Disarming 20-Year-Old Moms

If you are a 20-year-old single mom with a restraining order against your threatening ex-husband or ex-boyfriend, don't expect Dick's Sporting Goods to help you defend yourself and your child.  Dick's will no longer sell guns to such irresponsible and dangerous young people, even as we allow them to stop texting long enough to determine gun policy in orchestrated town hall meetings.

Nor will they sell "assault-style rifles," whatever that means, presumably guns that look scarier than others but in practice pose no difference in lethality.  Actually this is not news.  Dick's hasn't sold these weapons in its branded stores for six years.  This is merely a grandstanding minor extension of the ban to exploit the Parkland tragedy:

Dick's Sporting Goods, the nation's largest sporting goods retailer, will stop selling assault-style weapons like the one used in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting.

The company said it will also raise the minimum age for all gun sales to 21.  Dick's (DKS) will not sell high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to fire far more rounds than traditional weapons without reloading, as well as other accessories used with weapons similar to the AR-15.

The company expects criticism from gun rights advocates as well a hit to sales, Dick's CEO Edward Stack said on CNN's "New Day." ...

"As we sat and talked about it with our management team, it was – to a person – that this is what we need to do," he said. "These kids talk about enough is enough. We concluded if these kids are brave enough to organize and do what they're doing, we should be brave enough to take this stand." ...

The company stopped selling those military-style semiautomatic weapons in its Dick's-branded stores after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, but they were still available at its 35 Field and Stream stores.

Just as its post-Sandy Hook gesture failed, save for possibly costing lives by making it harder for potential victims to defend themselves from predators, this move to will be full of the proverbial sound and fury but in the end signify not much.  Certainly, the kids are brave and tired of being targets, but their wrath should be aimed not at inanimate objects, but at the frauds who pretend to protect them, like Broward coward Sheriff Scott Israel.  Maybe Dick's should close its Broward County stores in protest.

The fact is that the assault weapon ban that gun control zealots pine for was a failure, as Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie has pointed out:

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) told NBC's "Meet the Press" ... it's "ridiculous" to raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15 to 21, and he noted that the assault weapons ban was in place in 1999 – the year of the Columbine High School shooting.

"You had a, a ban on assault rifles in 1999 when Columbine happened," Massie said.  "The so-called assault weapons ban, lasted from '94 to 2004.  Columbine fell right in the middle of that.  The assault weapons ban would do nothing to stop school shootings."

Throughout it all, schools have remained gun-free zones, periodically shot up by crazies we either did know or should have known about.  Expand background checks, they say.  Then nobody feeds the relevant info on the crazies into the system.  We see something, say something, and the authorities do nothing.  But, hey, it is easier to blame the guns than, say, the FBI. 

On the subject of background checks and other "sensible restrictions" on gun ownership, one is reminded of the case of Carol Bowne.  If access to firearms were as easy as gun control advocates say it is, she would be alive today.  The New Jersey woman with a restraining order against an ex-boyfriend was murdered by that boyfriend while she waited for her application for a gun permit to wind its way through a process that takes at least two months to complete.  It wasn't completed soon enough.

The Berlin Township woman got a restraining order against a former boyfriend, installed security cameras and an alarm system to her home and began the months-long process of obtaining a handgun, friends said.

But it wasn't enough.

Bowne, 39, was stabbed to death in the driveway of her Patton Avenue home on Wednesday night.

She didn't have a gun in her home.  She was over 21, but women of all ages, like that single 20-year-old mom, face predators every day.  Gun-control zealots tell us that a gun in the home is dangerous, but then so too is an ex-boyfriend, one Michael Eitel, with a knife.  That is why gun rights advocates say women should own guns because a restraining order is just a piece of paper.  So she sought permission from the government to exercise her Second Amendment rights:

According to news reports, Eitel had previously went to the salon in Somerdale where she worked and broke the windows on Bowne's vehicle[.] ...

Bowne then went to Berlin Township police in mid-April to apply for a gun license.  According to reports, she went to check on the process – which takes about two months to complete – as recently as this week.

Carol Bowne died while waiting for her background check to deal with a predator who had no restrictions on his ability to kill her.  Should your daughter at college or a young woman in her first apartment be unarmed because she's underage when a firearm is the best rape whistle ever devised?  Just ask Amanda Collins, who was raped at gunpoint in a parking garage while attending the University of Nevada-Reno:

Collins was raped at gunpoint in a University of Nevada-Reno parking garage in October 2007.  Nevada law prohibited her from carrying a gun on the campus, but her attacker had one.  She was raped 50 feet away from the campus police department office.  Her attacker was James Biela, a serial rapist who raped two other women and murdered another.

He attacked her at gunpoint in a gun-free zone.  At the time of the attack, Collins had a concealed weapons permit but not her firearm due to university policies prohibiting carrying concealed weapons on campus.  Just such a gun-free zone policy is why the Aurora, Colo., shooter chose the theater he did[.] ...

"Had I been carrying that night, two other rapes would have been prevented and a young life would have been saved," Collins told NRA News host Cam Edwards, defending students' right to carry weapons on campus.  "A call box above my head while I was straddled on the parking garage floor being brutally raped wouldn't have helped me one bit," she said.

Keeping guns out of the hands of potential victims does not reduce gun violence.  It does not protect our children or our wives and daughters.  Let 20-year-old Annie get her gun.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.