So the owner of a St. Johnsville gun shop, JJ's Sporting Goods, has decided to do his bit for national security and not sell guns to Muslims.
Presumably, John H. Swartz is taking this important action on behalf of our collective safety because all Muslims are terrorists. All 2.6 million Muslims in the United States are responsible, as a group, for the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, and, although it’s never been proven, the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932.
As evidence of such beliefs, he wrote on his Facebook page that because he couldn't tell a radical Muslim responsible for the recent shooting at two Chattanooga military bases from any of the "6 non radical Muslims left in the world," he would not "sell any guns to Muslims!" (The exclamation point at the end of the sentence ensures that people know he's serious.)
What's even worse, this guy actually has people agreeing with him, including one commenter to his Facebook page who congratulated him on being a "fellow patriot."
To quote a colleague, how could any sentient being who has mastered the art of respiration be so stupid?
We could go on a rant about how bigotry is wrong and how the nation long ago established that businesses don't have the right to discriminate based an individual's ethnic background. Have you seen any "whites-only" water fountains around lately?
But we like to think people don't need a lecture on something this obvious. We like to think most people are smarter than that. We like to think that most people don't follow the radical elements of their respective religions and that most disassociate themselves from any connection to them. We think that because it’s true.
So here's how you get back at Mr. Swartz and his ilk: You put him out of business. You buy your guns and knives and camping equipment from someone else who doesn't revel is his own ignorance and bigotry. Simple as that.
What Mr. Swartz doesn’t realize is that he has it all wrong.
We're not safer because of people like him. Our nation’s forefathers knew that when we polarize people for their race or ethnicity or religion or other reasons, it doesn’t make us stronger as a nation.
It exposes our greatest weakness.