DICK’S Ed Stack On CBS Sunday Morning

When CBS Sunday Morning was announcing their stories this morning, I must admit I rolled my eyes when I heard they were interviewing Ed Stack of DICK’S. Thanks to Dianna Muller, it was more balanced than I anticipated.

The story had interviews by CBS’s Lee Cowan with Stack, Dianna Muller, and Michael Bloomberg. Dianna provided a great counter-point to Stack and Bloomberg. It should be noted that Stack is pushing his new book, It’s How We Plan the Game, which is being published by another division of the company that owns CBS.

Then there was this quote that must have executives with NSSF thinking someone is finally getting the language right:

The “it” he’s talking about is the AR-15, a lightweight semi-automatic modern sporting rifle similar to the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre. He ordered all of them be removed from every Dick’s Sporting Goods store across the country.

While Cowan did link it to the Newtown murders, he didn’t call it an “assault weapon” or “assault rifle”. That in and of itself is remarkable nowadays.

His interview with Dianna was quite good. As you can see if you watch the video, it included footage of her shooting as well as other women from A Girl and A Gun at an event in Kentucky.

When asked why she has an AR-15, she said this:

Muller has become a high-profile spokesperson for the gun rights movement. She’s testified on Capitol Hill about carrying a firearm, specifically an AR-15.  

That’s the very rifle that Dick’s is no longer selling.

Cowan asked, “Is it a fair question to ask why you need a gun like that?”

“No,” Muller replied.


“This rifle, and any other rifle, kills fewer people than hammers and blunt objects every year, according to FBI statistics,” she said, “so it doesn’t make any sense to me that this is going to solve the problem that we are having.”

Her worry is the same that the National Rifle Association has voiced for a long time: if one gun like the AR-15 is demonized, then all guns may soon follow.

“It leads me to believe that there’s going to be another tragedy with a different gun, that they’re going to come after the next gun,” she said.

“This is the slippery slope?” Cowan asked.

“Until it’s all gone.”

The story ends with Stack being somewhat coy about his future plans for firearm sales at DICK’S. He said it was under “strategic review.” As I noted on Friday, his company is selling eight of their Field & Stream stores to Sportsman’s Warehouse. I would not be surprised to see the remainder either sold or shut down.

Victimhood Does Not Convey Policy Expertise

Being a victim does not make you an expert. Further, being a victim does not make you morally superior. People need to remember this.

CBS Sunday Morning ran an editorial this morning from Shauna Saxton of Odessa, Texas. She “locked eyes” with the murderer in Texas. Fortunately for her and her family, she had the presence of mind to hit the accelerator and get out of there. Nonetheless, she is calling on Congress to take action.

I’m not sure how Mrs. Saxton has become the public face of the tragedy in Odessa and Midland. Neither she nor her family were injured and I’m thankful for that. A Google search on her name and Odessa pulls up many stories about her experience along with multiple interviews. In a sense, she has become the David Hogg of the Odessa tragedy – there but not injured.

Mrs. Saxton gave a tearful commentary intended to tug on your heartstrings. It is aimed at conservatives to make them agree that we need more gun control.

This awful experience has changed me. Things I once believed to be true have now been brought into question. Do private citizens need access to weapons as deadly as an assault rifle? This question and others like it are a hot topic here in Texas, and in other states around the nation. It is a very difficult question. How do we promote public safety whilst protecting the rights of people who choose to bear arms? 

The problem, by necessity, will require compromise from both sides. No one is going to get exactly what they want; life just isn’t that way. (I learned this lesson as a young girl with six brothers.) But we can look for common ground and be willing to give and take.

There are two problems with this argument. First, the ideas being promoted – red flag laws, assault weapons (sic) bans, and mag restrictions – would not have changed a thing in Odessa and Midland or anywhere else. Dangerous people are going to use whatever tool is at their disposal. Red flag laws remove the weapon but not the dangerous person.

In this case, the murderer reportedly obtained his firearm from an illegal manufacturer making any sort of universal background check irrelevant.

The second problem with her argument is that the only side giving up anything will be gun owners. The gun prohibitionists will be getting something. The only compromise they make is not to take everything now.

Mrs. Saxton concludes:

As Congress reconvenes, I call on all its members to be men and women of action. I implore our leaders to recognize this growing danger for what it is, and act upon it. If we continue to do nothing, these tragedies will repeat themselves, and more innocent lives will be lost.

To the leaders of this great country, I say, take up the mantle of the responsibility you have been given. Be courageous. Stand for those who you represent. We pray daily for you that you will do the right thing, and that you will be honorable in your work, indeed, that you will find a solution by which all Americans can benefit.

We must take action. We must do something. Doing nothing is not an option.

Doing nothing is always an option. As a former student of public policy at the graduate level, doing nothing is always on the table. Indeed, doing nothing is often the best option. “Doing something” in response to a tragic event leads to bad and ineffective policies.

I’m afraid that in the current political climate politicians will agree with Mrs. Saxton and think they have “to do something”. It won’t save anyone but “they did something”.

UPDATE: The video of Mrs. Saxton’s commentary has been removed from both YouTube and from the CBS News website. You get this message when you click on the link to it above: “The page may have been removed, had its name changed, or is just temporarily unavailable.” Interesting.

“Christ or a Glock?’

We caught a brief bit of CBS Sunday Morning today as we were getting ready to return home from the 1st Annual East Tennessee Blogger Shoot put on by Dennis Badurina of Dragon Leatherworks. More on the blogger shoot in another post.

One of the stories featured was about the Rev. Rob Schenk, an evangelical minister, who is asserting that you can’t be both pro-life and pro-gun. His “conversion” to the anti-gun side came after the Navy Yard shootings near his home in DC.

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When Mo Rocca, the CBS correspondent, asked how it was un-Christian for a man or woman to want to defend his or her family with a firearm in case of a home invader. The response floored me.

“Well, first of all you’re making an immediate decision that if someone invades your home, they are going to die,” Rev. Schenck replied. “So you are ready to kill another human being in your home. That brings about a big ethical question for the Christian. And we’re told in the Bible, we’re even to love our enemies.”

(Rocca)”Even a potential intruder? Someone who’s been coming into your home to hurt you?”

“Absolutely. Is it always God’s will that I survive a violent confrontation with another human being? I’m not sure that’s always God’s will.

I do not pretend to be a Bible scholar. If you asked me to produce a Bible verse to refute Rev. Schenk I would be hard-pressed to do so. That said, I firmly believe that under God’s law as well as under natural law I have the right, nay the obligation, to defend both myself and my family. Protecting the innocent against the depredations of violent criminals is a moral duty. If I have to use a weapon such as a firearm to do that, so be it.

I think we are seeing a concerted effort by both the mainstream media and the gun prohibitionists to use people like Rev. Schenk to “shame” us into accepting more and more gun control. I refuse to be shamed for wanting to protect my family, for wanting to enjoy the sport of shooting, and for any other in my mind legitimate use for firearms.

Ted Kopel Writes A Book And Now The Media Notices A Problem

The lead story on CBS Sunday Morning was on the vulnerability of the power grid. The story revolved around a new book by former ABC News journalist Ted Kopel called Lights Out. He asserts that the power grid is very vulnerable to hackers due to its connection to the Internet. Kopel holds that both Russian and Chinese hackers, presumably affiliated with those governments, are already in the grid and could take it down at any time.

Kopel’s book also discusses prepping and food storage. He notes that the Mormons as a group lead the nation in preparedness. This portion got a mixed review in the Salt Lake Tribune.

You can see the CBS Sunday Morning story below:

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The prepper community has discussed this for years. Indeed, Prof. William Forstchen’s One Second After reached number 11 on the New York Times bestseller list. Forstchen’s novel described the impact of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event on Black Mountain, North Carolina. He has now followed this up with One Year After which continues the story.

Long before Ted Kopel wrote his Lights Out, prepper author David Crawford wrote his own Lights Out regarding the impact of an EMP event on a small Texas neighborhood outside of San Antonio. It, like Forstchen’s One Second After, is an excellent book.

Gun blogger Bob Owens has discussed other vulnerabilities of the grid with regard to domestic and/or international terrorism. He noted that power substations were often located near roads and trails where anyone could access them. A few well placed shots could drain the oil used to cool the transformers causing it to burn out.

While I’m glad that attention is finally being paid to the vulnerabilities of the grid, I think it sucks that the only reason the mainstream media is giving it a second thought is because one of their own wrote a book. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the CBS Sunday Morning story was merely an effort to push Kopel’s book and not an effort to urge both people and government to be better prepared.

Off Topic But A Nice Story

I was sitting in bed this morning, drinking my first cup of coffee, and watching CBS Sunday Morning when a story by Steve Hartman came on. When they first flashed the preview of the story something about that school logo triggered something in my subconscious.

A few words into the story and I knew why that logo triggered something. It was the logo from my alma mater! One does not expect to see a story on TV about their old high school unless it is the scene of a tragedy. This is especially true when it is a small school located in the Piedmont of North Carolina located midway between Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Hartman’s story is about a cancer survivor who is playing the game in memory of a friend who also had cancer but didn’t make it. The players on the boy’s basketball team were asked to pick someone to dedicate the game to and junior Spencer Wilson picked Josh Reminger who had died nine months earlier.

I’ll let Steve Hartman tell the rest of the story.

Subtle Reminder From Sharyl Attkisson

The lead story on this morning’s CBS Sunday Morning was a report by Sharyl Attkisson about bribes and corruption within the US Customs and Border Protection. Narco-terrorists and illegal immigrant smugglers have been targeting CBP agents in an effort to have them turn a blind eye to smuggling of both drugs and humans. Since 2004, there have been 358 convictions of Customs and Border Patrol employees and their associates for this. Of course this is an important story and I’m glad Sharyl is on it.

However, that is not what I want to discuss. Instead it is a rather subtle reminder – intentional or unintentional – that was embedded in the story about Project Gunwalker. Just before a graphic came up showing the DHS Office of Inspector General’s report on the corruption convictions, the camera focused for approximately three seconds on the sign below.

Sharyl and her producers could have used any Border Patrol Station between Imperial Beach, California and Brownsville, Texas or any Ports-of-Entry from San Ysidro, California to Brownsville, Texas. Rather they chose the one Border Patrol Station that would remind observant viewers of Operation Fast and Furious. I can’t believe this is just a coincidence.

As it is, the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station is a constant reminder that Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in the line of duty with firearms that were allowed to be smuggled to Mexico by the Department of Justice and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It is also a reminder that while his killers have pled guilty to his murder, the Obama Administration is still sitting on thousands upon thousands of documents that may well point to complicity in the operation by those at the highest levels of the Justice Department. Finally, it is a reminder that BATFE managers such as former Phoenix FD SAC Bill Newell and his ASAC George Gillett still haven’t been fired and/or indicted for their role in this affair.

Thank you Sharyl for this reminder lest we forget.