- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2017

Conservative rocker Ted Nugent, who once told a concert crowd that Barack Obama should “suck on [his] machine gun,” has had a change of heart about violent rhetoric following Wednesday’s shooting attack on Republican members of Congress.

“I have reevaluated my approach, even though I’m a street fighter,” Mr. Nugent told WABC radio hosts Curtis Sliwa and Eboni Williams. “I’m from Detroit, we used language in the street. We used certain harsh terms.

“But at the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me that I just can’t use those harsh terms. I cannot and I will not,” he said. “We have got to be civil to each other.”

“The whole world is watching America, where you have the God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and we have got to be more respectful to the other side,” he added.

Mr. Nugent, who serves on the NRA’s Board of Directors, reportedly told a concert crowd in 2007: “Obama, he’s a piece of s–. I told him to suck on my machine gun.”

Speaking in 2012 at an NRA convention in St. Louis, he said, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”

And in January of last year, he called for both Mr. Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “be tried for treason & hung.” Earlier this month, Mr. Nugent defended himself against comparisons to comedian Kathy Griffin for promoting violence.

In Thursday’s radio interview, however, Mr. Nugent promised to “take a deep breath” before sounding off in the future.

“I’m not going to engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore,” he said.

“I will avoid anything that can be interpreted as condoning or referencing violence,” he added.

His comments come after a leftist gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer, a lobbyist, and two Capitol police officers.

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