L.L. Bean made a big announcement that it will no longer sell guns or ammunition to people younger than 21. Media was all over it in a shot, touting how another big retailer had jumped on the gun control bandwagon. But, as with some of the other retailers, this wasn’t all that it seemed and it was in large measure, empty virtue signaling.
But you wouldn’t know that from the coverage.
“L.L. Bean became the latest retailer to announce that it will no longer sell guns or ammunition to customers younger than 21,” CNN reported Friday morning. “In response to a tweet from one consumer asking the outdoors retailer to change its policy, the Maine-based retailer replied late Thursday, ‘In the wake of this shooting we have reviewed our policy on firearm sales, and we will no longer be selling guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21.’”
“The outdoor company joins a host of others increasing the minimum age for gun purchases in the wake of last month’s deadly Florida school shooting,” The Hill reported.
And because of the rule of threes, I present to you HuffPo’s liberally-optimistic copy on the issue: “Outdoor retailer L.L. Bean is raising its minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, joining a growing list of American companies that are tightening their firearms restrictions in response to a mass shooting at a Florida high school last month.”</blockquote>
The point is to make it seem like the gun control is an unstoppable wave.
As Conservative Tribune notes, people can just replace their guns with “gender-neutral toys and copies of Chelsea Clinton’s ‘She Persisted.'”
And all gun crime will immediately cease. Peace and unicorns will rule the land.
It’s pretty safe to say even if every retailer in the country stopped selling guns officially, you wouldn’t eliminate guns. What you’d get is a huge black market and an incredible rise in organized crime. Take as a lesson how prohibition was responsible for the growth of the Mafia and other such organizations.
And of course, the L.L Bean story isn’t quite what it seems.
And then one reads the fine print on this “story,” which is buried six paragraphs and a tweet into CNN’s story: “Privately-held L.L. Bean has 37 stores in 17 states, but only its main flagship store in Freeport, Maine, has a license to sell firearms, according to records from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. It also does not sell any hunting rifles or ammunition on its website, although it does sell some accessories, such as rifle bags and gun lockers.“
The HuffPo also notes that “its inventory is specific to hunting and target shooting, so they don’t sell handguns or assault weapons.”
So, here’s a more accurate headline: “One kind of big store in Maine says you have to wait until your 21 to buy ammunition or a hunting rifle.”
So they were only selling it in one store. And it’s not a store that most 18-21-year-olds shop in or can afford, in large measure.
Virtually all of their market is through the internet and they don’t sell any guns or ammo through their catalog.
So in other words, it’s a nice story to fit the agenda that the media wants to push, but as a practical matter it’s not doing much of anything.
Whatever the case, there’s one thing I can tell you: No mass shooting was or will be stopped by what L.L. Bean has done. Of all of the futile gestures we’ve seen since Parkland, this might be the most meretricious — and the fact that the media reported on it as if it was a real story is yet another reason why I tend to get primary stabbing headaches every time I turn on CNN.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]