Sometimes it is just too easy.
Oktaha is a sparse little hamlet of 300 or so people located south of Muskogee, Oklahoma. One of the few businesses there is a place called, Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear. It's run by a couple of people named Chad Neal and Niki Mayhorn. They both hold some pretty strong views when it comes to Muslims.
As you can probably guess they don't like them. In fact, so much so, after the gruesome shootings at a couple of Chattanooga, TN military facilities in July they declared their store to be, "Muslim Free." To make it official they taped a sign on the front door which read, "This property is a Muslim free establishment. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."
Neal told the media, "I don't want any terrorists, or Muslims, or cults, whatever you want to call them training on my gun range." He further explained that there was a military recruiting station in a Muskogee mall, which is located 17 miles away and he wanted to protect, "our local soldiers."
It would be easy to point out that while Neal and Mayhorn won't allow Muslims in their joint, presumably they would have been more than willing to sell products and range time to reasonable people such as Adam Lanza, James Holmes, or even the ghost of Timmy McVeigh. However, we must stay on point here and grind one axe at a time as it were.
Word went out from the store owners that because of the sign on the door they had begun to receive threats against their property and selves. Local volunteers showed up to, "protect the business," and someone, it isn't clear who, named them, "The Patriots."
Muskogee County Sheriff, Pearson had another description of them. He was quoted as saying, "I saw several of the gentlemen out there yesterday. The way they were holding their weapons, with fingers on the triggers, you can tell a couple of these gentlemen have no idea about weapon safety. It is like the Clampetts have come to town."
For those of you not of a certain age the Clampetts were a television family of incredibly ignorant, although good hearted, hillbillies who accidently struck oil and became fabulously wealthy. After moving to Beverly Hills they found themselves involved in situations they were not just ill prepared for, but had no understanding of.
On Monday it was reported one of the Patriots on duty dropped his weapon and it discharged when it hit the ground, wounding him in the arm. Later reports say Neal and Mayhorn clarified the accident by saying the wounded man was not on guard per se, but had come to help them re-install a door inside the store. Ah yes, that not only explains everything, but makes all the rubes hanging out at Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear appear far more mature and reasonable.
The victim, Terrence Veninga said the loop on his holster which held his Colt .45 in place was somehow dislodged and the gun fell out. He told the Tulsa World he would more than likely need several surgeries to repair his arm, then added breezily, "I'm probably going to be out for quite a long haul. I'm going to have to learn to shoot left handed."
That's the spirit, Terry. Who says Americans are getting soft?
Tragically this sort of gun quackery usually doesn't end as happily. The AP reported that on Tuesday a man in Hoover, AL went to baby sit his two and a half year old son at the apartment of the child's mother while she was at work. When she returned home she found him dead from a shot to the head. He had been killed with a semi automatic hand gun his boy had been playing with.
Captain Gregg Rector of the Hoover police described the shooting as, "...a horrible accident resulting from a child getting hold of a hand gun."
He also told the media, "Everyone knows it's a good idea not to have guns around kids, but we don't always practice it."
For obvious reasons I'll be in the bar. Please, hold my calls.