I am writing in response to the letter "Instruments of Death" (Aug. 23)by Jeanne Rieber.
She was dismayed that the new Field & Stream store is selling "military-style" weapons. Some will claim that "military-style" is a meaningless political term and that the style of weapons is irrelevant. To put a finer point on it, I think the writer was referring to the store selling AR-15 (and similar) semi-automatic rifles of the type that are often the weapons of choice among deranged mass shooters.
The firearms industry labels this type of gun as "modern sporting rifles" in a highly successful effort to market them to a wider audience, particularly hunters and other sportsmen. This is also an attempt to rebrand these guns and whitewash that they are highly efficient killing machines derived from a design first created for the military. Military weapons are, out of necessity, designed to kill lots of people quickly and efficiently.
But, the question remains whether hunters and other sportsmen require the same power and efficiency embodied in these high-capacity, military-style, semi-automatic weapons.
Ms. Rieber did not mention that Dick's Sporting Goods had, in the aftermath of the Newtown murders, promised to stop selling these very weapons. Dick's made a fairly big deal out of proclaiming this decision. At the time, it appeared to want to do the right thing.
Dick's is the parent company of Field & Stream. Since Dick's officials have apparently changed their minds, one sees that their prior moratorium may have been a PR stunt. It appears as if the profit motive outweighs the desire to take a step that may help reduce gun violence.
Please contact Dick's Sporting Goods and ask them to stop selling these guns permanently, in all stores. I will boycott Dick's and its subsidiary stores until they do so.