Showing posts with label National Rifle Association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Rifle Association. Show all posts

Monday, December 28, 2009

Don’t Let ‘Em Take Your Gun

On this day in 1975, Ted Nugent—currently on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association (NRA)—was threatened by a gun while playing a concert in Spokane, Washington. An audience member by the name of David Gelfer raised a .44 magnum and pointed it at the rock star, but fortunately for the Nuge, police (and perhaps audience members, I’m not entirely clear) overpowered the gunman and stopped the possible murder. Gelfer was later charged with “intimidating with a weapon.”

John Lennon’s murder, on 8 December 1980, was still five years away. Lennon was murdered in America, where, according to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Hence the right to bear arms is an unalienable right, as essential to the American way of life as money and automobiles. I support the Constitution, and have no wish to see it modified or altered. But I also recognize that all values and rights require sacrifices—as Emerson observed, “Nothing is got for nothing.” John Lennon’s murder was a terrible tragedy, but his death can be understood as a sacrifice to the American way of life.

He wasn’t the only figure associated with rock culture in America whose destiny became bound up with the gun. It is now widely accepted that Dylan’s motorcycle crash in July 1966, while it actually happened, was exaggerated in terms of its physical injury in order to allow Dylan to remove himself from public life—for his personal safety. In Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary, No Direction Home, Al Kooper says as much, averring that he was afraid to tour with Dylan after 1965 because he didn’t want to play John Connelly to Dylan’s JFK. Thus the fear of being shot and killed by a deranged fan was a very real one, many years before the murder of John Lennon. I’ve been unable to find out whether David Gelfer’s gun was actually loaded—perhaps his gesture was merely an unfunny practical joke—but if it were loaded, Ted Nugent might have become the sacrificial victim that John Lennon later, not by choice, became.

The lives of many figures associated with rock music have ended by the gun: Sam Cooke (1964), Johnny Ace (1954), Arlester “Dyke” Christian (1971), Terry Kath (1978), Felix Pappalardi (1983), and Marvin Gaye (1984). The gun has also been used to achieve self-murder: Danny Rapp, of Danny and The Juniors, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1983. Country singer Faron Young also died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound (1996), and Wendy O. Williams, vocalist for the short-lived Plasmatics, killed herself with a gun in 1998. And famously, on 8 April 1994, Kurt Cobain was discovered having murdered a rock star with a gun, the closest one he could find: himself.

Some Wit and Wisdom of Ted Nugent (see the complete article here):

Ban guns? Don’t try it. The National Rifle Association, formed 138 years ago, is dedicated to the self-evident truth of self-defense.

With increased NRA memberships, with guns and ammo sales surging along with concealed weapons permits, never in the history of mankind have more people possessed more firepower.

Fortunately, this level of defenselessness is incomprehensible to about 100 million Americans who own guns.

Because of them, and the NRA, the lunatic fringe left touches the issue of gun control at its own political risk.

Fresh from escaping the tyranny and slavery [sic], our brilliant, sensible Founding Fathers wrote down the self-evident truth that the right to self-defense is God-given.

And write this down: To “keep” means it is mine. You can’t have it. To “bear” means I’ve got them right here on me.

“Shall not be infringed” echoes that beautiful “Don’t tread on me” chorus. Sing it.

Self-defense is the most powerful, driving instinct in good people everywhere. To deny it is evil personified.

All the evidence tells us that calling 9-1-1 is a joke. For those of us for whom self-defense is no joke, we’ll call 9-1-1 after we’ve defended our families. We’ll tell authorities to bring a dustpan and a mop to clean up the dead monster we just shot.

By comparison, here’s gun control a la Ted Nugent: Put the second shot through the same hole as the first shot.