Ted Nugent is at it again, doing the “Wango Tango” with controversy after posting a video of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pulling a gun during a debate and shooting fellow candidate Hillary Clinton in the chest. And although a lot has been said about how the video and Ted Nugent himself promotes gun violence, there are plenty of people supporting the Motor City Madman. Some even want him to join presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whom Nugent avidly supports, on the GOP ticket as the real estate mogul’s vice presidential running mate.
The internet went crazy, according to The Hill (May 11) and other media outlets, after Ted Nugent, guitar virtuoso and hard rocker best known for his ’70s solo material and his ’80s work with the band Damn Yankees, posted to his Facebook page the previous day a satirical video about the Democratic presidential candidates’ stances on gun control. The video itself was not of Nugent’s making but a YouTube piece from cooljunkproductions, who state in a disclaimer that the video is meant as satire. Still, the work seems to have touched a chord with the anti-gun control contingent as well as the anti-liberal, anti-Democratic party lot, although most who have left comments on Nugent’s post have not been as quick to be as suggestively violent as the often controversial rocker. In fact, he captioned the video, writing, “I got your guncontrol right here b***h!”
In the video itself, a partially animated work taken directly from a CNN debate between the two candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is asked if she blames “Vermont and implicitly Sen. Sanders for New York’s gun violence.” Replying that she does not, she is in the midst of her response when a grinning Sanders, who is the current junior senator from Vermont, pulls a gun from inside his jacket and shoots Clinton, knocking her away from her podium, blood spurting from her chest. The scene immediately cuts to CNN anchorman Wolf Blitzer, who tells the cheering audience that the network must break for commercials.
In the comment section of his post, many showed support for the “Stranglehold” performer. Some touted his music but quite a few posted suggestions of a Donald Trump and Ted Nugent Republican ticket (in March, Nugent called Trump a “glowing middle finger” presented to American politics, according to Billboard). On the opposing side of the controversy, one commenter railed, “Ted Nugent should be arrested for that one! Not Funny you Idiot! I’m throwing every piece of Nugent music I have in the trash right now!”
This is not Ted Nugent’s first time using violent rhetoric and gun imagery in an attempt to denigrate Hillary Clinton, nor is it the first time he has referred to the former First Lady and New York senator as a “b***h.” Back in the run-up to the 2008 election, as reported by Rolling Stone, a video of Nugent haranguing a crowd during a concert made national headlines. In the video, where he also told then candidate Sen. Barack Obama to “suck on [his] machine gun,” he angrily produced an assault rifle and said, “Hey, Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless b***h.”
Nugent’s fiery comments actually got the rocker in a bit of trouble in 2012, according to The Atlantic, when he told a crowd of National Rifle Association (NRA) convention-goers, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
That line got him a visit from the Secret Service. However, the case was soon closed. It was determined that Nugent was simply exercising his First Amendment rights and actually posed no imminent threat to the president.
Nugent, who is a board member of the NRA, is a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights, so the posting of the Sanders-shooting-Clinton video is not surprising to either his followers or his detractors. He went down that same road in 2014, going on a Facebook rant that promoted John Lott’s pro-gun book, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. He wrote, among other things, “Freedom or their evil carcasses for traction back to it.”
Earlier this year, the 67-year-old conservative took on federal pro-gun control advocates on Facebook. According to Right Wing Watch, he went on what has been considered a week-long anti-Semitic rant. During his tirade, he claimed that Jewish politicians and activists were “behind gun control,” posting a meme showing the photos of 12 individuals with an Israeli flag prominently displayed on each.
Ted Nugent has been on the NRA board for years and is currently up for reelection later this month at the annual convention. While there, he is scheduled to deliver a speech entitled, “2016 Election Do or Die for America and Freedom,” then sign his 2008 book, Ted, White, and Blue: A Nugent Manifesto.
[Photo by Jeff Swenson/Getty Images]