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.

30 thoughts on “Another Response to Jan Morgan”

  1. So she lets em in to practise…sometime later a bunch of em go on a shooting spree in a mall…plenty killed/wounded. In the investigation it is learned that they trained at her range.;..guess what may happen to her…….

    1. Your argument is word-for-word what people say about ALL gun owners. This is how people use fear to demonize us. People who think that any Muslim they see JUST MIGHT be wearing a bomb vest are as wrong as Shannon Watts and Michael Bloomberg are.

  2. The 1964 act relied heavily on Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce routine and SCOTUS-endorsed abuse of the Interstate Commerce Clause.


    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.”

    What the law currently says has nothing to do with it. She’s still a distasteful person to have “on our side”.

  3. Our community has never grocked this, at all.

    Ikea bans the otherwise lawful carry of a firearm into every one of their stores, even in states like Florida. Our community says, “it’s private property so they have that right.”

    Except the Civil Rights Act says that we can make them play along. I don’t care what you think the law should be; the law is what it is.

    If the Congress declared that all such “public places” could not discriminate against lawful gun carriers, then those places would have to comply. If the Progressives take it to court, they are fighting against all that jurisprudence and opening a door to weakening the Civil Rights Act (which I think would be bad).

    I have no problem with public places having to respect our natural rights. None at all. I think we can argue about when a place becomes “public”, but arguably Starbucks is public. Rights are useless things if the government cannot protect them from the will of a restrictive majority who could declare vast swaths of America to be “right-denial zones” by saying they are open to the public – but only some of the public and only if they succumb to the will of the majority. They tried that in the 50’s and 60’s. It rightfully got fixed.

    There is a legal framework that fits. We should use it. As someone else likes to say, “punch them back, twice as hard.”

    1. Never underestimate the corruption and perversity of progressive judges. See also the post immediately below regarding Alan Gura’s article.

    2. We’d need a new law to bring gun rights in under that then.
      The CRA is specifically about race, religion, and national origin. It does not cover all possible rights. All those people suing over not serving gays are under state-level laws, not the CRA. They have no legal standing under the ’64 CRA, as it doesn’t cover sexual orientation.
      As far as “public place”, if you have a business open to the public, you are considered to have a public place.

      1. Your point is absolutely taken.

        I should have been more careful in my post (hurry, hurry gotta pay some bills, etc.).

        I mentioned the scenario where Congress might pass a law. Should have made it more clear that was where I was going. Mixing in the CRA should have been an example, not the case.

        Thanks for keeping me honest.

        1. I thought that was where you were going, but this is one of those situations where what you are talking about is very important to keep straight. A CRA-style law could do this for guns, but the current CRA would NOT cover it, which is something to keep straight. It would require a legislative solution, not a judicial one.

  4. Under the current legal system, the only way the CRA doesn’t apply is if the range is a private club. If you have to pay yearly dues to get in, then the CRA doesn’t apply. If any Joe Sixpack can walk in off the street, pay for some range time and blast away, then it probably does apply.

  5. Will Duffield’s response is exactly what people need to hear about Jan Morgan. This is a great post.

  6. On the image issue: How is this woman’s action any worse for gun owner P.R. than the open carry zealots trolling for police confrontations and antagonizing coffee shop patrons?

    On the discrimination issue…who cares? No sane American should waste their breath defending muslims. The favor will never be returned. There are 2 kinds of muslims: those who will kill infidels, and those who will stand by idly while other muslims kill infidels. There is no 3rd category.

    Maybe you people didn’t see the muslims dancing in the street after 9/11…

    They made their beds. Let them enjoy it.

      1. Implying that Kurds are ‘good’ is actually more prejudicial than stating that all Muslims (or Christians, or Buddhists, or neoconservatives, or gun control supporters) are ‘bad’.

        It is much more invidious to judge a class of people based on their ethnicity (over which they have absolutely no control) than a philosophy, ideology, or religion (which they must choose to believe, and possibly act on those beliefs every day.)

        1. That’s absurd. I don’t believe, nor do I imply that all kurds are good, just as if I said those Brits sure are civilized people that means I clearly believe all Brits are civilized without regard to taking them on an individual basis. There’s nothing wrong with making generalizations. The problem is when you apply those generalizations to individuals, which is what Jan Morgan is doing.

    1. Lots of sane Americans defend Muslims because lots of Americans ARE Muslims. As for Muslim Americans dancing in the streets, I didn’t see them because they didn’t exist. I’m sure I would have noticed; I went to middle school and high school with lots of them.

      1. I live and work about five miles from “Dearbornistan,” the city with the largest proportion of Arab Americans in the United States. Something like 40% of the city’s residents are Arabs, most of whom are Muslims. You know how the people of Dearborn responded to 9/11? Candlelight vigils, Red Cross donation drives, and a lot of interviews on the national news condemning the attacks.

        Islamic jihadists are a threat. I’m not stupid enough to believe that these vast networks of people who repeatedly say they want to kill me don’t mean it (I’m an apostate Catholic, bisexual, American of Jewish ancestry with Orthodox Jewish kids. I’m like every item on their bucket list!) But I’m also not going to be a prick to every swarthy-skinned guy named Mohammed that I bump into because he /might/ happensto be part of the world’s second largest religion. Back in the day, the IRA was plenty willing to kill folks in the name of Catholicism and Irish liberation, no one wanted to ban every O’Neil and O’Reily from their business.

        Being a bigoted asshole may be legal, but it’s not rational, and I sure as hell don’t have to approve of it.

    1. While I agree with Bulletsfirst’s sentiment not to judge a people by just a few of its radicals, his misuse of biblical quotations was both atrocious exegesis and blatantly misrepresentative (Randall, in the comments section, did a gentle yet masterful job of correcting him and another commenter on their abuse).

      Also, his misrepresentation of the Crusades (btw, I am not Catholic) was totally unhistorical. The Moslem armies had conquered and brutalized millions of Jews and Christians for over three hundred years in the Middle East and Africa, and had invaded Europe as far as France in the West and were threatening Greece and Constantinople (which they later took and then invaded the Balkan states as far as Vienna, Austria) in the East. The Crusades were called in response to these present threats and previous plunders, and to RE-capture stolen ground, not to build a new empire of forced converts as the Moslems did (and are still doing in Africa today). Most historians agree that if not for the crusades, Charles Martel, Jan Sobieski, and other Catholic military heroes, we’d all be bowing to Mecca five times a day with bayonets behind us to make sure we do. Again, I’m not Catholic, but I am grateful for those heroic catholic soldiers who made possible my freedom of religion today!

      Finally, in the comments, Bulletfirst makes a hypocritical reference to the Salem witch trials of the 1600s. Hypocritical, because after chastising Jan Morgan for judging all Moslems by the acts of a few tens of thousands of radicals following a religion with a history of violent conquest and forced conversions in obedience to the direct commands of their “holy” book, the Koran, he then claims “we are not that far from when Christians burned, drowned, and pressed to death” accused witches. Really? A single incident among an isolated sect of hallucinatory-ergot-infected Old Covenant-following Puritans represents Colonial Christian behavior? They didn’t go around conquering other towns or terrorizing other colonies and forcing people to convert to their heretical brand of reformed faith; their activities (like Israel’s, which Bulletfirst quoted in Deut. 17) were limited to policing their own. The victims were people who willfully pledged to follow this sect with its peculiar tenets and its particular authorities. Sad, yes. But comparable to marauding Moslem terrorists subjecting millions to their brutal repression and murder? No! And yet he equates Salem to a 1300-year history of Moslem conquest and forced conversions, not to mention their present world-wide terrorist activities still occurring today! That’s just lame.

      To be fair, I agree that most Moslems don’t follow the strict, murderous commands of the Koran, and I am grateful for that, and would have no problem doing business with them. And I think Jan Morgan should also. I also confess that, unfortunately, most of us Christians (I included) do not faithfully obey the commandments of our Lord Jesus written in the New Testament of His Book, the Bible, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. God has led many nominal Moslems to Christ through the love and kindnesses of His people. Even now, Pastor Yusaf Saeed is leading many Moslem guards and fellow-prisoners to Chist while being brutally incarcerated in some of Iran’s worst prisons because of his Christian faith. If I were Jan, I would welcome them to my business and tell them about The Lord who died for their for their sins and mine. As far as I know, there is no civil rights law prohibiting her from exercising THAT civil right – yet!

      Respectfully, Arnie

  7. i don’t think it’s as complicated as people not getting the context of the argument: they’re so invested in raging against MUSLIMS that they don’t care about looking like bigots, and thus making it easier to bash gun owners in general; they don’t care about the hypocrisy of their arguments as regards individual rights… hell, they really don’t care about anything beyond raging against MUSLIMS.

    and yet i am sure the majority of the people taking that position are simultaneously out there somewhere declaring their race/religion/etc to be under attack at the exact same time. thanks, internet.

  8. Sebastian, the Kurds are…not our problem. The proof of that is the fact that the U.S. Government is pulling out of Iraq and leaving them twisting in the wind. Some might think they are allies of America. But that is today. The muslims in Afghanistan used to be allies too, when we helped them fight the Russians. But that was then; today they are Al Qaeda.

    Big difference between “fomenting hate against muslims” and “not rushing to defend muslims”, people.

    And, to Ish above…you don’t live in Dearborn (by your own admission) and thus do not really know how the residents reacted on 9/11. Only what they did afterwards as damage control.

    I don’t doubt that the muslim public relations machine kicked into gear on the drive-by media outlets to try and deflect the blame (just as the drive-by media conceal the race of the perpetrators of cross-racial crimes if the perp is black). But I am not dumb enough to fall for that.

    I’m a little surprised that a group of people who routinely piss on the media for mischaracterizing gun owners are so willing to believe the media on the issue of muslim violence.

  9. Finally read the piece. It is great. Favorite line,

    “You wouldn’t want someone named Massad Ayoob shooting at your range.”

    1. She said, Muslims, not Arabs. That’s an important distinction. Unless something has changed drastically, Mass isn’t a Muslim.

  10. Our esteemed host is quite right about what CRA 64 says, although I would add (1) that selective enforcement emphasis has made the act less intrusive in ordinary life than it might otherwise be, and (2) that selective enforcement also gives the government the power to shut down politically or bureaucratically unpopular businesses at will (as is about to happen to this range owner in Arkansas). Ergo, don’t be an easy target.

    Our esteemed host is also right that political opposition to CRA 64 and its many state analogs is a non-starter. I say that is long overdue to change, both on libertarian grounds and because the purpose of the legislation — to make black Americans equal citizens, to give them the equal protection of the laws promised by the 14th amendment — has largely been accomplished. Not perfectly accomplished, to be sure, but human affairs are not capable of a high degree of perfection, and we are now using a sledgehammer to swing at gnats. (“It’s racist to make everyone show a photo ID to vote!” and similar BS.)

    More accurately, the government now has a sledgehammer, has mostly knocked down a bunch of walls, and now is looking around for more walls to knock down. This creates an incentive for minority groups of all kinds to define themselves against the mainstream of America, and an incentive for politicians to promise to smash the walls in exchange for the minority groups’ votes.

    Someday soon, it will be your wall. Take away the sledgehammer.

  11. How exactly does one determine if someone is Muslim when they enter her range?

    Did she coat the doorknobs with bacon or something?

    1. Why, by the cover of the book, of course. The same way we identify those who are wise, have good rhythm, or possess “privilege”. [/sarc]

  12. Goldwater lost the election more to the emotional swell surrounding Kennedy’s assassination than anything else. The American people weren’t going to have a third President in a little over a year. He wouldn’t have won no matter who what positions he took on anything.

    That said, his opposition to CRA gave his detractors license to ignore his last name, and literally denounce him as a Nazi.

  13. Didn’t Senator Rand Paul at one time argue that the “public accommodations” part of the CRA64 was unconstitutionally beyond the scope of 14A wording and intent? Although politically impractical, I agree with his argument. Private property and enterprise, whether publicly accommodating or not, is still privately owned and operated, and unless interstate in its operation, immune to federal regulation. The libertarian solution to distasteful private practices is private communication (explain to them why they are wrong), public boycott by private citizens, and public protests (again, by private, free citizens). We open the doors to tyranny if we resort to the strong arm of government to hammer our personal views down a free citizen’s throat. It’s why we are in the big government trouble we now face. We are worried about the government regulating our freedom to bear arms while calling for that same government to regulate her freedom to operate her privately-owned business! Yikes! To paraphrase Jefferson, let the free market of ideas sort out the winners and losers. When Jan finds a majority of her customers leaving for a kinder, gentler gun store, she may willingly change her mind to comply with our values – or go out of business.
    Respectfully, Arnie

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