Early Wednesday morning, DICK'S Sporting Goods announced that it would no longer sell assault-style rifles, high capacity magazines, and that it would be raising the age limit to purchase firearms to 21 regardless of what state laws allow:
We at DICK’S Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones.
But thoughts and prayers are not enough.
We have tremendous respect and admiration for the students organizing and making their voices heard regarding gun violence in schools and elsewhere in our country.
We have heard you. The nation has heard you.
We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America – our kids.
Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been.
Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.
We believe it’s time to do something about it.
The company also called on politicians to pass a series of gun control measures that are already overwhelmingly supported by the country:
At the same time, we implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations:
- Ban assault-style firearms
- Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21
- Ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks
- Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law
- Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms
- Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks
While the initial response so far has been mostly positive, if the Republican freakout over Delta Airlines distancing itself from the NRA is any indication, DICK'S change in policy will send the right into mass hysteria. It's one thing to lose discounted airfare, it's quite another to lose easy access to their precious murder machines.
It's been exactly two weeks since the Parkland massacre and the movement it spawned is still picking up steam. The NRA and the Republican Party are still flailing about trying to stop it with no luck and the sense of panic is mounting. The GOP made the extremely poor decision to make itself the party of guns and as public sentiment turns against gun culture and the bloody toll it's taking on our society, Republicans find themselves with an albatross around their collective neck.
And it's shaped just like an AR-15...