Rocker Ted Nugent has continued to make his views on firearms and the Second Amendment known. On Friday, his brother, former president and chief executive of Revlon, Jeffrey Nugent, also came forward to share his opinions on gun rights in a recent Washington Post op-ed. The problem? The two adamantly disagree -- at least when it comes to universal background checks.
While Ted has come out strongly against expanding these provisions, Jeffrey has taken the opposing side and is embracing and advocating for enhanced background checks.
The famed rock star's brother begins his article by noting that he is a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), a former Army officer and the Ted's older sibling. While he notes that both he and Ted own legal guns and hunt together, Jeffrey makes it clear that they aren't entirely in agreement on gun control.
NRA member and musician, Ted Nugent, greets fans and signs autographs at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings and Exhibits in the George R. Brown Convention Center Sunday, May 5, 2013, in Houston. Credit: AP
"I agree with Ted that our constitutional right to bear arms should not be undermined. I want all those who are qualified to purchase a gun to be able to do so," he wrote. "But -- and here is where I part ways with my brother -- not everyone is qualified to own a gun, so expanded background checks should be a legislative priority."
Clearly, this is a major point of contention, as background checks have drawn the ire of many conservatives and have led Ted to be one of the more vocal opponents among them. Jeffrey continues:
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. As of today, a convicted felon can find a gun show or a private seller and buy a firearm without a background check. That loophole should be closed. Every gun transaction must include a thorough background check. Why would responsible gun owners want to protect people who threaten not only our safety but our gun rights?
The NRA has it wrong: Irresponsible gun owners are bad for everyone. If you shouldn't have access to a gun, then there should be no way for you to access a gun! Can anyone argue with that?
Gun violence and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, according to the businessman, should be causing Americans to think more deeply about what the Second Amendment really means. To make his point, Jeffrey uses the notion that one must obtain a license before driving or buying a car. While car companies know the value of keeping bad and dangerous drivers off the road, he wonders why the NRA and gun industry don't work toward the same goal when it comes to those who shouldn't have access to firearms.
As for those who fear expanded background checks, Jeffrey writes that their worries can be tempered, as there is no need, in his view, to allow increased measures to negatively impact Second Amendment rights. Additionally, he calls gun owners to be a part of the process that can help fixed a system he deems "flawed."
"Let's see if the NRA and its new leaders step up and do what is right. If not, it will get done without them," Jeffrey writes. "We all have a role here, especially to protect our children. Who is going to be the voice for them?"
Motor City Madman Ted Nugent performs before a large crowd at the LaPorte County Fair Saturday July 14, 2012 in LaPorte, IN. Credit: AP
Following the publication of his brother's op-ed, Ted responded with an article of his own. While he complimented his brother's boldness and their upbringing, he said that Jeffrey's stance on expanded background checks is "dead wrong." Here's just a sliver of what he wrote:
In this day and age of terminal apathy and soulless discontent, I adore anyone who is an activist and stands up for what he or she believes. That is exactly how our founders designed this experiment in self government.
My loving brother Jeffery is becoming one of those activists, and I salute the great man. Never one to shy away from controversy, my brother wades into it. We were raised right.
His recent opinion on his support for expanded background checks for firearms purchasers is dead wrong, however.
Ted makes the point that enhanced background checks will likely only crack down on law-abiding citizens and that those who are most likely to commit crimes -- "thugs or psychos" -- won't be impacted by the new-found laws. Read his counter-arguments here.
While some may find it distressing that the two brothers are disagreeing so publicly, their ability to do so with grace and kindness to one another, especially in light of the pointed and emotive nature of the gun rights issue, is admirable.
(H/T: Huffington Post)
- Ted Nugent
- background check
- National Rifle Association