Ted Nugent has been pretty outspoken on his views regarding gun control in the U.S., but over the weekend, he told reporters during a visit to pay his respects to the victims of a tragic shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, that now is not the time to address it.
Nugent, who was in the area for the Louisiana Outdoor Expo, visited the Grand Theatre along with Rep. Allen West to pay his respects to the two women who were slain when gunman John Houser opened fire inside during a showing of Trainwreck. Nine others were wounded in the attack.
“I think it’s inappropriate to even approach that subject. I think it’s all about prayers for victims and their families and showing respect for the community. I don’t think we should be getting in to hardware. I think we should talk about heart-ware,” Nugent said.
Residents of the area attended a vigil for the victims over the weekend, with some saying that the shooting felt like a personal attack on the community.
“It feels like almost a betrayal. We are all family here,” Lauren Boyd said.
Houser turned the gun on himself after firing multiple rounds inside the theater; not much is known about his motives. Family members say he borrowed $5,000 recently before moving on, but before that, they hadn’t seen him in about a decade. His ex-wife told authorities she was “fearful” of him and had a restraining order put in place against him several years ago, saying he had a history of mental illness. Investigators believe his plan was to go on the run after the shooting, as they found wigs and disguises in his motel room, but police boxed him in at the theater before he could escape.
Calvin Floyd, a local television host in Georgia, says Houser was an “angry man” who made several appearances on his show years ago and was often an advocate for violence against anyone involved in abortion practices.
“He was very entertaining. He made for good TV and when it was over, you would leave shaking your head,” Floyd told NBC News.
Investigators say Houser obtained the gun legally at a pawn shop.
Nugent, who runs a camp for kids who want to learn outdoors skills, said recently that his goal is to get kids outside, not necessarily to teach them all to hunt and kill prey.
“As an outdoorsman, without question that’s the most important story of all. We can identify all kinds of complications in our industry and our sport and our lifestyle, but if you don’t get the kids in, you’re done. So all you adults who show great nerve bringing children to an event with my name on it — which is so precious — you’re doing God’s work, because my life is perfect. I am in the asset column for my family, my fellow man and the good earth. I spend all my money rehabilitating and safeguarding wildlife habitat. So what you’re learning here today is fun, but be sure you take it home with you,” Ted Nugent said.
[Photo courtesy YouTube]