Yes, I’m a firm supporter of the free market. And here’s my take on the issue of several companies who’ve decided not to sell firearms to anyone under the age of 21. And, if you’ve not heard, there are three companies — Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kroger — who’ve made that decision.
As reported by the Washington Post, “Dick’s Sporting Goods will no longer sell assault-style firearms, will ban high-capacity magazines and will not sell any guns to people younger than 21, the company announced Wednesday, a significant move for the retail giant in the midst of renewed calls for national gun reform.
Chief executive Edward W. Stack made the announcement during an appearance on “Good Morning America”, as well as through a company statement that said “thoughts and prayers are not enough” in the wake of America’s latest mass shooting. Two weeks ago, a gunman killed 17 people, most of them teenagers, in Parkland, Fla., with an AR-15 that was legally purchased. The alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, bought a shotgun from a Dick’s store in November, Stack said during the television interview.
Although the weapon purchased at the Dick’s outlet was not the one used in the massacre, Stack said his company was moved to act. “We did everything by the book, and we did everything that the law required, and he was still able to buy a gun,” Stack told host George Stephanopoulos.
Stack’s announcement carried both symbolic and retail heft as companies — including sporting goods stores and airlines — have been pressured to drop special discounts and other ties to the gun industry and the National Rifle Association. Still, it remains unclear what percentage of Dick’s sales came from the weapons in question, how the company will define “assault-style rifles,” and whether similar retailers will follow suit. On Wednesday evening, Walmart announced that it too would raise the minimum purchase age to 21 and remove items on its website that resemble assault-style weapons. The retailer ended sales of assault-style weapons, including the AR-15, in 2015.”
There’s just one problem with Dick’s announcement.
Per the Washington Examiner, …it’s been six years since Dick’s stores sold AR-15 rifles. The company ended sales shortly after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. Field & Stream, on the other hand, has been selling them. That ends today. Though the news alerts aren’t wrong, there’s a difference between saying Dick’s, which has 600-plus locations, has ended all sales versus saying the same of Field & Stream, which has 35 locations.
Stack claims the decision is tied to the fact the Parkland gunman purchased a shotgun from a Dick’s store last November. Stack mentions that it wasn’t the same firearm as the one used in the school shooting, but that “it could have been.” If that’s the thinking behind the AR-15 announcement, then take it a step further. End all sales of shotguns. Or take it further still: Handguns, after all, are responsible for the overwhelming majority of gun-related deaths in the United States, according to FBI crime statistics. If Dick’s wants to put an end to the killings, halting the sale of the type of firearm used in the Virginia Tech shooting would get them closer to that goal.
Perhaps these stores should stop selling hammers and knives because these can be used as “assault” weapons. What we are referring to here are semi-automatic rifles, only a person can assault another person, and it doesn’t matter what tool is used.
Do these three companies have the right to do as they wish with the products they sell? Absolutely. But, do I agree with this reactive and unconstitutional tactic? No. What Kroger, Walmart, and Dick’s Sporting Goods are doing is collective punishment of American citizens for an ideological purpose, an agenda. They have every right but they also must realize they have every right to receive the consequences for this decision.
In essence, what these companies are saying to 18-20 year old American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines is that they don’t have the Second Amendment right they’ve sworn to protect in their oath of enlistment. And this nation, including Walmart, Dick’s, and Kroger, entrusts them to be armed and stand upon freedoms rampart to safeguard our Republic and its way of life. So, what did they do to deserve this punishment? They had nothing to do with Nikolas Cruz.
Consider this: what these companies just said is that those Stoneman Douglas High School JROTC cadets who saved lives cannot use their business to arm themselves.
As well, what do we say to a 20-year-old member of a law enforcement agency? I guess they’re not deserving, according to Walmart, Dick’s, and Kroger…what do they say to that young officer who’s guarding their businesses, patrolling their streets? Thanks, but you cannot purchase a firearm here to defend yourself or any law-abiding citizen, when you’re off duty.
Sadly, the progressive socialist left has taken a tragedy and made it into an ideological crusade, at the loss of constitutional rights for law-abiding, legal American gun owners. What these three companies have said is, sorry, we’ve decided you don’t have a Second Amendment right until you’re 21. Sure, they can make that decision, but I don’t want to hear complaints for the backlash and consequences sure to come…and it will. I’m asking myself, why are gun stocks down in our financial markets? What did they have to do with the failures of the FBI and the Broward Sheriff Office? What did gun stocks have to do with the actions of Nikolas Cruz?
I remember the movie “The Patriot” and how Mel Gibson’s character gave his two young sons muskets and off they went to ambush the British column. I’m quite sure those two young boys weren’t 21, but they had been taught how to handle and fire a musket…an assault weapon? How many young boys took up arms alongside their fathers to fight for our liberty and freedom? Yes, I grew up shooting a BB gun and a .22 rifle…and as a little boy couldn’t wait to get a cowboy cap gun set. But again, I was taught responsibility and proper firearms etiquette, and targeting.
What’s happening is that we are witnessing an emotional reaction based on an ideological agenda…instead of seeking out the real solutions to what happened at Stoneman Douglas.
Refusing to sell firearms to anyone under 21 isn’t a solution to what happened on February 14 in Parkland, Florida. If the FBI and Broward Sheriff Office had done their duty, it wouldn’t have happened.
Yet, no one is talking about banning or boycotting them, nor keeping them from shopping in Kroger, Walmart, or Dick’s Sporting Goods.
And finally, I truly find it disconcerting to have any president say, “take the guns first and due process comes later.” But that’s another story…
In this week’s Old School Patriot podcast I hit back at those who want to destroy the 2nd Amendment in the wake of the Florida school shootings and one person in particular needs to be fired. Click here to listen. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-old-school-patriot-podcast-with-allen-west-02-28-18/id1342523207?i=1000404148205