Ted Nugent went on a conservative radio show Friday evening and lobbed another round of insults at the most outspoken survivors of the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
During his guest spot on The Joe Pags Show, hosted by Joe Pagliarulo and syndicated from WOAI in San Antonio, Texas, the NRA board member was asked why the “media” had turned on the NRA.
“The level of ignorance goes beyond stupidity. Again, the National Rifle Association are a bunch of American families who have a voice to stand up for our God-given constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms,” Nugent said. “We have no blood on our hands. No NRA member have ever been involved in any mass shootings at all, in fact the National Rifle Association is the lone organization that has taught firearm safety in schools, and for law enforcement, and for military, and for children’s organizations and family organizations around the country for 100 years. So once again, this poor pathetic individual is a liar.”
When Pagliarulo referred specifically to David Hogg, the student whom conservative radio host and TV personality Laura Ingraham poked fun at and subsequently lost major broadcasting advertisers, Nugent continued.
“The dumbing down of America is manifested in the culture deprivation of our academia that have taught these kids the lies, media that have prodded and encouraged and provided these kids lies. I really feel sorry for them because it’s not only ignorant and dangerously stupid, but it’s soulless,” he said. “To attack the good law-abiding families of America when well-known predictable murderers commit these horrors is deep in the category of soulless. These poor children, I’m afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable. They have no soul.”
Ingraham announced she’d be taking leave next week amidst the controversy, according to Variety.
Before those comments, Nugent also called the outspoken students who led the recent March for Our Lives protests “mushy-brained children” who are “committing spiritual suicide because everything they suggest,” including universal background checks and banning assault-style rifles, “will cause more death and mayhem, guaranteed.”
The two segments with Nugent begin at the 37-minute mark of the audio recording of the show.
Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the Marjory Stsoneman Douglas High School, admitted to shooting and killing 14 students and three staff members at the school in Parkland, Fla. on the afternoon of Feb. 14. He used an AR-15, for which he also carried multiple magazines as he strolled through halls and classrooms firing, before trying to blend in with those who fled the scene in a panic. Fifteen others were wounded in the worst school shooting in Florida history.
The Nuge’s comments about soullessness were at odds, however, with a Pope Francis’ take in a Palm Sunday sermon last week, according to Reuters.
“It is up to you to not keep quiet,” Pope Francis said to the youths gathered in St. Peter’s Square, while not specifically mentioning the movement after the Parkland mass shooting. “Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders — so often corrupt — keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you, will you cry out?”
Students like Hogg and Emma Gonzalez have cried out ever since, spurring more than 840 March For Our Lives protests around the globe last weekend, including the one that drew hundreds of thousands into the streets of Washington D.C.
Media Matters for America first reported on Nugent’s comments.
Nugent is one of 76 members of the NRA board, according to Mother Jones, a list that also includes actor Tom Selleck, former NBA star Karl Malone, former Iran-Contra conspirator and conservative pundit Oliver North, the president of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist, and that guy from “Full Metal Jacket,” R. Lee “The Gunny” Ermey.
Pagliarulo’s daughter, 16 at the time, went missing briefly in 2016. Her co-worker was later arrested for unlawful restraint after taking her to Mexico, according to the San Antonio Express News.
The radio host maintained on Friday’s show that he wants to interview the same Parkland survivors Nugent vilified.