After the devastating mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, the ever-raging gun debate was reignited. The left and the right jumped at the chance to argue for stricter laws versus mental health reform. Politicians, per usual, sent their thoughts and prayers to the victims. The country grieved for yet another community struck by tragedy and young lives taken too soon. And many of us stood by helplessly as our government continued to produce the more of the same - a lot of talk and little action.
This time, though, feels a bit different. Survivors of the shooting - a brave, hurting, passionate group of high school students - have taken the nation by storm, calling for an assault weapons ban and other policy changes. They were met quickly by their home state’s failure to pass laws that would keep them safer.
Still, their voices brought about some unexpected movement from an unlikely business.
Dick's Sporting Goods issued a statement that they will no longer sell assault rifles or high capacity magazines, and they have instituted an age restriction on gun purchases in their stores. Their CEO, Edward Stack, explained, “Even as strong supporters of the Second Amendment, we feel now is the time to have meaningful discussion about common sense reform with the intent of finding a solution.” What’s more impressive than the sporting company taking the lead is the action it spurred from the country’s biggest gun seller - Walmart. Shortly after Dick's released their statement, Walmart followed suit. And while many are unhappy about these retailers’ changes, many more are encouraged by the concrete action they’ve taken to keep us safer.