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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nugent SOTU Invite Not Helping the Gun Lobby's Cause

It probably won't surprise anyone too much to learn that Republicans in congress own more guns than their Democratic counterparts. More than twice as many GOP congress critters own firearms than dems -- 119 to 46. This probably has as much, if not more, to do with demographics than ideology. Republicans tend to be elected from more rural districts, where hunting and fishing are common pastimes. Democrats tend to come from more urban districts, where they really don't have a lot of use for a firearm.

Still, Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman might want to tread a little lightly for a bit, because I doubt his heavily-armed colleagues are too awfully happy with him right now. At a time when polling shows a vast majority in support of gun control, Stockman has invited a Motor City motormouth who vehemently opposes regulation to be his guest at tonight's State of the Union Address. And said motormouth is promising to run his mouth.

Raw Story:

Conservative rocker Ted Nugent says that the media underestimates him so he will “dominate” them and the “lies of the left” following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) on Monday announced that he had invited Nugent to attend the annual speech, even though the pro-gun activist had been investigated by the Secret Service for threatening the life of the president.

Speaking to KFYI talk radio host Mike Broomhead on Monday, Nugent said that he would attend the speech “knowing that everything President Obama ever said has been a masterful scam – a masterful smoke-and-mirrors deceit, fraud, scam from hell.”

That ought to go well.


You might remember the last time Nugent decided to share his wisdom with the world. He caught the attention of the secret service. Previously, he threatened to shoot both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with an assault rifle -- not privately and off-the-record, but on stage. Like many on the right, Nugent seems to confuse debate for something like a celebrity roast, where the most unfair, unfounded, and insulting comment scores the most points. They don't think calling you a "libtard" is an insult, so much as a slamdunk argument.

So, are gun control advocates shaking in their shoes in advance of Nugent's promised media tsunami? A headline of Talking Points Memo answers that question: "Ted Nugent's SOTU Invite Is The Best News Gun Control Advocates Have Heard All Week":

[P]roponents of things like creating universal background checks and other gun regulations predicted on Monday that Nugent’s appearance will be a boon to their side and make it harder for gun rights advocates to make their case.

“If there’s better evidence that the NRA’s Washington lobbyists have lost their way, I can’t think of it,” Mark Glaze, director of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told TPM Monday. “They keep finding new ways to alienate their own members, which is a strange way to run a membership organization.”

Glaze and other gun control proponents often point to surveys of gun owners that showed broad support for expanded background checks, the chief post-Newtown goal of gun control advocates and a measure the NRA leadership opposes.

Remember how I said that congressional gun numbers were probably demographic? Yeah, demographics aren't Republicans' friend right now. Getting some loudmouth fruitcake to shriek about how much he hates the position of most Americans isn't going to help any either. With his invitation, Stockman's taken everything that everyone thinks is wrong with the GOP, amped it up to eleven, and is set to broadcast it nationwide. Remember, Nugent's the type of wingnut who thinks cooking up a zinger of an insult is the same as sitting at the feet of Socrates. Unless someone wises up right quick, Ted's set to tell about 92% of Americans to suck his AR-15 and like it.

For the record, that's not really helpful to the GOP's efforts to fight gun control or gain more voters in national elections.

"You’re going to have a guy who recently threatened the life of the President opposite over 20 survivors from some of our nation’s most gruesome episodes of gun violence," Ladd Everitt, spokesperson for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence told Talking Points Memo. "It’s heartless, and emblematic of just how radical the Republican Party has become on this issue."

It's also idiotic. Rep. Stockman will probably make few friends among his armed-to-the-teeth colleagues tonight. Is it possible that listening to music too loud can render you politically tone deaf? If so, that would explain Steve Stockman's choice of SOTU guest.


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