- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 31, 2018

National Rifle Association board member and rock guitarist Ted Nugent branded school shooting survivors as pathetic, “soulless” liars for targeting the NRA after enduring last month’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Mr. Nugent, 69, unleashed on the students during an interview Friday on “The Joe Pags Show,” a nationally syndicated radio and television program hosted by conservative commentator and fellow NRA member Joe Pagliarulo.

“The lies from the left, the lies from these poor, mushy-brained children who have been fed lies,” Mr. Nugent said. “They’re actually committing spiritual suicide because everything they recommend will cause more death and mayhem, guaranteed.”

Mr. Nugent subsequently lambasted two Stoneman Douglas students in particular — Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg — after being asked to respond to their comments critical of the NRA, the nation’s largest gun rights group.

“This poor pathetic individual is a liar,” Mr. Nugent said after listening to a clip of Ms. Gonzalez.

“I really feel sorry for them because it’s not only ignorant and dangerously stupid, but it’s soulless. To attack the good law-abiding families of America when well-known predictable murderers commit these horrors is deep in the category of soulless. These poor children, I’m afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul,” Mr. Nugent said after listening to a clip featuring both Ms. Gonzalez, 18, and Mr. Hogg, 17.

Ms. Gonzalez and Mr. Hogg have been among the most vocal Stoneman Douglas students to speak out against the NRA and advocate for gun control in the wake of surviving the Feb. 14 rampage that claimed the lives of 17 of their classmates.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student, confessed to the killings and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. He is being held without bond.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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