A liberal group is calling on leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to disinvite rocker Ted Nugent from President Barack Obama's 2013 State of the Union address, citing the rocker and gun-rights advocate's provocative remarks.
"The First Amendment protects Ted Nugent's rights to say offensive things, but that right does not extend to making threats of violence against public officials," Michael Keegan, the president of People For the American Way, wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner before Obama's speech.
"And it certainly does not give Nugent a 'right' to be granted a privileged position of honor as a guest of the House of Representatives at the President's State of the Union address."
Before the 2012 presidential election, Nugent suggested he was preparing to go to extreme measures to make sure Obama wasn't re-elected. "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year," Nugent said.
Nugent came under scrutiny from the Secret Service after he called the Obama administration "vile," "evil" and "America-hating."
Nugent told reporters before Obama's speech he intended to demilitarize and remain respectful.
"I will remain respectful in the decorum department, but I know what self-evident truths are and I know what the right to keep bear arms means," Nugent was quoted as saying. "I represent working hard, playing hard, logical, productive Americans who own lots of guns, lots of ammo and we're an asset to our neighborhoods and our family and this country and for our rights to be infringed is real counterproductive."
Keegan, in his letter to Boehner, argued that Nugent should be disinvited regardless of how civil he acts.
"This is not a question of civility; it is a question of whether or not to tolerate violent threats," wrote Keegan. "We cannot invite those who openly threaten the life of the president to be part of this celebrated tradition. Allowing Nugent into the House chamber for the address will send a clear message of condoning such threats. In a country still reeling from recent shooting sprees and striving to find ways to reduce gun violence, it is unconscionable to invite to the State of the Union address a man who has repeatedly threatened to kill our nation's president."
[Photo of Ted Nugent from Randy Snyder/Getty Images News]