OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Dick’s Becomes Political on Guns
Dick’s Sporting Goods has stopped selling some guns to some people, and wants the government to pass laws to support their corporate policy.
Dick’s hasn’t been selling guns that look like assault rifles in their stores since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut. However, they also own 35 Field & Stream stores, and now those stores will no longer offer the modern sporting rifles either. I don’t understand why they stopped selling the rifles at one store and continued selling them in another store. If they didn’t want to sell the rifles because of a school shooting, why did they continue to sell the rifles?
They sold a shotgun to the young man who committed the Parkland school massacre, according to their press release. This is not one of the weapons that were used to kill 17 people, but obviously, Dick’s is concerned about the connection to the killer. They did nothing wrong, but they are concerned with the public misunderstanding and turning on them.
In reaction to selling the weapon to the man who became a killer, Dick’s will no longer sell any firearms to anyone under the age of 21. I assume that means that if a soldier, sailor, airman or a marine walk into the store, they will be turned away from a store if they want to buy a shotgun and they are only 20 years old. I wonder if their public relations department thought about what happens when a video goes viral of their employees rejecting a veteran because of the veteran's age.
Dick’s has the right to make any decision they want regarding firearms. I suspect they figure they will sell more soccer balls and sneakers if they get on the right side of the political wave.
Dick’s also wants their competition to have to conform to the rules by which they have decided to run their business. Dick’s is now lobbying the government to change the laws on guns.
They are no longer a sporting goods store. They are now a corporate lobbying operation.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.