A college student and his dad who visited a gun range over the weekend for some bonding time over target practice were told to leave after the owner grew suspicious that the pair were...Muslims! Nope, not Muslims — they just happened to not be white. Either way, though, it's rank discrimination.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which advocates for the civil rights of Muslims, has asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate The Gun Cave, the Hot Springs firing range that announced itself as a "Muslim-free zone" on social media last week.
The owner of The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Jan Morgan, announced yesterday that she is banning the presence of Muslims in her business. Her reasoning: "Why would I hand guns and ammunition to people whose religion commands them to kill me and my non-muslim patrons?" OK, let's get that lawsuit rolling.
A Pulaski County jury told Judge Leon Johnson today that they couldn't find consensus on the charges against a driver who police say shot another motorist at I-30 and E. 6th Street during a traffic altercation in May 2013. The deadlock resulted in a mistrial.
Mother Jones reports that Sonic and Chili's outlets in Texas refused to knuckle under to intimidation tactics of open carry gun advocates. Growing backlash at the intimidation tactics appears to have backed the gun toters down.
Joe Nocera in the New York Times, prompted by another killing spree, draws from a new book on the 2nd Amendment to explain how the NRA and politicians have bent the amendment all out of shape of what the founding fathers intended — a tool to guarantee a "well-regulated militia." It was not, he writes, intended to allow an individual right to trump the public good.
A reader sends this photo of a new sign at Little Rock City Hall announcing that concealed weapons are not allowed on premises, except when carried by law officers. This is only a restatement of long-standing law, I'm pretty sure. But the sign is new and I've noticed them elsewhere, such as at the fitness center in War Memorial Park.
The New York Times reports on a trend in Republican primaries: candidates offer up sweepstakes with a gun as the prize to attract interest —and collect personal data — from the GOP base. Local angle: See above an event last month for Curtis Coleman, running in the Republican primary for governor. "Look what we will give away at this Concert!! AR-15 & 100 Rounds of Ammunition." Somewhat awkwardly, this gun giveaway was at a middle school.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is launching a $50 million campaign to support candidates favoring gun control. Bloomberg is attempting to push back on the influence of the National Rifle Association in 15 targeted states, including some hostile territory (Texas, Montana, Arizona). Arkansas is not among the targets, as far as I can tell from the press release. Bloomberg, of course, has targeted Sen. Mark Pryor in the past for his opposition to gun-control measures. Of course, in gun-happy Arkansas, Pryor took Bloomberg's criticism as a badge of honor. And the alternative to Pryor is Rep. Tom Cotton, who is, shall we say, not on board with Bloomberg's gun safety agenda.
Excellent piece in the Washington Post yesterday from former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment, how its original intent has been twisted by the gun lobby, and the five word clarification that could clear up a bit of the original language that has allowed the NRA to get a philosophical toehold. It's a fascinating argument, even if you'll never see Stevens' fix implemented in your lifetime.
Did the Arkansas legislature really intend to allow open carry of guns in addressing a technical issue of what constitutes a 'journey' under the old law on carrying a firearm? No, says a new legal analysis.
Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.
Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
The family of a 4-year-old girl from Harrison who fell from a moving church bus on April 19 issued a statement through their attorney yesterday, asking for privacy as the investigation into the incident continues. The family said the girl is still receiving medical care related to the incident — caught on a paramedic's dashboard camera — in which she opened the back door of a moving church bus and was flung to the pavement, with the bus driving away.
Lee Short, the lawyer for Ledell Lee, the man Arkansas put to death just before midnight last night, posted on Facebook the following letter of thanks for personal support and a bit about Lee's last hours, distributing his possessions and talking to family.
A non-profit group devoted to science education has announced their plan to move one of the largest refracting telescopes in the America to Northwest Arkansas. They are currently fundraising to cover the moving costs for the vintage telescope, which they hope to make the centerpiece of a science and technology center.
The Arkansas Department of Correction is planning for the first double execution in the U.S. in 16 years tonight. Jack Jones, 52, and Marcell Williams, 46, are scheduled to die by lethal injection. They would be the second and third prisoners put to death as part of a hurried schedule Governor Hutchinson set in advance of the state's supply of one of the three drugs used in the execution protocol expiring on April 30.
Photos taken Thursday night by Brian Chilson and David Koon, at Cummins Prison in Grady, the State Police barricade away from the prison and in front of the Governor's Mansion, before and after the execution of Ledell Lee.