Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ted Nugent in the News--Again

I don’t know how many of you caught this but The Nuge has made the news again and this time it is in South Dakota. Apparently Nugent went pheasant hunting on a private hunting preserve (Dakota Hills Shooting Preserve) before appearing at a Second Amendment rally sponsored by Citizens for Liberty, which is a Rapid City tea party affiliate. According to Kevin Woster, a reporter for the Rapid City Journal, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is investigating whether Nugent violated South Dakota Game & Fish law by hunting in South Dakota. Apparently, South Dakota and California are part of a multi-state cooperative agreement that if a person is convicted of a game violation AND HAS THEIR LICENSE REVOKED they cannot hunt in states that participate in the agreement (which is a good thing).

Now, let’s get this straight—the agreement specifically states that the person convicted of the game violation must have their license revoked. After reading everything I could locate on Nugent’s California episode I cannot find anything stating that Nugent had his license revoked. I am not saying that he didn’t, I am saying that I can’t find anything that indicates he did! So, if Nugent did not have his license revoked in California then he DID NOT violate South Dakota laws.

What I am reading in the Rapid City Journal is a deliberate attempt to discredit Nugent and the Second Amendment rally’s organizers. Whether the investigation began with the GF&P launching an investigation on its own, or being prodded into the investigation by outside sources is the core of the argument. Unless Nugent’s lawyers were crafty enough to have a significant portion of the punishment levied against Nugent buried and hidden from the public record then this entire case is MaCarthyism harassment targeting Nugent to discredit hunting (and the Second Amendment Rally) by discrediting Nugent. I have not had time to pull up any of the past writings of the author for a credibility check but this new episode in the life and times of Ted Nugent reads like skunk stink. If you are interested in the link to the story, here it is.

If I am correct in my assertion, that this issue is skunk stink, how do we, as members of the hunting community, deal with this? Do we turn our backs on it, comfortable in the knowledge that if Nugent did nothing wrong in South Dakota the issue will quietly go away, as most do? But what if the investigation turns up a real violation? What if Nugent did have his license revoked and it was somehow kept out of the press and now we learn an ugly truth? Do we ignore it and hope it goes away, which is the usual course of action.

My answer is “No!” to both results. If it turns out that a case of MaCarthyism harassment was leveled against Nugent because he was in Rapid City to participate in a Tea Party like movement and the action was intended to somehow discredit him—then everyone who participated—from the GF&P employees to the Rapid City Journal must have their feet held to the fire of legal and moral inquiry and suffer the appropriate legal punishment and a lesson in morality spanking. If it means that some GF&P employees lose their jobs because of their malfeasance then let it happen. If a newspaper reporter loses his job for participating in the “creation” of a story to manipulate public opinion, let him join the unemployed.

On the flip side of the same token, if Ted Nugent did have his lawyers hide part of his punishment from the public view and then did knowingly violate South Dakota GF&P law, then he must be excommunicated from the circle of hunting communicators. Past good works are no salve for present misdeeds.

The traditional course of action for the hunting community, in either case, is to pull the wagons a little tighter, huddle under the tarpaulins and ponchos and wait for the storm to finish blowing, and then see how much was lost, and then try to go on as if nothing happened. That approach is counter-productive. For once let’s see the outdoor community flex its muscle and be willing to throw a few punches at the villain—whether in our camp or the other.


Bible Babe said...

I gotta agree, G--sounds like a load of collywobbles to me, too. I think it's one of those times when the other side has waited for years, looking for the guys on our side to screw up just enough to give them a toehold, then they use that as a way to throw everything they can find at us. By Ted messing up once, they now have a touchstone to refer back to everytime thay want to discredit the hunting community at large. They get to do the old gossip trick of saying,"Well, I'm not saying that he did anything wrong--THIS TIME, but you know, he DID do that other thing that one time, so...."
Keep us posted,
Bible Babe

Phillip said...

I dunno, Galen. The article link you provided simply lays out the story, just as it was reported in some hunting news outlets.

Nugent has a big target on his back, not only because of his CA fiasco, but because he's got a big mouth. That's the risk of having him as a spokesman for the sport and for the Second Amendment... and one of the biggest reasons I have a problem with him.

I have no doubt that there's a bit of a lynch mob out there waiting to tie him to the causes he supposedly supports, and thus discredit both. That's politics as usual... and in my opinion it's all B.S. I'm of the opinion that if you wade into a feces fight, all you end up doing is getting covered in feces.

Galen Geer said...

Bible Babe,
Those guys never stop waiting for someone in our ranks to stumble and the higher the visability the more delighted they are at the stumble.

Galen Geer said...

Target or lightening rod, all the same--the anti-hunting/firearm leadership delights in this sort of thing. I used to really believe we were giving them way to much credit when we accused them of forming plots, that was until I wrote a series for SOF (back in the late 80s, I think, poor memory) and I got death threats in the mail! Those people are quite capable of latching on to something like Nugent's CA episode and then dragging it back to the surface at every opportunity--just for the gossip value--just as Bible Babe wrote.
I believe that with visability comes responsibility--something which I don't think is shared by some--eh?

NorCal Cazadora said...

"California revoked Nugent's deer hunting license on Aug. 13 after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of deer-baiting and not having a properly signed tag, said Dana Michaels, spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Game."

Source: The News Tribune in Tacoma, via Associated Press

But how did the story come about? Who knows. It's clear, though, that Nugent is being watched closely, and he would be wise to consult with lawyers about what he can and can't do.

Now, I don't know what it means to have your "deer hunting license" revoked, because California has one license for all hunting, and you get tags too if you want to hunt deer. But it's clear some privileges were revoked.