A Texas gun store owner and concealed handgun license (CHL) instructor near Austin is advocating arming teachers. Keller’s Riverside Gun Store owner Crockett Keller, in a radio interview with KRLD, said that he believes the solution to the epidemic of mass shootings in the U.S., particularly in schools, could be alleviated by having more guns in schools, and he’s prepared to put his money where his mouth is and offer teachers a 10 percent discount on training for concealed handgun carry permits.
“As we do with veterans, I would offer them a discount,” Keller said. “Our normal rate is $110. So, I would give them a rate of $90. If they are teachers, we would be more than happy to do that.”
He equates arming teachers with arming airline pilots and believes that any place without guns is at risk.
“I think we need to lobby our various state governments to allow teachers to be armed,” he said. “We have airline pilots that now carry pistols or weapons of some sort — firearms — and same thing to, I think, need to happen in these gun-free zones that are so dangerous,” Keller said, and added “We need to start thinking out of the box and deal with this violent culture. We need to lobby our various state governments to allow teachers to be armed.”
Listen to the KRLD audio broadcast:
As reported by CBS-DFW, Gayle Fallon, President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, is not on board with Keller’s way of thinking.
“I knew this would come up at some point, there would be people who think the answer is to put guns on campus,” Fallon explained. “Frankly, I think it’s absurd. In a lot of cases, the perpetrator is a kid. Look at Columbine, it was a 14-year-old kid. You tell me a teacher is going to look in the eyes of a 14-year-old and pull the trigger — it’s not in their emotional make up.”
Fallon believes that having more police officers on campus and stricter gun restrictions would be a large part of the solution. Keller disagrees.
“Our personal safety is our responsibility, unfortunately the police and the military cannot be everywhere,” said Keller. “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.”
Mr. Keller made national headlines, including the New York Times, when he aired this radio ad that had a strong anti-Muslim and anti-liberal message. If you even voted for President Obama, you’d not be allowed to take his class.
“If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner-in-chief, please do not take this class,” said Mr. Keller in the ad. “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 the class. Once again, with no shame, I am Crockett Keller.”
On November 8 2011, Mr. Keller changed his policies after receiving too much negative attention and a visit from the Texas Department of Public Safety. The state of Texas allows Texans of all religions to possess firearms and obtain a concealed-handgun license. Students must complete a certified course and pass a test. Texas law does not allow CHL instructors to deny instruction “on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion,” and instructors who don’t abide by the law face possible suspension or revocation of their license.
“Certified instructors are required to comply with all applicable state and federal statutes,” the agencies statement said. “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.”
Keller told the Houston Chronicle that he initially received numerous calls of support and praise for the radio ad, but he began to receive condemnation, death threats from people around the world, and anger from other licensed weapons instructors. He was contacted by organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Texas who spoke out against his discrimination policy.
In spite of changing his policy under pressure, Mr. Keller, 65, is unashamed of the remarks he made in the ad. He feels that giving Muslims handgun training is similar to providing them with the flight instruction that was provided to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“Why would I teach people who have sworn the annihilation of the United States and who can lie, cheat, steal and murder Americans in order to further Islam?” Mr. Keller said. “Why would I arm someone like that? Why would I enable them to carry a weapon legally? I don’t want to be a part of that. I’m sorry those flight instructors didn’t have the same hindsight to know that these guys were up to no good, and they shouldn’t be teaching them, and they should have refused.”
He attempted to explain the unique culture of Texas, part of which are the unspoken rules to not ask a man his wife’s name, how big his ranch is, or anything about his religion…except for Muslims.
“When you’re in Texas, No. 1, you don’t ask a guy how big his ranch is or how many cattle he runs,” Mr. Keller said. “You really don’t even ask him the name of his wife or his dog. Those are things that are really none of your business. You don’t ask him his religion nor do you ask him his politics. I don’t care what your religion, what your creed is. That makes no bearing. But when people consider themselves a particular religion that has proven itself to be anti-American, well, then, I’m anti-them.”
During the investigation, a reporter approached him outside his store. Keller put his hand on his holstered gun as the stranger approached. Once he realized that the reporter meant him no harm, he said “As you saw, I had my hand on my gun, and while I was doing that I was looking to see if you were armed.”
Mr. Keller had a t-shirt designed to commemorate his moment in the spotlight. The front bears an American flag with the text “God Bless America” and “I’m a Friend of Crockett Keller”. The back says in all capital letters “IF YOU ARE MUSLIM AND WILL NOT PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, I WILL NOT SELL YOU ANY FIREARM OR ACCESSORY.”
He also shares on his website a link to his infamous ad, with the disclaimer “This audio clip is for entertainment and informational purposes only. Keller does not discriminate based upon national origin, race or religion.”
If teachers take him up on his 10 percent discount offer and take his class, they need to ensure that they’ve read the rules and policies carefully. Mr. Keller is quite strict, and like teachers, he tolerates no nonsense.
- No rude or unsafe behavior will be tolerated. We will offer a prayer for our country and a safe class along with reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the class. If this offends anyone–you’re in the wrong place!
- Please be forewarned: I use politically incorrect words and statements with no shame! If you don’t love and respect the United States of America–you’re in the wrong place!
- We accept cash, check, gold, silver, old guns and fat calves. Currently 4 Morgan silver dollars will get you in either class!