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.