TED NUGENT Says 'AR-15s Are Not Assault Rifles': 'Assault Isn't Hardware; Assault Is An Action'
May 30, 2022
Ted Nugent has spoken out against a growing call by a number of lawmakers in Texas and beyond for the minimum age to purchase assault rifles to be raised to 21 from 18.
Under federal law, Americans buying handguns from licensed dealers must be at least 21, which would have precluded the gunman responsible for last week's massacre in Uvalde, Texas from buying that type of weapon days after his 18th birthday. (The Uvalde gunman used an AR-15-style rifle, a popular range of semiautomatic weapons that was purchased from a sporting goods store, to carry out the attack.) That trumps Texas law, which only requires buyers of any type of firearm to be 18 or older.
The 73-year-old Nugent, who recently resigned from the board of the National Rifle Association (NRA) after 26 years, addressed the call on various states to raise the age limit for long gun purchases to 21 during his YouTube livestream on Sunday (May 29). He said in part: "So a buddy of mine who I respect said, 'Maybe we should make it you've gotta be 21 to buy an assault weapon.' I said, 'Stop. They're not assault weapons.' No one is using an assault weapon in any crime.
"AR-15s are not assault rifles. Assault isn't hardware. Assault is an action. An assault is what humans do, not what hardware does. And when they call them assault weapons — AK-47s, AK-47s. Let's talk about that for a moment, shall we? No AK-47 has ever been used in a crime in the United States Of America. 'Well, that's ridiculous. They're everywhere.' No, they're not. An AK-47 is a Kalashnikov machine gun. 'What about the Hollywood bank robbery?' That was an SKS that was illegally altered to fire full auto. The mere possession of it, the possession of the firing pin, the possession of the trigger was a felony.
"Write the law that would stop murder — not by guns," he added. "By SUVs in Waukesha, by tractor trailers in Miami, by Cadillacs in L.A. More people are killed every year by hammers, everybody."
Nugent also addressed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's decision to cancel their appearances at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Houston last Friday. He said: "Why would they back out of the National Rifle Association convention in Houston following the murderous act of a devil in Uvalde, Texas… Why would they back out of their commitment to speak at the number one civil rights organization in the world, the National Rifle Association, celebrating our God-given individual right as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, truth, logic and extremely common sense that individual human beings have the right to keep and bear arms to defend ourselves against evil, especially in times when evil runs our country."
Ted also went on to repeat that there is there is no such thing as an "assault rifle," explaining that his .22 "squirrel rifle" is not an assault weapon.
"So [U.S. president] Joe Biden punks leave billions and billions of dollars of state-of-the-art military weaponry in the hands of the Taliban, including thousands of beautiful machine guns — M4 machine guns — in the hands of the Taliban, but they wanna take away our squirrel rifles," Nugent said. "'Well, they're not squirrel rifles. They're weapons of war.' No, they're not. The language in the assault weapons ban includes squirrel rifles. 'Well, that's ridiculous.' Isn't it? Because it's not about caliber or anything else.
"Guess what: an AR-15, most of them, though they come in various calibers — I've got 'em in various calibers — but the primary AR-15 caliber is a .22-caliber bullet," he added. "Guess what we hunt squirrels with. .22-caliber bullets."
Last week's massacre came only 10 days after an 18-year-old gunman in body armor killed 10 shoppers and workers at a supermarket in a predominantly black area of Buffalo, New York.
According to CNN, the number of U.S. deaths from gun violence in 2019 was about 4 per 100,000 people. That's 18 times the average rate in other developed countries. Multiple studies show access to guns contributes to higher firearm-related homicide rates.
Most U.S. adults think mass shootings would occur less often if guns were harder to get.
In March 2019, an AP-NORC poll showed that 58 percent of U.S. adults thought there would be fewer mass shootings in the U.S. if it were harder for people to legally obtain guns.
Last August, Nugent defended his right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, arguing that he "got it from God." The musician discussed his natural-born rights as an American while talking to Tucker Carlson for an episode of Fox Nation's "Tucker Carlson Today".
"I was born with the right to keep and bear arms. I was born with the right to speak up. I was born with the right to privacy from my government intrusion without just cause. I was born with that," Ted said. "I could come here naked without any Constitution and I know I could say what I want to say. I don't have to get the king's permission.
"Kings, emperors, tyrants, kiss my ass," he continued. "We are a self-government. We are in charge, we hire people to represent us based on these self-evident truths. And if you infringe on them, we will fire your ass and don't make us arrest you."
Nugent went on to say that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect the nation from tyranny.
"[The Second Amendment] says any rights here that are not numerated are up to the states. It's here and enumerated," he said. "It's written down, I can keep bear arms in America, in every building, on every street corner, wherever I want. I got it from God. The Founding Fathers just happened to write it down in case somebody wanted to play king."
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