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.

47 thoughts on “Discriminating Gun Range?”

  1. Sunni, Shi’ite, and in many ways, Shi’a Muslims will never assimilate or culturally mix with western society. Ahmadeists (however you spell it) seem to be more of a reform sect of Islam. That being said, there have been Islamist killings in this country, and here in South Jersey, at my college, we have heard Sunni Muslim students screaming at the women here that they are whores and will “bear there seeds”. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this, but remember, The Mulford Act was passed after the Black Panthers carried firearms into the CA legislative building. As bad as that act was, Reagan saw the BPP as communists and Soviet sympathizers calling for the destruction of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and to establish a government modeled off of Communist China and the USSR. The BPP were and still are subverters who seek to use our Bill of Rights and Constitution against our Bill of Rights and Constitution, just like many Muslim groups in this country are doing. Only 1/6th are Ahmadeists, so I am mixed on Jan Morgans decision.

    1. Collective punishment of people with a tenuous connection to small groups or lone bad actors, for the crimes of others?

      Yeah, nope… That is not how liberty and the rule of law are meant to work. If this gun range banned anyone who wanted to use an “assault weapon” due to the actions of Adam Lanza, you’d be disgusted. If this gun range banned Baptists for the actions of Fred Phelps, you’d be outraged. So on and so forth.

      I’m not living in the fluffy kittens and rainbow unicorns fantasy land of the chattering classes on teevee that insist Islam is blameless of all wrong doing. But until the words or actions of an individual warrant it, punishing one person for the wrongs of another is just plain wrong.

      1. I’m not speaking in favor of what you think I am. I despise the Mulford Act and am disturbed by this decision of Jan Morgan. Adam Lanza was an evil, psychotic, scumbag. I am talking about a religion where 5/6 of it’s 1.2 billion followers seek to destroy our society and the freedoms we enjoy. I am very skeptical about giving citizenship and all of our individual rights to people who seek to destroy them. Did you not even acknowledge the socio-cultural aspects of our rights and freedoms that are being threatened that I specifically mentioned?

        1. if you despise the Mulford Act, why did you turn around and rage about the BPP? if the Mulford Act is wrong, it’s wrong and isn’t excused by who were were SO WORRIED about at the time.

        1. Except de-Nazification only applied to /actual/ Nazis, not every German-American.

          1. We did most of our de-Krautification during the first world war, but boy did we do a lot of it. (Anyone for liberty cabbage?) As we also did a lot of de-Britification during and after the Revolutionary War. Canadian descendants of Loyalists still tend to be a little butthurt about it, German-Americans less so.

            It’s great that we’re concerned to avoid hurting Muslim Americans’ feelings and all, but it’s probably not going to work out well for anyone. It’s not smart to suppress the tribe’s self-preservation instinct and to teach the young members of the tribe to hate their ancestors for preserving the tribe in the past. It’s really not smart to do that while inviting an alien people to live among the tribe, to maintain their alien identity and to collect prizes and goodies if the tribe slights or mistreats them in any way. The alien will realize that the tribe members still hate and fear him, but can’t say it because the tribe’s leaders have decided to punish self-preservation rather than xenophobia. The alien has every incentive to remain alien and even to become more alien and hostile, and no effective way to merge into the tribe.

            And the foregoing paragraph is not unique to Muslims.

      2. Frankly, I believe your argument is just plain wrong: You write as though you find the act of this individual to be somehow completely incompatible with your notion of liberty.

        Personally, I find the idea of government dictating what constitutes an acceptable reason to deny service to be fundamentally incompatible with my notion of liberty. The way I see it, the government should have no say over why/how businesses deny service to individuals.

        To use your examples:

        *If a commercial range in my area decided to prohibit firearms with certain cosmetic features due to the acts of some crazy guy who killed a bunch of people in Connecticut, I would be disgusted. So disgusted that I would take my business to another commercial range. Given the demographics I’ve seen of gun owners in my area, I likely would not be alone in that choice; As a result, such a policy would likely eat into their bottom line enough to either change their policy, or drive them out of business.

        *If a commercial range near me decided to ban some all Baptists because of the actions of some fringe lunatic who was the figurehead of what he claimed was a Baptist church, I honestly really wouldn’t give much of a damn: I’m not a Christian. Still, there are plenty of Baptists in my area, and far more Christians. I’m sure enough of them would give enough of a damn to take their business elsewhere, thus either driving the range out of business, or effecting a change in policy.

        *If a commercial range in my area decided to post a “no Jews” policy for some reason, possibly to get on that whole idiotic “BDS” bandwagon, I would be disgusted. So disgusted that I would take my business elsewhere, and do everything in my power to make sure nobody I knew would do business with said notional establishment. I would hope that enough people in my area would be similarly disgusted that the business either became unprofitable, and thus went out of business, or decided to rescind the policy.

        In none of those notional instances do I believe that the government has the moral authority to force the business to change it’s policies/behavior. To me, the concept of freedom of association means not only the freedom to associate, but the freedom to not associate.

        In the end, I agree that the actual policy is politically unwise, but I don’t believe that it is the government’s place to intervene.

        1. At what point did I suggest getting the government involved!?

          “This establishment reserves the right to refuse service…” is an essential element of free markets. I’m a minarchist, I find the idea of using government force to dictate social mores repugnant. That doesn’t mean I don’t think social mores ought not exists. Bigots that want to discriminate against an large class of people in an asinine reaction to actions by a small minority shouldn’t face any threat from the government. None. But you better believe I’m going to call them bastards and encourage everyone I know to osterize them for their bad behavior.

  2. If gun clubs were used as training sites then that would be a good reason for this. I would be supportive if this gun club allowed the sorts of things most clubs do with NRA basic pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc. It’s about time we wise up to real domestic terrorism threats. REAL ones, that is, and not the fantasized shit that keeps DHS and every other federal police agency salivating.

    That being said, I don’t know how much good this particular restriction does except to rile up the MSM.

    1. I would be supportive if this gun club allowed the sorts of things most clubs do with NRA basic pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc.

      I am an NRA Basic Rifle instructor and there is no way that this provides any sort of sensitive information not available in an owner’s manual or any sort of basic firearms reference. The NRA Basic courses are not “tactical” courses in any way.

      I don’t even see the argument for banning Muslims from ranges where “tactical” courses are conducted. After 9/11, should flight schools have banned Muslim students from attending?

      If a trainer wants to know who their students are there are better ways to be discriminating. For example, require students to have a CWP or show proof of background check or provide references.

  3. How many cops have killed innocent people in the U.S.?

    That number is much higher than the number of people beheaded in the U.S. by the followers of Islam.

    I wonder is Jan Morgan is going to not allow cops to utilize her indoor range.

    “Call the Cops” by Rob Hustle

    1. That number is much higher than the number of people beheaded in the U.S. by the followers of Islam.

      True, and probably fair. But perhaps it’s disengenuous in the sense that beheadings are a recent phenomena, and may or may not be followed by increased numbers in the U.S. Just one more reason among many to carry.

      1. Beheadings are not a recent phenomena. Nor is Muslim violence. This is the heart and soul of their “religion,” something Thomas Jefferson understood first hand when he tired of the US paying ransom to the North African Sultans, who employed their coursairs to attack non Muslim shipping and turn the Christain sailors into slaves in the middle east markets (Arabs are the original slave traders, still are, and have always targeted non muslims. Worse, the coasts of Europe for hundreds of years were baron. ANyone living there would be captured by the same muslim raiders – the men beheaded, the women sent as sex slave to serve in the harems, and the boys converted to eunuchs). The only recourse (and even this wasn’t perfect) was to pay them a ransom (a tribute) in advance. Jefferson met with their representatives in Paris and asked why, and the answer was clearly articulated to him: Because Islam demands it.

        Jefferson despised the ransom, and once elected, he formed a Navy and an Army, and undertook the United States first foreign war against the Barbary Pirates (ie: “To the Shores of Tripoli” line from the Marines Hymm)

        If someone is descended from a muslim background, I have no inherent problem with them, especially if they came here to escape the barbary of Islam. But the only people who ever argue this absurd line that Islam is a religion of peace, or the fallacy that Jefferson ever contemplated that the Constitution would protect the rights of Islam to prosper in the United States are either Muslim’s hoping to advance their inherently violent stone age views on the US or people who have no idea what their talking about (and have never read the Koran).

  4. I’ve personally never seen it wrong to discriminate against someone who holds a specific philosophy — religion, political viewpoint, etc — as long as it was done in a private club.

    For instance, my own range does not allow people who belong to a pro-gun control group to join. Discriminating against people who subscribe to a certain religion is, in my judgment, little different. Religion is something that has to be learned and chosen. It isn’t some sort of trait like skin color or national heritage thrust upon the individual by genetics and happenstance. By pretending that it does, we protect ideologies that, in many cases, do not deserve protection.

    (The above is not to endorse this particular club’s decision — personally, I’m uncomfortable with banning anyone from a club simply because of ideology; the real test for me would be whether the membership was sought in good faith.)

    That said, Sebastian is correct — from a political/PR perspective, this will be spun against us, regardless of the merits of the argument I put forth above.

  5. Hmmm, not sure that a gun club would be a public accommodation under Federal law but otherwise good points.

    1. I know right, they should be allowed to do that on their property with their company, not saying whether it is good or not, but no Government should have any part in that, and bigots? excuse me?

  6. A Catholic Church doesn’t have to let non-catholics into CCD class. A mosque doesn’t have to let jews in. The mormon temples don’t have to let non-believers in.

    Why can’t a religious institution define itself negatively – ‘everyone except Muslims’ is as much of a legal definition of a religion as ‘Christian’.

    Separate from religion, the First Amendment protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”. You don’t have a right to assemble, if the government decides who you can and can’t assemble with.

    Sure, it is bigoted. Bigotry per se isn’t illegal or unconstitutional.

    1. Largely this.

      In essence, the U.S. Constitution was written to protect the rights of people to be bigots and/or assholes, at least so long as no substantive harm was caused thereby.

      Frankly, I believe in the free market: If enough people are upset over this kind of policy because they believe that it is bigoted, I fully support their right to take their business elsewhere, or even to start a competing business. What I do not support is the use of the court system to force the business to reverse it’s policy.

  7. Pretty unsophisticated and overbroad reaction by the range owner, and yes, it’ll be one more excuse for the media to make all of us look bad.

    But hold frame, folks. America is our country and the Constitution is for us — “to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” It’s not a suicide pact of universal altruism, and that’s why we all agree it’s fine to tell the “I’d like to rent a rifle to practice wasting infidels” guy to get lost, even though that loon has the same civil rights as the rest of us.

    We ought to want Muslims to conform to our norms and to be eager to prove that they will. If they can’t or won’t, then they need to be expelled or suppressed, just like native citizens who can’t or won’t act like normal decent people. One of the positive functions of bigotry — and it is bigotry — is to push the alien to conform and assimilate, to make him wish to become one of us and to identify with us. There’s no shortage of ethnic and religious groups that America has assimilated through the use of calculated discriminatory meanness, often quite severe. That the civil rights / anti-discrimination legislation took that option off the table is a strike against those laws, not against the wisdom of civic hazing.

    1. I’ve always thought that an afternoon at the shooting range was a perfectly normal thing for Americans to do. Muslims learning how to safely keep and bear arms, maybe get in a little sporting clays or bench-shooting? Jimminy Christmas, next thing you know they’ll want to join the Country Club and play 18-holes!

      1. Like I said, if they want to conform to our norms, and prove they want to, then as far as I’m concerned, welcome aboard, and we can argue theology later over a coffee (or a beer, according to taste). I suspect that the overall proportion of Muslims eager to do that is pretty small, but decency suggests giving individuals (as opposed to millions of people) some benefit of the doubt.

        But while we’re dealing with their nutty coreligionists abroad and in Okla-frickin’-homa, part of conforming to our norms is expecting and dealing in good humor with adverse comment about their coreligionists, if not their religion itself, and some funny looks if they show up wearing their religion on their sleeves. They ought to expect us to say things like, “Abdul’s a great guy, but we really don’t need millions of Muslims immigrating to our country.” React to that by calling the ACLU and screaming about bias and organizing a protest march, and we’re going to hate you as an enemy of our people. Show up with a bumper sticker that says “Proud father of a US Marine,” that’s different.

        1. I actually think their are large, vast numbers of muslims in this country are here largely to get away from the violence that their so called religion breeds. You can see this largely in the way in which theyve mostly assimilated in the US, as opposed to what is happening in Europe. In the US, they can own a business and tend to prosper. With financial success and stability, they have hope for the future and an incentive to be secular. In Europe, where they cannot integrate into society, they live in increasingly violent ghettos that breed resentment and terrorism. THe one place we do see that in the US is in Minneapolis, where the large influx of Somali refugees in the 1990s ended up in already established urban ghettos and without opportunity, education, or incentive for advancement in society.

          1. I’m from Metro-Detroit, my high school was something approaching 40-50% Chaldean, ~5% Muslim, and the rest of us were your typical hodgepodge of “white folks” with grandparents from all corners of Europe. The jocks were jocks, regardless of ethnicity or religion. The geeks were geeks, regardless of ethnicity or religion. The stoners were stoners. The bullies were bullies.

            This is only anecdotal evidence, based on my own experience, but it was an early life lesson for me that it is a persons actions and individual associations — not whatever chunk of dirt their grandfather happened to be born on — that determines my opinion of them.

            1. I completely agree on an individual basis. My neighbor really is a great guy, my kids play with his kids, I’m working on getting him out to the range, and I don’t hold it against him that he came from Egypt and doesn’t grok the Trinity. But numbers are of the essence, and I think Countertop’s Minneapolis example is more common in the US than any of us would like. I suspect we’re not as far behind Europe as we’d like to think, not least because of the civil rights and affirmative action laws we erected to try to make black Americans equal citizens, but which have been used as a vehicle by basically everybody with a grievance ever since.

              I think there has also been a significant loss of cultural confidence across our country over the past decades, especially since about 1990 and accelerating since 2001. (Ish, are you over 40, as I am?) I muse often about the oddity of candidate George W. Bush in 2000 playing for the Muslim vote by promising to go after profiling in law enforcement. Being promised goodies and official favor insofar as you identify as a victim of persecution by the American mainstream gives you an incentive to continue to identify in that way and to refuse to identify with the American mainstream.

              Nobody wants to stand up and say, “America belongs to us and to our children. Become one of us, act like one of us, or get out.” Say that and the government will squash you, like the government is going to squash this range owner. It is not healthy for the fighting spirit of the nation.

  8. In the 1930s, a Japanese delegation to Germany allegedly commented that they envied what the Nazis were accomplishing, but they knew they couldn’t emulate it in Japan, because “we don’t have any Jews.”

    It’s fortunate for 21st century fascists that Muslims came along, don’t you think?

  9. The primary front line against the barbarity of ISIS is currently being maintained by the Kurds, who are muslim. I’d stand next to a Kurd on the range any day of the week.

    1. Muslims have been killing anyone they disagree with for centuries, including other muslims. At a particular point in time, and under particular circumstances, an enemy of your enemy may be a useful TOOL, but not necessarily a FRIEND.

  10. The 9/11 hijackers were not distinguishable as Muslims. Their outward appearance was such that they fit in as Westerners. And if a Muslim were to attack a shooting range, the owner probably wouldn’t be able to identify him as a Muslim in the first place.

  11. Can I say just how much I can’t stand…and never visit twice…stores or ranges that feel the need to spread their political gospel to everyone who enters. A few 2A posters are fine, but I’m there to buy something and don’t need to listen to the evils of Obamacare from some mouth-breather who gets all his information from Infowars.

    1. Although I suspect we may disagree regarding Obamacare, I think you do have a valid point. In my opinion, we have three main pillars that support gun rights. The first one is pro-gun state legislatures, the second is winning big cases in the courts, and the third is winning the “culture war”.

      I think one of the biggest reasons why gun rights have done so well over the last couple decades is due to winning the cultural arguments and bringing just about everyone into the fold. No longer an image of old white “sportsmen”, you see younger folks, women, minorities getting involved in self-defense, owning ARs, etc. While anti-gunners know they might be able to purchase anti-gun politicians or run into a statist-friendly judge, they’re losing on this front, hard, and there’s not much recourse for them.

      So why squander all we have gained by turning guns back into a domain exclusively reserved for the same people anti-gunners try to paint us as? I remember strolling into the range at NRA HQ several years ago and running into a young Hispanic woman who was a classmate of mine at the local college target shooting. Here’s a woman in the HQ for what anti-gunners try to tell her is an organization that doesn’t give a crap about her. It was wonderful. Let’s not ruin this.

      1. Gun stores have their own versions of Comic Book Guy (as may any store that caters to hobbyists – my heart has been truly blessed a couple of times in needlework stores, for example, and I’ve seen WAY too many grognards behaving badly in gaming stores). The difference is, like it or not, gun stores are a front in the culture wars. This was an unnecessary own-goal.

        You know, I’ve seen a lot of gun owners say that even if the chance of malfeasance on the part of individual gun owners wasn’t statistically indistinguishable from zero, that still wouldn’t justify preemptively taking guns away from folks without a proven problem. Same applies here, folks. The chance of any particular Muslim being a threat is statistically indistinguishable for zero, folks. And I’m @$^& tired of hearing about “oh but their religion says the devout should do these bad things.” I’m tired of it when people cherry-pick the Old Testament to do it to the other two People of the Book, too.

        1. I’m not sure it’s really true that the chance of “any particular Muslim,” out of the ~1.2 billion worldwide, being a threat is statistically indistinguishable from zero. The huge majority of that set are not Americans, and it sure seems like a lot of American-born converts to Islam (especially those who convert in prison, like the Oklahoma Chopper) have sticking it to the hated American mainstream as part of their motivation. I don’t see why we ought to give them — especially the foreign-born — the benefit of the doubt.

          And numbers are of the essence. A hundred Muslims means your company Christmas party might be at the Moroccan restaurant with belly dancers. Millions of Muslims means fundamental transformation of your country. You think GOP politicians pander too much to Christians, wait till you see what pols of both parties will do to get the votes of 40 million Muslims.

          The European track record of large-scale Muslim immigration is not encouraging. We currently only have a few million, under 1% of our population. Belgium is now 12% Muslim; France and Norway are over 10% Muslim. England, Sweden and Holland are all over 5% and Germany is likely getting close. This has bugger-all to do with what the Koran does or doesn’t say, and everything to do with how Muslims today tend to act in European welfare states. It’s not working out well, and it won’t work any better for us.

          Foreigners should prove to us that they want to become one of us. Not that they want to run a McDonalds or a Super 8, but that they want to become one of us, one of our people, part of our nation, our tribe. If they don’t want to or can’t prove that, then we don’t want or need them here. That goes for Mexican Catholics, Swedish Lutherans, Chinese Confucians, and (in my view especially) Muslims.

          1. Anecdote (which covers most news articles as well) is decidedly NOT the singular of data. (LangPedant that would be datum /LangPendant).

            Sure, there are the america-haters, but there might be a reason that the EX-PRISONERS are kinda down on the system that put them there, and it’s not their religion. That’s an excuse (on many levels). This guy was axe-crazy (almost literally). Again, we don’t blame the mass of gun owners when a spree shooter shows up, we (correctly) call him a singular example of someone who was/is crazy. Crazy happens. As for the MN Somali Community reference, I’ll just leave this link here – http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-09-24/coming-to-your-town-change

            Incidentally, the conflicts between the recent immigrants and the last set is nothing new under the sun. My musical tastes include Irish music, and I happen to have stumbled across a couple of artists who play period music from the Civil War and just-post-bellum era; good hearty drinking songs, the most of them. But there’s a couple of them that are just straight-up ragging on the Italians who were just then beginning to immigrate to the US just as the Irish were beginning to get their own feet under them, politically speaking; the arguments presented are basically the same ones we hear today. (Amusing side note, my wife’s family mostly came to the US in the turn-of-the-century wave of immigration, one side Italian and one side Eastern European. By name and appearance they judged me Irish, and the extended family on her Italian side were a tad slow to accept me because of it – over a cultural dispute that was basically settled 50 years ago).

            1. I wish I shared your optimism about future assimilation, but I don’t, at least not given the current environment of incentives.

              And Ms. McArdle’s moral intuitions, about what moral standing the natives do or don’t have to prevent demographic swamping, are not mine. Your mileage may vary.

                1. It’s not an iron law of history that immigrants assimilate and leave the host culture enriched but standing. They could displace the natives completely, like the Anglo-Americans did to the Indians. They could carve out autonomous enclaves and keep the natives at arm’s length, like the Volga Germans or the British in much of colonial Africa. They could alter the host culture and its institutions beyond recognition, as the Germans did to the Roman Empire and as is happening in California. Similar examples exist at the intra-national level, like the Hasidim taking over towns or Detroit becoming a majority-black city.

                  I suspect things have changed, and that we will find out in our lifetimes.

      2. Well said. And I like to tell, and SHOW antis who trot out the “old white guy” stereotype my local range. About as diverse as you can get.

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