2018-03-07 / ChatterBox

The Chatter Box

By Deborah Bennett

The announcement was made last week by Dick’s Sporting Goods that their stores would stop immediately the sale of assault style rifles. The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and that it would not sell any gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws.

The CEO Edward Stack made it clear that the decision was in direct response to the recent school shooting in Parkland, FL. Mr. Stack indicated that the company began searching its purchase records shortly after the identity of the suspected Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was made public. The company discovered it had legally sold a gun to Mr. Cruz in November, though it was not the gun or type of gun used in the school shooting.

“But it came to us that we could have been a part of this story,’’ he said. “We said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of this any longer.”

Mr. Cruz indicated the decision was “permanent” and that he expected “backlash.” What astounded me was that the retailer put aside consideration of the potential profit losses to the company and focused instead on what it could do to support the safety of students across our nation.

Mr. Cruz made it clear that Dick’s supports the 2nd Amendment and the legal right of citizens to bear arms, as do I, but felt the company needed to take a stance. He called upon Congress to put aside partisan politics and enact what he called, “common sense gun reform.”

I think it was a bold move by the company and hope that other retailers will follow Dick’s example. If Congress won’t act, it’s time someone else did! I know there are opposing opinions on gun reform, but I have to say that I support no more loss of young lives in our nation’s schools from a lunatic with a gun – whatever it takes!

Happy birthday this week to: Charles Brannen, Rudolph Hydrick, Anette Head, Edward Wilson, J.D. Cain, Grady Joiner Jr. Pat Miller, Eric Williams, Sue Gillis, Bobby Anthony, Dina Keller, Rick Pickett, Ralph Chance, Jacob Oglesby, Waine Skinner, Tori Becton, Mary Alice Becton, Johnny Oglesby Jr., George Hall and Rose Small.

Happy anniversary this week to: Mr. and Mrs. Sidney London, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Clifton and Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Clifton.

Military Active Duty

Col. James Eldridge Davis, U.S. Air Force, DoD Pentagon, Washington D.C.; TSgt. Jeremy M. Chestnut, U.S. Air Force, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS; CPT Justin G. McBride, U.S. Army, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas; Chief Warrant Officer 5 Darryll L. Simpkins, U.S. Army, Fort Gordon Logistics Readiness Center, Augusta, GA; Tech Sgt. Stuart Burrus, U.S. Air Force, Shaw AFB, Sumter, S.C.; E-4 Christopher Simmons, U.S. Army, Missouri; E-3 Ralphael Franklin Lovett, U.S. Army, Kuwait; E-4 Rhonda Lovett, U.S. Army Reserve, Augusta, GA; Airman First Class Aaron Comstock, U.S. Air Force, Shaw AFB, Sumter, S.C.; E-5 She’nice Thompson, U.S. Army, 25th Sustainment Brigade, HHC 25th Special Troops Battalion, Wahiawa, Hawaii; and Major D. Slade Burke, U.S. Air Force, 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom.

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