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Texas Gun Instructor Draws Heat for Anti-Muslim Ad

2 November 2011 General 9 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
In this Oct. 28, 2011, photo, Crockett Keller prepares his merchandise at a gun show at the fairgrounds in Fredericksburg, Texas. (AP Photo/The San Antonio Express-News, Tom Reel)  RUMBO DE SAN ANTONIO OUT; STANDALONE PHOTO

In this Oct. 28, 2011, photo, Crockett Keller prepares his merchandise at a gun show at the fairgrounds in Fredericksburg, Texas. (AP Photo/The San Antonio Express-News, Tom Reel) RUMBO DE SAN ANTONIO OUT; STANDALONE PHOTO

By PAUL J. WEBER

On a YouTube clip that has gone viral, brash Texas handgun instructor Crockett Keller defiantly tells Muslims and non-Christian Arabs he won’t teach them how to handle a firearm.

State officials see the ad as possible discrimination, and may revoke Keller’s instructor license.

Tens of thousands of YouTube viewers have watched the $175 ad for Keller’s business in the small community of Mason, which has won him a handful of admirers but that embarrassed locals say misrepresents their community. Muslim groups dismissed the 65-year-old as a bigot.

Among the couple of thousand residents in the Central Texas town, Keller has other reputations.

“He’s a character and likes attention,” said Diane Eames, a jeweler with a downtown shop in Mason’s quaint town square.

Keller has received plenty of attention since his radio spot on a rural country music station in Mason County, about 100 miles east of Austin, went viral on the Internet. Keller said he whipped up the script on his iPad in 10 minutes. The ad quit airing last week.

“If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner-in-chief, please do not take this class,” Keller says in the ad’s closing seconds, also taking a swipe at President Barack Obama. “You’ve already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as required under the law. Also, if you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you this class. Once again, with no shame, I am Crockett Keller.”

The Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations called the ad ugly rhetoric undeserving of media attention. Others have called Keller’s phone number from the ad to personally tell him worse, including alleged death threats.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is now investigating whether to revoke or suspend Keller’s license to teach concealed handgun courses.

“Conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion would place that instructor’s certification by the Department at risk of suspension or revocation,” the department said in a statement.

Inside a remote highway cabin on the edge of the Llano River, where a draped, full-size cannon is parked across from his desk, Keller said he was inspired to make the ad after being “flabbergasted” by a couple neighbors who left the state to campaign for Obama. As for refusing to teach Muslims, Keller described that as an afterthought tacked onto the spot, which he couldn’t remember but said was likely generated from something in the news.

“I got to thinking, ‘Hmm, I’m arming the enemy,'” Keller said.

Of course, even Keller knows that Muslims were unlikely to show up at his door asking to take his $100 course.

Mason County, as Eames described it, is “white bread” — the population was 93 percent Caucasian in the latest census, and all Republican statewide candidates won with at least 70 percent of the vote in 2010. Keller said he wasn’t aware of any Muslims in Mason County, nor could a handful of locals name one.

Eames and Joyce Arnold, a real estate agent, said they worried about the radio spot embarrassing the city. Eames ran what she described as a successful sex-toy business in Mason before opening the jewelry store, and Scott Haupert, co-owner of the Sandstone Cellars Winery, said Mason is more tolerant than Keller’s comments would suggest.

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9 Comments »

  1. Hmm, maybe I should show up at his doorstep and take his course, since I look and sound like a good old boy from Oklahoma, but, of course, I really am a good old boy from Oklahoma, except that I am a Muslim good old boy from Oklahoma! :-)

  2. oh you so should…

  3. The best people really can do is pay him no mind at all, and don’t give ‘em any business,and I really do hope his licences is taken away.

  4. Well he wants attention, so he will get it…eventually. I bet he would be shocked if I went up to him and said I was Muslim. Probably thinks we are a bunch of brown ppl from the Middle East.

  5. Actually his sign states that if your Muslim and will not pledge allegiance to the United States he will not allow you to join his class. So maybe Shelton and Bennett would be welcome in his class. Of course he also is refusing to offer classes to Democrats if they voted for our current President. So he is actually discriminating against a very large segment of the United states encompassing a large number of religious denominations and 90 percent of all blacks in America. So in reality many more Christians than Muslims will be discriminated against because he will not teach them even if they do pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States.

    My conclusion: he lives in an area dominated by Republicans because, if not, he would go out of business.

  6. People would think this guys has a special class to be trained as a SEAL. This old man maybe barely knows how to load a gun. Who gives a damn about his class anyway!

  7. I have never seen a Muslims living in Fredericksburg, I like the old town along US 290, however over there even if you are white christian (not a Muslim) and try to go the the cattle auction, you won’t be welcome I guess because when it comes to the $$ and the pocket, certain racists do not care where you are from, even if you went to the same church!
    Having said so, The people I spoke to in Fredericksburg seemed nice and we are Muslims and our wives and daughters cover so they knew we are Muslims! So my own conclusion is that there are nice as well as racist loosers every where!

  8. Big hat, big belly, tiny brain.

  9. Salim, you made a point without meaning to. There is a lot of deflection being used to keep people from looking at the upper income peoples. If the media can get people to look at race or religion as negative issues people do not notice how much money is being moved from the lower income citizens and given to the upper income citizens. Remember were not just talking about money but the value of labor rising while paying less for said labor. People are focused on race and religious struggles when in reality it is the class struggle that is most affecting our lives and is causing a lot of the anger being shown by people in regards to race and religion. It is in the corporate and upper one percents best interest to have a very large labor pool of people who will work at any rate or under any set of guidelines just to have an income.

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