The beautiful thing about living in the United States is the right we have to freely express our opinions. As long as a person is not engaging in libelous written or printed word, promoting criminal activity as child pornography, inciting people to riot, etc., the Constitutional First Amendment is an awesome guarantor of our basic freedoms.
Though I choose not to own a firearm, I am a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms to protect oneself and property. I do strongly believe in some regulations to protect the public from gun toting cowboys, gangster thugs, or mentally unstable folks.
During his hate spewing rant against progressive politicians, rocker Ted Nugent announced that if Obama is reelected President; Nugent would either be dead or in jail. Nugent’s comments most definitely appeared to be threatening someone or endorsing physical harm to specific elected leaders.
Of course Nugent was playing to his audience, however the tragedy is that this guy should have known better. While he and the NRA lobby is defending the second amendment for citizens to bear arms, he most certainly did not defend the right for others to express their opinions as guaranteed by the equally as significant first amendment.
Nugent knows better and his implied use of violent firearms and his implied comments to engage in violence are probably are not protected under either amendments.
Comments by Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, and other pundits may be offensive but Nugent’s rhetoric is actually very dangerous. It is almost that he is putting out a suggestion of some action and hoping that some loony tune might act on it.
Should Nugent apologize?
Well if you have followed my previous blogs I don’t put much stock in an apology particularly if a person is being compelled to apologize.
This incident does illustrate that those with money and influence can get away with such bad behaviors and the person without the economic means would be hauled into jail or placed under the watchful eyes of the Secret Service as being a national threat.
And though I think Nugent probably broke the spirit of many laws, having him spend some time in jail or even pay a fine would just make the crazed man a political martyr.