Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quoth Nugent

The quote of the week comes from - of all people - Ted Nugent.

TheRaven isn't a particular fan of the (now middle-aged) Motor City Madman, but funny is funny, regardless of source and nearly irrespective of context. 'Ole Ted, never a shrinking violet, let loose in a pro-gun editorial here, in which he says...

"...You don't ban electric guitars just because someone may have a lapse in logic, goodwill and decency and spontaneously break out into country and Western music."

It turns out that the man who gave us Cat Scratch Fever turned into quite the quotester. His witty repartee several years ago with a British journalist (found here) an example:

Journalist: "What do you think the last thought is in the mind of a deer before you  shoot it ?
Is it, `Are you my friend?` 
or is it `Are you the one who killed my  brother?'"

Nugent:  "Deer aren't capable of that kind of thinking.   

All they care about is: 

'What am I going to eat next, 
who am I going to screw next, 
and can I run fast enough to get away.   

They are very much like the French."

In the same Washington Times article quoted above, Ted goes on to say...Peace and love will get you killed, and unarmed helplessness is a welcome mat for evil. It's common sense unless, of course, your anthem goes "baaa ... baaa ... baaa.

At least we know where he stands. 

While TheRaven disagrees with Nugent's unabashed promotion of the NRA (and notes that the Motor City Madman is sane enough to join the NRA's Board of Directors) he makes a basic point that bears repeating, albeit with more balance: too many Americans (including TheRaven) won't give up their guns, so anti-gun activists would better serve common good by reversing course and advocating stringent, national standards for gun ownership and carry rights. States rights have been the Achilles heel of rational gun policy, we need national standards.
Both sides of the gun debate have retreated into hyperbolic nonsense. Nobody wants a bunch of high-school drop-outs toting automatic weapons on main street but Nugent has a valid point regarding the peril of urban "gun-free zones" to anyone with something to lose. Opposing extremes have locked America into a gun policy stalemate that benefits no one, except for gun manufacturers who profit from hysteria over imagined future legislation. 

TheRaven thinks efforts to remove guns from American life is a no-win proposition. The better strategy by far would advocate national standards for gun ownership, possession and use, backed by stringent qualifications that include: 

1) literacy tests; 
2) hair sample drug test; 
3) national, state and local criminal background check; 
4) classroom and firing range qualification under certified instructors; 
5) periodic re-qualification, at least every three years; 
6) proof of citizenship or permanent residency; 
7) appropriate application & permit fees to fund this program.

The obvious flaw in Nugent's piece, as he conflates gun ownership with water, tea kettles, chainsaws, cars, trucks and other oddly chosen aspects of modern life, is that most these items are or can be extremely dangerous. Only a fool disrespects a chainsaw and licensing and periodic re-licensing of car and truck operators has been law for quite awhile.

Regarding rights to self-defense, TheRaven will gladly surrender gun rights when all levels of government guarantee gun-free criminals. Give Nugent what he wants, but only in context of guns as extremely dangerous implements. 
TheRaven doesn't fear a literacy test.

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