A gun control advocacy group is furious that conservative rocker and outspoken gun enthusiast Ted Nugent will be a guest at President Obama’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night, along with approximately 30 victims of gun violence and their families.
“I can’t think of any public figure less appropriate for such an occasion,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.
The “Motor City Madman,” an NRA board member, said last April that if President Obama were re-elected, he’d either be dead or in jail at the same time this year.
“Nugent’s threats against the president have been investigated by the Secret Service, and now he’s going to be admitted into the House chamber as an honored guest, no less, to listen to the president’s speech,” Mr. Horwitz said.
Mr. Obama has pressed hard for gun controls in the wake of the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., two months ago, and is expected to renew his call for gun control measures in his speech; several people with ties to gun violence will be guests in the first lady’s box. The most high-profile and politically difficult parts of his package include bans on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and universal background checks on all gun sales.
In an interview Monday with Mike Broomhead, a Phoenix talk radio host, Mr. Nugent said he’s looking forward to coming, even though he vehemently disagrees with Mr. Obama’s policies.
“I will remain respectful to the office of the presidency and the event itself, but I will not buy the scam,” he told KFYI.
Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican, invited Mr. Nugent to the event and said the rocker would have plenty to say before and after the address.
“There’s no reason you can’t take on the confrontational politics of the enemy and still remain civil,” said Mr. Nugent, a frequent contributor to The Washington Times’ editorial pages. “I don’t wait for a counterpunch — I preempt the facts and the statistics and the history, and I do so with a smile and never losing my sense of humor.”