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Another Response to Jan Morgan

I believe this response goes farther than either Caleb or I did in excoriating Jan Morgan from banning muslims from her gun range, much of which I agree with. Reading some of the comments over at Caleb’s post, I was struck by how many folks don’t really get the context under which we’re arguing, so I thought I’d take a minute to explain it.

The key law at work in this context is Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws discrimination based on race color, religion, or national origin in “public accommodations.” When most people talk about the Civil Rights Act, they usually mean the 1964 Act. There could be some debate about whether a gun range is a public accommodation under the act, but I think it would be quite surprising if a court were to agree that it is not. There had been an attempt in the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to use the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to reach a similar result, but the Supreme Court said no. The 1964 act relied heavily on Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. So it has been established law for some time that this type of discrimination is unlawful.

There are some who argue that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went too far in regulating private behavior and limiting property rights. Barry Goldwater was one of the more famous opponents to Title II of the Civil Rights Act, but it’s likely his opposition cost him his bid for the Presidency. I do believe the libertarian argument against Title II of CRA64 is a legitimate one, is not based in a desire to perpetuate racism, or beyond debate. But politically, I’ve written before, opposition to CRA 64 is a non-starter, and probably will continue to be for some time.

It’s worth making sure people understand what the law currently says about what Jan Morgan is doing, and why I think that makes her a distasteful person to have on “our side.” Opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has never been a winning political position, and she’s bound to lose any lawsuit. This was attention grabbing, pure and simple.

Discriminating Gun Range?

Bob Owens has the story about a gun range that has decided to exclude muslims. I’m with Caleb of Gun Nuts Media on this one. This does not show gun owners in a good light, and merely serves to reinforce the stereotype of gun owners being ignorant bigots. This kind of discrimination is also illegal, so this is certain to invite a lawsuit which Jan Morgan will lose.

She could refuse to rent to someone who came in and said “Please, I would like to rent a semi-automatic rifle so I can practice killing infidels.” But refusing to rent to someone for just being muslim would violate the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on discrimination in public accommodations.

It’s my view that this is a shameless publicity stunt done by a woman who makes money feeding the worst instincts of the political right. One problem I think the right has is too many people who make a living doing that.

The KISS principle & Stupid Jerks

Caleb at Gun Nuts Media talks about a topic that I sort of hinted at in the comments on a post from yesterday: “There are a lot of jerks, idiots, and assholes in the world, I can guarantee that some of them legally own guns.”

Not every bad situation involving guns is invented by anti-gunners. The fact is that there are some people with very poor decision-making abilities who use cars in a dangerous manner, exercise their right to speak to say dumb things, and even brandish guns in a way that reflectors poorly on gun owners. As Caleb notes, we should be calling out these people for their poor decisions and bad actions and making clear that this kind of behavior isn’t acceptable in the modern gun community.

I realize that the easiest form of thinking is to just assume that everything is the fault of gun controllers, but just stop and consider it for a moment. Think of every hoop they would have to jump through to make whatever bad incident you’re thinking about happen. Chances are, you’ll realize that it’s really outlandish.

Energy spent coming up with conspiracy theories in every single situation is better spent on being a better representative of the pro-gun community and encouraging others to do the same.

Jesus Wept: OCT President Unholsters Firearms in Public for Photo Op

Miguel, who is much more engaged with following anti-gun and pro-gun groups on social media than I could ever be, noticed something very important from Open Carry Texas’ statement the other day, quoting from their statement:

Black Powder revolvers have proven to be very effective and align with our goal of legalizing open carry with a handgun. We do understand that not everyone will be able to afford one, but if you can, we are requesting you do so. Almost every leader has gone to Black powder for a reason. It works.

I basically share Miguel’s reaction to this; what a wonderful idea. Surely no one would be alarmed greatly by a cap and ball revolver in a proper holster, right? Well, nope.

So here we have Open Carry Texas’ president in a public place, without any apparent holster I can see, finger fucking his side arm. A commenter on their Facebook page very wisely chastised [UPDATE: Seemingly has gone down the memory hole over there.]

 

IdiocyOnParade

“It’s not a firearm.” Dear God, is this really what we’re dealing with? Stop touching it! You have no business drawing a firearm in a public place unless it’s to protect life and limb. I echo the sentiments of Mr. Braaten: it doesn’t matter what the State of Texas calls it, or ATF calls it, for the purposes of safety and sensible carry protocol, if it launches a projectile at a speed sufficient to cause grave bodily injury or harm, it’s a firearm. It should be treated with the respect it deserves as a potentially deadly instrument.

Just when I want to start thinking better of this group, they up the ante on jackassery. I know some readers are tiring of this, but I honestly don’t care. These people are costing us hugely. They live up to everything the antis want the public to think about people who own and carry firearms. They have to be exposed for being the careless, thoughtless people they are. Back to Miguel:

If anything, it has been proven that their methods have been counterproductive delighting the Opposition (always looking for excuses to “stick it” to us) and garnering a massive amount of anger from Gun Owners who are tired of getting typecasted as brutish & dangerous people, undeserving of the right to Keep and Bear Arms. And they (we) are right to be pissed.

Amen. We’re going to be very lucky if we get through this without further damage. God give us the strength to deal with these thoughtless attention whores.

Because Your Blood Pressure is Too Low This Weekend

Read this letter from a DC mom who is fighting charges that she neglected her child because the girl and a friend were safely walking just a few minutes from a home – the same home they could give a phone number for where their parents available to pick them up if someone was truly concerned. But some man decided that the best decision was the call the police so that the parents would be arrested for the “crime” of allowing children to play unsupervised.

If you need to bring your blood pressure back down, there’s also this story about a group of parents who decided to stand up to the extremely anti-fun and anti-kid staff at what one parent called “Worst First Play Centre of Gloom” and encouraged their kids to violate all the rules against running and having fun. The parent report says that the staff hid away in the corners when they realized they were outnumbered by people who wouldn’t be strict rule enforcers. When these most obnoxious nannies are ignored and marginalized, they back down. We need to teach more people to stand up to them.

I realize these aren’t directly “gun rights” stories, and they both come out of areas (DC & Montreal) where the parents themselves might be horribly anti-gun, but these are issues related to freedom to live your life as you choose when you aren’t infringing on anyone else’s rights.

There’s No Shame Left in this World

A grown man called 911, apparently unashamed he is unable to deal with his angry house cat. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that we are a house divided in regards to pets. I am a cat person, whereas Bitter is a dog person. But despite my affection for our feline friends, if I had a cat that scratched my 7 month old kid, and then couldn’t begin to understand who’s the apex predator in this equation, kitty is going to be in for quite an education. I’m definitely not calling 911 to have someone else come deal with the cat, because that’s just pathetic.

You’re the superior species dude, a hell of a lot bigger, and a hell of a lot smarter, and kitty knows it. If you act like it you’re the boss, kitty is going to back down, trust me. It won’t have to come to either him or you. I mean, hell, a blanket is a fantastic weapon in such a situation if you really want to turn the tables here. How about a laundry basket?

The mind boggles. Really. I hope this is a hoax.

You’re Doing it Wrong

This guy will be a candidate for a Darwin Award:

The victim reportedly held three handguns to his head and pulled the trigger, explaining that firearms are safe when they’re not loaded. A fatal bullet was discharged from the third gun.

I’m pretty sure the lesson here is don’t take gun safety advice from this guy.

Keeping Your Kids Fearful

The principal and teachers in a Goldsboro, NC middle school thought it would be a great idea to tell kids that there was an armed robber roaming the school and then have a staff member dressed up in a ski mask armed with a fake handgun break into the room.

The school claims that they were teaching situational awareness. However, I’m not sure how it is you’re teaching them to be anything other than frightened sitting ducks when the teacher indicates that they know there’s a threat lurking, but the class is just expected to sit there and let it happen. Follow that up with a fake gunman entering the room, and it’s just so hard to see why this went over about as well as a lead balloon. At least the district spokesman admits that the staff involved lacked judgement, and the staffer who pretended to be the gunman may face disciplinary action.

I saw this link from Free Range Kids, and she made a great point with these types of exercises:

Kids are NOT in constant danger, so can we please stop dreaming up ever more dramatic ways to “protect” them as if they were?

Of course, the sad part is that it could be argued that at least the North Carolina incident was based on a general threat in life, that while extremely unlikely, isn’t completely insane. Ventura County, California schools thought the families of their students needed to spend their time developing plans for how to deal with their children in school if the get nuked. Yup, this is where your money to the public school system goes these days, folks.

New Group of Charlatans?

A few weeks ago we highlighted the American Rifle and Pistol Association, touting itself as an alternative to the NRA, but with leadership that seemed to have some sympathies toward gun control. A reader tipped me off to a new group called the Sporting Rifle Association of America, also touting itself as a “The Sensible, Modern Alternative to the NRA,” which raises alarm bells straight away. Also raising alarm bells? The site has a private registration, and is hosted off HostGator. Nowhere can you find a mailing address for this “company.” Even ARPA was pretty open about who its leadership were.

I’m not sure this is a false flag group, in the mold of American Hunters and Shooters Association. I think this may very well be an outright scam; an attempt to gather up credit card information. I’d never give out information to a site not really willing to identify itself. To be honest, I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often in this issue. I think the first place I’d start, if I were any of those gun companies who’s logos were presumably jacked, would be to contact the ISPs, unmask them, and send a cease and desist in regards to use of their logos. Actually, just contacting the ISPs may be sufficient to get them to do a takedown.

UPDATE: Seems they’ve taken down the gun company logos, set up a secure web site. I still wouldn’t give money to people who aren’t up front about who they are. I’d note they only have “Domain Control Validated” certification from GoDaddy. They don’t appear to have obtained any kind of extensive organizational validation, only demonstrated control the domain. I have gone through organization verification for an SSL cert before, and it’s fairly thorough. Not something you could set up in a few hours. Domain control, however, is easy.

UPDATE: Clicks from this site are being redirected to a placeholder page. I’d note this is very strange behavior.

UPDATE: I have received an e-mail from this group:

Hello there –

We noticed your recent blog post regarding our group. We would love to
talk to you and help clear up some of the questions and issues you may
have.

Thanks.


Sporting Rifle Association of America
http://www.SRAAHQ.com

If we’re going to deal with these folks, we’re going to deal with it out in the open. Clearly they are paying attention, so before I have any dialog, I want an answer to the following questions:

  1. Where is your organization incorporated?
  2. Are you filed or do you plan to file with the IRS as a 501(c)(4) or (c)(3) non-profit?
  3. Who are on your Board of Directors?
  4. What’s your corporate mailing address?
  5. You were using gun company logos. Are the companies you listed sponsoring you? Did you have permission to use those logos to promote your business or non-profit?
  6. Who processes your credit card transactions? And why were you accepting transactions over an unsecured link prior to other groups on Facebook pointing out that your page wasn’t secured?
  7. Why even in this e-mail are you not identifying yourselves? Who am I speaking with? What is your title?

You want to clear this up? Answer here. I’ll be happy to post the answers. Then maybe we can get to the bottom of what they may be actually doing that makes them a viable alternative to NRA.

Overreacting Parents

Sorry, I’m pulled away from the screen (and reading comments in my controversial post of the day) for a bit to make up a menu for the next week and get the shopping list uploaded for Sebastian. (He has the best grocery store with significantly lower prices near his office, so he gets the big trips while I do the little fill-in trips to the stores closer to home.) I’m also doing a little local pro-rights activism. Yay!

In the meantime, here’s a funny column addressing parents who not only overreact emotionally when something less than perfect happens to their little snowflake, but who also look to make a buck by taking the responsible party for the unpleasantness to court for the “crime” of being less-than-perfect.

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