National Rifle Association (NRA) board member Ted Nugent participated in a softball interview to attack his critics as "mentally challenged" and "the devil" following outrage over his promotion of an anti-Semitic image.
On February 8, Nugent posted an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page alleging that Jews were behind a conspiracy to enact gun regulations. After being condemned by civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League, Nugent doubled down by posting more inflammatory content, including an image of Jews being rounded up by Nazis alongside his comment "Soulless sheep to slaughter. Not me."
In the ensuing controversy, Nugent has been condemned by diverse voices including civil rights groups, Jewish organizations, and both gun safety groups and pro-gun organizations and writers. Several organizations called on the NRA to remove Nugent from its board of directors. (Nugent was praised by white nationalists, and his support for Ted Cruz is still displayed prominently on the GOP contender's website.)
In a February 11 interview with an unnamed questioner, available only on his Facebook page, Nugent suggested that his critics are "mentally challenged" and said, "To attack me one would have to not only play devil's advocate, one would actually be the devil's advocate or more probably the devil itself." To deny charges of anti-Semitism, Nugent stated, "I admire and love my good Jewish friends even more than usual because of their valiant dedication to 'Never Again!'"
The unnamed interviewer fawned over Nugent and provided him cover, describing the Israeli flags that were used to label Jewish American politicians in Nugent's anti-Semitic image as "proud."
Instead of asking actual questions, the interviewer instead served up friendly prompts to Nugent such as, "You aren't anti-semitic. For certain," and "You support the state of Israel."
Below the interview, Nugent posted a link to a press release issued by a fringe gun group called The Zelman Partisans, a more hardline spin-off of the far-right gun group Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO).
The press release, which excused Nugent's use of the anti-Semitic image and played on the same anti-Semitic tropes espoused by Nugent, suggested that The Zelman Partisans would accept Nugent's conduct if he joined the group.
According to the press release, "Nugent is correct that Jewish individuals play an outsized role in U.S. anti-gun leadership. (Aaron Zelman, in his inimitable style, called them 'bagel brains.')" The Zelman Partisans still chided Nugent for his image but made him an "offer" that he could prove he is "really pro-Jewish" by joining the organization.
The Zelman Partisans is an offshoot of JPFO, which was founded by Aaron Zelman. (JPFO, whose website claims that many Jews who support guns safety efforts are "professional victims," released an alert condemning Nugent but then deleted it from their website.)
The organization, formed after Zelman passed away in 2010, explains,"We will not let Aaron's philosophy -- the philosophy to which we are all also committed -- be watered down, betrayed, or 'disappeared.'"
The group's website contains far-right pro-gun material and sells a shooting target that allows target shooters to take aim at quotes from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), other gun safety proponents, and Hitler.
The most extreme pro-gun organizations are condemning National Rifle Association (NRA) board member Ted Nugent after he posted an anti-Semitic graphic to his Facebook page alleging a Jewish conspiracy to enact gun regulations. The leaders of these groups have their own histories of extremism, including instances of anti-Semitism, misappropriating the Holocaust to make points about the modern gun debate, and using violent rhetoric -- and even they think Nugent has gone too far.
Ted Cruz's presidential campaign is still touting praise from National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, even as Nugent is embroiled in an anti-Semitism controversy.
Nugent has been condemned by civil rights groups, Jewish organizations, and both gun safety groups and pro-gun advocates -- several of which are calling for Nugent to be ousted from the NRA's board -- but Cruz's campaign is still touting the claim that Cruz is Nugent's "favorite" candidate:
Cruz's campaign links to a September 2015 Buzzfeed article, which quotes Nugent asserting during a radio interview that Cruz would "make a wonderful president."
While Nugent has said that he will not endorse a Republican candidate during the primary race, he has effusively praised both Cruz and GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
During a January 20 interview with Newsmax TV, Nugent said, "Donald Trump is as close to Ted Nugent as you are going to get in politics," but also said, "Now my dream would be if Ted Cruz became president tonight."
Nugent's Facebook post -- which promoted the anti-Semitic claim that efforts for stronger gun laws are the result of a Jewish conspiracy -- received praise in white nationalist circles, but was roundly condemned by a diverse group of organizations and individuals:
White nationalists, including a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, praised National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent for posting an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page, claiming Nugent had "the courage" to tell "the truth," lauding the fact that Nugent "appears to have doubled-down" on his anti-Semitism, and celebrating that a large audience was exposed to anti-Semitism by Nugent.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent responded to backlash over his posting of an anti-Semitic image on Facebook by calling Jewish people who support gun safety laws "nazis in disguise."
On February 8, Nugent shared an image on Facebook headlined, "So who is really behind gun control?" with Israeli flags next to the faces of 12 Jewish American politicians and gun violence prevention advocates. Some of the pictures featured descriptions such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg" and the accusation that deceased former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) "Gave Russian Jew immigrants your tax money":
Nugent was criticized in the media for his post and condemned by civil rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which described Nugent's image as "conspiratorial anti-Semitism." He was also denounced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, with Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper stating, "Ted Nugent has every right to advocate against gun control laws. However he won't be getting a free pass for his anti-Semitic bigotry."
Nugent responded to backlash with a subsequent Facebook post where he asked "What sort of racist prejudiced POS could possibly not know that Jews for guncontrol are nazis in disguise?" Responding to the charge that he is an anti-Semite, Nugent wrote, "Meanwhile I adjust my yamika at my barmitzva playing my kosher guitar":
Nugent made another inflammatory Facebook post on February 8, suggesting that America is on the path to a genocide similar to the Holocaust. His post included an image of Jews being rounded up by Nazis with his comment, "Soulless sheep to slaughter. Not me."
Nugent, who has a lengthy history of invoking Nazis and the Holocaust to demonize his critics, was previously condemned by the ADL for comparing Jewish filmmaker Harvey Weinstein to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. The ADL has also condemned the NRA several times in recent years after its leadership figures misappropriated the Holocaust to try to make political points about the gun debate.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent suggested that America is on the path to a genocide similar to the Holocaust by posting an image on Facebook of Jews being rounded up by Nazis and commenting, "Soulless sheep to slaughter. Not me."
Nugent's post came just hours after he was condemned by the civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for posting an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page.
Nugent's latest image depicts the rounding up of Jews in Nazi Germany and is accompanied by the text, "Back when I learned about the Holocaust in school, I remember thinking, 'How did Hitler get MILLIONS of people to follow along blindly and NOT fight back?' Then I realized I am watching my fellow Americans take the same path":
Earlier on February 8, Nugent shared an image headlined, "So who is really behind gun control?" with Israeli flags next to faces of 12 Jewish American politicians and gun violence prevention advocates. Some of the pictures feature descriptions such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg." Nugent captioned the image, "Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil, they would deny us the basic human right to self defense & to KEEP & BEAR ARMS while many of them have tax paid hired ARMED security! Know them well. Tell every1 you know how evil they are. Let us raise maximum hell to shut them down."
ADL responded by calling for Nugent to remove the image with organization CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt characterizing Nugent's post as "conspiratorial anti-Semitism."
Nugent, who has a lengthy history of invoking the Holocaust to demonize his critics, was previously condemned by the ADL for comparing Jewish filmmaker Harvey Weinstein to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent shared a graphic suggesting that Jews are "really behind" gun-safety laws. The image was previously posted on Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website.
In a February 8 post on his Facebook page, Nugent shared an image headlined, "So who is really behind gun control?" with Israeli flags next to faces of 12 Jewish American politicians and gun violence prevention advocates. Some of the pictures feature descriptions such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg." Nugent captioned the image, "Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil, they would deny us the basic human right to self defense & to KEEP & BEAR ARMS while many of them have tax paid hired ARMED security! Know them well. Tell every1 you know how evil they are. Let us raise maximum hell to shut them down":
A similar image was used by a commenter on the white supremacist website Stormfront in 2014:
Nugent has claimed those shot in mass shootings are "losers amongst us ... [who] fall for the big lie of political correctness, and get cut down by murderous maniacs like blind sheep to slaughter."
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent used the outcome of the Iowa caucuses to call Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a "lying America destroying criminal ass bitch."
Nugent's attack on Clinton comes weeks after he said that Clinton and President Obama should be hanged for treason.
In a February 2 post on his Facebook page, Nugent wrote:
Nugent has called Clinton a "worthless bitch," "toxic cunt," "two-bit whore," and claimed she has "spare scrotums."
A video released by conservative commentator Steven Crowder that dishonestly suggested that it is not possible to buy a firearm at a gun show without a background check was touted by the National Rifle Association and conservative media despite its false conclusion.
In 32 states, laws regarding background checks for gun sales have not been expanded beyond federal law, meaning that it is possible to engage in a "private sale" to buy a firearm at a gun show -- or other venues including over the internet and through newspaper classified ads -- without a background check.
Under current federal law, individuals who are "engaged in the business" of selling firearms must obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and run background checks on customers, while so-called "private sellers" who say they only engage in "occasional sales" do not have to run a background check. This discrepancy is what is known as the "gun show loophole" or "private sales loophole." Recent executive actions announced by President Obama seek to limit the scope of this loophole by clarifying that high-volume commercial gun sellers do need to obtain a license.
On January 28, Glenn Beck's The Blaze released a video of Crowder's "undercover stunt" purporting to determine whether the "gun show loophole" exists. At the end of the video, Crowder concluded that the "gun show loophole" is "nonexistent."
The video, which was broken into two parts, featured Crowder approaching various firearm vendors at gun shows where he tries and then fails to purchase a firearm without a background check.
In the first section, Crowder unsuccessfully attempted to buy fully automatic machine guns without a background check. But rules surrounding the sale of automatic weapons have nothing to do with the "gun show loophole." Under the National Firearms Act (NFA), people who wish to own fully automatic weapons must obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that includes undergoing a background check. (People were, however, exploiting a loophole in the NFA that allowed the background check requirement to be avoided by purchasing weapons through a trust. The ATF is currently finalizing a rule to close that loophole.)
The real issue covered by the "gun show loophole" is the purchase of semi-automatic and other firearms from private sellers at gun shows without a background check, an occurrence Crowder purported to debunk in the second part of his video.
In his video, Crowder is seen approaching gun vendors at a gun show in Crown Point, Indiana. Debunking Crowder's premise is reporting that indicates "private sales" without a background check have been allowed at that gun show.
Crowder is seen engaging in bizarre interactions with vendors that result in him not being able to purchase a firearm without a background check. In one interaction, Crowder tells a vendor that he has DUI conviction because he ran over a pregnant woman with his car and that he previously shot someone.
One of two things is occurring when Crowder fails to buy a gun from the vendors he approaches. Either his overtly strange behavior is raising red flags with vendors, or he is simply approaching licensed dealers (not "private sellers") who are required to perform background checks on customers.
Some of the scenes were not even filmed at a gun show. In at least two scenes, Crowder is seen attempting to buy a gun without a background check from a brick and mortar gun store, and then expressing exasperation when they refuse to complete the sale. At one of the stores, Crowder is seen filling out the paperwork for a background check, but fails to complete it after he draws a penis on the form.
According to actual undercover investigations of gun shows, many private sellers are willing to sell a gun to someone who discloses in a more subtle manner that they probably cannot pass a background check.
Despite the absurdity of Crowder's video, it was widely cited throughout conservative media in order to attack the notion of the "gun show loophole." The video was also promoted by the National Rifle Association:
Crowder's stunt is not original. In May 2014, Media Research Center released a video attempting to make the same claim. Unlike Crowder's video, MRC's video was not released in an undercover format, but it used the same tactic of approaching licensed dealers to create the misleading impression it is not possible to buy a gun without a background check at a gun show.
Jim Wallace, the head of the National Rifle Association's Massachusetts affiliate organization, compared a local ordinance that requires people who want to carry a gun in public to show a good reason for doing so to an unconstitutional poll tax.
On the January 27 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Wallace, who is the executive director of Gun Owners Action League, criticized a new ordinance in Lowell, Massachusetts, that requires applicants for an unrestricted gun license -- the license typically needed to carry a concealed gun in public in that state -- to explain in writing why the license should be granted. The ordinance also requires seekers of the unrestricted licenses to take additional gun training and pay additional fees.
Wallace said of the ordinance, "I suppose it's balanced and reasonable to somebody who doesn't want you to exercise your civil right. I mean the people who initiated the original poll tax probably thought that was very reasonable as well":
Unlike poll taxes, which were used to discriminate against African Americans and others and violate the U.S. Constitution, law enforcement discretion for issuing concealed carry permits has been upheld as consistent with the Second Amendment by federal appeals courts.
Like other conservative media outlets covering the Lowell ordinance, Fox News described the written requirement for the license as an "essay" requirement, creating the false impression that it is unusual.
In fact, a written requirement, sometimes called a "good cause statement," is a common feature of states that have what are known as "may issue" concealed carry permitting systems that generally give local law enforcement discretion in determining who is allowed to carry a gun in public.
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Massachusetts is one of nine states with "may issue" licensing schemes. Another 17 states give local law enforcement "limited discretion" in awarding permits.
Several U.S. Courts of Appeals have rejected recent legal challenges to different states' discretionary permitting systems, in some cases reversing lower federal district court decisions. In 2013, New Jersey's "justifiable need" requirement for a concealed carry permit was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Supreme Court let that decision stand, declining to hear an appeal of the case in 2014. (The Supreme Court has also declined to hear similar cases out of New York and Maryland.)
The NRA frequently compares the conditions placed on firearm ownership to unconstitutional racial discrimination, and draws parallels with Jim Crow laws and the segregation-era "separate but equal" doctrine. The vast majority of laws regulating firearms, however, are found by courts to comport with the Second Amendment.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent heaped praise on Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in a Newsmax TV interview published the same day Nugent wrote on Facebook that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "should be tried for treason & hung."
During an interview posted online by Newsmax TV on January 20, Nugent expressed admiration for Trump, and said a lot of people have "celebrated" that "Donald Trump is as close to Ted Nugent as you are going to get in politics." Nugent added, "I like Donald Trump because he is bold and he is treating the culture war as the culture war that it is."
While declining to make an endorsement until the GOP nominee is determined, Nugent offered praise for other GOP candidates, including saying his "dream would be if Ted Cruz became president tonight."
He said of the Republican field, "None of them are perfect, but compared to the Saul Alinsky Mao Zedong boogie over there on the left and the Democrat gaggle, I mean my god, I got a one-legged landscaper that would make a better president than either Bernie or Hillary or whoever that other guy is."
Nugent's interview aired the same day the NRA board member called for the deaths of Obama and Clinton in a Facebook post. Apparently reacting to 13 Hours, a Michael Bay film about the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, terror attacks, Nugent wrote, "What sort of chimpass punk would deny security, turn down 61 requests for security, then tell US forces to STAND DOWN when they were ready to kickass on the allapukes & save American lives! Obama & Clinton, thats who. They should be tried for treason & hung."
From the January 20 broadcast of Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg Show:
NUGENT: Only the guilty need to feel guilty, because I really admire Donald Trump, I really admire Ted Cruz.
MALZBERG: That's what I want to ask, Ted, that's where I want to go next, who do you like and why on the Republican side?
NUGENT: Well, I set some records again recently on Facebook, I had like 33.6 million Facebookers because I dared to proclaim the self-evident truth and logic and common sense, how dare I? I think that's against the law now, but I do it anyway. And what a lot of people of those 33 million Facebookers have celebrated is that Donald Trump is as close to Ted Nugent as you are going to get in politics. So I like Donald Trump because he is bold and he is treating the culture war as the culture war that it is. Now my dream would be if Ted Cruz became president tonight. I really admire Ted Cruz. On many levels, I admire Marco Rubio. None of them are perfect, but compared to the Saul Alinsky Mao Zedong boogie over there on the left and the Democrat gaggle, I mean my god, I got a one-legged landscaper that would make a better president than either Bernie or Hillary or whoever that other guy is.
MALZBERG: But so you say you'd be thrilled if Cruz became president tomorrow, but you are supporting Trump, not Cruz, correct?
NUGENT: No, I'm not supporting anybody until they are nominated. I believe that as I write all the time, I would welcome people to come to my Facebook I write four or five times a day in between duck plucking and back-strapping.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent called for President Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to be hanged over their supposed malfeasance during the 2012 Benghazi, Libya terrorist attacks.
In a January 20 post published on his Facebook page, Nugent wrote that Clinton and Obama "should be tried for treason & hung" while pushing the conservative media myth that Obama or Clinton issued a "stand down" order during the September 11, 2012, attack:
The National Rifle Association is claiming that CNN's recent "Guns in America" town hall event was "staged" by President Obama as it attempts to explain why NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre declined to participate in the event, but then days later challenged Obama to a TV debate.
The NRA leveled several accusations against the Obama administration and CNN in a January 15 article, including that Obama was able to see questions in advance, that Obama "personally selected" the anchor of the event, and that the White House "personally selected" questioners for the event.
On January 7, CNN hosted an hour-long primetime program on gun violence. During the broadcast Obama answered questions about guns posed by CNN host Anderson Cooper and eight audience members who were split along ideological lines. CNN conceived the event and invited President Obama and the NRA to participate in the event. Obama accepted CNN's offer and the NRA declined. In declining to participate, the NRA claimed the event was "orchestrated by the White House," a false claim that was corrected by CNN in a January 6 article.
Then on January 13, days after skipping his chance to go face-to-face with Obama on national television before millions of viewers, LaPierre released a video challenging Obama to "a one-on-one, one-hour debate -- with a mutually agreed-upon moderator -- on any network that will take it."
In order to deflect from questions about why the NRA did not participate in the CNN event, the gun group has become increasingly brazen in promoting a conspiracy theory that the event was not CNN's doing, but rather was organized by the Obama administration.
A January 15 article in the NRA's online magazine America's 1st Freedom leveled several allegations against the White House and CNN:
From the January 14 edition of MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes:
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The image used by NRA Family to illustrate its version of Little Red Riding Hood
A new series from "NRA Family" reimagines children's fairy tales with a pro-gun message.
In the January 14 series debut -- Little Red Riding Hood -- NRA Family's editor asked, "Have you ever wondered what those same fairy tales might sound like if the hapless Red Riding Hoods, Hansels and Gretels had been taught about gun safety and how to use firearms?"
What followed was a gun-heavy version of Little Red Riding Hood that culminates with the protagonist and her grandmother holding the wolf at gunpoint until he is taken away by a "huntsman."
Here are some excerpts showing the role firearms play in the NRA's Little Red Riding Hood:
One birthday not long ago, Red was given her very own rifle and lessons on how to use it--just in case--to be sure that she would always be safe. So, with a kiss from her mother, rifle over her shoulder and a basket for her Grandmother in her hands, Red took a deep breath and entered the woods.
Red felt the reassuring weight of the rifle on her shoulder and continued down the path, scanning the trees, knowing that their shadows could provide a hiding place.
This was the biggest, baddest wolf Red had ever seen. His wolfish smile disappeared for a moment when his eyes fell on her rifle.
The wolf followed along, staying in the shelter of the trees, trying to get Red to respond. As she grew increasingly uncomfortable, she shifted her rifle so that it was in her hands and at the ready. The wolf became frightened and ran away.
The wolf leaned in, jaws open wide, then stopped suddenly. Those big ears heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun's safety being clicked off. Those big eyes looked down and saw that grandma had a scattergun aimed right at him. He realized that Grandmother hadn't been backing away from him; she had been moving towards her shotgun to protect herself and her home.
"I don't think I'll be eaten today," said Grandma, "and you won't be eating anyone again." Grandma kept her gun trained on the wolf, who was too scared to move. Before long, he heard a familiar voice call "Grandmother, I'm here!" Red peeked her head in the door. The wolf couldn't believe his luck--he had come across two capable ladies in the same day, and they were related! Oh, how he hated when families learned how to protect themselves.