Vote with your Dollars

Two interesting things happened yesterday on social media.
1. Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell assault type weapons or any guns to individuals under the age of 21.
2. I got a conversation of NRA friends to stop saying we are coming for their weapons.
I have learned how to vote with my dollars. If I don’t like the way a company is doing business, I don’t shop there. If I like the way a company is behaving, then I do.
I placed my first-ever order this morning with Dick’s Sporting Goods. I thought I wouldn’t find anything that I needed, but who doesn’t need a pair of exercise pants on sale? I believe in the CEO and his classy announcement to stop selling AR-15’s.
“We have heard you,” he said in the company’s statement, regarding the vocal high school students in Florida who survived the mass shooting just sixteen days ago – Emma Gonzalez, Delaney Tarr, Cameron Kasky, and David Hogg, to name a few.
My Facebook feed is filled with NRA friends’ unbending stances and my anti-NRA friends’ accusations of their hypocrisy. The comments have gotten nasty. I have watched people go at it, straying from facts and entering the realm of insults. I have stepped away from political baiting. Whenever anyone posts something pro-NRA, my new comment is, “Go, Dick’s Sporting Goods.” If anyone posts something anti-NRA, my comment is the same.
If other gun stores follow DSG’s lead, I will buy from them as well. The business world is our best hope of getting things changed to protect our American kids.
I taught public school for ten years. The only thing I had to confiscate was combs. It was the 80’s. No cell phones, no tablets, no fidget wiggle things, no loaded guns, just combs. I got called a bee-otch a couple of times, but no one ever shot at me. Those name-calling kids were suspended.
My Millennial children did not have shooter drills in their childhood education. My youngest was born the year Clinton signed the national assault weapons ban. My oldest graduated high school the year the same ban expired ten years later. Then there was a mass shooting three years after that at Virginia Tech while the oldest was in college. Unnerving. One of my kids studied abroad in Jordan. Also unnerving, but she survived it. I didn’t watch the nightly news for four months.
It’s a parent’s nightmare to think they are sending their kids to an unsafe place for six hours each day. My friends with school-age children are some of the most vocal ones on Facebook. Can you blame them? To see other friends disregarding the high school students in Florida, calling them stupid, calling them paid actors, shows a huge lack of empathy. Old white guys are doing this, but they have kids. Don’t they get that these vocal students demanding gun law reform are somebody’s children?
These kids are effing mad about what happened at their school. Try to imagine being there and watching or hearing people die. Hearing gunfire. Seeing adults hiding for their lives. I am not blaming anyone. Who’s to say I wouldn’t have done the same?
The students have organized a school walk-out day for April 20th, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting in Colorado. That was the first one in America that made the world stop and watch the horror. Several colleges have gone public with statements that they will not rescind admissions to any student punished or suspended for participating in the walk-out.
As for the NRA supporter friends claiming we are coming for their weapons, I stated that 81 million Americans own 330 million guns, and there would be another revolution if anyone in government suggested that as the solution. Plus, congress is pro-gun right now, and it would take years to vote out all of the pro-gun congress people.
There is a huge shift happening. It’s been two weeks, and evidence is everywhere — companies pulling out of their discount programs with the NRA, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart.
Who’s next?
I am ready to vote with my dollars for any company that will help end the madness of mass shootings.
How about you?

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