National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent made several inflammatory remarks about the Obama administration during an interview on NRA News, including doubling down on his previous claim that he will be “dead or in jail” if the president was reelected.
During an April 8 interview on NRA News, Nugent also accused the Obama administration of engaging in “jack-booted thuggery” and complained that not enough was done to stop the reelection of Obama, asking, “When I kick the door down in the enemy's camp, would you help me shoot somebody?” Nugent clarified that his reference to shooting people was “a metaphor” and that he's “not recommending shooting anybody.”
Nugent told a gathered crowd at the NRA's annual meeting in April 2012 that, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. Why are you laughing? Do you think that's funny? That's not funny at all. I'm serious as a heart attack.” He concluded his remarks with a call for the audience to “ride into that battlefield and chop [Democrats] heads off in November.”
Nugent, who is also a columnist for birther website WND, brought up those past comments after NRA News host Cam Edwards falsely claimed that proposed background check legislation would make it so “any time somebody went to your ranch and you loaned them a gun to do some hunting or to do some plinking that would be a five year felony.” According to Nugent, those who laughed at him for saying that “if this America-hater, if this freedom-hater, if this enemy of America becomes the president again I'll either be dead or in jail” were ignoring the threat of “draconian felonies”:
EDWARDS: You look at what is going on now with the U.S. Senate. They still don't have the votes for the so-called universal background check bill and that's a very good thing because this bill is awful. I mean we might as well call this the Ban Ted Nugent Act of 2013. Do you realize, Ted, that under the language right now, any time somebody went to your ranch and you loaned them a gun to do some hunting or to do some plinking that would be a five year felony?
NUGENT: Sure. Well that's why. I mean come on. And I know that the moderates, by the way if you are a moderate we'd like to thank you for standing up for nothing. If you're a moderate I suppose you would have been playing poker while Davy Crockett was on the wall of the Alamo. It's time to take a side.
That's why I said almost a year ago, Cam, and people recoiled in horror. And I know it caught a lot of my friends off guard, when I said if this America-hater, if this freedom-hater, if this enemy of America becomes the president again I'll either be dead or in jail. And remember when I was on the stage with you and some people chuckled?
NUGENT: So we find humor in a disastrous statement from a guy who is on the frontlines, who has been in the frontlines of the war against gun ownership for at least forty-plus years. So it's funny that I might be dead or in jail. And that is so indicative of how callous and disconnected some are, because you are talking about arbitrary, punitive, capricious draconian felonies.
Edwards' characterization of the proposal to expand background checks is incorrect. While the legislation would require a criminal background check on almost all gun sales, there would be exemptions to the requirement, including gifts between family members and firearms loaned for lawful hunting or target shooting purposes.
Furthermore, the legislation would allow an individual to temporarily transfer a firearm to another individual without a check so long as the firearm does not leave the transferor's “home or curtilage.”
Warning of government firearm confiscation, Nugent suggested that the federal government was engaged in "jack-booted thuggery," a term used in the infamous 1995 comparison by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre between federal law enforcement agents and Nazi stormtroopers:
A lot of people, Cam, I'm afraid, listen to the outrageous examples, the freedom-stomping and jack-booted thuggery. And they wince a bit and they furrow their brow and they shake their heads. But then they still don't do anything.
Nugent also blamed the reelection of President Obama, who he refers to as the “Chicago gangster, ACORN rip-off scam-artist-in-chief,” on the alleged silence of Obama's critics. He went on to ask, “When I kick the door down in the enemy's camp, would you help me shoot somebody?”
NUGENT: The left dominates the public discourse. And here we are, with the Chicago gangster, ACORN rip-off scam-artist-in-chief because we, who know better, were silent. I suppose we were being tolerant and moderate. And the Nugent guy, well he's a radical. And again, it's not about me. I don't want a pat on the back. I don't need one. I don't seek one. It's inconsequential.
But when I kick the door down to the enemy's camp, would you help me shoot somebody? Just help me clear the room. And again, that's a metaphor ladies and gentleman, I'm not recommending shooting anybody. It's a metaphor of how to counterpunch the enemy if someone is willing to be on the frontline.