Since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the debate about gun control has heated up on both sides. Dick’s Sporting Goods, a major retailer, is taking steps to help prevent another mass slaughter. At the same time, an Illinois man with a legal AR-15 is said to have just saved a person’s life.
While Dick’s Sporting Goods moves to end sales of assault-style rifles, the story of a man stopping a knife attack with an AR-15 makes the case for such high-powered weapons. The war over gun control continues.
In many parts of the world, finding a place to buy a guy can be hard or even impossible. In the United States, however, guns can be purchased not only from gun stores and gun shows, but also major retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
One of the people who purchased a firearm from Dick’s was the Marjory Stoneman school shooter, Nikolas Cruz. This gun was not used in the shooting, but the Parkland, Florida slaughter was enough to drive Dick’s to take action.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Takes a Stand
Dick’s decided to take a bit of a stand when it comes to gun control, placing further restrictions on what to sell and to who. Dick’s previously made a change when it removed assault-style rifles from its eponymous stores after the Sandy Hook shooting, but it’s changed a few other rules.
- Assault-style rifles are now being removed from Dick’s other chain of stores, Field & Stream
- Firearms will no longer be sold to anyone under the age of 21, regardless of the legal permit age in the state
- Dick’s and Field & Stream will no longer carry high-capacity magazines
In his letter outlining the changes, Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, also called upon lawmakers to change and update gun laws.
Stack suggested banning assault-style firearms, banning high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, doing universal background checks, and a creating database of those banned from buying firearms.
Dick’s Sporting Goods’ changes come hot on the heels of a number of companies ending their relationship with the NRA.
The Other Side of the Argument
Dave Thomas of Oswego, Illinois witnessed a knife attack on February 26, 2018. Wanting to help the victim, he grabbed his AR-15. When Thomas pointed the rifle at the attacker, the assault stopped and the attacker fled.
Thomas had grabbed the AR-15 over his handgun because of its size. It’s an intimidating weapon, especially when pointed at you.
Thomas later told WGN Chicago: “The AR-15 is my weapon of choice for home protection. It’s light, it’s maneuverable. If you train and know how to use it properly, it’s not dangerous.
“And this is just a perfect example of good guy with an AR-15 stopped a bad guy with a knife. And there were no lives taken, so all in all it was a good day.”
Can Anything Be Done to Counter Semi Weapons?
It should be noted that Thomas is a fully licensed gun owner and his AR-15 is legal. But many people in favor of gun control would argue, “Did he need to use a semi-automatic rifle?”
When the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1791, the most skilled riflemen at the time could get around three effective shots off within a minute. An AR-15 can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger and, unlike with a musket, you don’t have to stop and reload after every shot. The law has arguably not kept up with the times.
While some would claim the AR-15 is a suitable rifle for hunting and self-defense, others would argue against the AR-15 as a lazy hunter’s weapon. But it is lightweight and easy to use.
If the last few weeks are any sign, the gun debate will keep heating up and be a lightning rod of discussion in the next round of elections.