A few days ago I read that several companies have decided to cut ties with the NRA, removing discounts that were offered before the Parkland, Fl. school shooting. This was not surprising, the usual fallout after every shooting is cries to “do something”, to demand tighter gun control, and then blame the NRA. Then today I read that Dicks Sporting Goods, a rather large supplier of guns and other hunting/fishing gear through out the country, decided that they would publicly support reducing gun violence, altruistic business decision or clever marketing ploy;

Dick’s Sporting Goods is banning sales of assault weapons across all its stores after the Parkland, Fla. school shooting.

The nation’s largest sporting goods retailer announced the move Thursday in an open letter and an appearance by CEO Ed Stack on Good Morning America.

Assault weapon sales ended at Dick’s-branded stores after the Newtown, Conn. school shooting in 2012, but the company was still selling them at its Field & Stream locations, which specialize in hunting and outdoors products.

“As we looked at what happened down in Parkland, we were so disturbed and saddened by what happened, we felt we really needed to do something,” Stack told GMA’s George Stephanopoulos.

The retailer will also end sales of high-capacity magazines and sales of guns to people under 21 years old.

The CEO seems genuine, but it’s naive to think that any business decision is not run through the filter of accelerating profits.

The change in policy is two-fold; taking assault weapons off the shelves and raising the age from 18 to 21, the age at which a person can buy any firearm from them.

There are several ways to approach this; consumer boycotts in general and the civil rights angle.

Although I’m a big advocate for letting my consumer dollars speak for me, as a general rule I think boycotts are stupid, probably because 90% of the time it is the progressives doing the boycotting over something innocuous that they got butthurt over. Some examples;

Walmart- because competition and having a successful business model hurts the mom and pop stores, even though the consumer benefits.

  • Hobby Lobby- for daring to challenge (and win) the Obamacare contraceptive provision.
  • Chic-fil-A- because the CEO had an opinion on  Gay Marriage (counter views will not be tolerated).
  • Waffle House- because the CEO contributed money to the Romney campaign.
  • Carls Jr- because some commercials had scantily clad women dripping barbecue sauce.

When I read about these phony cause celebs I try to funnel my disposable income directly to those companies (too lazy to actually write the CEO with a ,”Way to go bud, I’m on your side”).

No, this door does not swing both ways. If some dopey gun nut wants to rally the troops and organize a Dicks boycott over this, they are on their own. These changes are cosmetic, more emotional virtue signalling and will hardly impact the bottom line.

But the change in age from 18 to 21 might prove trickier. Never mind that 16 is the age at which we can drive a car, the final assault weapon. Never mind that 18 year olds join the military and are trained in the use of real automatic weapons. Never mind that there is no age limit to buy a knife, fertilizer, gasoline, remote control switch or any other bomb part.

I can also see an enterprising young man use his attorney to sue Dicks over age discrimination. I wonder if there is a Dicks in Chicago and whether the manager there ever thought of the idea of banning firearms to black people, given the numbers of murders involving hand guns there? One could argue the same concerns, street safety. How about a Public Accommodations challenge.? Is it time to add “age” to the other protected groups?

TBH, I admire this CEO for actually doing something that might save a life, any life. Unlike the usual gaggle of politicians who bluster and foam at the mouth with righteous indignation, then come up with nothing that would be effective in stopping the next Parkland.

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I’m less shy about voicing my objections to corporate virtue signalling than some.

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TBH, I admire this CEO for actually doing something that might save a life, any life.

This measure won’t do that at all. I’m consistently amazed by the current trend of corporations willingly alienating their consumers for the sake of left-wing causes with meaningless feel-good gestures.

Dick’s is betting that this virtue signaling will inspire one side to patronize them for their ideals, while making marginal changes so that the other side will just go ,”meh”. Dick’s is going to feel the pinch in deer season. This decision is not going to lead to a single Democrat picking up hackeysacks for their kids, or whatever they do, but it is going to encourage conservatives to go elsewhere. This was not a business decision. The CEO did it for the feelz and he’s going to have to deal with the blowback. I don’t think a sporting goods… Read more »

Zurvan

Another factor they probably considered, gun owners don’t spend the repeat bucks that other sports enthusiasts spend. You don’t need special shoes or other special equipment to go plinking. Never been plinking, eh? Eye protection, ear protection, optics, laser sights, other sights (BUIS, Night sights, etc.), magazines, targets, range bags, rifle cases, holsters, belts, clays, clay throwers, ammo cans, gun cleaning supplies, bore sighting equipment, and that’s just off the top of my head. And don’t most serious shooters press their own ammo? Not even close. There are many, many shooters who have never reloaded their own ammo. You can… Read more »

I wonder who has more disposable income to spend on sporting equipment.

Like I said, if Dick’s had based this on marketing data or anything other than the CEO’s desire to feel good about himself, this is one of the first questions they would have asked.

One should keep in mind that the Left considers anything that can fire bullets an “assault weapon.”

Also, I only go to WalMart for groceries.

What Dicks and Walmart are doing (more soon to follow) is nothing compared to this.

Which is exactly why we should be fighting back now.

Trump will respond to his base. It’s all he has. But what we need to do is challenge these attacks within the culture. If corporations want to align with political policies, then I think it’s perfectly fair to shop accordingly. I’m not sure why you want to reward people who hate you.

Zurvan

But the public range provided all that, I just had to bring guns and ammo. No range I know of provides optics, holsters, magazines, or most of the other stuff I listed that gun enthusiasts love to buy…repeatedly. The point being that there is much more equipment to sell a prospective shooting enthusiast than there is a jogger who needs a pair of shoes. As I said, I would feel differently if they went after the NRA and dropped all their guns, they did not do that. I would feel differently if they left it at “We aren’t going to… Read more »

We got a dick here locally… heh, went in once to look around, price a few things, way over priced, most of the firearms were practically MSRP price. no skin off my ass, so they can do what ever they want, most of thier shooting customers are the high end got more money than brains crowd. And don’t most serious shooters press their own ammo? The super serious ones that try to get every bit of potential out of their own ammo, the vast majority just order bulk ammo. But the change in age from 18 to 21 might prove… Read more »

another funny thing….

A AR pattern rifle is generally gas operated. one only has to remove the gas tube and it become a awkward straight pull action rifle.

Trump is 100% wrong to say take the guns before due process. Another example of the idiot’s mouth moving before he had a chance to think it through.

He is also in favor of a blanket raising of minimum age to 21. This is more pernicious to me then what Dick’s is doing. A store policy that can be changed when profits fall off a cliff (if this is in fact what will happen, I’m not betting on it) is far different changing federal law.

Once again Trumps ol new york liberal leanings come out.

We agreed that this is small potatoes We did not agree. The action was minimal. That’s what virtue signalling is. It’s lazy. It’s weak. It lacks real meaning and doesn’t lead to any positive action whatsoever. If you want to make the slippery slope argument, when it gets to the point where I think the 2nd Amendment is seriously being challenged, then I will strap up and prepare for battle. The 2nd Amendment is being challenged. If you can’t already see it, it will be far too late by the time you do. I’ve written tons about the attacks on… Read more »

I believe that what Dicks is doing does not infringe upon my right to “bear arms” any more than if Walmart decided to stop selling soda would infringe upon my right to drink Dr. Pepper. I believe that a company has a right to decide what products they want to sell and what products they don’t. You’re living under the delusion that this has anything to do with capitalism. I’m sorry, but it does not. If it did, the CEO of Dick’s would say, “We’re a sporting goods store. We sell hunting supplies, which includes semiauto rifles with high-capacity magazines… Read more »

Sure it does, it is the very essence of capitalism, to provide products that people will buy. If discontinuing an item will maximize profits in all the other things they sell, why can’t they do it? The idea that this will maximize profits is something you’re inventing on your own. Nothing the CEO says indicates that is the case. Instead, he did it because he was “saddened.” This is about emotion, not serving the best interest of the shareholders. The latter is capitalism. What the CEO of Dick’s did is virtue signalling to favor one side of a political argument.… Read more »

Love this debate – if I can inject some insight from a position of this being basically my job… Sometimes, a company can make a business decision like this to be able to influence a policy agenda. Obviously Dicks has a vested interest in whatever gun laws do or do not get passed, and my guess would be that taking this small step before anyone else positions them as a ‘leader’ and better placed to influence policy decisions in their favour. I’d bet the house on the fact that the Corporate Affairs team are in Washington right now. And corporations… Read more »

And corporations virtue signal all the time. It’s called ‘Marketing’. Marketing is intended to support a company’s business objectives. Sales goals, growth, etc. What Dick’s has done isn’t marketing. It’s cutting itself off from a marketing segment without adding a new one. I don’t see how a company wading into politics while pretending that it isn’t is a marketing decision. There are exceptions to this. Ben and Jerry’s famously donates a portion of their profits to “world peace” or whatever. Being a couple of hippies is very much part of their brand. Dick’s hasn’t struck out with any sort of… Read more »

See, here’s what you look at from a marketing perspective: https://www.fox4now.com/news/local-news/gun-sales-up-in-cape-coral Fox 4 reports the Shoot Center gun store in Cape Coral, Florida, has seen roughly a 30 percent increase in sales of the rifle that gun control activists want to ban. That’s actual data. If you’re making decisions based purely on business decisions and maximizing shareholder returns as a good capitalist should, you keep selling the shit that people want to buy. If you want to defend Dicks for trying to destroy itself because of happy feelingz, do it. Just don’t pretend capitalism has anything to do with it.… Read more »

Of course he is going to be “saddened”, to appeal to the better angels of our nature. Is that what he owes to his shareholders? The “angels of our nature”? I’ve read Adam Smith and I don’t remember anything about capitalism’s invisible hand being guided by angels. Do you really think he is going to say ,”Hey folks, I thought of a great way to maximize profits on the backs of dead children, and this is how I’m going to do it”? You’re again conflating the sales of legal, semiauto rifles with killing children. Yet you can’t understand why I… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Dick’s is trying to win on both sides of the court here is the way I see it. Despite what many in these parts may think there are liberals in the world and they shop too. It’s a small gesture, before being coerced by government overreacting to social media forces them to do something. I’m sure everyone here was squealing like a stuck pig over the movements to raise minimum wage, too. The world was ending because no one could be competitive if there was a bare minimum employees should be paid. Well, businesses stay in business by being smart,… Read more »

Dick’s is trying to win on both sides of the court here is the way I see it. Despite what many in these parts may think there are liberals in the world and they shop too. Sure, there are, but Dick’s did not base this decision on its potential sales of Crossfitting equipment against the loss of sales of the firearms it still sells as well as hunting equipment. As I keep saying, the SJW’s that corporations keep trying to please because they make angry tweets don’t actually buy shit and, well, they’re never happy. Corporations keep refusing to see… Read more »

What he owes is his best ability to improve the company, appealing to sentiment, emotion, virtue signalling, whatever, if he can improve the stock price over time, his shareholders will be happy. What if he doesn’t? You know that absolutely nothing is going to happen to him even if he tanks the business right? You can give me reasons why any gun, or a car or a bomb or anything at all could have done the same horrors, but here an AR-15 was used and this CEO is tapping in to that. The CEO is irresponsibly feeding that misconception and… Read more »

CMNZ

Great discussion, really enjoying it. Don’t really have anything to add but thought it was worth mentioning.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Well, William guess by reading your comment I’m convinced you’re better off never owning stocks in a company and are better suited taking extreme measures to match your extreme positions with your spending money. Sometimes in this world bad things happen, and people demand action. In this case, a lapse in our social safety net allowed a fucking lunatic to roam freely among us until he was able ultimately do the harm to society that filled his black heart. In this particular example he got his hands on a highly politicized version of a weapon which has had an even… Read more »

Marketing is intended to support a company’s business objectives. Sales goals, growth, etc. What Dick’s has done isn’t marketing. It’s cutting itself off from a marketing segment without adding a new one. I don’t see how a company wading into politics while pretending that it isn’t is a marketing decision. OK, how if I more accurately say ‘Brand Strategy’. I obviously don’t know exactly what is going on in this particular retailer – but dealing with these things is my job, and I can tell you that these decisions are very rarely for hippie feel good reasons. Starbucks doesn’t do… Read more »

Zurvan

This is a brilliant summation of the train wreck from yesterday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw3qcKwgnmg

Zurvan

Oops

It appears that Delta Airlines gave up a $40 million tax break over a mere thirteen passengers, according to a Friday report.

A spokesperson for the Atlanta based company revealed that only 13 passengers had used their National Rifle Association membership to purchase tickets with Delta Airlines, reports USA Today

See, the 13 passengers thing is one of those topics I’ve seen both sides touting the importance of. The Left thinks the Right is stupid for making such a big deal out of a discount that so few NRA members use. The Right says Delta is stupid for pissing off so many millions of gun owners for a perk they were offering that nobody is using anyway. Call me biased, but I agree with the Right on this. Delta could have waited a couple of months and just ended the discount on the grounds that nobody uses it or something,… Read more »

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