This is not about whether the firearms instructor has the right to say what he did or refuse his services to anyone. I fully agree he was within his rights to do what he did. I just don’t think it is a good idea.
Yes, there are some Muslims in this country who are actively trying to murder as many Americans as they can. Yes, there are Obama supporters who are actively working to destroy our freedoms.
But one of the basics of our country is that an individuals actions and character not their religion or who they voted for (we have secret ballots for a reason) should determine their status. There are certain specific enumerated rights which are guaranteed to everyone but those that have proven themselves completely untrustworthy.
The right to keep and bear arms is a specific enumerated right. It is a fundamental natural right. What does this look like to people who are undecided on the issue of gun owner rights?
Think of it how it would look if a teacher refused to teach someone to read on the basis of religion/voting-record/skin-color. Or a lawyer that refused to represent someone on that basis. Or someone that refused to sell books or newspapers to someone on that basis. Or a police officer that refused to arrest the attacker of someone who was “the wrong type of person”.
I once had an Arab Muslim student for my NRA Personal Protection class. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. He was married to an American woman and studying architecture at a nearby university. He wanted to be able to get an Idaho concealed weapons license and that required proof of training.
A few years later after I stumbled across some more information about him I initiated a long conversation with the FBI about him. The FBI agent I talked said they knew of him but, naturally, wouldn’t tell me much more. I don’t know that he was really anything to be concerned about and I don’t know that the FBI or any other government agency ever did anything beyond keep a file on him and watch him a little closer than they would most people.
I still think this was the proper course of action. Sort of an innocent until proven “guilty” policy.
Based on the information I had at the time it was entirely appropriate to teach him to defend himself with a firearm. Later information led me to question that conclusion. But I knew that I did not have as much information as needed to draw the correct conclusions. The people responsible for drawing the correct conclusion and had access to far more information than I did probably would be interested in this student seeking out firearms instruction. My usual policy is to not keep records of my students and even to destroy the list of previous Boomershoot participants after I send out an email to them announcing the next event. But this guy was memorable and I violated that policy only after spending a lot of time thinking about it and urging from wife Barbara.
When I was getting my instructor credentials I was told, and I followed this advice, to ask every student why they were taking the class. Any hints that they were intending to break the law would have been sufficient to refuse my services to them. I still think that refusing to teach someone on the basis of their religion alone, even Islam, is not a good idea. There are far, far more Muslims in our country who are friendly to our culture and form of government than are hostile.
I believe that in most cases there are going to be indicators other than religion (or voting record) that can be used to appropriately deny firearm instruction services to someone. In the case of the Muslim student I had he was married to a U.S. citizen and all appearances were that he was friendly to our country.
Also, there are (or at least was) terrorist training camps available. If the guy merely getting training to acquire the license rather than because he had near zero training that would probably show up during the class. The FBI guy repeatedly asked me about this. As near as I could tell he was truthful in telling me he had no previous training. Looking for those sorts of signs could be useful should you decide he needs the attention of the authorities.
If this is someone who is really serious about causing us harm then far better training is probably easily available to him.
Think of this issue another way, as a percentage of the population people with dark colored skin are overrepresented in prison. One could reasonably conclude that people with dark colored skin are less likely to be trustworthy with a firearm because they apparently are more likely to commit crimes. But this denies a basic human right to an entire class of people most of which have done nothing wrong.
Treat people as individuals not as part of some “class”. Isn’t that one of the basic tenets of our form of government and our society? Isn’t the promotion of “class warfare” a major tool of the people who desire the destruction of our form of government? Don’t enable that tool for them.