For the past few months, The Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range, has been in news headlines across the country after the range’s owner, Jan Morgan, announced in September that her establishment would become a “Muslim-Free Zone.” The decision has received widespread support as well as extensive criticism.
Morgan gave a number of reasons, 10 in fact, that led her to make the decision. Essentially, those 10 reasons can be summed up into two key points: Safety concerns for her and her patrons and because she has the right to do so.
I agree with the fact that safety should be of utmost importance, especially when guns are involved, and that Morgan – or anyone else with any other business – has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. But I also believe that the focus in this case – civil rights, racism, Muslims, Islam and whether or not the religion promotes violence – has been misguided.
In January, two local residents, a father and son, went into The Gun Cave for some target practice. Both are American citizens. The father is of South Asian decent and the college-aged son was born in the United States. Both have dark brown skin and neither are Muslims, but both were refused service by Morgan.
The “Muslim-Free Zone” once again gained attention after this incident. Many wanted to know Morgan’s reasons for kicking the two men out of her establishment, which she initially refused to give, essentially saying she didn’t have to give a reason. Finally, Morgan implied that the men were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t. I wasn’t there. But I do think that instead of drawing the incident out, Morgan could have just mentioned from the get-go that the men were under the influence. She also implied that the men had an “agenda” in coming to the range, which adds another fold to her story which is hard for me to make sense of if they were really refused service because they were intoxicated.
Nonetheless, while some supported her decision, others immediately criticized her behavior. Some even called her racist, which prompted Morgan to post a photo on her Facebook page showing off some of her dark-skinned patrons in an effort to prove what a non-racist she is—a move which, in my opinion, was very tasteless. The photo seemed to scream “Hey, all of my dark-skinned patrons line up for a picture, so I can show the world that I’m not racist,” and misses the point of the criticism.
Morgan maintained her position and even went so far as to say that the decision to go Muslim-free was the best decision she ever made. She claimed business has “quadrupled” since she made the announcement—a claim I doubt is accurate.
When Moms Demand Action went after Kroger, wanting them to ban guns in their stores, the grocery giant refused to cower to their demands and instead said they would follow all local laws concerning guns. In the months that followed, Kroger’s profits increased by 30 percent. Every pro-gun website everywhere shared the news. If Morgan’s profits had indeed quadrupled, wouldn’t it be all over pro-gun and conservative websites? It wasn’t because it likely didn’t happen.
After the January incident, people continued to call Morgan a racist, her policy discriminatory, and wanted to know how she deciphered Muslims from non-Muslims. Again, she didn’t immediately answer the question, but two weeks after the father and son were turned away, Morgan did an interview with Fox News in which she revealed that she determined her potential patrons’ religious preferences based on their names, not their skin color.
But instead of guessing whether or not those who enter the building are Muslim, Morgan should make it clear, before anyone even enters the building, that Muslims are not allowed. How would she go about doing this? The same way other misguided people let law-abiding gun owners know that guns are not allowed: With a sign.
However, Morgan hasn’t posted a “No Muslims Allowed” sign, likely because it wouldn’t matter if she did. Also, a sign may directly contravene existing Federal and State laws prohibiting such discrimination.
There are a great number of pro-gun advocates who support Morgan and her decision to make her range a “Muslim-Free Zone”. Some consider her to be an outspoken advocate who is bravely standing up for our Constitutional rights. However, the support for her so-called “Muslim-Free Zone” is hypocritical, at best.
The majority of those who support gun rights realize the idiocy of gun-free zones. Most believe that gun-free zones do little to protect law-abiding citizens, and the reason is simple: Criminals don’t obey the law. History has shown us that making a school, university or other facility a gun-free zone will not keep those out who are hell-bent on causing harm, death and destruction.
So what makes a Muslim-free zone any different?
Morgan’s idea that declaring her gun range a “Muslim-Free Zone” will keep either her or her patrons safe from terrorists is absurd. A “Muslim-Free Zone” will not keep terrorists out of any gun range any more than the so-called gun-free zones stopped Adam Lanza, Seung-Hui Cho, or Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold from entering a building and opening fire on innocent people. If a terrorist wants to go to The Gun Cave and cause any sort of mayhem, it will happen, whether it is a “Muslim-Free Zone” or not, and to think otherwise is little more than foolish. And if Morgan is not a fool, this may betray her true motivations.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.