IS DECISION TO BAN “ASSAULT-STYLE” FIREARMS LOGICAL OR EMOTIONAL?
by Sam Bocetta, ©2018
Only this time the knee-jerk reaction didn’t just come from Dems on the House or Senate floor; it came from big box stores. On February 28th, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it would no longer be selling assault-style firearms nor would they be offering high-capacity magazines.
In an official company statement, a Dick’s spokesperson wrote, “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.” This statement came in the wake of the revelation that alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz had legally purchased a shotgun from a Dick’s store back in November.
Once the announcement was made, retail giant Walmart followed their lead. The franchise, which halted sales of AR-15s in 2015, has opted to raise the minimum age for buying guns or ammo from 18 to 21 as Dick’s has. They were also quick to add that they do not sell bump stocks like the one used in last year’s Vegas shooting.
Taking it one absurd step further, Walmart will be removing items from their website “resembling assault-style rifles, including non-lethal airsoft guns and toys.” The move comes after months of pressure from political leaders in urban areas who clashed with Walmart’s gun sale policies as the chain was attempting to expand.
Now liberal customers have taken to social media to put the screws to Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, the outdoor-recreation retailer it acquired last year.
They’ve been tagged in multiple tweets about Dick’s decision with customers writing things like “What about you guys @BassProShops you should consider joining in #BanAssaultWeapons” and “Sure hope @BassProShops and @Cabelas follow suit! Companies don’t need to wait for regulations to do the RIGHT THING!”
Those on the Left would like to see all of this as a positive, but ma-and-pa business owners couldn’t agree less. Dewey Lemons, the owner and operator of Dewey’s Pawn Shop in Greenville, SC, was not at all impressed.
“I think they’re just doing it for publicity,” he said. “I saw Dick’s Sports all over the news this morning.”
Of course, the vast majority of gun shops are much more passionate about it. Two Delaware firearms sellers have said that Dick’s choice to ban these rifles is a decision that their own livelihoods and beliefs about civil liberties won’t allow them to make.
For many of these small gun shop owners, a ban on assault-style rifles would force them to close their shutters for good. One such example is Delmarva Shooting Supply in Seaford, NY, a shop where these kinds of firearms account for 95 percent of the store’s inventory.
Owner Raymond Daigle acknowledged the short-term boost in sales that gun control efforts have on his shop, but stressed the long-term threat that a ban poses. “If they enact an assault weapons ban—that was already proven not to work—it will hurt our industry,” he told Delaware Online.
Last month, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence called for Congress to expand background checks and outright ban assault weapons. What the Brady Campaign and innumerable gun control advocacy groups across the country fail to grasp is just how irrelevant assault-style weapons are to the subject of gun violence.
Assault rifles make up a tiny fraction of those weapons responsible for gun violence in America.
They also miss the boat on the term “assault rifle” by lumping the AR-15 in with such weapons. Apparently, they neglected to look up what the AR stands for in AR-15. For those who don’t know, it stands for Armalite.
Semantics aside, what an assault weapons ban would mean for a shop like Delmarva Shooting Supply or an online gun store is a devastating blow to sales. Not only is this unfair to blue-collar American business owners, but it is also unconstitutional since a federal ban would conflict with individual states’ rights to impose their laws independent of federal regulation.
As Raymond Daigle has said, “This is the only crime in America an inanimate object gets blamed for. Drunk drivers, we prosecute them. We don’t take away people’s cars.”
It’s an interesting point, one that is clearly lost on Dick’s Sporting Goods and its shareholders. After all, they decided to raise the age for purchasing firearms to 21 in response to finding out that the 19-year old Parkland shooter had bought a shotgun at one of their locations.
They made this decision despite the fact that a shotgun was not used in the attack on Stoneman Douglas High. “It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting,” Dick’s said in a letter to customers. “But it could have been.”
This statement flies in the face of logic; the fact of the matter is, even the best semi-auto shotgun wouldn’t be considered as a weapon of choice for a mass shooter, seeing as how it doesn’t have the ability for anything remotely approaching rapid fire.
What big chains like Dick’s need to understand is that their loyal customers aren’t going to be loyal for long if they are robbed of their right to buy guns. The message that stores like Dick’s and Walmart send when they ban so-called assault-style rifles is that they do not trust their customers to be responsible gun owners.
If they don’t trust us, there is little reason for us to trust them, and no reason at all to give them our hard-earned money.