Aging rock star and NRA Board member Ted Nugent made a controversial Facebook post yesterday which has drawn bipartisan condemnation from both left and right-leaning Jewish groups, and what appears to be a broad-based coalition of gun owners as well.
Here’s Nugent’s post.
The rhetoric was vintage Nugent, which was more than enough to get the anti-gun left in a furor, but Nugent created real anger among many gun rights supporters as well for his choice of images.
Nugent used a photo of a number of Jewish gun control supporters, where each individual photo was overlaid with an Israeli flag, with anti-Israeli or anti-Jewish conspiracy claims posted with some of the photos.
The photo of Michael Bloomberg refers to him as the Mayor of “Jew York City” and claimed he was an “Israeli agent.”
The photo of Frank Lautenberg says that he “Gave Russian Jew immigrants your tax money.”
Barabara Boxer is described as a “globalist political agent.”
The image even blasted Rahm Emmanuel for serving in the Israeli Army during the Gulf War—one of the few honorable things we’ve seen from the man who coined the phrase “never let a crisis go to waste”—as if to hint that he, too, was part of some global Jewish conspiracy.
The image was not created by Nugent, but it pop-ups most regularly on anti-Semitic and white nationalist conspiracy sites, and is meant to dishonestly convey the idea that gun control is a Jewish or Israeli plot against the U. S. Constitution.
Anyone vaguely knowledgeable about gun control knows that the biggest gun control supporters in the United States are elderly white liberal nominal Protestants (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, your average Moms Demand, Everytown, Brady Campaign, CSGV supporter, etc ) and inner city minorities and their elected representatives who are on the receiving end of the criminal use of violence.
Anyone familiar with gun rights should also know that some of our most vocal and successful gun rights advocates, such as Alan Gottlieb at the Second Amendment Foundation, are Jewish, as are a significant number of gun writers, editors, and photographers. This anti-Semitic meme selectively ignores that reality entirely to push a repulsive and false idea.
Nugent could have had the good sense to recognize that he “stepped in it” when many even-tempered pro-gun folks took issue with his image selection. Rational adults admit when they’ve screwed up, they apologize, and life goes on.
But Nugent didn’t apologize. He instead doubled-down and compared some of his Jewish critics to Nazis, while ignoring the valid criticism of a clearly bigoted photo.
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.