Writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, Paul M. Barrett described Ted Nugent as a “crazy” gun nut who spews “racist venom.” Gun Owners of America’s executive director Larry Pratt was described as a zealot who, like our Presbyterian forefathers along the New England coast in the early 1700s, holds tightly to the motto, “No King but King Jesus.”
Barret says these caricatures of Nugent and Pratt are true, but pointing them out is to invite loss for gun control advocates. Indeed, pointing them out is to lose the overarching cultural war in which various factions of Americans are now pitted.
Nugent is involved in a culture war – one fought over the 1st Amendment, the 2nd Amendment, and the freedom that has flowed from the rest of the Bill of Rights throughout American history. Lots of free speech is better than very little free speech, and two guns are better than one – actually, twenty guns are better than two. This is the culture for which Nugent stumps.
Pratt’s worldview differs slighting from Nugent’s in that it springs from the Bible, but his worldview overlaps with Nugent’s inasmuch as the Bible shows Pratt the importance of free speech, of the right to keep and bear arms, of the sanctity of private property, etc.
Nugent appeals to nature and reason to make sound arguments for the right to keep and bear arms.
Pratt appeals to the Bible, showing that, according to it, our first allegiance ought to be to Christ – and, in a nation where that allegiance falls, we should be ready to defend our lives, property, and government structure from the tyranny which is certain to follow.
These are not shallow thoughts. Nugent and Pratt are dug in and convinced of the historicity of their positions and their arguments. An attempt to use bumper sticker philosophy to overthrow either man is doomed to fail, and in failing, to lose the great cultural war taking place.
Barrett says he’s watched liberals and anti-gunners “bear-bait” Nugent and Pratt in hopes of luring them into a trap. Yet so far, in Barrett’s experience, the bears have been winning.
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