Dick's Sporting Goods is using 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz's evil act of killing 17 innocents and wounding many others in a child warehouse known commonly as a “public school” in Parkland Florida to boost its flagging sales and brandish its liberal bona fides.
On Wednesday, the retailer issued a press release that could’ve been written by Jimmy Kimmel or Dick Durbin, including the question-begging insult to Christians, “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.” (You can read the whole press release, a testament to virtue-signaling "woke capital," here.)
In sum, Dick’s chairman and CEO Edward W. Stack is declaring that “we” will no longer sell “assault-style firearms,” nor any guns at all to persons under 21 years of age, nor high-capacity magazines. Dick’s is also “imploring” lawmakers to pursue the liberal gun-hating and -blaming agenda, veiled under the nice term “common-sense [read: unconstitutional) gun reform”: Ban “assault-style” rifles, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks; ban all gun sales to persons under 21; and create an Orwellian database that includes “relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law.”
That last proviso is also misleading. As anyone who has bought a gun over the last two decades knows, at the point of purchase gun buyers must pass a federally mandated background check administered by the ATF and processed by the FBI. (Incredulous non-gun-owners can view ATF Form 4473 here.) Among other things, it includes the question, “Have you ever been adjudicated as a mental defective OR have you ever been committed to a mental institution?” It also asks if you’re a pot-smoker and reminds you that, Colorado notwithstanding, weed use is “unlawful under Federal law.”
Clearly the Dick’s plan is working. The company is receiving free p.r. from the liberal media and politicians. Here's NBC's gay-friend star Debra Messing, via Twitter:
BREAKING! @DICKS Sporting Goods will NO LONGER SELL ASSAULT WEAPONS!!! Everybody RUN to @Dicks for all your kid’s sporting goods needs. Unlike @FedEx, they actively choose KIDS SAFETY over $. If youre a concerned citizen, please give all your business to @DICKS. RT 2 thank them
The whole thing is a bait and switch. According to the press release, Dick's Sporting Goods woke itself when it realized it sold "a shotgun" to the Parkland shooter. "It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been.”
But by its own admission, Dick’s Sporting Goods hasn't sold "assault-style rifles" (a.k.a. semiautomatic rifles that look menacing) for five years. The new policy affects only the 35 Field & Stream stores owned by Dick’s.
Now, normally you wouldn't buy your AR-15 at a Field & Stream store anyway. (I say this anecdotally, as a gunowner who knows gunowners; Dick's does not break down its sales for public consumption.) But you might buy your ammo there, especially if it's on sale.
After its preening, politically correct announcement, Dick's did remove all "assault-style rifles" from the Field & Stream website. But the ammo?
The AR-15 takes one of two rounds: the .223 Remington or the 5.56 NATO. And wouldn't you know! Dick's Sporting Goods/F&S is still happy to sell those. In fact, the "Freedom Bucket" is on sale!
Dick's Sporting Goods/F&S will also feed your AR-15 a box of 420 NATO rounds, now on sale at 9% off.
All of this liberal nonsense about "banning assault weapons" plays off the widespread ignorance among snowflakes and their liberal elders concerning firearms in general and the Second Amendment in particular.
The AR-15 is popular because of its superior design and the fact that military versions of it (with a selector switch for full-auto, a.k.a. an M16) have been made by the millions. (Read a great history of ArmaLite Rifles here.) It turns out that gun-buyers want guns that work well. Having a massive military means having many veterans who are familiar with the weapon. It also affects the basic economics of gun manufacturing and purchasing, which includes the availability of ammo. A day at the range can be costly, but more rounds manufactured means cheaper rounds and wider availability.
Liberals always claim that they “respect the Second Amendment, but…” Legally, there can be no “buts” here. Federal bans on “assault-style” weapons are federal bans on all semiautomatic weapons in disguise. ("It looks scary" is not a meaningful legal criterion. Any number of guns used by hunters can inflict a great amount of lethal damage.) And a scary-ban simply cannot and will not happen in the United States, short of forcing 330 million people spread across 50 states to live in one massive, centralized police state—which the country cannot afford, even if Dick and Bernie and Alyssa and Jimmy and Nancy and Barack want it very, very badly. At minimum, there are five million AR-15s in circulation in the United States. That is but one version of the semiautomatic rifle. Good luck “confiscating” them or “buying them back.”
The problem of malevolent "lost boys" hungry for blood is real. Gun laws will not solve it. On the contrary, these young men grew out of the soil that the liberals have cultivated, having plowed under virtue ethics and thoughts and prayers for decades. God will not be mocked.
Dick’s and the Democrats know their designs are anything but “common-sense.” They just want to get richer while they destroy their political enemies and shame into submission the millions of Deplorable American citizens who still believe that government does not bestow upon them the right to defend themselves.
Over the course of the last 20 years, well over 280 million federal background checks have been passed. That’s a lot of firepower, and a lot of votes for liberty.
Aaron D. Wolf (1973-2019) was Chronicles' executive editor. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He was a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. (Lutheran Public Radio) and The Paul Youngblood Show (nta.fm), and has appeared on several other radio programs, including The Tom Clark Show (Wisconsin Public Radio) and Extension 720 With Milt Rosenberg (WGN).