Last week, a pro-gun newspaper columnist in South Dakota attacked rocker Ted Nugent for his history of racist remarks, calling on the NRA to cut off its relationship with him. It is a huge relief to finally see a fellow conservative with the guts to call out Nugent. He is nothing more than a racist bigot who gives gun owners a bad name.
Nugent has been saying inflammatory and racist things for decades, using the n-word in interviews and defending South African apartheid. Most recently, he called the president a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee” and referred to tribal officials in Idaho as “unclean vermin.”
Of course, Nugent is entitled to his views and free to share them with anyone who will listen. But this doesn’t mean that the NRA should continue to employ him as one of its best-known spokesmen.
The NRA is a major pillar of the conservative community and it has a responsibility to protect the image of its members and of gun owners as a whole. What kind of message is it sending to voters by employing a spokesman who believes that Africans are a “different breed”?
Maybe the NRA enjoys the attention Nugent generates. Maybe it is afraid of sparking a backlash on the fringe. Maybe it simply doesn’t want to hand a victory to the gun grabbers on the left.
None of these are sufficient reasons to continue supporting Nugent. As a proud gun owner and conservative, I am sick of being associated with him.