dumb. 1.11 TRILLION defense budget passed. Damned near with all hands on deck. A few courageous Republicans and Democrats, all the rest, in the pockets of the military contractors and other scum bags. What the hell do we get for 1.11 Trillion bucks, certainly not security. Someone please tell me the difference between the two party’s, I cannot see it for the bullshit. Maybe Pressler could seize the day and come out swinging.

  22. jerry 2016-06-14

    Get a cart Mr. Grudznick, and start to practice. Head to Omaha, cross the bridge there and go West. When you get to Scottsbluff, better rest and sneak off to have some brews. You can do it man, you can do it.

  23. grudznick 2016-06-14

    A cart, Mr. Jerry? I fear I cannot follow your deep knowledge. I am of the age where if I became a Mormon Christian I would have a small group of young ladies who would bring me my brews and second breakfasts and massage my scalp and feet. You know.

  24. Bob Newland 2016-06-14

    Mormons believe that men will have multiple wives in the celestial kingdom. That’s not bs. I was raised a Mormon.

  25. Don Coyote 2016-06-14

    “In 1838, Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs ordered Mormons to be killed, which forced many to leave the state before eventually resettling in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Trump makes “Mormons very nervous,” Pressler said.

    “Mormons are the only religious group besides the Jews who have been ordered by the government to be extinguished, killed,” he said.”

    Really? Larry leaves out a whole lot of history of the Mormon Church under Joseph Smith. Like the banking fraud he engaged in New York state before fleeing to Missouri. And the waging of war against the State of Missouri before being brought up on treason charges. Or after escaping from Missouri and fleeing to Illinois where he tried to set up a theocratic government with his Council of Fifty, proclaiming himself king while advocating the overthrow of the US government. He burned down a newspaper building and destroyed the press. And he once again was charged with treason. Larry also forgot to mention Smith’s trial for attempted murder in New York and his suspected involvement in the attempted assassination of Governor Boggs. Joseph Smith was not a nice man.

  26. grudznick 2016-06-14

    You have always been one of the most blessed, Bob.

  27. happy camper 2016-06-14

    I suppose now you drink coffee bad boy.

  28. Steve Sibson 2016-06-14

    “Larry leaves out a whole lot of history of the Mormon Church under Joseph Smith. ”

    More than a ton.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-14

    Funny what becomes the main point of contention on this story.

    Given Pressler’s willingness to stand up to the NRA, maybe we need to convince him to run for something again in 2018. Pressler is right about the gun-industry lobby having too much power; we need to break their grip on the discourse and talk about real solutions.

  30. Don Coyote 2016-06-14

    And what would those real solutions be cah? The disrespectful Dems in the House want a bill passed that would tie the names on the no-fly lists to a prohibition on gun purchases. This bill would have done nothing to prevent the Orlando massacre but it will deprive thousands of people of due process. Even the ACLU thinks this is a bad law. The FBI had the Orlando shooter in their sights twice but some how dropped the ball

  31. Greg 2016-06-15

    I think Pressler should run again, its been 26 years since he won an election. He is due to win, NOT. Larry is a has been.

  32. Steve Sibson 2016-06-15

    Cory, there are no real solutions, other than the return of Jesus Christ. Murder began in the Garden and has continues until this day. Banning guns will not change it. That will only leave us more defenseless.

  33. mike from iowa 2016-06-15

    People on the no-fly list should be handed assault rifles and box cutters. Then they should be given free flying lessons for jumbo jets. Would that make you whiny right wing simpletons happy, yet!!!

    Maybe you think they need explosives, as well. That oughta help.

    Due process, my ass. They should be given the same due process cops give black men and kids. Shoot them in the back multiple times while they are running away so they don’t get otherwise murdered for being black.

  34. barry freed 2016-06-15

    Like the rest of the political hacks, he doesn’t wait to learn the facts.

  35. mike from iowa 2016-06-15

    Sibson-if there really was a Jesus Christ and he really came back, fauxknee pious kristians like you would be one of the first babies thrown out with the bath water.

    The way you abuse the supposed teachings of your lord and saviour, he/she/it will be particularly unhappy with your kind and go all armageddon on your top knot, guaranteed.

  36. Darin Larson 2016-06-15

    jerry, I’m sure you will be relieved to know that Clinton now leads Trump by 12 points in the latest national poll of likely voters. Trump can’t help himself. He can’t even act presidential. Fortunately, his destructive policies may never come to fruition because he is self-destructing right before our eyes.

    I don’t ever remember a time in history when Republicans sided with Democrats rather than their own presumptive presidential nominee. Trump the unifier bring Republicans and Democrats together!

    “Top Republicans join Obama in condemning Trump’s words:”

  37. Steve Sibson 2016-06-15

    Darin, I believe you are right. The cultural Neo-Marxist approach is working perfectly, as the media provides the propaganda from the social justice bullies. Hillary should have no problem becoming president and the political puppet for the global economic elites. More proof that God has turned America over based on Romans 1.

  38. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-15

    Don, I do not know the solution yet, but we can try the process of elimination.

    It is possible that guns are not the problem (I’ll at least entertain the debate), but I am confident guns are not the solution.

    The solution does not lie in branding Democrats “disrespectful” because they recognize that “moments of silence” are not the solution.

    Silence, prayer, and waiting for Armageddon are not the solution; quite the contrary, Sibby’s attitude leads to futile nihilism.

    Making fun of Larry Pressler for converting to Mormonism is not the solution.

    If the no-fly list is not a solution, then we should abolish the no-fly list. But the solution is not to give Americans free and easy access to any weapon of mass murder.

    An even bigger, more integrated intelligence-gathering system—a.k.a. Big Brother—is not the solution.

    Demonizing immigrants is not the solution (unless we posit that the proper response to Timothy McVeigh’s terrorist action in 1995 would have been to ban Irish immigrants).

    Refusing to support research on gun violence does not help us identify evidence-based solutions.

    Letting the discourse on this issue be dictated by the gun-industry’s profit-boosting propaganda is not the solution.

  39. clcjm 2016-06-15

    You nailed it, Cory! That’s a very good list of the underlying issues in this debate! Wish everyone would realize that these are the things we need to address instead of harping on one or two talking points! Thank you for your insight and clarity on so many issues!

  40. Don Coyote 2016-06-15

    @cah: You set up a lot of false dilemmas in your embrace of the excluded middle.

    While guns may not be the complete solution, gun control advocates need to be accepting of the fact that guns are here to stay.

    Last time I checked, moments of silence/candlelight vigils, etc are never offered up as solutions but merely as gestures of respect for the victims. What House Dems did was reprehensible not only for the victims in Orlando but for the democratic process.

    I don’t mock Pressler’s recent conversion to Mormonism but his whitewashing of Mormon history is abhorrent especially for someone who has demonstrated an intellect high enough to earn a Rhodes Scholarship.

    The no-fly list could be part of the solution but the process needs to be more transparent and needs an appeal process complete with depositions and interrogatories in court.

    Addressing a broken immigration process is part of the solution. Developing a coherent immigration policy is part of the solution. Properly vetting refugees to reduce the possibility of additional terrorists entering the country is part of the solution. If that necessitates a pause in the process until it is fixed, then so be it.

    Pretending that “universal background checks” won’t lead to a national gun registry or that having guns confiscated is not a real threat when there are calls from the Left for repeal of the 2nd Amendment are not part of the solution.

    I always cringe when those on the Left call for a “conversation” knowing that is code for cutting off debate and embracing a one sided conversation.

  41. Steve Sibson 2016-06-15

    “Silence, prayer, and waiting for Armageddon are not the solution; quite the contrary, Sibby’s attitude leads to futile nihilism.”

    I am not silent, much to your displeasure, and I am not just waiting for Armageddon. The solution is to not be deceived so that when Jesus Christ does return, you are not taken by surprise. That solution requires understanding the deceptions being pushed by propaganda, and helping each other discern the truth. That is far from nihilism, and that is why I am here.

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-15

    Don, I offer no false dilemmas. I list several items that are not solutions. Several possible solutions remain for discussion; I’m just trying to get some of your clutter off the field.

    A moment of silence in and of itself is not a bad thing. In the context of the House GOP’s NRA-fueled obstructionism, where a moment of silence is all that we get, a moment of silence is reprehensible. Conversation and action, not silence, is needed. Dems did nothing reprehensible in their protest; you’re just trying to score points.

    Immigration reform is not central to the discussion of preventing mass murder. No vetting of the Mateen family three (?) decades ago would have led to a federal official saying, “Holy crap! Their unborn son will kill 49 people someday—better not give them a visa!”

    I have not advocated for a national gun registry or confiscation of guns in this discussion. However, a national gun registry might actually uphold the Second Amendment: knowing who has what guns where could help us maintain a well-regulated militia, in that in case of an invasion, we could better coordinate the mustering of the citizenry in an optimal defense (imagine the discussion in the war room: “We have 1,000 citizens with 2,000 guns in Jonesville, but only 900 citizens with 500 guns in Smithburg; send air cover to help hold the line at Jonesville while we airlift more rifles to Smithburg.”)

    Knock off the faux “cringing”, Don—you’re trying to shut down debate with your labeling and specious reasoning. We (not just “The Left”, but regular folks… and Senator Pressler sure isn’t the Left) would rather solve problems and not have to live in fear of the NRA’s profit model.

  43. Steve Sibson 2016-06-15

    “Senator Pressler sure isn’t the Left”

    He most certainly is.

  44. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-15

    I would invite Senator Pressler to respond with his own assessment of whether he considers himself a member of the Left (I’m pretty sure from his new book that he would reject that label), but what’s the point of arguing with someone who’s just waiting for Jesus to come back and wipe all our troubles away?

    Greg, I will agree that Pressler seems to lack a base of political power from which to advance the solutions he’s talking about. I would like to see him do something to mobilize the 17% who voted for him in 2014 to say something to our Congressional delegation about looking for practical solutions to gun violence.

  45. happy camper 2016-06-15

    Easy access to dangerous weaponry is part of the problem, but in this case part of the motive is likely torment from fundamentalism (religious) so it’s strange to hold up a new Mormon as a savior to the cause. They have their own negative positions toward women and gays. Less severe than Islam obviously, but atheists should expect more in the year 2016. Much more.

  46. Darin Larson 2016-06-15

    happy, since you mention Islam and its severity again as a blanket statement, I thought this might be informing. Turkey is a predominately Muslim country, but according to CBS news, they removed the prohibitions against gay sex in their law more than 150 years ago. Compare their record on this issue with the US where 12 states still outlaw sodomy a decade after SCOTUS ruled such laws unconstitutional.

    On the other hand, you can be stoned to death in Iran for being gay. So, I understand that there are Muslim countries that live up to your stereotype of them. I just think painting with too broad a brush is a mistake.

  47. leslie 2016-06-15

    no sibby. i’m the left. I don’t agree much about anything larry pressler positions. the whole right wing has to start disassociating with the malignant NRA. And I think they are. Howz that, malignant rather than ammosexual?

  48. leslie 2016-06-15

    hahahahah-coyote: “I always cringe when those on the Left call for a “conversation” knowing that is code for cutting off debate and embracing a one sided conversation.”

    remember when your guyz left the ACA debate? walked out. the jan 20 dinner in DC where you guyz took the wheels off the government ever since? ‘member?

    “code for cutting off debate”- remember that guy, larry tidemann? EB5? the international $600 million dollar fraud the state was protecting, then the feds got after denny, so then now jackley wants the state’s money back. remember? then denny says I hate that-Obamacare for 55,000 residents, 30-90 who die needlessly each year since 5 years ago? “code for cutting off debate”. jesuskerist, don. I could go on. take your partisan b.s. and stick it. there are more reliable news sources out there, you may be aware.

  49. leslie 2016-06-15

    darin-someone said today a poll shows Hillary 70%, trump 30%. if that’s true, we really have observed the republican party self-destruct. they still have a very good history of stealing elections, though.

  50. Roger Cornelius 2016-06-15

    Pressler’s is good news for Hillary, perhaps he can convince his Mormon friends in Utah to turn their red state blue.

  51. leslie 2016-06-15

    coyote-assuming you agree with everything this guy says below, so you are there and my side of the “conversation” is: let’s start at banning assault rifles (I kno these ar15 bami pea-shooters are loveable) and large magazines. you tell me how many people you want dead and maimed in a few seconds– 15, 20, 30, 100? what would the reasonable person say?

    no ar15s, no auroras, newtowns, san bernadinos and orlandos? what say you coyote?

  52. happy camper 2016-06-16

    I completely understand out of 1.6 B Muslims in different countries there is huge variability. But also saying “We are all the same” is a ridiculous blanket statement. I mentioned how older Afghan men very commonly sleep with young boys (Bacha bazi) without any response from this blog. But oh, if someone has possibly intentionally thrown beer on native children that’s an outrage that goes on for a year. So it must be a not in my backyard thing. Well, if we are going to allow Muslim refugees it’s entirely reasonable to want to know what huge cultural differences they bring with them. They think in Belgium and France the young Muslims are having a “conflict of identify.” Since they don’t fit in to society they are easy picking for ISIS recruiters. This blog treats fundamentalist Sibby like s— but out of cultural sensitivity you want to welcome Muslim refugees many would make him look like a socialist. For goodness sake there is a logical splinter.

    Here’s a Frontline show on Muslim Afghan men sleeping with young boys, but our state department supports many of these men so we look away. Some reports were up to 50% of Afghan men do this with often dire consequences for the exploited children. Fine, that’s Afghanistan, but what other things should we know? We are all the same? That’s a dangerous and inaccurate way of looking at the world.

  53. Don Coyote 2016-06-16

    @leslie: Define “assault rifle” and “large magazines”.

    It appears of AR15 type bans don’t do much. Murders committed by rifles accounted for 3% of all murders in the last year of the Federal ban. In 2014, that figure had fallen to 2%. AR-15s are still banned in California but it didn’t stop the San Bernardino massacre where illegally modified rifles were used.

    What are we gonna do about the 10M+ AR15s in circulation? Confiscate them like they did in Australia? At a cost of of $5B for the compensation of the rifles?

    How many rounds of ammo should a “large magazine” hold? is 20 the right number? 15? Are you gonna count the round in the chamber too?

  54. happy camper 2016-06-16

    We could have a voluntary buy back program and those weapons be destroyed, and make it illegal to sell kits, and to create automatic rifles from semi-automatics. Even Bill O’Reilly is calling for some gun control measures. It sucks all that dangerous weaponry is out there and could be bought on the black market, but you got to start somewhere. They used to say 58 Murders a Year by Firearms in Britain, 8,775 in US. That’s a shocking difference if accurate.

    Darin it’s worth noting that laws sometimes mean nothing. In Afghanistan that documentary shows the chief of police and an official with the Department to Protect Children watching young boys dressed as women dance. After the dance they are often auctioned off for sex.

  55. happy camper 2016-06-16

    Many Muslim countries have laws against Female Genital Mutilation but their rates are still in the 90s. They just look away like Liberals (and everyone) who look away from things that don’t fit their agenda. It’s called denial. We all do it, but many of you need to take stock of what you’ve bought in to, take an ugly look at reality, and reevaluate. These silly PC ideas we’ve taught our children are dangerous.

  56. Bill Dithmer 2016-06-16

    ” I am not silent, much to your displeasure, and I am not just waiting for Armageddon. The solution is to not be deceived so that when Jesus Christ does return, you are not taken by surprise. That solution requires understanding the deceptions being pushed by propaganda, and helping each other discern the truth. That is far from nihilism, and that is why I am here.”

    Great Steve is a believer. He will obviously want to be first in line for the Real Religion Test.

    Thanks for stepping up to the plate.

    The Blindman

  57. happy camper 2016-06-16

    One of the best movies (besides The African Queen) is The Crucible when John Proctor says he can’t give up his name, his real beliefs. It’s so easy to surrender and be safe. Cory I know wants us to tell our truths, but he also prefers when we agree with him. Can’t have it both ways baby.

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