I really do try to avoid writing about the far-right wing of the far-right wing of the Republican Party. First, there are simply too many names and too many ignorant maniacs saying way too many ignorantly maniacal things that it’s nearly impossible to keep up. And many of them are just careerist trolls and former morning zoo deejays, jacking up their ratings/sales figures by popping off with anything and everything that will successfully keep their names in the news. Ann Coulter, Mike Savage, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller and rest of the usual suspects. These are the sorts of people who don’t deserve our attention because they’re not serious players.
That said, it’s not a bad idea to occasionally gut check them anyway, just to let them know that they can’t always get away with their poisonous disinformation and agitprop gibberish.
Ted Nugent is one of the far-right dingdongs who I occasionally revisit for this purpose. Not only is he an extremist conservative thug, but he’s also one of those guys. We’ve all bumped into them in our day-to-day lives. He’s of a familiar male personality type who fancies himself the ultimate badass — a legend in his own mind, a narcissistic stuffed-shirt, a contrarian dickbag. They believe they’re the only guys who have it all figured out. They have an acronym, zinger or a maxim for everything. They always know the best way to do everything, and they’re not ashamed to condescend to anyone within earshot, especially when their company is actually more savvy and accomplished than they are. Yeah, I don’t mind saying I viscerally hate these guys.
Plus, of course, Nugent is a gun fetishist. His deeply psychotic relationship with firearms goes beyond the casual weekend hunter and resides somewhere in the realm of metallic penis-extensions, and the subsequent masturbation of said metallic penis-extensions.
Just over a week ago, Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher murdered his pregnant girlfriend then committed suicide. Another horrific event that once again, and rightfully so, circled the American discourse back to the issue of gun control. Last Sunday, Bob Costas weighed in with a decidedly anti-gun commentary — a few tasteful remarks that subsequently and predictably incited far-right conservative histrionics, including from Ted Nugent who tweeted this in response to Bob Costas:
“Blaming guns for crime is like blaming helmuts for headbutts.”
Personally, I always blame “helmuts” for headbutts. Especially former German chancellor Helmut Kohl — always with the goddamned headbutts. Seriously, no one’s blaming the guns alone, but we’re definitely blaming the alarmingly convenient availability of guns, the prevalence of unnecessarily powerful guns and the existence of military-sized clips for the rate of gun casualties. While, yes, guns require an operator to fire them, there’s one purpose for guns, and one purpose alone. On that note, Nugent also tweeted:
“Hey Bob Costas we all kno that obesity is a direct result of the proliferation of spoons & forks Get a clue.”
I’ve heard variations of this fallacy all over the internet, which is one of the reasons why I’ve decided to hit Nugent for it. Of course there’s a massive distinction between forks and helmets and guns! Guns are specifically and solely designed to kill and injure people, not to mention animals. Even when used for self-defense, the gun’s role in the event is to inflict harm upon someone else. All weapons are designed for this purpose. A thermonuclear ICBM all the way down to a crossbow is manufactured for the expressed purpose of wounding and death.
Forks, uh-doy, are designed as a tool for consuming life-preserving food — obesity is incidental and more of a symptom of fatty, unhealthy foods, which, by the way, are also regulated by the government. Likewise, helmets are designed to protect our brains from traumatic injury — and not for inflicting headbutts. Each of these otherwise innocuous items could be used to injure someone but that’s not the intrinsic purpose. Guns are intrinsically deadly, and so in American political spheres we’re heavily engaged in a debate over which guns ought to be legal and which citizens ought to be allowed to buy them. Naturally. Because they’re designed to kill — and to kill with more efficiency, precision and ease-of-use than a knife or a club.
Ultimately, this is beside the point. Nugent and the usual NRA cabal will never lose their right to own firearms. It’ll never happen. But they all behave as if any insult or blame levied against a firearm is a personal attack worthy of a screeching rebuke — as if Bob Costas was aiming to set off a chain reaction that would repeal the Second Amendment and muster an army of Obamabots to seize every device that ejaculates bullets.
Obviously there needs to be tighter regulations to make sure recidivist criminals and mentally ill people can’t attain firearms, and there needs to be ongoing vigilance to make sure increasingly powerful weaponry isn’t easily available. But guns will always be an item for purchase — but with regulations that evolve with the times. Come to think of it, the words “well regulated” happen to be two of the first three words in the Second Amendment (say nothing of the fact that the Second Amendment was written expressly for military purposes). Nugent and the gun movement is just as confused about the Second Amendment as they are about their specious metaphors. But they’re loud and obnoxious enough to successfully shout down anyone who dares to bring up the notion of firearm regulations. And that’s how they stay in the game.