Former Lowe’s exec speaks out on gun control

The shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., has prompted a call for stricter gun control laws, and Larry Stone, former president and chief operating officer at Lowe’s, weighed in on the debate in a Dec. 19 interview with the Wall Street Journal. 

“We have to get control of this,” said Stone, who sits on the board of Dick’s Sporting Goods. On Dec. 18, Dick’s suspended sales of semiautomatic rifles at its 480 stores. “I hope others follow suit,” Stone said.

The former Lowe’s executive, who retired in 2011 after a 42-year career with the home improvement retailer, joined the board of Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2007. He also serves on the board of General Parts International, a private company in the auto parts retail and distribution business, according to his bio on Dick’s website.

Stone entered the Home Channel Hall of Fame during the 2011 Golden Hammer Awards ceremony at the National Hardware Show. During his acceptance speech, he pointed to “five traits of leadership."

I don't believe Mr. Stone is

I don't believe Mr. Stone is blaming the deaths in Conn. on guns. He is stating what any SENSIBLE person would state at this juncture in our country's history. There needs to be steps taken to stem the violence in our country. This means changes across the board. Sorry, I don't fully buy the argument that "people kill, not guns". When a gun is manufacturer to shoot 30-40 rounds in seconds, what other intent is there? Using your analogy, do you think car manufacturers put a 700 HP engine in the car so you can go slow? There is absolutely NO reason for semiautomatic assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. If someone wants to target shoot or hunt, use another form of gun.

Do you honestly believe cars should be banned because more deaths occur from automobile crashes than gun violence? I believe there is a little difference in intent of the manufacturer. For automobiles, it is to move people from point A to point B. For guns, it is to shoot a projectile at a high velocity to penetrate something at the other end. Use your statistics another way. How many gun deaths are intentional versus the number of intentional car-related deaths?

You are correct on the point that other changes are needed. Mental health, violence in movies and games, better protection in our schools, etc. Gun control alone will not come close to stopping the violence. However, obviously there are changes needed in gun ownership laws based on the recent attacks in Conn. and Colorado. No knee jerk reactions. We need to look at things comprehensively. Gun control is part of it. It HAS to be.

No one cares what you think

No one cares what you think "Larry". I never shopped at Dick's anyway. You didn't solve anything. People aren't going to stop buying sweet semi-auto rifles. They're just going to stop buying them from Dick's. Oh wow you really stopped something.

It is a normal reaction to

It is a normal reaction to point to the style of firearm as the culprit in this case. When in fact it was the person pulling the trigger who committed this tragedy. If he had committed these with the autoloading pistols he was carrying I guess Mr. Stone would have stopped the sales of all hand guns at Dick's Sporting goods.
Mental illness, diagnosed or not, brought about this rampage, and based on what is now being reported, by various crime profilers, it was well planned (who else would first shoot their mother in the face multile times and destroy his computer hard drive without a plan?) and he would have used anything to accomplish what his mind was commited to doing. If he did not have the .223 rifle manufactured to look like an assault rifle, it may not have been as high a number of deaths but they would have occurred. Becasue it is the gun that kills - not the person pullng the trigger.
When President Reagan was shot by Hinkley in 1981 - with the 22 caliber P shooter he had, he was able to get 6 rounds out in a matter of seconds and shoot 4 people before he could be stopped by secret service personnel who were only a few feet away. In seconds, not minutes 4 people were shot.

As of the latest CDC statistics there are 95 motor vehicle crash related deaths per day in the US - per day.
Should we immediately stop the sale of cars and trucks. 22% of those deaths are 15 - 24 years old - the leading cause of death for that age group. Should we not allow anyone to drive cars?
But because firearms in the hands of a human result in firearms homicide deaths per year of just under 11,500 per year or 31 per day down close to 30% since the 80's and 90's, we are supposed to ban the private ownership of firearms?

I don't hear the CEO's of car dealerships calling for the discontinuation of the sale of certain types of vehicles because of this. So should we outlaw the private ownership and use of motor vehicles and force everyone to use public transportaion provided by the government, walk or ride a bike?
It would eliminate motor vehicle related deaths.
Because it is the car that kills - obviously not the driver of the car.

So let's use statistics in

So let's use statistics in another way. Of the 22% of deaths in the 15-24 year olds, how many were intentional? Is it a safe bet to say all 11,500 deaths each year from firearms are intentional? You are making a knee jerk reaction. Mr. Stone is not saying ban the private ownership of firearms. His point was discontinuing the sale of high powered semi automatic weapons and high capacity ammunition clips. What are those guns and clips manufactured to do? Yeah, that's right, be a more effective killing machine.

No one (other than those on the very far left) are saying ban all gun sales. But putting some moniker of control on guns made solely for the purpose of inflicting mass carnage seems to be a reasonable step given the recent killings in Conn. and Colorado.

By the way, taking your argument in to account. How would you like to be the parent of the last child killed in Conn? How would you feel about your argument that "if he didn't have a .223 semi automatic there may not have been as many deaths"? So even saving one innocent life isn't worth having some additional gun laws?

Sure we need to focus on many other items such as better access to mental health, better rules around incarceration and treatment of people with violent tendencies, better protection in our schools,reducing the amount of violence we show in our movies and games, etc. But to argue gun control is not part of the solution is ill-logical at best, pig headed at best.

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