The massacre in Parkland, FL brought America to its knees and has caused several to finally take a long hard look at the current nature of gun control.
Over the years, with a loose hold on gun control, we’ve seen a major increase in mass shootings involving assault weapons. The only answer in the past has been to offer thoughts and prayers and dancing around the explosive issue of gun control.
Now, however, survivors are not just grieving. They are organizing and calling for gun control in a way that no one can ignore or sweep away under a rug.
In addition to their protesting and organizing, major retailers are breaking ties with the NRA and raising the age restriction from 18 years old to 21 on firearm purchases – especially the assault-style weapons we’ve seen so many times take out dozens.
Most shockingly, Walmart was one of those major retailers who raised the minimum age restriction. With Walmart doing that, other retailers have fallen in line and made the same decision. Dick’s Sporting Goods also announced they would raise the age restriction.
Now, most interestingly the company L.L. Bean has made the same decision. They posted on their Twitter feed:
‘In the wake of this shooting we have reviewed our policy on firearm sales, and we will no longer be selling guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21. ^kw’
Here’s why this is beyond interesting and a possible glimmer of hope in the fight for gun control.
Board of director member Linda Lorraine Bean has been a donor to the Republican party for years. According to Slate, she even ran for Congress as a Republican in the 90s.
In addition to this, she donated $60,000 to a Trump PAC and was actually accused of breaking federal campaign finance laws. In response to her donation, Trump himself tweeted:
‘Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean. @LBPerfectMaine’
Thanks to Trump’s endorsement, L.L. Bean benefitted from the business of Trumpers.
A lot of Trump’s base is made up of conservative gun rights supporters and members of the NRA. L.L. Bean sells outdoor goods, clothes, bookbags, guns, ammunition, etc. Basically, they sell things the Trump base would love.
What is also extremely interesting is the fact that L.L. Bean only sells firearms in their Maine store. Additionally, they do not sell assault-style firearms, high-capacity firearms, bump stocks, or handguns.
So, basically, they don’t sell the controversial weapons, modifications, or ammunition that are at the heart of this issue. According to Huffington Post, they only sell guns and ammunition that are related to hunting and target shooting.
They could get away with not upping the age restriction to 21 years old; however, they are. This is a signal that major retailers are starting to take notice that a majority of the American people are calling for change. When Walmart, who is beholden to no customer base, makes the choice to lose customers between the ages of 18-20, that’s big. They are a profit-driven company (as most are), and they don’t want to be part of the bloodshed that has occurred thanks to the free nature of gun sales.
For a business like L.L. Bean, they have a smaller base. The items they sell are fairly pricey. Yet, they are making the decision to no longer be part of the problem.
Featured image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.