Paul J. Richards / AFP - Getty Images file
Rocker Ted Nugent offered his opinion on the July 20 shooting at a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Colorado, discouraging stricter gun laws and suggesting armed moviegoers might have quelled the massacre.
“We pray for all victims&loved ones of demonshooter in CO& we SALUTE the brave warriors who saved lives IF only they would hav had a good gun,” Nugent posted on his Twitter page Wednesday.
He later tweeted, “there were no assault weapons used in the CO shooting only universally proven sporting & self defense firearms & 6k rounds aint squat. lies,” and “how much dope must one injest for how long to believe unarmed & helpless is a desirable condition? soulless is as soulless does to bait evil.”
Nugent’s statements coincided with his interview on conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s radio show, where he elaborated on his stance and criticized Fox TV host Bill O’Reilly for suggesting the government should raise standards for purchasing heavy weapons.
“It epitomizes the ignorance out there when Bill O’Reilly states, as a fact, that anybody can go buy a bazooka and a machine gun without the government knowing it unless, of course, you’re in the Crips and the Bloods,” Nugent said on the “Glenn Beck Program” Wednesday. “To buy a machine gun, you have to go through such a vetting, such a federal BATF and local law enforcement, national law enforcement review, background check, fill out all kinds of documents and buy a $200 transfer tax certificate per purchase if they allow it.”
James Holmes, accused shooter in the Colorado massacre, is said to have been carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic assault weapon with a 100 drum magazine when he opened fire on moviegoers killing 12 people and wounding at least 58 others. Four rifles were found in his possession, including a Smith & Wesson AR-15 type rifle, and all were purchased legally. In the past 60 days, police said Holmes bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition at gun shops and over the Internet.
“I know for a fact that most of the damage done by this devil in Aurora was done with the number one pheasant shotgun in the world, a Remington 870,” Nugent said to Beck. “His AR-15 Smith & Wesson rifle is now the most popular sporting rifle in America. It is the number one competition, number one in self‑defense, it’s the number one sporting rifle for big game and small game. And if they keep calling it an assault weapon, I may have that aneurysm.”
Beck commented, “You know, here’s the thing. If – and nobody I hear is talking about this except people like us – If you had more people carrying a weapon, if people had a gun in their back…and they were licensed to carry it – that guy wouldn’t have gotten off more than four shots.”
Not everyone agrees with Nugent and Beck, of course. In response to Nugent’s tweets, followers sent a series of replies, some more incendiary than others.
Wrote Brett Anderson, “@TedNugent More bullets flying in a dark, tear-gassed movie theater would have made everything better!! #Idiot”
Jason Jordan tweeted, “@TedNugent Doesn't shooting someone count as assault? So he assaulted and killed people with an automatic non-assault rifle?”
And Bob Asbilleprovided an alternative, “@TedNugent I say outlaw ALL guns & only let people have bows and knives. could still hunt no prob. But no more mass murders of innocent ppl”