What will Dick's do with all its 'assault-style' rifles?
Yesterday morning, Dick's Sporting Goods announced that it no longer will sell "assault-style rifles" in its subsidiary company Field & Stream and that its inventory will be removed from sale. The announcement was accompanied by a plea for lawmakers to:
- 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
Now that the sporting goods company has staked out its moral high ground, it's time to ask the follow-on question. If the people running Dick's believe that "assault-style rifles" should no longer be held in private hands, the rule also must apply to them. What will they do with their inventory of "assault-style rifles"?
Will they hold a public event and dump their inventory into a gun-shredder? If not, who gets their guns? Where will their guns go? Who will track what they do with their private guns? Who does the "universal background check" for their non-sale transfer of their guns? Will they provide a "universal database" of serial numbers of their transferred guns? Will they assume personal liability if their transferred guns are used illegally in a crime? Will they take a tax write-off for their obsolete inventory?
Perhaps they can give their guns to the government. There are different ways to donate their guns to the government. Maybe they could give them to the military. Oh, wait – the military can't use them because they aren't actually assault rifles. Maybe they could give them to the police, but then again, the police don't actually confront active shooters. Or maybe they could give them to the government, and the government could shred their guns for them. Maybe that would be the best solution.
Or maybe they could donate their guns to state militias, and the militias could use them to protect schoolchildren. Wait…what? Protect schoolchildren?
To quote Dick's Sporting Goods CEO and chairman Edward W. Stack:
We deeply believe that this country's most precious gift is our children. They are our future. We must keep them safe.
Why not, Mr. Stack? Either shred your guns or give them to people who will protect our children. If you've really got any common sense, the choice will be obvious.
James G. Robertson is a University of Virginia alumnus and sometime political commentator.