Editorial: Texas should pull trigger on firearm instructor’s license

Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist
Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

A Central Texas firearm safety instructor from Mason has stepped into the line of fire with his controversial viewpoints on who can learn how to use a handgun.

Crocket Keller made a radio advertisement on Oct. 26 telling listeners that those who voted for President Barack Obama and non-Christian Muslims are not welcome to his classes where he teaches handgun safety lessons. Now his radio ad is on YouTube and tens of thousands of individuals have viewed the racist and discriminating advertisement.

“If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner-in-chief, please do not take this class,” Keller said in his radio advertisement. “You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as required under the law.”

Keller believes, as a teacher, that he has the rights to choose whom he will teach, based on the dangerous potential a firearm has.

“The fact is if you are a devout Muslim then you cannot be a true American,” Keller said. “Why should I arm these people to kill me; that’s suicide.”

Although Keller is an instructor, he cannot turn customers away from his classes based on who they voted for, or their beliefs. America is a free nation that doesn’t discriminate against its citizens because of their religion or political views.

Keller is making assumptions of individuals because of a stereotypical idea of who they are.

After Keller voiced his opinion of this group and decided to not teach them how to use a handgun, many individuals rose up in opposition to his ideas.

State Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, sent a letter to Texas Department of Public Safety on Nov. 1 asking for Keller’s teaching certificate be revoked. Veasey said the state of Texas as a whole should not allow businesses to discriminate against other Texas citizens; therefore, Veasey’s license ought to be taken away for his actions.

In fact, the Texas DPS has decided to begin an investigation on whether or not it will revoke or just suspend Keller’s license to teach these classes.

“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 a risk of suspension or revocation,” the Texas DPS said in a statement quoted by the Associated Press.

Keller’s license ought to be revoked, or else the Texas DPS is openly allowing other businesses to take similar action and discriminate against others based on their beliefs, values and potentially their appearance.

In Veasey’s letter to the department, he noted that the discrimination by Keller is against many African-American and Hispanic voters in Texas, causing him to discriminate against more individuals in the state than he probably intended to.

Making assumptions of people should not be allowed by businesses in this country. If businesses can turn people away for their political beliefs or religious viewpoints, then owners will abuse their authority as instructors. Those owners should not be allowed to have a license giving that lets them force their prejudiced ideology upon others.