Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, about three weeks ago. You’re probably also aware of the decision made by Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack to remove AR-style rifles from their Field & Stream stores, halt the sale of standard-capacity mags, and not sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age. However, far more concerning is the letter’s explicit call for, among other things, a ban on “assault-style firearms,” “high-capacity magazines,” and private firearm sales. Making a private decision to not carry certain items or sell to people of a certain age is one thing. But publicly advocating for government policies that negatively affect us all is something different entirely.
If you missed it, you can read the full transcript of the letter here: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/28/a-letter-from-dicks-sporting-goods-ceo-ed-stack/
If you’ve been keeping up with our monthly Field Notes newsletter, we were proud to announce that we had just cemented a teaching partnership with Dick’s/Field & Stream in Kennesaw to provide quality outdoor education content to their customers. We were truly looking forward to working with Dick’s/F&S, and had hoped that this arrangement would bloom into a fruitful and lasting partnership.
As our newsletter went out the same day that Dick’s announcement did, several people have asked us if we plan to continue our teaching arrangement. The answer is no. We have decided that in light of their company leadership’s recent announcement, we can no longer have the SARCRAFT name associated with Dick’s/F&S, and have elected to dissolve our partnership, effective immediately. The employees and managers of the Kennesaw store were always friendly, professional, and great to do business with, and we truly regret that our work together was never able to bear fruit. We wish those individuals the best going forward. We do not make this decision lightly, and we do not make it in a spirit of antagonism or reactivity. We still live in a (somewhat) free market, and they are free to operate their company as they see fit. As are we.
At SARCRAFT, we try to stay fairly apolitical. However, we also cannot in good conscience violate our own deeply held beliefs regarding life and liberty. We, too, would love to never see another school shooting in the headlines again. But we don’t believe that advocating for passing laws that would make it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves is any kind of a solution. We are under no illusions that tragedy and evil not only exist, but abound in this world – we’ve seen it firsthand on many occasions throughout our careers. There is an incredible darkness that lurks in the human heart. But denying that darkness, and attempting to pass ineffective feel-good legislation in hopes that it will stop people bent on evil acts is like putting a band-aid on an arterial bleed. Instead, we believe in empowering people with the knowledge and tools they need to face these problems head-on. Indeed, a heart of good that’s equipped with better training and better tools than its adversary, and is prepared to act decisively and violently if necessary, is the only thing throughout history that’s ever stopped a heart bent on evil.
This disagreement represents a fundamental difference in worldview between Dick’s/F&S and SARCRAFT…. Which is why, friends, that we decided to cut Dick’s off. Thanks for your understanding.