Ted Nugent got fired up while discussing gun control and gun ownership with Piers Morgan and pointedly asked the CNN host: "Would you leave us the hell alone?"
Morgan headed to Texas, where he met with the Detroit rocker and unabashed gun advocate for a sit-down at a local gun range. What materialized was an explosive interview in which Nugent accused Morgan of having an obsession with guns.
In the interview, which aired Monday, Morgan asked Nugent why anyone needs an assault weapon, to which Nugent replied that massacres are anomalies.
"It's a simple inanimate tool that tens of millions of American families own, that have never caused a problem, never had an accident and will never commit a crime," said the rocker, who previously has suggested he is ready for an armed revolt if the government were to attempt to take away his firearms. "You have the aberrations that are such a minute percentage."
Nugent then delved into his broader argument:
Morgan refuted the musician with statistics and said that 100,000 Americans are hit by gunfire every year. But Nugent went on the defensive.
"Do you care about murders? Or do you only care about about murders with guns?" he asked Morgan. "I don't think you do. I think you care about guns. You’re obsessed with guns."
Nugent went on to say,
99.99% of the gun owners of America are wonderful people that you are hanging around with here today. Perfectly safe. Perfectly harmless. Wonderful, loving, generous, giving, caring people. Would you leave us the hell alone? Go after the nut jobs, go after the murderers, because I don’t know any. We need to lock up the bad guys and when people show dangerous, murderous intent, which everyone one of these mass-murderers showed.
In the United States, gun ownership per 100 people surpasses any other nation in the world. The second-ranking country is Yemen, a fact Morgan used to quash Nugent's point that "An armed society, is a polite society."
In a separate interview with CNN's Deborah Feyerick, Nugent reiterated his gun-control argument. "It's not the weapons," he said. "The weapons had nothing to do with it. These weapons are in every pickup in Texas. People have to get past the hardware."
Nugent, a 64-year-old father of eight, has been staunchly against harsher gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He blamed the massacre, that left dead 20 children between the ages of 6- and 7-years-old, on the "moral decay" of society.
"We live in an embarrassing, politically correct culture that exalts and rejoices in the bizarre; aggressively promotes an 'anything goes' value system; and vilifies, condemns and mocks traditional societal values and customs at every opportunity," he wrote for the Washington Times in December.