The National Rifle Association stayed silent about last week’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut for several days, “out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency,” the organization eventually said in a statement Tuesday.
“The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again,” it continued, a vague, but still somewhat conciliatory statement.
Texas resident and well-known NRA supporter Ted Nugent, however, stuck to his more customary strident tone. The man has a professional brand to maintain, after all:
that more than 100million lawful gunowners would be punished & restricted due to the criminal abuse by .00001% is pure. insanity no thankU
— Ted Nugent (@TedNugent) December 17, 2012
300million American guns were not misused again this week-leave us the hell alone
— Ted Nugent (@TedNugent) December 18, 2012
Nugent, of course, made his infamous comments about President Barack Obama’s potential re-election–“I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year”–at April’s NRA convention.
But according to Steven C. Webster of The Raw Story, Nugent’s penchant for saying things like “our American Dream is measured in ballistics” may have cost him some TV time in the post-Newtown America. As Webster wrote:
In addition to cancelling its popular “American Guns” reality show, The Discovery Channel confirmed to Raw Story on Tuesday that firearms enthusiast Ted Nugent will also not be returning to the channel in any form or fashion.
Discovery had aired Ted Nugent’s Gun Country in October, trumpeting the one-hour special with the headline, “Ted Nugent Rocks the Second Amendment.”
“His Discovery Channel show is literally going to be a celebration of life with guns,” Awr Hawkins of Breitbart raved at the time (which, if nothing else, was the rare correct usage of “literally”).
As Timothy Johnson, a critic of Nugent, who writes for Media Matters for America noted at the time, the rocker told a radio interviewer to “expect that there will be at least a dozen shows a year.”
Discovery’s announcement of the cancellation of American Guns, as well its ruling out of any future episodes of Nugent’s show, was not explicitly linked to last week’s shootings, but Webster quoted a network spokesperson as saying the tragedy “has really started something.”
“Uncle Ted” still has a more sympathetic forum in the Op-Ed pages of the Washington Times, where he returned Wednesday to dismiss both increased gun control laws and increased guns (for heightened security in schools or public places) as solutions to mass shootings like the ones in Newtown or Aurora, Colorado. He also rejected the possibility that poor mental health care or violent video games bore any responsibility.
Instead, Nugent blamed political correctness, moral relativism, big government and the erosion of “traditional family values.”
“[S]somewhere in America, another bug-eyed young man is planning the next massacre,” he warned.