gun lobby

Gun Range Owner Who Turned Away Brown-Skinned Family Has Close Ties To Conservative Groups

Last year, when Arkansas gun range owner Jan Morgan announced that she would ban Muslims from patronizing her business, we noted that Morgan is a frequent speaker at conservative events — she had a speaking slot at the 2013 Values Voter Summit — and has fans among prominent gun activists, including Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt, who wanted to give Morgan an award for her “Muslim-free” policy.

We think this bears repeating now that a report is making the rounds that Morgan recently turned away a father and son of South Asian descent after asking them if they were Muslim.

The Arkansas Times talked with the young man who was reportedly turned away along with his father:

"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.

He recalls reading about the "Muslim free" shooting range, he says, but "I didn't know it was this place." Once he made the connection, he said, "I kept quiet because I just wanted to have some fun and shoot some guns." He says going shooting with his dad is just something they do occasionally: "father-son time, guy time."

In an interview with the Washington Post, Morgan denied turning the pair away because of their ethnicity and said she did so because they appeared to be “under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” But she did not back away from her ban on Muslim customers, explaining to the Post that the whole reason she opened her gun range was because she had received “death threats because of posting the truth about Islam.” She insisted that she won’t change her policy unless the Koran is altered to remove passages that she believes prescribe violence.

Morgan insisted that she doesn’t “believe all Muslims are terrorists,” although she seemed to say the opposite in a recent tweet:

 

 

From the Post:

“I don’t believe all Muslims are terrorists,” Morgan said, adding she has “no idea which Muslims are going to be devout and follow those 109 dictates and those who won’t.” So in her mind, the safest thing to do is to ban all Muslims from her club. “I can’t trust that they can be safe to handle guns” in front of non-Muslims, she added.

There’s another reason Morgan doesn’t take much comfort in the vast numbers of Muslims who are not violent: She believes Islam will remain fundamentally a threat until the religion is permanently reformed by removing the more than 100 passages from the Koran that she believes demand violence from its followers.

Morgan isn’t alone in her belief. At the gun range, she said, “business is booming” since she announced the ban.

The gun range itself, in a way, owes its existence to Morgan’s interpretation of the Koran. “I didn’t even own a gun five years ago,” she said, adding that she learned to shoot because of “death threats because of posting the truth about Islam” on the internet. After that Morgan kept “training and training and training” until she became an instructor. Before all this, she worked in TV news — part of the media that has now become one of her biggest adversaries.

Gun Owners Of America Chief Embraces Fringe 'Obama's Real Father' Birther Theory

Just this morning, we shared a new Rolling Stone profile of Gun Owners of America leader Larry Pratt, who despite his long record of anti-government extremism and association with any number of racist and anti-Semitic radicals continues to be an influential gun lobbyist who gets airtime from the mainstream media and attention from members of Congress.

As if to underscore the point, this weekend Pratt gave an interview to a pair of Patriot movement activists who recently launched a radio show after meeting at the Bundy ranch, where he shared the bizarre fringe birther theory that President Obama is secretly the son of labor activist Frank Marshall Davis, who groomed the president from birth to destroy America from within.

The Frank Marshall Davis birther theory was invented and popularized by right-wing filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who thinks that Obama got plastic surgery in an attempt to hide his resemblance to Davis and who also believes that the president wears a secret Muslim wedding ring and could have been behind the Aurora movie theater shooting .

The “evidence” for Gilbert’s claim — laid out in detail in his 2012 film “Dreams From My Real Father” — is a series of racy photos of a woman who bears a passing resemblance to Obama’s mother (but is not) and his totally scientific opinion that Obama looks more like Davis than like Barack Obama, Sr.

Gilbert’s theory has been panned by traditional birthers, because it undermines their claim that Obama isn’t a natural-born U.S. citizen, but has taken off among those who are seeking other ways to question the president’s origins. It was most notably endorsed by Bill Armistead, the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, who said in 2012 that he had seen Gilbert’s movie and “verified that it is factual, all of it.”

In his interview with “The Liberty Brothers Radio Show,” Pratt presented the Frank Marshall Davis theory as a plausible explanation for why Obama “hates” America.

“His father was either a Kenyan socialist or the Communist Party member who lived across the street, Frank Marshall Davis, and there’s a lot more physical resemblance between the latter and Obama than Obama Sr. and Obama,” he said.

Bringing up the conspiracy theory that Obama enrolled in school as a foreign student, Pratt said that while he doesn’t think the president is foreign-born — “I really think that more likely was that the communist that lived across the street in Hawaii could have been the father” — he does think Obama lied about being a foreign student to get financial aid.

Voter suppression and intimidation reported in Colorado recall election

The recall effort began earlier this year as a grassroots protest and on Tuesday resulted in State Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and State Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo losing their seats.
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