Dick’s Sporting Goods announced Wednesday that it will no longer sell those scary assault weapons or those high-capacity clips at any of its stores or affiliated retail locations.
The Fortune 500 company is also setting a corporate policy to ban the sale of firearms to persons under the age of 21, regardless of state or local laws.
CEO Edward Stack, the son of the famous Dick Stack who founded the Pennsylvania-based company, spoke about what precipitated the decision.
“When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” Ed told The New York Times. “We love these kids and their rallying cry, ‘enough is enough.’ It got to us.”
“We’re going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation,” he continued.
Though he claims to be a strong 2A supporters, Ed Stack said the company is now going to publicly support “common sense gun reform.” Congress should ban black rifles and bump stocks, raise the purchase age of firearms to 21, and criminalize private transfers among other reforms, according to Stack.
This isn’t the first time Dick’s has caved to political pressure. Following Sandy Hook, Dick’s stopped selling ARs in its big box stores. However, sales of those rifles continued at its outdoor specialty chain, Field & Stream. But that ends today.
“We don’t want to be a part of a mass shooting,” he said.
Stack said he is prepared to deal with the fallout from the gun community.
“The whole hunting business is an important part of our business, and we know there is going to be backlash on this,” said Mr. Stack. “But we’re willing to accept that.”
“If the kids in Parkland are being brave enough to stand up and do this, we can be brave enough to stand up with them,” said Stack.
Gun grabbers love to demonize ARs. But rifles of any make or model are used in less than four percent of all gun-related violence. It’s a free country. Dick’s can enact whatever policy it wants. But who is to say that the next spree killer won’t use a handgun vis a vis Virginia Tech (which left 32 dead and 17 wounded)?
Suppose that’s the case. And suppose the individual bought the pistol at Dick’s. Then, Dick’s — by its definition — would be “part of the next mass shooting” or complicit in the murder of those people. Does it then ban the sale of handguns, too?
Scapegoating inanimate objects for the violence perpetrated by crazed murderers is an intellectually dishonest approach to curbing mass killings that creates a slippery slope. I mean, at some point, they’ll run out of guns to ban and the public won’t be any safer nor will the killings stop.
What we all need to recognize is the only way to stop the violence is to stop the killers before they cause it. Ideally, that involves early intervention or incarceration. Or, it may involve armed resistance. Either way, the focus should always be on stopping the person pulling the trigger or driving the rental truck or making the pressure cooker bomb. Anything else is just window dressing.