And so I am very glad indeed to learn that Ted Nugent’s comment to the NRA that “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year” has been flagged by the Secret Service.
I’m on record as being constantly afraid for Barack Obama’s life, but I’ll be honest: I don’t really think that Ted Nugent’s about to take up arms against the President of these United States. He has a big mouth, and his life is now largely dedicated to trolling the America left. Whatevs, dude.
But the thing is, Ted Nugent is not the only American nutjob with a gun. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but as a nation, we are fairly bristling with guns, not to mention those who like to use them.
My concern is not that Nugent will storm the ramparts, but that someone listening to him will think that he offers a spiffing solution to the nation’s problems, and oh hey! I have a big gun right here!
There are surely those who agree, and will continue to agree, that political violence is a good idea, especially when they hear the thundering silence from the right that refuses to condemn such rhetoric. But if the Secret Service makes its presence felt? It’ll slow a few hands.
Look, I don’t think we’ll ever rid the world of the violent, the crazy, or the hateful. But we can, at the very, least make it abundantly clear that we as a nation do not sanction and will not support crazy, hateful violence. I don’t know why Mitt Romney has remained silent, but I’m damn glad that the Secret Service hasn’t.
Emily L. Hauser has been a freelance writer for 20 years. She has contributed to publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, and Dallas Morning News, covering topics ranging from Israel/Palestine and domestic politics, to women’s issues and the occasional burst of geekery. She is a regular columnist at The Daily Beast’s Open Zion, and blogs at Emily L. Hauser In My Head. Follow her on Twitter at @emilylhauser.
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