DANBURY, Conn. – The back wall of Dick’s Sporting Goods, normally filled with guns of all shapes and sizes, was bare Tuesday after the retailer decided to halt all gun sales at the Danbury location and stop the sale of certain modern sporting rifles across the country.
The retailer said in a message on its website that it pulled the guns out of respect for the victims of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Shoppers had mixed reactions to the decision, and many snapped pictures of the barren racks that usually hold the weaponry.
The move to pull all guns from the Danbury location is a step in the right direction to help people affected by the Newtown shooting feel safer, said Ashley, a Danbury resident who declined to give her last name.
“It’s good in a way because I don’t feel like guns are necessary for most of the public,” Ashley said as she left the retailer. “It seems like only really paranoid people have guns and that’s dangerous.”
Other shoppers disagreed, saying guns aren’t the root of the problem.
“Guns don’t kill people,” said Nick, a New York resident who declined to give his last name. “If some guy goes out drunk driving and kills someone, you’re not going to ban cars.”
Devin, also a New York resident who declined to give her last name, agreed with Nick and said that taking guns away would not decrease gun violence. If anything, she said, it would increase violence.
“If you give everyone in the world a gun, no one would shoot each other,” she said. “You’re not going to try to shoot someone if you know they have a gun, too.”
But the move received positive support on Facebook, with an earlier article that announced the decision receiving more than a dozen “likes” on The Danbury Daily Voice Facebook page and nearly two dozen “likes” on The Ridgefield Daily Voice Facebook page in just a few hours.
“Bravo,” Wayne Gowdy commented on the earlier article.
“Way to show corporate responsibility and sensitivity Dick’s! Thank you,” Debra Oria commented.
Managers at the store diverted all questions to the chain’s corporate media relations team, which did not return calls or emails for further comment.