Rocker Ted Nugent has attracted attention lately with a video shot during his recent concert at Anaheim’s House of Blues.
In the video, which has made the rounds online and on television, Nugent stands onstage with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle in each hand. First he tells of his recent visit to Chicago, during which he claims he said to Sen. Barack Obama, "Hey, Obama! You might want to suck on one of these [guns], you punk!" Nugent adds, "Obama, he’s a piece of s—, and I told him to suck on my machine gun. Let’s hear it for him!"
Nugent then relays details of a recent visit to New York, during which he putatively conveyed a similar message to another Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Hillary Clinton: "Hey, Hillary! You might want to ride one of these [guns]into the sunset, you worthless b—-!" Then he shares similar messages he said he was planning to deliver to California Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer during his concert tour of the Golden State.
In the video, the crowd seems wholly receptive to Nugent’s ideas. He knows his audience, and no doubt reasonably expected that people who like to hear him sing "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" and watch him make a guitar explode by shooting it with a flaming arrow would also appreciate the form and content of his political message.
Once the video of Nugent’s antics hit the Internet, the reaction from the Left was predictable. A Rolling Stone blog headline was typical, gasping: "Ted Nugent Threatens to Kill Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton During Vicious Onstage Rant!" Nugent was scolded from the right, too. Guest-hosting Fox News’ "The O’Reilly Factor," former congressman John Kasich told Nugent that such comments should be "out of bounds." The problem with politics today, said Kasich, is that it’s "being ruined because people are being polarized because of the personal attacks and innuendoes being labeled at people (sic)."
Personal attacks and innuendo are the least of our political problems. Certainly our leaders’ character and behavior have not entitled them to better treatment than they get (which is usually fawning, anyway, especially from TV hosts).
The real problem is one that Nugent and his audience apparently understand: Politicians such as Obama, Clinton, Feinstein and Boxer presume to run our lives from Washington. Specifically, and not coincidentally, all four of Nugent’s rhetorical targets are egregious offenders against the critically important right to keep and bear arms.
In his bestselling book, Obama specifically advocates "keeping guns out of the inner cities." Presumably this means he favors gun bans like that of his hometown, Chicago, where crime victims are prohibited from protecting themselves, giving criminals even more confidence that they won’t meet armed resistance. Hillary likewise favors increased controls, including a desire (shared with Sen. Feinstein) to force people to take a course and become licensed before they can exercise their rights.
These are not trivial points, of interest only to the kind of people who frequent gun shows and Ted Nugent concerts; they’re matters of life and death for the thousands of people each year who use a firearm to save their lives (often simply by brandishing it), to say nothing of the lives that are saved in cities where there is less violent crime simply because criminals know their would-be victims may be armed. (Economist John Lott documents this well in his classic book, More Guns Less Crime.)
An armed populace is also, of course, an important means of keeping overzealous politicians in check, which gets to the real reason why the likes of Hillary Clinton are so afraid of them when they’re in the hands of anyone outside government.
One might observe that these Second Amendment points are well and good, but Nugent’s vulgar tirade is far beneath the lofty ideals of our founders. And I’ll grant you that it’s hard to say how American history would have progressed if, rather than saying "Give me or liberty or give me death!" before the Virginia House of Burgesses, Patrick Henry had instead taken the stage at a local pub, straddled a cannon and hurled some vintage 18th century invective at King George.
But, hey, that kind of stuff has its place. If Americans are ever going to cast off their ever-more-offensive federal government, they’re going to need rabble-rousers like Ted Nugent to stir them up, not make-nice types like John Kasich (himself a gun grabber during his days in Congress), telling them to calm down.
So Ted Nugent should go right on disrespectfully waving his guns in the faces of aspiring tyrants, until the day they apologize — for their obscene attacks on our liberty.
Reprinted from the Orange County Register with permission.