CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ed Stack, Will Stop at Nothing to Save Lives


Ed Stack shares his views and feelings on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting and Gun Control.

Dick’s Sporting Goods was founded by Mr. Stack’s father in upstate New York. When his father became sick, Ed Stack came back to help run the company. He soon grew to love the family business and eventually bought the company from his father in 1984. In 2002 Stack took Dick's public. Since then, he has managed to keep the company competitive in the age of Walmart, Amazon and e-commerce.

Then in February 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people.

Stack recounts that day... "When Parkland happened — watching those kids, listening to those parents — it had a profound effect on me. It was at that point I said, “I just don’t want to sell these guns, period.” He decided to drastically curtail Dick’s gun sales.

Days after the shooting, Dick’s said that it would immediately stop selling all assault-style rifles, no longer sell high-capacity magazines and require any gun buyer to be at least 21, regardless of local laws.

Dick’s was not alone. Walmart also tightened its gun sales policies after the shooting in Parkland, and companies including Delta Air Lines and MetLife moved to distance themselves from the National Rifle Association. The N.R.A. came after Dick’s, and calls for a boycott sprung up on social media.

Mr. Stack was unbowed. He announced that Dick’s would destroy the assault-style rifles and accessories on its shelves instead of returning them to manufacturers.

More than a year and a half after the Parkland shooting, Mr. Stack continues his campaign for stricter gun control, calling on lawmakers to introduce legislation and detailing his journey from businessman to activist in a new book, “It’s How We Play the Game.” He is reportedly exploring a run for president.

"I’m a pretty stoic guy. But I sat there hearing about the kids who were killed, and I hadn’t cried that much since my mother passed away. We need to do something. This has got to stop." he said

Stack shares his stories and feelings on gun control...

  • People have said, “You know Stack, if we do what you want and ban assault-style rifles, ban high-capacity magazines and don’t sell a gun to anyone under 21 years old, it won’t eliminate mass shootings.” You know what, they’re probably right. But there will be less loss of life if an assault-style rifle isn’t used. And if we do all those things and we save one life, in my mind it’s all worth it.
  • "We called on Congress to come together with the intent to actually solve this problem. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Washington, and it was pretty clear that nothing was going to get done, and nothing has gotten done."
  • "I don’t know how, at least, we can’t get universal background checks done. For the life of me, I cannot understand how people can see that having universal background checks or red-flag laws really violates anybody’s Second Amendment rights."

Stack shares his feelings on leadership...

  • "If you have ideas about how to solve certain problems, I think it’s your responsibility as business leaders to speak up. This country is craving for leadership today, and the leadership is not coming out of Washington. So the leadership has to come from someplace else. Right now, the private sector is the place that it’s going to have to come from."
  • "I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I don’t have a lot of regrets."

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Economics, Finance and Investing