Two staunch gun control advocates, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and Dick's Sporting Goods, got locked and loaded together for an assault on the Second Amendment last week. Real Sports reporter David Scott interviewed gun restrictions advocate Ed Stack, the CEO at Dick's Sporting Goods, to talk about why his business has discontinued sales of AR-15s.
"I don't want it in our stores, and it will never be in our stores. I think the risk out-weighs the reward," Stack (in photo) told Scott, an Emmy Award-winning producer.
Stack said, "This rifle has its genesis in war, and people can say that it's been modified and it hasn't been. But the origins of this gun, primary reason, was to kill. We thought it would impact our sales, ya know, $150 to $250 million."
"Sounds like a lotta money," Scott responded. "It is a lotta money," Stack replied.
Scott: "Clearly your position now is that particular gun doesn't belong in a sporting goods store."
"And we succumbed to the pressure," Stack said, "which is one of the things – I don't have too many regrets in my life and my business career, but that is one of them. I wish we had never done it."
As Scott related, Dick's lost customers, suppliers and a few dozen employees, but says his "only regret was to agree to sell the AR-15 as a sporting good to begin with."
Gumbel's HBO program has been called a fake sports program using sports as a smokescreen for social commentary, and this was not his first anti-gun propaganda program. HBO couldn't even get a favorable review from The New York Times of all newspapers for its 2014 attack on the right to bear arms, "Requiem for the Dead." The Times' Neil Genzlinger wrote in 2015 that Requiem offered "no investigatory work," it's "an uncomfortable sense of intruding again on the pain of people who have already been in the public spotlight" and it's merely a "blame-the-gun film."
In studio talk with Scott in 2015, Gumbel called gun owners "scary" and said they "keep mining new depths.”
And HBO has taken AR-15 hysterics to new heights. In 2016, the FBI reported that rifles were used in just two percent (374 of 15,070) of murders and AR-15's were only a fraction of that total. More than 1,600 murders were committed with knives or other sharp instruments, but don't hold your breath for a media clamor over knife control?
As for Stack, he is a gun owner and an advocate for gun control. After the Parkland shootings, Dick's Sporting Goods was among the first corporations to set stricter gun sales policies. In April 2018 Dick's hired a D.C. lobbying firm to advocate for gun control, though the effort quickly fizzled. Stack pressed Congress to follow Dick's corporate policy – to ban assault-style firearms and raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21.
Dick's Sporting Goods' lobbying for gun control may not have hit the intended target in D.C., but certainly resonate with far Left media like HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.