Rocker Ted Nugent has often come to blows with President Obama’s policy on gun control (and the idea of restricting firearms in general), but on February 12, he dismissed Obama’s words as “nonsense” following the president’s State of the Union address. Nugent watched the speech from the House chamber after being invited by Republican congressman Steve Stockman.
Just two weeks after 15 year-old Chicagoan Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed, the President had bold, definitive words on the matter in his address. Pendleton’s parents “deserve a vote,” he said. He referenced some of the most recent mass shootings, such as those in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, as deeply important incentives to curb uncontrolled gun usage in America.
After watching the speech, however, Nugent showed little sympathy, and went on to denounce the president’s words.
“Nothing he proposed would have stopped any of the shootings,” Nugent claimed. “Who doesn’t know this? Who doesn’t know that registration and limitation on magazine capacity and the color of guns has anything to do with saving lives or reducing crime?”
While Obama did say, “Our actions will not prevent every act of senseless violence in the country,” he noted that that was not quite the point. “We were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can.”
The gun violence victims who also attended the speech – Pendleton’s parents and former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords among them – didn’t share Nugent’s negative opinion. Mr. and Mrs. Pendleton stood alongside Michelle Obama as they heard the president’s words. Michelle attended a White House briefing on gun violence earlier that day, which was coordinated partly by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
In Nugent’s eyes, however, Obama’s dialogue on this crisis was merely “more nonsense.” Nugent has always been an extreme ‘gun rights’ advocate, and has made abrasive remarks about the Obama administration in the past. In fact, prior to Obama’s re-election, the conservative musician said, “If Obama becomes president again, I’ll either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” He made that remark at the 2012 National Rifle Association Convention in St. Louis, and followed it up by comparing the Obama administration to “coyotes who [needed] to be shot.”
Nugent has also taken an aggressive anti-animal rights position, which coincides with his support for guns; that support extends to the point of advocating sport hunting and illegal hunting, for which he has been fined on numerous occasions. He claimed he was repulsed by “people who think animals have rights. Just stick an arrow through their lungs.”
The rocker hasn’t merely reserved his unpleasant remarks for the Obama administration, either; he has criticized other rock and heavy metal artists for disagreeing with him, though many see his viewpoint as a minority in the modern rock and metal scenes, which increasingly embody progressive or left-wing views.
Nugent called out rap metal band Rage Against the Machine in 2007 after they criticized the Bush administration. “These guys are over the top,” he said. “They’re [on that] lunatic fringe.” Notably, Rage guitarist Tom Morello has been a strong pro-union, pro-immigration activist.
The only musician, it seems, in the world of heavy music who is making similar outrageous comments is Megadeth guitarist Dave Mustaine, who also showed little concern for mass shooting survivors when he said, “My president is trying to pass a gun ban, so he’s staging all of these murders like [those] in Aurora, Colorado and the people at the Sikh temple.”
Subsequently, a major wave of criticism came Mustaine’s way from others in the music community. “Dave Mustaine is an assh*le,” said glam metal musician Nikki Sixx. “He owes the victims’ families an apology.”
The metal community, still stricken by the 2004 shooting of beloved Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, has shown Nugent equal dislike, particularly after Nugent insulted Abbott’s memory, saying he “never thought too highly of … the Ozzy-like zombie.” He added, “Damn them,” in reference to Pantera, accusing them of “America-wrecking behavior and chimp-like substance abuse.”
Yesterday Nugent proved that he has the same sort of disrespect for the president, as well as those who fell victim to the country’s unchecked wave of gun chaos. “The scam rages on,” he said. “We’ve heard it all before. My favorite parts were [the ones that] I couldn’t hear clearly. I didn’t even have to get angry.”
Photo: Ted Nugent Matt Becker/Wikipedia