Ted Nugent Threatens Obama. Lands In Hot Water.
Right-Wing, Second Amendment nut job Ted Nugent made the news again. As you might have heard, on April 16, 2012, Nugent made some threatening comments to President Obama and the Democratic leadership at the NRA Convention. I am not against the Second Amendment. I think we all should have the right to bear arms. However, when you are talking to a crowd of people who are gun waving members of a group that hates this Presidency and you try to incite emotions of homicide, you are not outspoken. You are an ass. What do you think?
WAS HIS 1ST AMENDMENT VIOLATED?
First off, if you are unaware of what he said, here is a video of the comments.
That’s pretty appalling. So did his First Amendment Freedom of Speech rights get violated? The answer to this is ‘No.’ You can’t say stuff like that about the President of the United States in a public forum and get away with it. It’s against the law. Technically, he had the “right” to say it. Now he’s reaping the benefits of that right be evoking a response from the Secret Service.
WHAT IS THE LAW?
Nugent recently stated that “Our government is wiping its @$$ with the Constitution.” This is an ironic statement coming from someone who obviously has mastered Congressional law, but doesn’t know Common law. You haven’t been able to threaten the President in this country since 1917. Threatening the President of the United States is a class D felony. It is stated under the United States Code Title 18, Section 871. The law states that you cannot “knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making “any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States”.
HOW DID THEY COME UP WITH THIS LAW?
It’s based on an English law called The British Treason Act 1351. This law states that if you make a threat – or even THINK about the King of England dying – you can be tried for treason! It is rarely used and was last implemented during World War II to prosecute William Joyce, an Irish-American politician and Nazi sympathizer. Note: He was convicted and hung for his crimes.
SO WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO HIM?
The penalty for publicly threatening the President is a felony. If you were a physician who was convicted of this, you would no longer be able to practice medicine. The crime can be up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Additionally, you will be under a three-year supervised release. Note: This is a total of 8 years or the length of time the President can be in office.
WHAT’S MOST LIKELY GOING TO HAPPEN?
Other than proving himself to be a loud-mouthed jerk, the worst Nugent will probably receive is a slap on the wrist and sent home. For the next few years, he might not be able to perform or even be in the town when a President (any President) is coming for a visit. It is most likely that they will run him through psychiatric evaluations to see if he is crazy. Of course, he’s already proven that to the public. It should be noted that using Facebook or Twitter to show more than support for this has-been singer could also get you into trouble. The Secret Service does not take threats to the President lightly. Tweets and Facebook polls have been investigated by the Secret Service. George W. Bush had messages posted on Yahoo stating that they wanted to assassinate him and “rape and kill” his wife. These are unwarranted. Every President gets death threats, but some people push the envelope and go too far. It is these people who end up with the Secret Service showing up at their homes and work places investigating their sanity. Think before you speak!
UPDATE: Ted Nugent was released by the Secret Service today and freed. A far cry from the call for American citizens to be arrested and held at Guantanamo Bay without a trial. He stated that “it couldn’t have gone better.” However, Mitt Romney has denounced him and the NRA took down his video today. Maybe some sense did come from this.