Extreme gun nut Ted Nugent wrote a column for Whirled Nut Daily World Net Daily, calling the death of children by guns “The Big Lie,” according to Media Matters for America. His column is full of scathing rebukes of Obama, Joe Biden, and gun safety advocates everywhere, and is, quite frankly, full of the insanity that we sadly have to expect from a right-wing lunatic like Nugent.
What exactly does Nugent think people should have more of a problem with than children dying because of guns? Swimming pools. Yes, swimming pools are a bigger danger to children than guns, and yet, Nugent whines, there’s no outrage, there’s no vilifying of pools, there’s nothing. We have all this for guns, and fewer children die by gunfire than by drowning in pools. Or so Nugent’s logic goes.
Nugent says (after calling gang members thugs):
Hyperbole aside, I don’t advocate banning, restricting or imposing other nonsense rules and requirements on those who own backyard swimming pools.
However, there are several problems with his comparison; first and foremost is that the conservative outcry against things like fence laws is…where, exactly? Most states have enacted these laws as a way to better protect children from drowning in their own backyard pools.
In many states, backyard pools must have fences around them as part of building code. Usually, that means that a fence must be installed at the time the pool is put in, or when the house is put up for sale. For instance, in Illinois, all residential pools must be surrounded by a fence or wall at least 3.5 feet high. This doesn’t apply to anything above-ground that is higher than 3.5 feet, however, some counties in Illinois require fencing regardless of whether a pool is in-ground, or above-ground.
Arizona requires fencing around residential pools anywhere a child under six years of age lives, which must be at least four feet high. The fence must have a self-closing, self-latching gate so that it can’t be left open accidentally. The fence must have no handholds or openings that would allow anybody to climb, and it must be at least 20 inches from the water’s edge.
In addition to state laws, many counties, cities and towns have their own laws which might add to the “burden” of compliance. Where’s Nugent’s outrage about this? Or does he consider such laws to be “common sense,” in which case, he supports them? That is also why his comparison to gun laws is ridiculous.
Nugent acknowledges that some kids do die from guns, “mostly in the president’s old stomping grounds of Chicago.” If that were true, then what’s with all the accidents happening in states like Florida, Michigan and Missouri, and elsewhere, too? Does Nugent even pay attention to anything? Probably not, unless it perfectly fits his worldview.
Media Matters roundly debunks Nugent’s claim that kids aren’t getting accidentally shot with statistics from Everytown for Gun Safety, which say that 88 children have died or been injured due to a gun in 2015 alone. Other statistics include 100 deaths of children under 14 in 2013, and Media Matters also published statistics from Mother Jones that found 84 children under twelve died from gunfire that year. Officials also underreport the number of accidents by nearly half, due to certain issues with reporting such injuries and deaths.
Despite all that, Nugent decides he’s made enough of a case that he can say this in his Whirled Nut Daily World Net Daily column:
The truth shall never set Mr. Obama and his anti-freedom cohorts free. That would mean facts matter. Facts, truth and body counts do not matter to the anti-gun crowd. In fact, facts are the enemy to their scamming agenda.
Really, it’s the truth that will never set Nugent, or the NRA, free. Do more children die in pools every year than by guns? Yes. Is it a valid comparison? No. False comparisons aside, Nugent and the NRA see any and all gun laws as an evil slippery slope to confiscation, imprisonment and tyranny, whereas they likely don’t think twice about common sense pool laws, such as requiring fences that children can neither climb, nor open. It’s not Obama, or the gun safety advocates, that need to learn their facts. It’s Nugent.