When most people hear any mention of Arizona, they think of desert, cactus and rattlesnakes, but there is also areas of the state that are green, forested and beautiful. Perhaps one of the most beautiful areas of the state is the White Mountains along the eastern border with New Mexico.
The White Mountains are covered with juniper trees in the lower altitudes to pine and spruce in the higher elevations. Believe it or not, I saw it snow in July while fly fishing for trout in the White Mountains with my dad at Sunrise Lake which has an elevation of 9,200. One of the summer monsoon storms rolled in over the lake. We felt the temperature plummet as it started to rain, then turned to sleet and then to snow.
My parents and sister live in the White Mountains near Show Low. About 10 miles south of Show Low is the community of Pinetop-Lakeside. Like most of the area on the Mogollon Rim, the people are fairly conservative, value their guns, their religion and would fight to keep them.
One business owner in Pinetop is Cope Reynolds. He owns the Southwest Shooting Authority, a gun shop and firearms training facility. After seeing Reynolds ad that he took out in the local newspaper, I plan to make it a point to stop in and shake his hand the next time I get a chance to go back and visit my family.
Reynolds bought a full page ad in the newspaper, White Mountain Independent, that read:
“If you voted for Barack Obama your business is NOT WELCOME at Southwest Shooting Authority. You have proven you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.”
Reynolds recently moved his business from Luna, New Mexico to Pinetop earlier this year because of his belief in the US Constitution and freedom. He believes that Arizona is a more Constitution friendly state and would be a better fit for his business, pointing to their constitutional carry law and Castle Doctrine. He also said that he is a big fan of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and how she has stood up against the Obama administration while defending her state.
Reynolds knows that it will be hard to enforce his ad, but stated if anyone admits to voting for Obama, he does plan to refuse their business. Legally, he is allowed to refuse to serve someone as long as it is not for reasons of race, sex, disability or being a member of a protected class.
Many of the local residents have supported his stand, but he admits that he has also received a number of hate emails and even death threats, but he plans on standing his ground. In response to the death threats, Reynolds said that any would be assassins need to be aware that he carries a gun with him at all times, as is his right in Arizona, and since he is a firearm trainer, he knows how to use his gun quite proficiently.
Imagine what would happen if more conservatives refused to do business with people who voted for Obama like Cope Reynolds.