Remember last month when National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent bragged about shooting feral hogs in Texas with a machine gun from a helicopter -- and then "joked" about how he'd like to do the same to the residents of South Central (now South) Los Angeles?
For most people, the image offered by Nugent -- feral hogs, helicopters, and machine guns -- would be hard to imagine. Let alone how this could be viewed as a "sport."
But a new video sent out by "NRA Outdoors: Hunting & Fishing Destinations" in an email promoting just such a hunt (except with semi-auto assault rifles instead of full-auto machine guns) leaves little to the imagination.
The video opens with Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fortunate Son as the soundtrack. (John Fogerty's lack of control over CCR's music is legendary, but it's hard to believe that this song was used with permission.) The video follows the "sportsmen" as they fire at the hogs as they run to escape the helicopters. (That a song protesting the Vietnam war is used as a backdrop to men armed with assault rifles shooting from helicopters is a visual irony that seems to escape the NRA.)
The email invitation I received to join the hunt -- $2,300 for two hours of "helicopter time," guns and ammo, meals and lodging ("adult beverages" not included) and "limited to the first 12 members that sign up" -- allowed for comments from recipients. One strayed from the pro-hog hunting party line and offered this concern:
"Having watched the video, it seems that they just wound and maim a lot of hogs. Does anyone follow up and finish and or recover the injured animals. The anti hunting crowd will have a field day with this video."
Most striking is that seeing what a feral hog hunt actually looks like, and knowing that he's a cheerful promoter as well as participant, Nugent's "joke" about gunning down "South Central" residents now has a dark visual resonance that amplifies an image that was already as depraved as it was disturbing.