Dick’s Sporting Goods made its opinion very clear following Parkland. It stopped selling AR-15s and decided people between the ages of 18-20 wouldn’t be allowed to buy any guns in its stores. It got a lot of flak for that, and for good reason. First, it virtue signaled that it’s the “good” kind of company. For another, its age policy is blatant age discrimination, and it’s facing a lawsuit along those lines right now.
But that’s not enough for Dick’s. It seems it feels the need to hire gun control lobbyists now, too.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, which announced in February it would no longer sell rifles to anyone under the age of 21, hired three Beltway lobbyists to lobby Congress for gun control, according to federal records reviewed by The Federalist.
The lobbying records show Dick’s hired two Democrats and one Republican from Glover Park Group, a DC-based government affairs firm, for “[l]obbying related to gun control.” No other policy issues were listed in the disclosure form filed by the firm. The disclosure forms show Dick’s pro-gun control lobbying effort began official on April 27, 2018. The official registration form noting Dick’s retention of Glover to push for gun control was filed on Monday morning.
There are a handful of reasons I can see for Dick’s to go this route.
One, of course, is that its a true believer in the gun control game and the company has decided to devote resources to that end. Personally, I doubt that’s the case. While I have little doubt that Dick’s CEO is decidedly anti-gun, I find no reason a company’s board of directors would allow company funds to be used on a personal political project.
That means it’s something explicitly for the company itself. Perhaps the loss of all AR-15 sales and the general, unofficial boycott Dick’s is experiencing is hurting it more than it likes to think. As a result, it’s stuck. It can’t backtrack, or else it acknowledges we won. That’s probably not acceptable because it would mean Dick’s would remain beholden to the consumer whims. Dick’s can’t keep going, because that’s clearly not working. So, it needs to change the law.
By changing the law, it’s now in a position where it can’t backtrack. “Hey, we’d love to change our policies, but the law…you understand.” And, truthfully, some people would buy it. After all, the law is the law.
Another side is that maybe Dick’s is just annoyed that other stores didn’t follow its lead, so now it wants to make them. That’ll keep other operations from grabbing market share that Dick’s has already forfeited.
Regardless, it’s despicable.
For anyone still buying things from Dick’s, know what you’re helping to fund. You’re spending money with a company that is, in turn, using that money to fund efforts to strip you of your rights. It’s not enough that it refuses to sell you something. That’s its right. But now Dick’s wants to make it impossible for you to buy those weapons at all; not from it and not from its competitors.
In the end, though, all Dick’s is doing is flushing business away as it reminds gun owners that Dick’s might still sell guns, but it doesn’t value anyone’s right to own one.