Don’t Be A Dick

Dick’s Sporting Goods, also doing business as “Field & Stream,”  seems very determined to alienate a sizable portion of their clientele. The NRA-ILA (National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action) summed it up pretty well:

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic rifles at its stores, carry only limited capacity magazines for semi-automatic guns, and ban firearm sales to certain legally eligible adults. It then took the further step of declaring it would destroy its inventory of the newly-restricted firearms at company expense. And if that weren’t enough, the news also recently broke that the company had hired expensive D.C. lobbyists to push for gun control measures on Capitol Hill.

Dick’s, in other words, was positioning itself as a rising star in the field of corporate gun control activism, in obvious contradiction of its own financial interests.

Hard Times for Dick’s as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent, May 11, 2018

Dick’s opened a new outlet recently in Cedar Park, Texas which is not too far from where I live. I have bought a few things in that store and was contemplating the purchase of a Ruger LC9s (highly concealable 9mm handgun to go with my Texas Concealed Carry Permit). They gave me a “SCORECARD” to keep track of my purchases and win points towards future discounts. Their prices on handguns looked to me to be pretty good and they carried all the latest models.

Unfortunately though I had to modify the “SCORECARD” – see below:

Dick’s Sporting Goods SCORECARD, Modified

Dick’s prices are good, but not any better than at least one other store in Austin, Texas that doesn’t discriminate against Modern Sporting Rifles (an AR-15, for example) and their legal accessories. They also have a pretty good price on the Ruger LC9s. Guess that is where I am going to be shopping for that particular purchase. It sure won’t be at Dick’s!

Here is my advice for Americans who value their right to self defense explicitly recognized in the Constitution of the United States in the 2nd Amendment:

Don’t be a Dick.

Don’t buy from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field & Stream.

Profits From Selling Guns & Drugs

An article in the Huffington Post in 2012 wrote about the profits the firearms industry in America makes from selling guns and ammunition:

Making and selling guns and ammunition is a lucrative business for U.S. firearms companies, which will earn nearly $1 billion in profit this year, according to the market research firm IBISWorld. -Huffington Post, Dec 12, 2012

This article was originally posted in 2013 after the Sandy Hook massacre by Adam Lanza. Everything here still applies today after Nikolas Cruz’s senseless killings in a Florida school. Early reports indicate that mental illness and possibly psychotropic drugs also played a role in this needless tragedy.

Later in the same article they revised the figures slightly downward:

Guns and ammunition manufacturers will make a projected $993 million in profits on sales of $11.7 billion this year, according to a report issued by the market-research company IBISWorld.

I guess they had to stretch just a tad in the lead of paragraph – “billion” sounds better than “millions.” Nowhere in this article does the author put those projected profits into any sort of reasonable perspective.

More and more young people are being prescribed psychotropic drugs today.
More and more young people are being prescribed drugs today.

Another concern voiced by some in regards to the recent senseless shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was the possibility that psychotropic drugs might, in a few cases, turn otherwise just seriously mentally ill young boys into remorseless killers playing out a fantasy in a drug induced hallucination.

According to a Huffington Post article:

The number of children and teens taking antipsychotic medications has skyrocketed in recent years, with psychiatrists prescribing the drugs in nearly one-in-three visits with youth, a new study found. -Huffington Post

The drug industry certainly makes a lot more profit than the gun industry as shown in this chart below:

Gun Industry vs. Drug Industry
The drug industry worldwide makes over a 100x more than the gun industry in the U.S.

Continue reading “Profits From Selling Guns & Drugs”

Universal Background Checks

Universal background checks for gun sales could be done in a way that many gunowners could support.
Universal background checks for gun sales could be done in a way that many gunowners could support.

Universal background checks for firearms purchases is one of the more common mantras of the gun-control crowd. Currently almost all purchases of a firearm through a licensed dealer require a background check through the FBI. One exception, at least in Texas, is that no background check is required for holders of a Texas concealed carry permit. The problem, at least in the eyes of some, is that private sales between residents of the same state do not require any background check in many states. Note though that Federal law prohibits private sales between individuals from different states.

Reasonable people, even 2nd Amendment advocates like myself,  do have valid concerns about firearms falling into the hands of criminals and the mentally insane. But many reasonable people also have valid concerns about government overreach and they have the examples of the U.K. and Australia where mounting regulations, registration, and requirements for firearms purchases eventually led to bans and confiscation.

Is there a way to satisfy both demands? Is there a way to potentially satisfy the rational concern about unfit people legally purchasing firearms and the equally rational concern about government abuse of a Constitutional right “to keep and bear arms”?

There is.

Not all people will be totally satisfied but perhaps a majority can feel that not only are they doing something about gun violence, they are also not giving even more power to government. That government through the NSA has already shown little respect for individual privacy. That government through the IRS has shown a blatant willingness to inject political favoritism in the denying or delaying tax-exempt status to un-favored Conservative and Tea Party organizations.

So how could we accomplish this and meet demands of safety and not growing government? How about universal background checks? Create a system where everyone gets a background check whether or not they ever plan to buy a firearm. Encode the result on the driver’s license or state id.

Continue reading “Universal Background Checks”