UPDATE: A Facebook follower commented that this Charleston Rifle Club is a rifle club in name only. There is no shooting facility on the site. It is essentially a social club. Although this doesn’t make its rejection of an African American member any more palatable to me, it does mean this event doesn’t tell us anything (good or bad) about Gun Culture 0.0, 1.0, or 2.0. (H/T A.L.)
Sad news coming out of Charleston to end 2018. The Charleston Rifle Club — founded in the antebellum confederate state of South Carolina in 1855 — considered 14 individuals for membership and accepted 13. The one member rejected is a US Naval Academy graduate and retired Navy physician, Melvin Brown.
Melvin Brown is African American.
Although the population of Charleston, like the State of South Carolina, is approximately 30% African American, Brown would have been the first African American among the Charleston Rifle Club’s 800 members.
Reading beyond the headline, however, reveals a more promising story line which is unlikely to get as much press. An online petition (see screen cap below) reads:
As a private club, the Charleston Rifle Club can choose to exclude people based on their race, but the vast majority of the Charleston Rifle Club’s members find that to be an abhorrent and immoral choice and inconsistent with what we believe the club is.
Furthermore, we believe that this action is supported by a tiny fraction of the club’s membership. The current system allows for this small group to control the membership process. Six members, out of more than 800, can alone choose to exclude a prospective member.