Get an AR15, I said. “We’ll see.” No, these are not going to get any less expensive or any less rare to find. They’re still available- Dick’s Sporting Goods has one for $799. Stop dragging your feet- let’s head down there. “…Okay, I think you’re right.”
That was the conversation I had with my brother three days ago. Since then, some things have changed.
Yesterday, amidst gun control hysteria that has gripped the emotions of America, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that they have removed “certain kinds” of oh-so-scary rifles from their shelves- taking a moral stand against guns deemed “assault weapons.”
I guess Cabela’s is going to have a good year…
First and foremost, I support the right of businesses to do as they please. If they feel it’s in their best interest to cowardly bend to public hysteria, then fine. However, I, for one, will only patronize sporting goods stores that value providing customers with options to make their own choices and that are generally uninterested in making unnecessary political statements.
A few days before the Newtown shooting, the shooter, Adam Lanza, attempted to buy a rifle at Dick’s Sporting Goods. In accordance with Connecticut state law, he was refused.
Yes, the systems in place worked. He tried to procure a gun legally and he was unable to do so. So, he procured a gun illegally. And there is the essence of the failures of gun control laws- they do not prevent violence because soon-to-be murderers are not deterred by gun laws.
Out of respect for the Newtown victims, the national sporting goods chain removed all weapons from the shelves of stores near Newtown and removed “modern sporting rifles” from shelves across the country.
I went with my brother to buy the rifle. He got the last one and had to fill out an enormous stack of paperwork, after which the salesman had to get signatures from seemingly every coworker in the building. As he filled out the paperwork, the salesman answered several phone calls and fielded questions about their supply of AR15s.
People are so concerned about their loss of Second Amendment freedoms, guns are flying off the shelves at record rates. My brother and I ran errands as we waited for him to clear the background check- there were 137 people in front of him.
Finally, after the background check was completed, the salesman needed to collect more signatures and walk us to the checkout. Then, after it was purchased, he couldn’t let us walk out with it- he had to escort us out and hand the encased rifle to my brother outside.
While I rolled my eyes at the obvious show of overly-cautious self-regulation, I shrugged it off, knowing the modern public perception of dangerous objects. Tobacco companies need to pretend like they don’t want you to smoke; chain restaurants call their bars “refreshment centers” and pretend like they’re not pushing booze and, apparently, this chain outdoor store needed to pretend like they were being socially responsible by vetting the firearm purchaser to absurd levels.
I support their right to run their business however they like. However, if they’re going to make a public gesture that promotes a political stance, I suggest they stop to think about the narrative they are promoting. When they pull these guns off the shelves, they are tacitly admitting that guns, not people, are the violent factors in these shootings. They are playing right into the liberal narrative that access to firearms is somehow related to violent acts, and they’re not.
The Newtown shooter tried to buy a gun at Dick’s. He was denied. So he went through illegal means to get his hands on one. How is removing rifles from store shelves going to either prevent future crimes or demonstrate some sort of sensitivity? I am thoroughly tired of empty gestures that feed the liberal narrative.
I will be doing my gun shopping elsewhere, and I encourage others to do similarly. If you wish to make your opinion heard, please call Dick’s at 1-877-846-9997 or drop them a message by clicking here.