When you hear about a really bizarre news story, it’s often out of a Southern state like Alabama, Louisiana or Texas – but nobody has the market cornered on crazy quite like Florida. Whether it’s George Zimmerman trying to pander to racists by selling Confederate flag prints or a man blinding a sheriff’s helicopter pilot with a laser hair comb, chances are it happened in Florida. In fact, there is an entire subreddit on Reddit devoted to the kooky stories that come from the Sunshine State, /r/FloridaMan.
Now a Florida gun manufacturer has a plan to keep guns out of the hands of Islamic extremists in places like Iraq or Syria, and his idea is guaranteed to sell a lot of weapons – but only on the domestic market. The “Crusader” is an AR-15 assault rifle that retails for about $1,400, or a couple hundred dollars more than an average Social Security check.
Via the Orlando Sentinel:
Spike’s Tactical is marketing an assault rifle it claims was “designed to never be used by Muslim terrorists.” The AR-15 assault rifle is laser-etched on one side with a Knights Templar Long Cross – a symbol of the Christian Crusades to reclaim the Holy Land from Muslims – and Psalm 144:1 on the other side: “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”
The company’s spokesman, former Navy SEAL Ben “Mookie” Thomas said he came up with the idea and believes no devout Muslim would touch such a weapon.
“Off the cuff I said I’d like to have a gun that if a Muslim terrorist picked it up a bolt of lightning would hit and knock him dead,” Thomas said.
Dubbed the “Crusader,” the weapon went on sale Wednesday and received immediate condemnation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Florida. (Source)
Of course, nothing says “I’m totally not anti-Muslim or trying to cause controversy” quite like naming a weapon of war after soldiers who fought in the first major religious war that pitted Christians against Muslims, or etching in a symbol of the Knights Templar. While these rifles may do well on the American gun fanatic market, the American government would not buy these to arm our own soldiers, let alone foreign fighters who likely don’t subscribe to Mr. Thomas’s version of Christianity.
On top of that, it really doesn’t cost a whole lot to go online and buy a cheap new lower receiver for an AR that doesn’t have those verses and symbols on them – or you could just take a grinding wheel and buff them off. If Mr. Thomas really thought this one through, he’d also know that the cheap and rugged AK-47 is the preferred weapon in the Middle East, not over-priced custom AR-15s which are usually for civilian use in posing for Facebook photos down at the local gun range, or at open carry rallies in Texas.
Of course, I’m pretty sure all of that logic goes right over the heads of the gun nuts who will flock to buy these over-priced rifles, simply because it upset a Muslim group who should really know better than to get riled up about this stupid stunt. In fact, it’s far more likely that one of his Crusader rifles will end up being used by a non-Muslim domestic terrorist rather than ending up in the hands of an ISIS terrorist.
It’s a safe bet to say that this is yet another gimmick designed to appeal to Islamophobes and all the Florida Man gun fanatics who believe every photoshopped image of President Obama is real. As the saying goes “there’s a sucker born every minute,” and the Crusader rifle is proof of that.
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