Ted Nugent’s NRA rant

One of the interesting phenomena of today’s political scene in America is the willingness, even gleeful enthusiasm, that many on the right display when saying things that just a few years would have been considered unacceptable. We saw some good hints of it after the Iraq war, when the lobbyists began sending out flyers that said in as many words that they were friends with such-and-such and if you paid them enough they’d get you in front of their powerful friend. This used to be something done with a degree of tact and delicacy, but today there’s no need for such niceties. In this new conservative era you can just shout it out and be proud; no reason to hide behind formalities. Subtlety is for girlie-men.

So I wasn’t too surprised when I read about Ted Nugent’s speech to the NRA. Depressed, nauseated, angry, but not at all surprised.

With an assault weapon in each hand, rocker and gun rights advocate Ted Nugent urged National Rifle Association members to be “hardcore, radical extremists demanding the right to self defense.”

Speaking at the NRA’s annual convention Saturday, Nugent said each NRA member should try to enroll 10 new members over the next year and associate only with other members.

“Let’s next year sit here and say, ‘Holy smokes, the NRA has 40 million members now,'” he said. “No one is allowed at our barbecues unless they are an NRA member. Do that in your life.”

Nugent sang and played a guitar painted with red and white stripes for the crowd at Houston’s downtown convention center.

He drew the most cheers when he told gun owners they should never give up their right to bear arms and should use their guns to protect themselves if needed.

“Remember the Alamo! Shoot ’em!” he screamed to applause. “To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want ’em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot ’em.”

So is this new forthrightness a good thing, a sign of greater honesty? I don’t think so. Part of belonging to a civilized society is a commitment to containing and controlling our most base emotions and behaving with dignity and politeness and respect. Now, these may be seen as “artifice” and mere formality that we macho men are better off discarding, but such artifice plays an important role in keeping civilized people civil. First we drop them from our language, then it influences our behavior, and then…. Well, read about what happens to societies that embrace violence as part of their party line, even if it’s violence “in the name of peace.”

I read things like this and wonder how we’ve slipped so far backwards so quickly. Language that a few years ago would have been damned universally is so routine no one flinches. Can we ever get our dignity back and become decent again?

The Discussion: 42 Comments

Dude! It’s The Motor City Madman! Nugent’s always talked like this. Clearly you’re not a heavy-metal kind of guy.

April 18, 2005 @ 10:49 am | Comment

YES, I know he’s insane and always says bizarre thing, and you’re right, I’m not too much into metal. But this type of talk is acceptable among the NRA crowd and considered cute. I can come up with many examples of recent similar examples of rhetoric from the right that definitely crosses the line of civility, including Delay’s threat to judges that the day will come when they will have to answer for their decisions, not to mention Ann and her friends throwing aroundsthe word “treason” as a synonym for liberalism.

April 18, 2005 @ 10:55 am | Comment

This seems as good a time as any to remind ourselves what the über-patriotic Mr. Nugent did when he was asked to serve his country in Vietnam.

According to a widely-circulated account which we’ve never seen refuted, here’s how Mr. Nugent dodged the draft. “He claims that 30 days before his draft board physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days, he ingested nothing but Vienna sausages and Pepsi; and a week before his physical, he stopped using bathrooms altogether, virtually living inside pants caked with his own excrement, stained by his urine. That spectacle won Nugent a deferment, he says. ‘… but if I would have gone over there, I’d have been killed, or I’d have killed, or I’d killed all the hippies in the foxholes…I would have killed everybody.’” — Detroit Free Press Magazine, July 15, 1990

But then perhaps he had “other priorities.”

What a hero.

April 18, 2005 @ 11:59 am | Comment

Oh my God. He’s just the man to represent the NRA.

April 18, 2005 @ 12:05 pm | Comment

Yep. Full of shit.

April 18, 2005 @ 12:18 pm | Comment

While Mr Nugent’s comments were a bit “overly-charged”, can anyone truly dissagree with his sentiments? I have no problem with killing burglars, rapists, child molesters. Some people, especially those just mentioned, deserve it. and just what is wrong with Mr Nugent voiving his opinion? Libs/ dems do that all the time, referring to conservatives as “racists”, “fascists”, etc…generally with no understanding of what they’re saying and what they are referring to.

April 18, 2005 @ 2:17 pm | Comment

Sorry about the misspelling. Kinda hard to type one-handed while eating lunch. Take care.

April 18, 2005 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

Everyone should have the fredom to voice their opinion. When they urge people to kill, however, they run the risk of being called fascist for a good reason. (Though I never called him a fascist; asshole is more applicable.)

April 18, 2005 @ 3:44 pm | Comment

I have no problem with killing burglars

And Allahu Akbar to you too.

April 18, 2005 @ 3:47 pm | Comment

Goddamn it, and those f@ck!ng drivers here in Beijing who have a red character to start their license plate number thinking they’re Chiang Lai-Shek’s personal chauffeur as they drive around in their fancy black cars with the windows suitably blackened going through red lights, jutting out in front of me in MY CYCLE LANE, knocking down old ladies, slaughtering Pekinese puppies as the little children look on horrified,not yet understanding how traumatised they will be…. STRING THEM UP! NOW, GODDAMN IT! IT’S THE ONLY LANGUAGE THEY UNDERSTAND.

April 18, 2005 @ 4:42 pm | Comment

sorry, I meant SHOOT THEM! SHOOT THEM! Line them against a wall and shoot them! Wait a minute; there’s no NRA here, is there? I mean, the only ones who can have guns in this country are the bastards driving around with these red-characters in their license plates. GODDAMN IT, I HATE THE CCP!!!

April 18, 2005 @ 4:46 pm | Comment


April 18, 2005 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

We saw some good hints of it after the Iraq war, when the lobbyists began sending out flyers that said in as many words that they were friends with such-and-such and if you paid them enough they’d get you in front of their powerful friend.

Like New Bridge Strategies, whose pitch was pretty much “We know bugger all about Iraq, but we do know all the right people in Washington”…

April 18, 2005 @ 5:10 pm | Comment

There we go, sharing our feelings. I always thought it was very therapeutic. Why deny this simple form of venting to a marginal rock and roller? Because he’s not on your side? Nah, if you restrict speech, you gotta do to all the “therapees” on Democratic Underground and Indymedia, too. Wouldn’t want that, would we?

I’m all for civil, sober advocacy, but it’s certainly not just the wild-eyed righties who’ve been sounding like slobbering goons.

How about boycotting spleen-filled invective? And starting at “home”, where they may listen to you.

April 18, 2005 @ 8:41 pm | Comment

I would never want to restrict speech. But sadly this has become an acceptable way of addressing right-wing fanatics. Remember Randall Terry’s “Let hate wash over you…” speech? It’s staus quo, these invitations to hate and commit violence.

If a democrat ever ranted like Nugent did in front of a huge national association everyone would be shocked, it would look insane. But in today’s right-wing world, it’s not only acceptable, it’s charming, just another form of venting.

April 18, 2005 @ 8:48 pm | Comment

May have an ultra-secure scoop for you. Email me with instructions for secure communications. It’s a big deal in your area of interest, unrelated to Japan.

April 18, 2005 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

Not that I like the tenor of discourse these days, but….

what about a certain professors ‘little eichmans’ remark, and similar in the last few years?

Pot, meet kettle…

April 18, 2005 @ 9:43 pm | Comment

Yeah, that nasty Wade (?) Churchill. And look what happened. He became an icon for the right to rail against, he is probably going to lose his job, etc.

And you know what? Wade Churchill is an asshole! The point Richard is making here is that assholes on the Left get pilloried and suffer all kinds of consequences (though some on the Left think Churchill is a plant, btw), while assholes on the Right get a free pass, and dare I say it, the cover of Time Magazine!

It’s not even-handed at all.

April 19, 2005 @ 12:42 am | Comment

I concur with Other Lisa: Wade Churchill is an asshole.

There! That’s two “moonbats” (or whatever the current Patriotically Correct™ term is for people who dare to question Our Leader) who think Churchill is an asshole.

Which, I suspect, is two more than the number of Republicans that have openly criticized Ted Nugent.

April 19, 2005 @ 12:50 am | Comment

better a moonbat than a wingnut, eh, Vaara?

April 19, 2005 @ 1:27 am | Comment

Now, I’m no constututional scholar, I’m not even American, but I don’t recal the constitution giving the NRA the right to bear arms.

What I do remember is a section allowing for a well regulated militia.

If the NRA is a well regulated militia, then I’m the Imperial Japanese army come to invade whereever Bing Feng currently is.

(Sorry mate, but I just want to pillage you so very much, and you already think that I want to do thins).

April 19, 2005 @ 3:16 am | Comment


You are absolutely right – those kind of driving behavior in Beijing was single-handedly created by CCP, the barbarians. Those bastards! And they think they own the 21st century!

April 19, 2005 @ 3:32 am | Comment

T.O.L.: maybe we need a new term just for us. How about “wingbat”?

April 19, 2005 @ 4:00 am | Comment

what about a certain professors ‘little eichmans’ remark, and similar in the last few years?

Pot, meet kettle…

David, where have you been? It’s good to see you. But you have to explain the pot-kettle reference. If I had championed or supported Ward Churchill in any way, it would be valid. But I hate the guy. No respectable to-the-left figure has endorsed him or supported him. And thus, you prove the very point I am trying to make:

We have a way-to-the-left lunatic make some outrageous and offensive remarks, and what happens? Fox News and other cable TV stations go into overdrive. Thick red flames shoot out of Bill O’Reilly’s nostrils as he thunders on about “liberal professors.” Sean Hannity’s eyeballs pop out of their sockets and bounce on his desk as he shrieks about liberal America haters. The story is everywhere. An incredibly obscure and insignificant insect of a professor is now a household name.

What happens when a to-the-right figure makes an outrageous, stupid remark? Republicans like Sam above say we need to keep our sense of humor and let it go. The papers treat it with kid gloves and, worst of all, no one is surprised. It is absolutely status quo now for rebublican populists to imply that “radical judges” should be punished for making decisions they don’t like. No one blinks or blushes when groups supposedly dedicated to “the culture of life” threaten Michael Schiavo and various judges with violence. Par for the course. It gets some news coverage, sometimes apologies are made, but there’s no shock or outrage because what a few years ago would have been considered utter, unacceptable madness has become the norm.

April 19, 2005 @ 1:02 pm | Comment

and Ann Coulter gets a smooch-fest cover story in Time Magazine.

April 19, 2005 @ 1:14 pm | Comment

Hi Richard, hope your shoulder is feeling better!

You’re right, wackos on the right are much more likely to get a pass than they were, say, under Clinton…but it takes two to tango.

Yeah, WTF is with the totally over the top even for the NRA shit. I can hear my grandfather spinning in his grave, and he was a lifelong member. But even if he hated you he’d be civil (and oh how he hated me sometimes!)

But likewise, Bush=Hitler bumperstickers and T-shirts all over college campuses (I know as I’m at one!) are Not Helping Either.

It takes two to tango, and I can’t seem to have a rational conversation with anyone on either side of the aisle. And I’m not on any side at all except my own and everyone’s (what else would a disenfranchised Buddhist be? 🙂

I think that Ted N. takes his Republicanism seriously when he and the rest of the GOP end the war on some drugs, and leave it to the states; likewise with the Democrats: what’s so undemocratic about letting people in every State vote on the cutoff for abortions as they see fit?

Methinks both sides could use a bit of a return to their principles, and a little less shrillness.



April 19, 2005 @ 7:28 pm | Comment

David, I’ll buy that. The problem is that the assholes on the fringes of the left and the right get way too much attention (Ted and Ward, for example). But I honestly believe with the right, this looniness has become more acceptable within the mainstream of the party compared to the Dems.

April 19, 2005 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

Nuge has always been over the edge. But he has also backed up the talk. Every year he sponsors kids in all kinds of sports. He takes kids to his ranch in Texas and his farm in Michigans”s UP. He picks up the total tab for them all.

Nuge is also voicing a very widespread sentiment. People – of all political beliefs – are fed up with the criminals. More and more people are saying the same thing. I highly doubt they would ever really follow thru on the sentiment, so in that sense, it is just venting.

ACB, the 2nd Amendment gives the NRA (and all citizens) the right to keep and bear arms. Wakarimasen ka.

April 19, 2005 @ 8:23 pm | Comment

I am not so sure about the 2nd amendment. Can you give us the words where it says this, Jim? I learned long ago never to argue about guns because many people are fanatical on the subject, but I thought ACB had it right re. the militias.

I certainly don’t believe it was our Founding Fathers’ vision to have most Americans walking around with assault weapons under their coats. That said, I am no bleeding heart on the issue and respect people’s right to own a gun. I don’t like it because I believe it makes us less safe, but I respect it.

April 19, 2005 @ 8:28 pm | Comment

Republicans like Sam above say we need to keep our sense of humor and let it go.

Point of order, Your Honor. I am emphatically NOT Republican, and the only two candidates I ever campaigned for were Democrat and Libertarian.

And if this new “campaign of niceness” means I have to stop calling Michael Moore a scrotum-sniffer, then never mind.

April 19, 2005 @ 10:04 pm | Comment

You’re a classic DINO, Sam. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

There is no campaign of niceness. It’s about saying things that cross the line from a little rude or bawdy to being dangerous. People like Timothy McVeigh and other freepers hold Ann Coulter and the like in high regard and have their literature at their meetings. You’re cavalierly dismissing my point as “a campaign of niceness” indicates exactly how far we’ve descended: I ask how we allowed ourselves to sink to the point where leaders talking about vengeance and even killing is acceptable, and you say/imply I’m being a pollyanna launching a campaign of niceness. Not at all. It’s fine to be rude sometimes and to spek your mind and to not be nice. It is unacceptable to say what Nugent did, what Delay has said lately, what Coulter says daily along with many other Republican spokespeople.

April 20, 2005 @ 4:24 pm | Comment

Just a little nostalgia: I remember in 1976 going to see the Nug–Double Live Gonzo and all the t-shirts and crappola. It was his heyday in arena rock before he was so vocal about guns and crime. A few years later, he was postulating himself as an NRA spokesman and avid supporter. After that, I spray painted all my Nugent Lps with day glow and then took them all outside, and destroyed them all with my 12 gauge shotgun. Politics aside, Nugent has to take the stage as a wing nut charlatan. He craves attention, giving him more than his due–is exactly what he wants–such is fame, whether fleeting or rejuvenated. His collosal ego is fed at the expense of making him out to be an even bigger idiot than before and possibly renewing his finances. Man’s gotta eat!

April 20, 2005 @ 5:32 pm | Comment

Richard, didn’t meant to sound like I was dismissing your point. I’m very short of time and “niceness” is shorthand for the longer point about civility and rational discussion, about which I obviously have plenty to say. I should put this up in the more recent thread, I guess.

And if it makes you feel any better, I’m puzzled why nobody on the right has grabbed Ms. C. to say “That’s dangerous talk, Ann. Make a splash, fine, but shutthefuckup about the killing!”

April 20, 2005 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

Thanks for clarifying Sam; there’s hope for you yet.

April 20, 2005 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

ACB, just for you if you’re still reading, here’s the amendment and the essential issues of contention.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

April 20, 2005 @ 9:09 pm | Comment

i am sorry to bust your guys bubble, if you talk of limiting any right in the bill of rights; then it is treason. go suck on that girly boys.

April 21, 2005 @ 6:14 am | Comment

Monkeyface, where did anyone say anyone’s rights should be limited? As long as it is a true “right,” such as freedom of speech (within some limits, however – “Fire” in a crowded theater, eg) it must be protected. The issue with the second amendment is the lack of clarity as to whether it actually declares a total right by everyone to bear arms. There’s a lot of debate over that and I don’t even want to go there.

April 21, 2005 @ 8:06 am | Comment

Hey, I’m a long time gun owner who hates the National Republican Ass.

I believe that the Vietnam draft stuff about the Nugent is a hoax. but news had it that he got a girl pregnant and has a “lovechild that he abandoned (out of wedlock, adultery, “christian values”etc )

April 21, 2005 @ 8:12 pm | Comment

First off, I fully concur with Richard that starting a 2nd Amendment thread is sn extremely complicated issue. For those interested in a legal and scholorly presentation on the 2nd Amendment’s history, legal basis, even definations of the phrases used therein, etc – please see Eugene Volokh’s presentation of the Senate. You can check it out at his website www. Volokh.com. Be forewarned that even a subject as exciting and full opf raw nerves at this can get boring at times.

I did not intend to start a conversation on this. I was merely responding to ACB’s comment. He seemed to be truly interested in what the 2nd Amendment said and meant.

As for the stories about Nugent’s past; I tend to believe they are about 95% pure BS. I have little faith in the honesty and commitment to accuracy of most journalists. They all seem to be either skewing stories to match their own bias or just parroting information served up to them by various spin masters. No digging into stories. No hard questions and even harder follow-up questions in interviews. Just a bunch of lap dogs barking at the ankles of humanity.

Godamn that is truly cynical. And goddamn all the hacks that makes it true.

April 21, 2005 @ 11:45 pm | Comment

I have read through all this thread has had to offer. I seem to remember another point to our Declaration ,Constitution and Bill of rights. Insisting that no law made shall conflict with any of our guarranteed freedoms. Both the left and the right seem to ignore this at their leisure. You, He, She can all say whatever you think you should. Just remember who those VOLUTEERS”Militia” were. Normal everyday landowners and their children. They were not a standing army! The standing army was who they were fighting!!! Thus the Right to bear arms, in the case WE THE PEOPLE EVER NEED TO DO IT AGAIN!! God forbid.

July 30, 2005 @ 2:39 pm | Comment

Teddy’s spread is just a few sections over from mine and just down the road a piece from W’s homestead. Love him or hate him he’s likely given a greater percentage of his net worth to real charities than any elected official in DCA. What he says and does ON STAGE is not the compassionate man that is my neighbor – the same by the way is true of W regardless of what the fringe left may say.

I could’t help but laugh at the lefty who was bashing Ted and Ann for being too far to the right – and saying none of the Demos were like that – hasn’t he heard the chair of the DNC and his hate rant – this is the Demo political spokes person (?) – or perhaps the screaming of Algore?

I’m sure glad that Texas came into the union as an independant Republic – so if the better red than dead types take over DCA we can simply declare our freedom.

You’all keep your powder dry and guns oiled,


July 26, 2006 @ 1:53 pm | Comment

Ted Nugent rant’s and raves about his right to bear arms but he’s ready to bypass right to trial by jury and innocent till proven guilty and make himself judge, jury and executioner. Typical right wing hypocracy! I hope a wild boar gores him in the gut and he has a slow painful death.

August 19, 2006 @ 12:55 am | Comment

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