Ted Nugent's brother slaps Ted on gun background checks. Family feud?

Ted Nugent's brother Jeffrey, in an op-ed, argues that the NRA and Ted are wrong to fight expanded background checks for gun buyers. Ted, naturally, doesn't take that lying down, whips out ... a pen?

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Musician Ted Nugent listens to President Obama's State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, in February. Nugent's brother Jeffrey, in an op-ed, argues that the NRA and Ted are wrong to fight expanded background checks for gun buyers.

Ted Nugent’s brother is in favor of expanded background checks for gun purchases. We know this because the bro in question, Jeffrey Nugent, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post on Saturday arguing that the National Rifle Association is wrong on this issue and that the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., requires the nation to reexamine what the Second Amendment really means.

“I believe strongly that expanding and improving mandatory background checks will keep a lot of people who aren’t entitled to Second Amendment rights from having easy access to guns,” this Nugent wrote.

Ted Nugent himself has a different opinion here, in case you didn’t know. He’s an NRA board member and an avid hunter who supports firearm rights. The Motor City Madman attended President Obama’s State of the Union address in person. Afterward, a CBS reporter asked for his reaction to Mr. Obama’s proposal of expanded background checks and other new gun-control measures in the speech.

“My reaction? I’m not allowed to do that because I’m supposed to keep my pants on,” he said.

So here’s the obvious question: Will there be a family explosion? Will Thanksgiving now be awkward, and Christmas cards go unexchanged? Will Nuge and bro Nuge maybe even come to blows?

No. It looks as if they’ll try to settle this the old-fashioned way – by writing.

First, we’ll note that Jeffrey Nugent is not really that much different in most of his attitudes here than Ted. The older Nugent – yes, he’s the older brother, you figured that didn’t you? – describes himself as a former Army officer and an NRA member and hunter himself. His op-ed is illustrated with a picture of Jeffrey and Ted and a wild boar they shot.

(By the way, he was president and chief executive of Revlon. Lip gloss and “Cat Scratch Fever,” all in the same family.)

J-Nuge, as we’ll call him, also emphasizes a way to possibly reduce gun violence that his brother would support: more effort in general to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and convicted felons.

And J-Nuge writes that his brother can make good points when they argue about guns.

Then he makes a perceptive observation: “Ted is someone who speaks in extremes to make his points. It reflects who he is, and it works for him and his audience.”

It’s true – Ted Nugent is not insane. He just feigns insanity on stage. The Nuge’s attitudes toward guns are not fringe so much as mainstream GOP. Slate columnist Dave Weigel has noted that if Nugent ran for Congress and won, he would not be the most conservative Republican in the House, by any means.

So Ted has responded to J-Nuge with rhetorical, not actual, fired shots. He’s written his own opinion piece for the conservative website NewsMax that lauds his “loving brother” and celebrates free expression.

Then he enlists that extreme thing his brother talked about to explain that he does not support expanded background checks because criminals will just ignore such restrictions.

“Paroled thugs or bug-eyed psychotics could not care less about any gun laws. The bold and ugly reality is that they will always gain access to a weapon. I believe at his core, my brother knows this,” Ted Nugent writes.

Here’s a prediction: This is a news show waiting to happen. “Crossfire,” with Nugent and Nugent. Talk about (word) lock and load. Or at least, it’s a news segment, with both bros on, say, “Hannity” at the same time. A booker is probably working on that right now.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.