June 19, 2018

Dick’s Sporting Goods Doubles-Down on Reduced Gun Sales

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

CEO Admits Alienating Customers, Says It’s “Fine”
Shareholder No Longer Shops There

Pittsburgh, PA / Washington, DC – Dick’s Sporting Goods reaffirmed its decision to end certain firearms-related sales during today’s annual meeting of its shareholders. A shareholder activist challenged corporate leadership about putting anti-gun advocacy ahead of the needs of its customers and its investors. After the meeting was over, Dick’s CEO Ed Stack said it was “fine” if the shareholder never shopped in his stores again.

The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) – the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism – confronted Stack and other company leaders about the company’s recent decisions to stop selling AR-15 rifles and certain accessories as well as to raise the age limit for gun purchases from 18 to 21 years old. These changes were made after the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The company also reportedly hired lobbyists to promote gun restrictions. 

“The management of Dick’s Sporting Goods shot itself in the foot by catering to the fanaticism of the gun-grabbers,” said National Center Vice President David W. Almasi, who represented FEP at today’s shareholder meeting in Pittsburgh. “Stack seems to believe that most customers support the company’s politicized retail strategy, but he has also acknowledged that these decisions could harm shareholders’ return on investment. This is irrational and irresponsible, and I don’t consider it a sustainable strategy.”

Noting that the company puts itself at risk with its high-profile stance on guns, Almasi said:

Mr. Stack, you knew the risk of these political moves from the start. During your March 13 earnings call, you admitted: “There are just going to be some people who just don’t shop us anymore for anything.”…

Sales are so anemic and relations with gun manufacturers such as Mossberg so poor right now that you’ve even indicated Dick’s might get out the gun business entirely. Meanwhile, Sportsman’s Warehouse reports that their gun sales and net sales were up 15% during the first quarter. That company credits consumer backlash against companies such as Dick’s as partially responsible for its success.

The company is willfully giving up money. It has damaged its reputation by lending its voice and its resources to those who want to abolish the 2nd Amendment, even while the vast majority of Americans support the 2nd Amendment. Thirty percent of American adults own guns, and another 11 percent live with someone who does. You’ve now alienated them…

Stack admitted Dick’s change in gun-related sales “did alienate some gunowners,” but insisted that “we’re not going to change” the policy and that “we as a company and a board stand by our decision.” Almasi then warned Stack that Dick’s new policy could mean “the hunters won’t be back. The supporters of the Second Amendment… won’t be back.”

The full text of Almasi’s statement and question, as prepared for delivery is available here. Audio clips are also available of Almasi’s question and Stack’s answer.

After the close of the meeting, Almasi approached Stack to discuss the issue further. Stack terminated the conversation when Almasi questioned Stack’s assertion that the gun policy was about corporate concern for child safety. Almasi asked why, if the company was concerned about child safety, the stores continue to sell football gear despite the risk of head injuries and brain trauma.

On his way out of the room, Stack asked Almasi, “I suspect we won’t see you in our stores?” Almasi answered: “Probably not.” Stack replied: “Fine!”

“When Dick’s alienates gunowners and their supporters, those people won’t just stop buying their guns at Dick’s – they also won’t buy hunting equipment, coolers, jackets or golf clubs at Dick’s. They will tell their friends to shop elsewhere,” Almasi added. “It’s a poor business model to offend a group as motivated and organized as gunowners. It’s also not wise for a corporation to oppose a basic constitutional right.”

FEP has raised the issue of gun rights several times this shareholder season. It challengedBank of America CEO Brian Moynihan over the financial institution’s decision to sever ties with certain gun manufacturers. It also challenged United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz about the reputational risk of breaking off its relationship with the National Rifle Association (NRA). In addition, FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. recently wrote in The Federalist that “[c]orporate America has become the muscle of American liberalism,” explaining how liberals are using the business community “to bolster and justify the cause” against the NRA and gun rights.

FEP representatives have participated in 26 shareholder meetings so far in 2018.

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One Florida Employee Fails to Run Background Checks for Concealed Carry Permits

A story of incompetence, something that is all too frequent in this day and age, leaves a person feeling quite disgusted by as well as distrustful of all of government.

The story can be read here.

However, the author of the report presents a dishonest assessment of what actually took place hoping to make some kind of connection between this person’s incompetence and the shootings at a nightclub and a high school.

From this report, it appears that once it was discovered what the employee had failed to do – run FBI background checks on applicants for concealed carry permits (365) – background checks on those applicants were immediately run using three databases to accomplish. In addition, there was no connection whatsoever between this failure and those prominent public displays of violence but the author evidently felt the need to spice up his report with emotional clap-trap probably in order to sell copy.

An example of irresponsible, emotional journalism.

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When Guns Are Banned, Criminals Will Get and Make Homemade Weapons

And so will a lot of other people. As well they will keep many weapons is safe places where they can’t be easily found for confiscation.

Laws don’t stop “honest” people. Why do we insist they will stop criminals?

Link to: How ‘Improvised’ And ‘Craft-Built’ Weapons Kill All Gun Control Arguments

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Guns and Past vs. Present Americans

What’s the difference between yesteryear and today? The logic of the argument for those calling for stricter gun control laws, in the wake of recent school shootings, is that something has happened to guns. Guns have behaved more poorly and become evil. Guns themselves are the problem. The job for those of us who are 65 or older is to relay the fact that guns were more available and less controlled in years past, when there was far less mayhem. Something else is the problem.

Guns haven’t changed. People have changed. Behavior that is accepted from today’s young people was not accepted yesteryear.<<<Read More>>>

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United Airlines Confronted About Breaking Ties with the NRA

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

After Parkland School Shooting, United Joined Liberal Mob Denouncing National Rifle Association and Ended Relationship
With Group

United CEO Oscar Munoz Tells Shareholder Activist That the Obviously Political Decision Wasn’t Political

Chicago, IL / Washington, DC – United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz was confronted today about the company’s decision to end the airline’s affiliation with the National Rifle Association (NRA) following the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) –  the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism – challenged the company’s action in front of its investors and leadership, calling the move overtly political.

“When I asked why United broke a business relationship with the NRA, Munoz dismissively answered me by suggesting I was making political commentary and that the company’s decision to essentially denounce the NRA wasn’t political,” said FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who attended United’s shareholder meeting and confronted Munoz. “Munoz claimed the decision was made only because a United employee’s daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. While that is indeed a tragedy, this explanation insults the intelligence of United’s investors and customers. United has 90,000 employees and has been around for nearly 100 years. In all that time, has no other United employee or a family member experienced gun violence? That’s hard to believe. It would seem the company, like so much of the mainstream media, regularly ignores shootings in areas such as the South Side of Chicago.”

Today’s annual shareholder meeting of United Continental Holdings – the parent company of United Airlines and United Express – took place at the Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois.

“Munoz’s decision to end the company’s discounts for NRA members came on the heels of a very politicized reaction to a tragedy. The mainstream media and anti-Second Amendment activists were pressuring corporations to join their cause. United fell in line with the liberal mob. Of course its decision was political,” said Danhof. “It’s also pretty rich for Munoz to grandstand and claim the company isn’t political when it just hiredformer Obama Administration mouthpiece Josh Earnest.”

At the meeting, Danhof told Munoz:

I suppose you are ignoring the fact that the NRA had nothing to do with what happened in Parkland and that the perpetrator had zero affiliation with the NRA. But, hey, congratulations on your virtue signaling. What exactly did investors get out of that? The company is willfully giving up money. That’s an odd choice for an airline company in a hyper-competitive industry.

Danhof then added:

CNBC asked Warren Buffett about corporations distancing themselves from the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers and how Berkshire Hathaway would respond. Buffett replied: “I don’t believe in imposing my views on 370,000 employees and a million shareholders. I’m not their nanny on that… I don’t think that Berkshire should say we’re not going to do business with people who own guns. I think that would be ridiculous.”

Buffett went on to explain that corporations that make in-the-moment political decisions are subject to the fickle nature of politics and are constantly reacting to events rather than standing on consistent principles.

Can you tell us – your investors – how it makes sound business sense to alienate millions of potential customers who support the 2nd Amendment, and explain why you have this right while Warren Buffet has this wrong?

Danhof’s full question, as prepared for delivery, is available at this link.

“By refusing to actually address the crux of my question, Munoz made it clear to me that he doesn’t really care that he offended so many gun supporters and NRA members,” noted Danhof. “Furthermore, he refused to address how this decision might affect United’s business. That should concern the company’s investors. That’s a leadership failure of epic proportions.”

Following the Parkland shooting and the subsequent corporate backlash, Danhof penned a commentary for The Federalist noting just how predictable it was that big business aligned with the left. Danhof observed the common pattern following such tragedies, noting: “It’s an all too common pattern. Liberal politicians and the media take up a cause. Left-wing activist groups mobilize to pressure corporations. Corporate America joins the fray, and their support is used to bolster and justify the cause. It’s a circular echo chamber, but it’s effective.” Danhof’s full commentary is available here

In April, Danhof confronted Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan over his decision to cancel lending to certain gun manufacturers. That confrontation was widely covered in the press, including the Charlotte Observer, the Chicago Tribune, the St. Louis Post-Dispatchand many other major publications.

Following that meeting, Bank of America announced that it would indeed extend critical financing to Remington – a maker of military assault rifles. An article in Reuters discussed that decision in the context of Danhof’s question to Moynihan.

Counting today’s United meeting, FEP representatives have participated in 21 shareholder meetings in 2018.

Additionally, at yesterday’s annual meeting of Merck shareholders, Danhof asked the pharmaceutical company’s CEO, Kenneth Frazier, about his political activism. Frazier quit President Trump’s business advisory councils in the wake of the civil and racial unrest that took place last summer in Charlottesville, Virginia. According to Danhof, Frazier “jumped the shark” in alluding to Nazi Germany during what he called “a wild distortion” of his question. A video of that exchange is available on YouTube.

Further commentary from Danhof regarding the Merck meeting is forthcoming.


Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, FEP annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America.


FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work was prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).


Danhof’s latest commentary, on the recent Walt Disney shareholder meeting where his actions resulted in Joy Behar’s public apology for suggesting Christianity is a mental illness, is available by clicking here.

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There Are Fewer School Shootings Now Than During the 1990s

But…But…But…We’re All Gonna Die!

No sense in looking at any of this information. Facts are always getting in the way of agendas. Regardless, I was surprised to read this stuff.

“And when it comes to things like homicides, there is no evidence that things are getting worse. It is indeed true that things aren’t like they were “when we were kids,” but that’s a good thing. There were far more homicides in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s than there are today. Things were even worse than that during the 1970s. In fact, the homicide rate in the US was cut in half between 1991 and 2014. And while the homicide rate has inched up over the past two years, it is nowhere near where it was “when we were kids.” 

“For anyone familiar with these trends, it should not be a shock to hear that a subset of those homicides — school shootings — have decreased over that period as well. “<<<Read More>>>

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What If The Second Amendment Was Repealed?

“What would that be like, the repeal of the Second Amendment? Would it markedly transform our way of life? Would acts of unspeakable violence cease? Would civility and compassion return in our deeply divided country and troubled culture? Would discipline of children return to homes? Would there cease to be drug use and mentally troubled individuals? Would there be a return to moral values in a country that is so adrift? Would sex and violence stop being promoted in television, movies and video games? Would our citizenry be held accountable for its own behavior? Would there truly be consequences for lawlessness and would the rule of law mean something?”<<<Read More>>>

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Ruger’s official response (posted 5/9/2018 to their Facebook page)

Please understand that Ruger was obligated by applicable law to include a shareholder’s activist resolution with its proxy materials for a shareholder vote. With its passage, the proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report. That’s it. A report. What the proposal does not do . . . and cannot do . . . is force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected. What it does not do . . . and cannot do . . . is force us to adopt misguided principles created by groups who do not own guns, know nothing about our business, and frankly would rather see us out of business. As our CEO explained, “we are Americans who work together to produce rugged, reliable, innovative and affordable firearms for responsible citizens. We are staunch supporters of the Second Amendment not because we make firearms, but because we cherish the rights conferred by it. We understand the importance of those rights and, as importantly, recognize that allowing our constitutionally protected freedoms to be eroded for the sake of political expediency is the wrong approach for our Company, for our industry, for our customers, and for our country. We are arms makers for responsible citizens and I want to assure our long-term shareholders and loyal customers that we have no intention of changing that.”

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NRA Appoints Oliver North as its President

Seriously? So, just what is the image the NRA is trying to present themselves as? Are they making sure that everyone knows they are nothing more than a “good-ole-boy” political pawn of the U.S. Corporation?

As many of you may well know, I am not a fan of the NRA. Short one stint of membership with the NRA that lasted one-year several years ago, I have not been a member of the NRA and do not support them today. They present themselves as THE supporter and defender of the Second Amendment when in reality they work tirelessly to water down the amendment and seemingly carry out the bidding of whoever the standing administration is in Washington promoting “reasonable” restrictions on a constitutional amendment that was intended to not be allowed changes or limitations.

Now, the NRA has asked Oliver North to be their president. Many see Oliver North as their hero…I suppose because he was a Marine, wore lots of medals and bling and worked for the NSC during the Reagan years. No matter how you want to present North in your mind’s eye, he was a crook, a thief, a cheat and some would go so far as to call him a traitor. You and I would have locked up and the key thrown away.

North claimed responsibility for devising the machination of “Iran Contra” as well as the system that would illegally sell guns to the Iranians in exchange for cash that would be funneled through a “shell” organization, on to a Washington, D.C. bank that was a favorite of some in the Republican Party (wink-wink) and with connections to black organizations all over the world.

And yet, after North retired from the Marines during his investigation and trial and was found guilty of his involvement, subsequently all charges were “dismissed” – an obvious and deliberate indication that he was going to be protected by a crooked government that sent him to carry out the affair in the beginning. There are no laws that govern those that govern.

Regardless of what you may think of Oliver North, even though he was a member of the NRA Board, moving him up to become the new president of the NRA is a bold move on the part of the NRA and one that could backfire enormously and create an even bigger mess for them in the long run. For certain it will increase the divide between those who support the Second Amendment and those that blame the NRA for all gun violence.

Some will buy into the concept that North’s high profile will be a bonus, along with his perceived strength and connections, but seriously, why is it that people think that any organization that claims to be staunch defenders of the Second Amendment would do everything in their power to align and connect themselves with the U.S. Corporation?

The insanity that exists in this country reveals itself when the overwhelming majority of Americans say that the U.S. Government is corrupt and they have no faith in them to do anything much good, and then turn around and run to the same Federal Government for strength and protection.

Nope! Sorry! You can continue to pay your money to the NRA and now you can have Oliver North as your spokesperson who will in their deceptive ways continue to downgrade the Second Amendment to nothing more than a government allotment of a right to keep and bear only those arms THEY deem appropriate and purchased the only way THEY deem appropriate and kept the only way THEY deem appropriate.

SHALL NEVER BE INFRINGED?

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NSSF Sends Dick’s Packing

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)-The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries;

Board of Governors today unanimously voted to expel Dick’s Sporting Goods from membership for conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Foundation. <<<Read More>>>

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