Rock music legend Ted Nugent, one of the strongest voices in defense of the Second Amendment, is making his voice heard loud and clear as the latest debate over proposed gun-control legislation plays out.
Earlier in the week, Nugent engaged in a feisty debate with CNN host and gun-control advocate Piers Morgan. Despite the push for more restrictions on gun rights in Washington and in states around the country, Nugent fired back with a vigorous defense of what he says is the overwhelming majority of gun owners.
"99.99 percent of the gun owners of America are wonderful people that you are hanging around with here today, perfectly safe, perfectly harmless, wonderful, loving, giving, generous caring people. Would you leave us the hell alone?" demanded Nugent. "Go after the nut jobs. Go after the murderers, because I don't know any."
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Nugent, who is also a National Rifle Association board member and now a WND columnist, was typically straight-talking with us as he assessed his confrontation with Morgan.
"I am convinced that Piers Morgan was sent by God to represent everything that doesn't agree with Ted Nugent, because you've got to be the devil's advocate or the devil to argue with me," Nugent told WND. "I'm a simple man. I'm 64 years clean and sober. I never went to college because I was too busy learning stuff. ...
"In fact, I'm saving money on dog food this week because I'm just letting my three Labradors lick the shrapnel from Piers's skull out of my boot cleats," he said.
Nugent then explained why he believes history and practice prove that taking away guns never mean greater safety for the people.
"If you try to argue that the Chicago, Mexico, Washington, D.C., Rwanda gun-free zone is somehow desirable, then you are either as equally evil as the murderers that slaughter innocent people in those gun-free zones or you are opening the door and rolling out the red carpet, that is red because it's saturated with the blood of innocent victims that are piled higher in gun-free zones than anywhere in the world," Nugent said.
"Anybody that dares debate me about what the Second Amendment means and whether free Americans have the right to keep and bear arms as a gift from God, a right from God as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, I will do to you what I did to Piers. I will embarrass you, and I will make you look like some subservient sheep from England," he said.
The very first thing Nugent does in his new column is attack the premise that some firearms can be restricted because no one supposedly needs them.
"Common-sense people know it's not the Bill of Needs. Common-sense people know you don't need two homes and you don't need more than one TV. Common-sense people know that quality of life and freedom has absolutely nothing to do with needs," said Nugent. "Then when you scrutinize the self-evident truth of God-given individual rights, the Founding Fathers wrote it down, not because they got together and had a good idea. They knew that the king denied these self-evident truths and these God-given individual rights.
"So we wrote down the self-evident, truth-based, God-given rights that we the people in this new land, free of kings, free of emperors, free of tyrants, free of slave drivers, that we will exercise our God-given, instinctual, self-evident, truth-based right to self-defense from any evil force that threatens our gift of life from God and especially power-abusing monsters in government."
Nugent said he also doesn't buy President Obama's claim that he's proposing "common-sense" gun restrictions or Obama's claim that he is a great respecter of the Second Amendment.
"I say sure you are, Mr. President, and I'm a gay pirate," mused Nugent. "One just has to study Barack Obama's voting record.
"The commander in chief will go to the Vietnam Memorial Wall and will put on his community organizer, ACORN, Van Jones, gangland, Chicago, gangster-politic scam best and pretend to show respect for 58,000 heroic American military warriors who gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting communism. And then President Obama will go back and appoint members of the Communist Party as his czars.
"He will continue to associate communists, publicly admitted communists after visiting the Vietnam Memorial Wall. It doesn't get any more arrogant. It doesn't get any more dishonest, and it doesn't get any more anti-American than this president," he said.
Nugent said he welcomes the large debate on gun rights because he believes logic, history and "a tsunami of facts" are on his side of the debate. But given the recent election returns and current polling on these gun issues, is he confident that will be enough to win the debate?
"That's the scary issue right now. It really is a nation divided, and it's never been more divided. The racism that President Obama and Eric 'Gun-Running' Holder promote is just heartbreaking and it's tragic. Those of us that know better have got to constantly expose their ruse and their scam," Nugent said.
Describing himself as an eternal optimist, Nugent said he believes his side will win what he sees as a fight to preserve our freedoms.
"If it weren't for my knees and the government, my life would be perfect, so I'm going to replace both," said Nugent. "I use my bully pulpit and every resource that this 'We the People' guy has.
"I see a positive reaction. I see people waking up out of the embarrassing doldrums of apathy, and I see people re-emerging and participating in this sacred experiment in self-government and becoming engaged. I think that increased engagement is going to cleanse our soul. It's going to upgrade the quality of life in America," said Nugent, who wants to see more political leaders like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
"I see great, great leadership out there, but we've got to make sure they make policy and not acquiesce to the gangsters in the White House," he said.
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Part 2 of Nugent's interview with WND can be heard below:
This week, "The Ted Offensive" weekly column by Nugent debuted on WND.
In connection with the launch, Nugent explained what readers can expect in his column and the events in his life that formed his political philosophy.
Politically speaking, Nugent is best known for his ardent defense of the Second Amendment, but he said the column will venture into many different areas.
"It's a target-rich environment for people who still have an alarm clock and get up early and put their heart and soul into being the best that they can be," Nugent said. "You've got a president that is buying votes. You've got a president that is bringing to fruition the danger signs and the warnings of people in our history that warned us when the population discovers they can vote for scammers who will take from the productive and give to those who refuse to be productive. That's what we're living today.
"So there's no shortage of issues. Everything the president stands for is wrong. The majority of power abuse and corruption and fraud and deceit and refusal to be accountable in this government right now needs to be spotlighted," he said. "I'd like to think the Ted Nugent column, 'The Ted Offensive,' in WND.com every week will talk about how we the people, who are driven to be the best that we can be, are fed up and offended and angry by those who think that they won't only ask themselves to do anything but they're going to demand that their country does everything for them. We're offended by that, and we're going to fight it."
That outlook on life and politics was instilled in Nugent at a very young age. His father, Warren, served as a drill instructor during World War II and came back determined to make sure his children made the most out of what America had to offer.
"He wanted to raise his three sons and his daughter to be the best that we could be because we were fortunate to be born in America," Nugent said. "To witness the militant disciplinary household at the Nugent Detroit house was absolutely funnier than anything John Belushi could have done with a samurai sword, but in a positive way. Because if you met my brother, Jeff, my brother, John, and my sister, Kathy, they're a lot like me. They're ruggedly individual; they're militantly independent. They are the most giving, generous, productive Americans you will ever find."
"We were forced to be the best that we can be or you would have been punished," Nugent added. "How beautiful is that?"
Nugent's already conservative outlook became further emboldened when the media began criticizing his lifestyle as a young rock star.
"I knew that hunting with the bow and arrow was perfect. I knew that it was the highest level of awareness of resource stewardship and renewable resource respect and respect and conservation. And then I ran into the hippie rock-and-roll media that condemned me and hates me because I eat what they call Bambi," Nugent said.
"So when I saw the drooling, puking, stumbling, obnoxious, stinky, doped-up hippies attacking my perfect lifestyle as a conservationist and as an aim-small, miss-small marksman being disciplined to handle all tools, especially firearms, conscientiously and safely and lawfully and I saw the condemnation by the left and the commies and the hippies and the lefties, the doped-up buffoons in the world of the media, I was shocked at first. Then I realized if you smoked that much dope, one and one could equal three on occasion. So I fought back with logic and goodwill and humor and kind of an uppity spiritedness like you saw me do with Piers Morgan the other night.
"I started crushing the lie of the anti-gunners, the vicious lie of the anti-hunters, the vicious lie of the smoke dope and drop out and intentionally be a liability to your family and a liability to your neighbors and a liability to your fellow man and a liability to the United States of America and a liability to the environment. I stood my ground, and I realized that there was a culture war going on by 1965," he said.
Nugent's conservative worldview did complicate his career, but he has absolutely no regrets for speaking up and defending what he believes.
"I decided early on that I would not play their games and I would not smoke their dope and I would not snort their coke. And yes, a lot of radio people refused to play my music because of that. A lot of promoters refused to book us because I wouldn't play their hippie games. A lot of record stores wouldn't even put my records on their shelves. When I started writing my New York Times bestsellers in the 1990s, there were some bookstores that wouldn't even display my book. They hated me so much because I ate venison and believed in self-defense," Nugent said.
"Let's examine that. Somebody hates me because I eat venison and believe in self-defense. Can you get crazier than that? How much dope does one have to smoke, Bill Maher? How much mind-altering chemical warfare must one rain down on his own being, Bill Maher, to come to those insane conclusions?"
Nugent is proud of his fight against the cultural winds early in his career, and he said that spirit is badly needed in America today.
"I didn't invent the middle finger. I just perfected it," said Nugent. "Defiance is the heart and soul of the American experiment in self-government. We had to defy the king. We had to defy the emperor. We had to defy the tyrants, and sometimes we had to meet them at Concord Bridge and blow their brains out.
"I like defiance. I like defying this lie of political correctness. I enjoy dancing on the skulls of people like Piers Morgan and the leftists. It's too easy, but it's also recreational. It builds confidence, as if I need more confidence," he said.