Ed Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, wants you to know he’s committed to keeping AR-15s “off the street.” But he’s also committed (for the time being) to selling other types of firearms.
That’s the genius of Ed Stack. He’s perfectly capable of holding two contradictory opinions at the same time. He’ll take one sort of gun buyer’s money and then lecture another on the evils of firearms.
We call that being a hypocrite.
But for Ed Stack, it’s just being Dick’s.
Recently, Ed took to the airwaves to explain in an interview with CBS News how he made his decision upon finding out that the criminal responsible for the Parkland attack had previously purchased a shotgun from Dick’s. If you tried to follow the “reasoning” of the conversation (if not the words actually spoken), it went something like this:
Ed: We sold the bad guy a shotgun. And I said, “We’re done.’”
Reporter: But that wasn’t the gun he used.
Ed: But it could have been.
Reporter: So you were done with shotguns.
Ed: No, we were done with AR-15s.
Reporter: So you sold the bad guy an AR-15, too?
Ed: No, but we could have.
Reporter: So you’re not selling AR-15s or shotguns.
Ed: No, we’re just not selling AR-15s.
Reporter: But you said he could have used a shotgun.
Ed: That’s right.
Reporter: But you’re still selling shotguns.
Ed: That’s right. But we’re not selling AR-15s.
Ed went on to say that he figured at the time his voluntary gun control policies would cost the company about a “quarter of a billion dollars” in losses. He turned out to be right, or pretty close, he noted.
And he continued by explaining that after removing $5 million worth of perfectly good, perfectly lawful semi-automatic rifles from Dick’s inventory, he turned them into scrap metal.
Because, according to Ed Stack, “If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them.”
We don’t think Dick’s ever considered just leaving the guns out on the street.
But even if Ed believed that the federally-mandated background check process was an inadequate safeguard to keep the semi-automatic rifles “off of the street,” he had options other than destroying valuable company property at company expense.
He could have, for example, donated the guns to cash-strapped law enforcement agencies across the country. Then they could have been used to help round up real crime guns from real criminals on the street and elsewhere. Maybe Dick’s could have even qualified for a tax deduction.
Instead, for all Ed knows, the scrap metal might just be melted down and repurposed into new semi-automatic rifles for sale by a competitor who defers to the choices of its law-abiding customers, not to the choices of gun control advocates who don’t shop at firearm retailers.
Ed Stack told CBS News the future of gun sales at Dick’s is under “strategic review.” So far, he’s removed all firearms from more than 100 of the company’s 720 stores.
Meanwhile, many gun buyers and Second Amendment supporters have removed all of their business from all of the company’s stores. As Hot Air reports, “Three years ago the company’s stock was trading at sixty bucks per share. This week it’s hovering around 38 dollars.”
EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.