Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ted Nugent: ‘I Will Remain Respectful’ at Obama Speech

Rock star and gun-rights supporter Ted Nugent arrived on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, promising to “remain respectful.”

Mr. Nugent, who said last year that Mr. Obama’s re-election would “destroy America,” was invited to the annual address to Congress by Rep. Steve Stockman (R., Texas), who said Mr. Nugent would have a lot to say after the speech. Mr. Nugent will be sharing the gallery with hundreds of other guests, including some two dozen people who have been shot or lost relatives to gun violence and are rooting for Mr. Obama to follow through on a gun-control agenda.

“I will remain respectful in the decorum department, but I know what self-evident truths are and I know what the right to keep bear arms means,” Mr. Nugent told a pair of reporters.  “I represent working hard, playing hard, logical, productive Americans who own lots of guns, lots of ammo and we’re an asset to our neighborhoods and our family and this country and for our rights to be infringed is real counterproductive.”

Mr. Nugent told a National Rifle Association convention last year that  “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Mr. Nugent’s comments drew scrutiny from the Secret Service, which saw the comments as a threat. But Mr. Nugent said he had never threatened anyone’s life.

After the election, Mr. Nugent took to Twitter to complain about “pimps,” “whores,” and “welfare brats” who voted for a president who will “destroy America.”

Mr. Nugent said Tuesday wasn’t carrying any weapons. “I’m butt-naked,” he told the reporters. “If something happens, you’re going to have to call somebody else because I can’t do squat to help you right now. I don’t even have a pocketknife on me,” he said. “I did retain my flashlight though,” he announced, pulling a small flashlight out of his pocket.   “This is so weird and this is so un-American,” he said of the security check at the Capitol.

Earlier on Tuesday, gun-control advocates and their congressional hosts gathered at a Capitol Hill news conference to press Congress to act. The December mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., has focused congressional attention on advancing gun legislation.

“More guns is not the answer,” said Rep. Jim Langevin (D., R.I.), who was paralyzed at the age of 16 after a gun being handled by a weapons expert accidentally discharged during a Boy Scout training event.

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