An express trains speeds past Ramsey station in this 2003 photo, ruffling Mayor Richard Muti's jacket, but not the mayor.


Resolving the gun rights/gun control dichotomy

August 25, 2017

Tags: gun rights, Second Amendment, gun control, NRA

I'm a gun owner and former member of the National Rifle Association, the nation's largest gun lobby. In 2003 when I ran, unsuccessfully, for state senate in New Jersey's 39th legislative district, the NRA gave me a B+ rating, an unusually high grade for a Democrat. I later resigned my membership over disgusting remarks made by rock star Ted Nugent, who sits on the NRA's board of directors.

At a 2007 concert, Nugent described presidential candidate Barack Obama as a piece of excrement, using the vulgar four-letter term. Obama can "suck on my machine gun," he said. Candidate Hillary Clinton was dismissed as a "worthless bitch." During the 2012 campaign, Nugent said publicly that if Obama was reelected, "I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," prompting a Secret Service investigation.

Celebrities engaging in over-the-top political commentary is nothing new and, judging from the spate of anti-Trump tirades by Hollywood-types, à la Kathy Griffin, it may be a growing phenomenon. But hope for a more civilized discourse, at least as it relates to the gun issue, recently sprang from an unlikely source: rock star and, apparently, reformed provocateur Ted Nugent. (more…)

Selected Works

A fast-paced, one-volume study of the most fascinating entertainer of the 20th century. The book isn't an academic tome, although it is extensively researched and footnoted; rather, it is designed to be a highly readable page-turner, for avid Sinatraphiles as well as more casual fans of his music and films. It examines the forces, both positive and negative, that made Sinatra Sinatra, with special attention given to the love-hate relationship he maintained toward Hoboken and New Jersey for most of his life. He once called the city of his birth a "sewer," but later observed, "When I was there, I just wanted to get out. It took me a long time to realize how much of it I took with me."
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