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.
Background: NRA's Ted Nugent Posted Anti-Semitic Image To His Facebook Page
Daily News: “Ted Nugent Posted An Anti-Semitic Message Monday Charging That Jews Are Trying To Take Away His Precious Guns.” On February 8, NRA board member Ted Nugent posted an image titled “So who is really behind gun control?” with Israeli flags next to the faces of 12 Jewish American politicians and gun violence prevention advocates. [Daily News, 2/8/16]
Anti-Defamation League: “Nugent Should Be Ashamed For Promoting Anti-Semitic Content.” The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) denounced Nugent in a February 8 statement, with the civil rights organization's CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt calling Nugent's post “nothing short of conspiratorial anti-Semitism.” [Anti-Defamation League, 2/8/16]
NRA Dodges Accountability: “Individual Board Members Do Not Speak For The NRA.” After declining to comment to several news outlets, the NRA told The Washington Post on February 10 that “individual board members do not speak for the NRA.” [The Washington Post, 2/10/16]
Gun Owners Of America's Larry Pratt: “We're Very Disappointed To See What Ted Has Done”
Far-Right Organization Gun Owners Of America “Very Strongly Disagrees” With Nugent. Larry Pratt, the head of Gun Owners of America (GOA), told The Trace, a digital magazine that covers gun violence, “We're very disappointed to see what Ted has done. We don't know what he was thinking. Gun Owners of America very strongly disagrees with his point of view”:
While the NRA avoided criticizing Nugent for his comments, Gun Owners of America (GOA), an organization that stands far to the NRA's right, had no such compunction. “We're very disappointed to see what Ted has done,” Larry Pratt, GOA's executive director, tells The Trace. “We don't know what he was thinking. Gun Owners of America very strongly disagrees with his point of view.” [The Trace, 2/10/16]
Pratt Was A “Contributing Editor” To An Anti-Semitic Publication. A 2014 profile of Pratt in Rolling Stone reported that Pratt was a “contributing editor” for a publication of United Sovereigns of America, an anti-Semitic organization:
Those who do not share Pratt's politics appreciate his work, and appear willing to overlook his ties to extremists. Pratt's former role as a contributing editor at a publication of the anti-Semitic United Sovereigns of America hasn't even seemed to complicate his relationship with Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. “None of that strained GOA's relationship with JPFO,” says L. Neil Smith, a Libertarian member and writer for JPFO. “I myself would also talk to white nationalists and neo-Nazi groups. I talk to liberal groups, but people don't accuse me of being liberal. I wash all that off at home. It's important to talk to anyone who will listen.” [Rolling Stone, 7/14/14]
Pratt Was Forced To Leave The Presidential Campaign Of Pat Buchanan After His Past Ties To White Supremacists And Anti-Semites Were Revealed. Pratt, who was a co-chairman of Buchanan's 1996 presidential run, was forced out after it was revealed that he spoke at white supremacist gatherings and wrote gun articles for a publication of a white supremacist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity group:
Last week, Larry Pratt, a co-chairman of the Buchanan campaign, took a leave of absence after the disclosure that he had spoken at rallies held by leaders of the white supremacist and militia movements.
Mr. Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said in an interview that he did not know the other speakers. He also said he did not harbor anti-Semitic or racist views, although his articles on gun ownership often appear in The Jubilee, a tabloid published in California by leaders of the Christian Identity movement, a white supremacist organization. [The New York Times, 2/18/96, via Media Matters]
Boston Globe: “Racist And Anti-Semitic Material Was Available” At Rallies Where Pratt Spoke. During the controversy over Pratt's ties to Buchanan, The Boston Globe discovered that Pratt spoke before high-profile figures in the white supremacist movement at events where “racist and anti-Semitic material was available”:
Prominent participants at that meeting included Pete Peters, head of a group called Christian Identity, former Ku Klux Klan leader and Aryan Nation official Louis Bream and Aryan Nation founder Richard Butler. The Center for Public Integrity report also said Pratt attended a meeting in 1995 with militia leader Bo Gritz, at which racist and anti-Semitic material was available. [The Boston Globe, 2/17/96, via Media Matters]
Pratt Recently Claimed The Holocaust May Have Been Averted If Jews “Had That Determination To Fight.” In an October 12, 2015, interview with FoxNews.com, Pratt said if Jews in Europe “had that determination to fight long before the [Warsaw] Ghetto, it might have been an entirely different story,” a claim Fox News Radio's Alan Colmes called “an extremely offensive position to a lot of Jews and also historically inaccurate”:
PRATT: Had the Jews had really good amounts of armament, they could have given the Nazis a real headache for a prolonged period of time, and in fact, had they had that determination to fight long before the [Warsaw] Ghetto, it might have been an entirely different story.
COLMES: Larry, I got to tell you, that's an extremely offensive position to a lot of Jews and also historically inaccurate. [FoxNews.com, 10/12/15, via Media Matters]
Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb: What Nugent Did Is “Appalling”
Second Amendment Foundation Leader: The NRA “Should Be Speaking Up On” Nugent. Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told The Trace that “as a man of the Jewish faith,” he finds Nugent's anti-Semitic post “appalling”:
Alan Gottlieb, a leading gun rights activist and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), says, “as a man of the Jewish faith,” he finds Nugent's remarks “appalling” and a setback to the “cause.” Gottleib (sic) stopped short of calling for Nugent's removal from the NRA's board -- “I don't get involved in their internal policies,” he says -- but added, “It's something they should be speaking up on.” [The Trace, 2/10/16]
Gottlieb Compared Gun Registration Laws To The Tattooing Of Jews By Nazis. Responding to a controversy where an NRA lobbyist made inappropriate comments about the Holocaust, Gottlieb said, “Gun owners don't like the idea that Jewish people had to have, you know, numbers tattooed and registered on their arms. They don't like the fact that they have gun owners that get registered either.” [KIRO 7, 8/1/14, via Media Matters]
Prominent Gun Blogger Bob Owens: Nugent Was “Cowardly” Not To Address Criticism
Bob Owens: The NRA Should Remove Nugent From The Board If He Doesn't Apologize. Owens, who runs popular gun blog Bearing Arms, wrote that Nugent is “too cowardly to address all the rational and factually correct criticism of the image he chose to use,” adding that “he owes the world a sincere apology”:
Nugent's appeal to authority--“my dad killed nazis & saved Jews in WWII”--doesn't excuse what he posted last night, and he's frankly seems too cowardly to address all the rational and factually correct criticism of the image he chose to use.
Quite a few people of the pro-gun people that I've spoken with today are simply done with Nugent. They're tired of feeling that they have to defend his half-baked rhetoric and simple-minded outbursts. Many people are calling for him to resign from the NRA Board and for him to have his membership stripped from him.
While I think forcing him out of the NRA entirely is a bit much, I do think he owes the world a sincere apology. If he can't find that sincerity in his heart, then he has no business being on the board of an inclusive organization such as the National Rifle Association. [Bearing Arms, 2/9/16]
Owens Fantasized About A Civil War Resulting In The Hanging Of Democrats. In an October 17, 2015, post, Owens wrote, “We do not want a civil war against the radical left wing of the Democrat Party, but let it be made abundantly clear that if they start one, they will be utterly destroyed by armed free citizens, as the Founders intended,” and posted an image of gallows with the caption, “This is where the survivors of the Democrat rebellion will meet their end”:
I merely hope that we get to the 2016 elections.
The radical left is getting much louder, much more shrill, and much more insistent in their desire to use force to get their way and impose their ideas on the American people.
If they try such a radical path it would end poorly and quickly.
The military and local law enforcement agencies in the United States that the radical left has been trashing in public since the Vietnam War until now will not take part in any plot to disarm American citizens.
Soldiers, Marines and sheriffs may even defect to actively resist any federal officers from a pool of just over 100,000 who would take on the suicidal task of taking on the military, local police, and a hundred righteously-angry million gun owners, led by over a thousand angry Green Berets that warned President Obama in 2013 not push his luck.
Who is left to carrying out these confiscatory fantasies but the radicals themselves?
Are Cornell University Art Professor Carl Ostendarp or Coppin State writing instructor D. Watkins going to going on raiding parties? Are comedian Amy Schumer and her Senator-cousin Chuck going to kick in doors? Somehow, I don't see President Mom Jeans picking up a breaching ram and leading by example.
I'm glad that these totalitarians are finally showing their true colors to their fellow Americans, as it will assure a crushing defeat of their anti-American ideals at the ballot box. Perhaps then sane Democrats like Jim Webb can pick up the remains of the Democrat Party and either return it to something President Kennedy would have respected, or start something new.
Of course, we've got to get the elections, and these radicals are pushing hard for action, now, and they're proving with every passing day that reason and constitutionality are the least of their concerns.
We do not want a civil war against the radical left wing of the Democrat Party, but let it be made abundantly clear that if they start one, they will be utterly destroyed by armed free citizens, as the Founders intended. [Bearing Arms, 10/17/15]
Owens Suggested Right-Wing Violence May Be Necessary And That Media Matters Should “Feel Threatened.” In a 2010 post at his previous blog, Confederate Yankee, Owens discussed the prospect of a civil war, writing, “We have diametrically opposed views of how our nation can and should be run, and it appears that there is very little room left for negotiation.” He added that Media Matters should “feel threatened,” for criticizing his inflammatory rhetoric:
We have moved “closer to midnight” not because of any singular act , but because of inertia of a political class that does not respect or enforce the laws, or this nation's sovereignty. We have diametrically opposed views of how our nation can and should be run, and it appears that there is very little room left for negotiation.
Propagandists for the elitists at Media Matters seem troubled by A Nation on the Edge of Revolt. They portray it as a threat when “Conservative media figures openly discuss armed revolution.”
I hope they do feel threatened. Attempts at peaceable protests have been met at turns by feigned ignorance, then mockery, then attacks on the character and motives of those would not sit quietly by. Perhaps it will take a serious review of our capacity for violence to get them to realize we shall not surrender our individual liberties to their lust for power.
I have not yet been swayed to the point of view that an armed conflict is inevitable, TN_NamVolunteer. But we are close enough that one would be wise to prepare for a possible conflict, just as one would prepare for any coming storm. [Confederate Yankee, 8/3/10, via WayBack Machine]
In Since-Deleted Statement, Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership Condemned Nugent
JPFO: Nugent's Post Was “Deeply Anti-Semitic.” In a statement that has since been deleted from its website but remains on their Facebook page, Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) wrote, “We are appalled at the insensitivity of Ted Nugent's recent comments on Facebook and elsewhere. The deeply anti-Semitic comments and prominent positioning of the Israeli flag imagery as a tool of anti-Semitic identification combine to leave us deeply disturbed”:
We are appalled at the insensitivity of Ted Nugent's recent comments on Facebook and elsewhere. The deeply anti-Semitic comments and prominent positioning of the Israeli flag imagery as a tool of anti-Semitic identification combine to leave us deeply disturbed.
Neither Jews nor the Jewish faith are inherently anti-gun. Aaron Zelman, founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership was far from anti-gun. While many leaders of the gun prohibition movement are Jewish there are also many leaders of the right to keep and bear arms movement that are also in fact, Jewish.
While Nugent has long been known for outrageous and offensive statements, these latest comments place Nugent clearly over the line. [Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, 2/9/16 via Google Cache; Facebook.com, accessed 2/11/16]
JPFO Claims That Many Jews Are “Disproportionately” Involved In Gun Safety Efforts Because They Are “Professional Victims.” An essay available on JFPO's website claims that many Jews are “professional victims” and argues, “Consider for a moment that the largest and most hysterical anti-gun groups include disproportionately large numbers of women, African-Americans and Jews”:
So why do anti-gun people have so much rage and why are they unable to deal with it in appropriate ways? Consider for a moment that the largest and most hysterical anti-gun groups include disproportionately large numbers of women, African-Americans and Jews. And virtually all of the organizations that claim to speak for these “oppressed people” are stridently anti-gun. Not coincidentally, among Jews, Blacks and women there are many “professional victims” who have little sense of identity outside of their victimhood.
Thus the concept of “identity as victim” is essential. How and why do members of some groups choose to identify themselves as victims and teach their children to do the same? While it's true that women, Jews, and African-Americans have historically been victimized, they now participate in American society on an equal basis. And other groups, most notably Asian-Americans, have been equally victimized, and yet have transcended the “eternal victim” mentality.
Why, for example, would a 6'10" NBA player who makes $10 million a year see himself as a “victim”? Why would a successful, respected, wealthy, Jewish physician regard himself as a “victim”? Conversely, why might a wheelchair bound woman who lives on government disability NOT regard herself as a victim?
I would argue it's because the basketball player and the physician believe that their identities are dependent on being victims -- not because they have actually been victimized, but because they're members of groups that claim victim status. Conversely, the disabled woman was probably raised to believe that she is responsible for her own success or failure. [Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership, accessed 2/11/16]