Manatee Gun Club official offends members with anti-Muslim email

Manatee Gun and Archery Club members say they are offended by an email sent by Stephanie Unger, an officer who serves as the club’s executive secretary.

Unger, whose husband also serves on the club’s board of directors, forwarded the email to several hundred club members Monday evening, about 45 minutes after she received it.

The email is a take on comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s popular monologue: “You might be a redneck if…”

However, in the email Unger sent, “redneck” is replaced with “Muslim.”

When the email first surfaced online several years ago, Foxworthy quickly denied he had anything to do with it.

“She’s a damn officer of the Manatee Gun Club. I can’t believe this shit,” one member said in an email to me. “I’m a member and as far as I know, we’re open to all people who can legally own a gun. It’s a basic human right, no matter your color, creed, politics, etc. This is not welcoming, and certainly now winning of hearts and minds for people not of the gun.”

The member sent a strong objection to Unger.

“This is disgusting. I can’t believe you would forward this to your list of members of the Manatee Gun Club — some who very well may be practicing Muslims,” the member wrote. “You’re an officer of the club. Act like one.”

Unger responded by telling the member she wouldn’t send anything again.

“I am well aware that I am an officer of the club, and I act like it when my position calls for it,” she wrote. “This email has nothing to do with my club position, but trust me, you won’t be getting any more personal emails from me.”

The member told me Unger’s email was not sent out to the entire membership, but only to those who had signed up to receive information about the club’s shotgun offerings.

Asked to comment about the incident, club president Vince Vingelli said, “Why should I have to say anything? I didn’t send it.”

Several hours later, Unger sent me an email, blaming Foxworthy.

“Thank you for taking time to contact me regarding the story you are writing about Jeff Foxworthy’s monologue email that I sent to some of my shotgun shooters,” Unger wrote. “I regret that Mr. Foxworthy’s monologue offended someone. There was no malice intended on my part when I sent the email. No further discussion is required about this.”

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Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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