‘Muslim-Free’ Gun Range Turns Away Dark-Skinned People

Oh, what a surprise. Remember that bigoted gun range owner from Arkansas who declared that she would not allow any Muslims in her business (illegally, I might add)? She clearly equates all dark-skinned people with Muslims and turned away a father and son from the gun range, a clear violation of both state and federal law.

The Times was contacted over the weekend by a college student from Hot Springs who went to the Gun Cave with his father for a round of target practice.

They’re not Muslim, but they do happen to be South Asian. They were told to leave by a woman, presumably Jan Morgan, the owner.

“My dad and I used to go to this gun range,” said the young man, who asked not to be identified by name, “but we haven’t had as much of a chance to go in recent years since I’ve been at college. It’s changed ownership recently.”

“When we went in, a woman asked, ‘Where are you guys from?’ We told her we were from Hot Springs. She said, “this is a Muslim free shooting range,” so if we are [Muslim] and if we don’t like the rule, then leave. We said that we’re not Muslim, but my dad asked, ‘Why is it Muslim free?’ and they started having a conversation. Then, all of a sudden, I don’t know what went wrong, but she stopped us from filling out the paperwork and said ‘I don’t think you guys should be here.’ She told us to leave or she’d call the cops on us.”

Not wanting to cause a scene, they left.

“We’re brown; I don’t know if she assumed we were Muslim,” he continued. “When she first asked us, she said, ‘I would hope if you were Muslim you guys wouldn’t be cowards and would be up front about it.'” The student told the Times he was born in the U.S. and lived in Hot Springs for ten years before going to college in a different Arkansas town; he considers Hot Springs his home.

Both Arkansas state law and federal law forbids businesses from refusing to serve anyone on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion. I hope they file a complaint over this so this bigot gets the legal smackdown she so richly deserves.

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  • http://lykex.livejournal.com LykeX

    Can you imagine the outcry if any business declared itself “Christian-Free”?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Just in time for the Martin Luther King holiday celebrations, including the annual recital of his “I have a nightmare” speech.

  • Mike

    Ironically, the dark skinned people of Arkansas probably need weapons training to protect themselves from Jan Morgan’s fan club

  • DaveL

    I can’t say that I’m shocked at all, ever since the range owner made the original announcement. It’s high time for somebody to bring suit.

    Now, maybe they can argue that a range doesn’t fall under the federal definition of “public accommodation”, but I’ve looked up the Arkansas statute and there’s zero wiggle room there.

    (7) “Place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement” means any place, store, or other establishment, either licensed or unlicensed, that supplies accommodations, goods, or services to the general public, or that solicits or accepts the patronage or trade of the general public, or that is supported directly or indirectly by government funds

  • Michael Heath

    [A Gun Cave owner/worker] stopped us from filling out the paperwork and said ‘I don’t think you guys should be here.’ She told us to leave or she’d call the cops on us.

    This is a useful example illustrating the nature of rights. It’s not about whether we have a right or we don’t have a right – that context is usually a red herring thrown down a rabbit hole that only helps authoritarians better make their case. The correct crux is ask what action do we advocate/demand of the government when confronted with a competing rights controversy as we observe here.

    In this case the customers’ rights obligates the government to protect their right to access the business equal to that of others, in spite of this sort of government protection infringes on the owner/operator’s property and association rights. Not only did Congress and President Johnson pass a law both obligating the government to act and to protect the public from bigoted businesses on this sort of matter, but that law is clearly constitutional.

    [The Gun Cave owner/worker] told us to leave or she’d call the cops on us.”

    Not wanting to cause a scene, they left.

    And this is how even non-conservatives and liberals fail to promote the cause of equality. By always trying to advocate a certain right exists or doesn’t, they miss the key point that the controversy is really about what government should do. In this case the owner/operator assumes the law is on their side, and I’m not all surprised they think that, largely because or society fails miserably to both teach the nature of rights and teach the framework the courts use to rule on such controversies.

    In a more educated world it would have been the clients threatening to call the cops.

    A prime example of how we fail in this debate is the infamous interview by Rachel Maddow of Rand Paul. That was when he argued the rights of business owners at the expense of the public. If Ms. Maddow was literate on the nature of the rights, she could have went straight for the jugular and the country would have had an excellent reminder on how rights works and why the moral highground is with non-whites seeking access to businesses, even those owned and operated by bigots. Instead she awkwardly stumbled to nearly the end when she finally slid in the right question; however there was little time left to watch Mr. Paul squirm. “Squirm” given the correct context reveals the absurdity of the government protecting the rights of bigots who seek to harm non-white people.

    This failure to not be literate reminds me on how gay rights advocates so often fail to immediately refer to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Given all the recent rulings lately we are seeing an increase in literacy that the best argument for gay rights against the bigots is that clause, but that was obvious in prior to all the recent rulings. E.g., consider how J. Scalia started hyperventilating and stumbling around when he was challenged with his bigotry by a questioner raising that clause.

    Liberals still have a long way to go to understand how to play to win. It’s not always using the arguments that appeal to them emotionally. Instead it’s frequently more optimal to use arguments that devastate their opponents.

  • Lady Mondegreen (aka Stacy)

    In a more educated world it would have been the clients threatening to call the cops.

    Police officers deal with matters of criminal, not civil, law.

    And I don’t think it would matter one whit to these people if you explained the customers’ rights to equal access to them. As far as they’re concerned, if the law says that, then the law is an ass, thay’s all. They believe that property rights trump all others.

  • Lady Mondegreen (aka Stacy)

    should trump all others.

    And they’ll enforce their rules until a suit is brought and the resulting costs/awards/fines force them to comply. Then they’ll frame themselves as martyrs.

  • John Pieret

    ‘Muslim-Free’ Gun Range Turns Away Dark-Skinned People

    All those people look alike.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I notice the guns-protect-us-from-big-gummint-tyranny crowd have been amazingly silent about nonwhite victims of tyranny.

    You know who else has been silent about the same thing? Libertarians. Cops killing unarmed civilians for no reason at all SHOULD have been a central issue for those who call themselves defenders of individual liberty and opponents of state power. So why are they so silent? Probably because the only solution to police misconduct is MORE government oversight, not less; and their ideology has no room for that proven fact.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    I hope they file a complaint over this so this bigot gets the legal smackdown she so richly deserves.

    You know what’s going to happen after that, don’t you? The gun range owner will cry persecution, she’ll go on the right-wing martyr circuit, and hate-radio and Fox News will be filled with stories of how this good Christian businesswoman has had her religious freedom violated by Obama’s totalitarian thuggery.

  • chilidog99

    “where are y’all from?”

    “Hot Springs.”

    LOL

  • Synfandel

    “When we went in, a woman asked, ‘Where are you guys from?’ We told her we were from Hot Springs.”

    Chinese restaurant waiter: Where’s your annoying little friend who thinks he speaks Mandarin?

    Sheldon Cooper: He’s putting his needs ahead of the collective good. [Gesturing toward the waiter] Where he comes from, that’s punishable by death.

    Chinese restaurant waiter: I come from Sacramento.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_dZqj7I4yg

  • Artor

    ‘I would hope if you were Muslim you guys wouldn’t be cowards and would be up front about it.’

    Hmm… Someone sounds cowardly here, and it’s not the brown-skinned father & son. What kind of unhinged paranoia does it take to think that all brown people are Muslim terrorists?

  • Michael Heath

    Me earlier:

    In a more educated world it would have been the clients threatening to call the cops.

    Lady Mondegreen (aka Stacy) responds:

    Police officers deal with matters of criminal, not civil, law.

    I take it you never managed a retail operation. I have where I know police are sometimes called when there’s a dispute regarding access to service. Here’s the first one that came up when I googled: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2011/05/31/2192057/myrtle-beach-police-arrest-restaurant.html.

  • Nick Gotts

    Well obviously, what she should have done is set things up so that anyone wanting to enter the range had to trample a whole lot of Qurans – printed in the original Arabic, of course; then she could have claimed she wasn’t excluding anyone, they were excluding themselves. And it couldn’t possibly have been racist to do that, because as we all know, Islam isn’t a race.

    /snark

  • sabrekgb

    Nick Gotts @ 15

    That’s actually kind of genius. Not a surprise the owner didn’t think of it (as it has the downside of not keeping all people of terrorist descent out), but it certainly would manage to get the stated purpose accomplished without blatantly violating the law. Sort of a dark memetic judo…use the target’s taboos against them. I’m impressed. Where is your dojo located? Do you take credit cards?

    Legal Beagles…an analysis? Would such a plan actually violate the law, given applicable statutes and relevant case law?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    …keeping all people of terrorist descent out…

    Wait, are all terrorists descended from the same bloodline?

    Legal Beagles…an analysis? Would such a plan actually violate the law, given applicable statutes and relevant case law?

    Given that it’s just as blatantly discriminatory as the prohibition under discussion, and given it would have almost exactly the same predictable effect, yes, it probably would violate the law.