An Open Letter To Ted Nugent.

Hey Bro!  Why don’t you stop appealing to the lowest, common mental denominator and start talking seriously about guns?  Nobody doubts your fervent joy in hunting with a bow or a gun, nobody can argue with the fact that you honestly believe in 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ But the fact that our current President uses profanity and insults to explain his positions on various public policies isn’t a reason that you should do the same. You make a very powerful argument when you tell Andy Parker that the Constitution gives him the freedom to protest your promotion of guns. But other than selling a few more concert tickets, calling him a ‘piece of sh*t’ or a ‘dumb fu*k’ does nothing to explain or justify your beliefs

nugent1If you would take the trouble to actually sit down and think through the issue of the Constitution and guns, you would discover that the most powerful defense of the 2nd Amendment was made not by your buddy Alex Jones, but by a pointy-headed, liberal intellectual named Sandy Levinson, whose 1989 Yale Law Review article first raised the issue of the 2nd Amendment as a ‘civil right.’ Basically, what Levinson argues was that if liberals wanted to be taken seriously in their defense of 1st Amendment guarantees, particularly the protection afforded speech, then they also needed to defend the 2nd Amendment’s protection of guns. Levinson’s liberal defense of private gun ownership, not surprisingly, became part of the argument made by gun-rights advocates in the run-up to the Heller decision in 2008.

Which happens to be the same argument that you are making, Bro, about the 2nd Amendment, with one difference. And the difference happens to be your continued attempt to present yourself as some kind of right-wing, radical noisemaker who won’t accept the slightest degree of compromise when it comes to the issue of guns. And maybe this is your way to keep your name in front of your fans, maybe it’s a way to sell a few more albums, maybe it’s simply something you do because you have nothing better to do except when you’re on a stage strumming your guitar.

But here’s the point, Bro.  There’s a good chance that the Congress may shift from red to blue next year, and if that happens, I guarantee you that a new gun-control law will wind up on 45’s desk. And if you think for one second that your buddy Trump wouldn’t shove the NRA under a bus if, all of a sudden, he has to make some kind of deal with Democrats on the Hill, then you don’t know your ass from your elbow about Donald Trump. Want to know how much he really values the loyalty of his friends? Just ask Mikey ‘I’ll do anything to protect the President’ Cohen – he’ll be glad to fill you in.

As of today, Americans believe two to one that gun laws should be stricter than they are right now. The last time we had numbers like this was 1993, right before we got both Brady and the Assault Weapons Ban. For gun nuts like you and me Bro, those laws are just a pain in the rear end, because neither us nor just about any other legal gun owner needs the government to tell us how to behave properly with our guns.

Which is why someone like you needs to be given a seat at the big table when it gets down to talking about a new gun bill. Not that you have to compromise your views, but what you should do is stop pretending that gun ‘rights’ are the next best thing to Godliness and start talking without indulging in the profanity and vulgarity that some of your fans enjoy, but for the rest of us just mark you down as being a big, dumb jerk.

I want people promoting gun ownership whom I can respect, not because I agree with what they say, but because they say it in a proper and decent way. Maybe you can, but maybe you can’t.

 

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