As Marjory Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg continues beefing up his résumé in preparation for a career at CNN or MSNBC, Dick’s Sporting Goods has found its own niche for capitalizing on the recent school shootings.
The chain has announced, via social media and an appearance on “Good Morning America” by company Chairman and CEO Edward Stack, that it is no longer selling “assault-style rifles.”
The following tweet was posted four hours ago:
We deeply believe that this country’s most precious gift is our children. They are our future. We must keep them safe. Beginning today, DICK’S Sporting Goods is committed to the following: https://t.co/J4OcB6XJnu pic.twitter.com/BaTJ9LaCYe
— DICK’S Sporting Goods (@DICKS) February 28, 2018
Stack, whose father, Dick, started the business 70 years ago, enlarged on the message, telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:
To think about the loss and the grief that those kids and those parents had, we said, ‘We need to do something. And we’re taking these guns out of all of our stores permanently.
There are a couple of problems with this announcement. First, the term “assault-style” is meaningless. An assault rifle is a rapid-fire, magazine-fed automatic, designed for infantry use. The AR-15, which is what Dick’s seems to be referring to — a rifle of that type was used in the Parkland shootings — is not an automatic. Many on the Left wrongly assume that the letters in the name stand for “automatic rifle” or “assault rifle,” when in fact they stands for “ArmaLite rifle,” after the company that developed it in the firearm in the 1950s.
More importantly, Dick’s hasn’t been selling the AR-15 for six years. It discontinued sales of the weapon following the Sandy Hook shootings. The rifles have continued to be offered at Field & Stream stores, a subsidiary of Dick’s started up in 2013.
It may be the company’s intention now to discontinue selling AR-15s in those stores as well, but that is a very different claim from the one Dick’s is making, clearly with the intent to generate a little free publicity and profit off a tragedy.
Shame on them.