Should Camping World sell semi-automatic weapons?

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First, no matter what your feelings about firearms — please understand that this story is not pro- or anti-gun. So please keep your comments civil. Those that are not will be deleted immediately. Thank you.

By Chuck Woodbury
Last week, like many of you, I was horrified to learn of the terrible massacre on innocent people in New Zealand. The horrible crime was committed by a mentally ill man who used two semi-automatic weapons to mow down and kill 50 Muslims and wound dozens more who were praying in two Christchurch mosques.

I have spent time in New Zealand, I loved the people, and so perhaps feel a little more pain than others who have never visited.

Later that day, I picked up a week’s worth of mail, which included the 2019 Camping World Master catalog. As you may know, Camping World is owned by Good Sam Enterprises, which also owns the Good Sam Club. Even though I do not shop at Camping World, I enjoy paging through its catalogue to get ideas about what I might need for my RV.

A little background before proceeding
Good Sam Enterprises, which includes Camping World and the Good Sam Club, is run by CEO Marcus Lemonis, who I admit I do not admire. To me, he’s all about making money for himself, with little regard to the ethics of how he makes it.

Lemonis built Camping World on the mailing list of the Good Sam Club. If it were not for those members he would never have come to dominate the RV retail industry. He used you and me to build his business — “marketing tools” he once called us.

As he was building Camping World into a retailing giant — it now sells one out of five RVs in America — the Good Sam Club was marginalized to where it’s become little more than a Camping World discount club.

But what really struck me this time as I read the Camping World catalogue came on pages 212 and 213, where I was surprised to see semi-automatic weapons for sale. In addition, eight handguns and three SIG devices were offered, the latter of which serve, among other things, as silencers.

Should Camping World sell semi-automatic weapons?

This is Marcus Lemonis at work. I fully respect that he can sell whatever he wants at Camping World or his other stores (as long they are legal), including at his Gander Outdoors, where the firearms in the catalog are actually sold. But I do not believe that the business of the Good Sam Club, as many of us perceive it, should have anything, even remotely, to do with the selling of semi-automatic weapons. Recently, even Walmart stopped them.

My point here is not to discuss the pros and cons of guns or the right to bear arms, but to simply state that as a member of the Good Sam Club, I find it wrong that my membership is in any way supporting the sale of firearms. There are plenty of sporting goods stores and gun shops to do that. Good Sam via Marcus Lemonis, I believe, does not need to get into that business.

Again, your respectful, intelligent comments are invited. But no angry, hothead, name-calling stuff, please. But first, please take this brief survey. Do you agree or disagree with what I have written?

 

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Marty

We aren’t members of Good Sam and we don’t shop at Camping World but if they chose to sell firearms I don’t have a problem with it. There are over 22,000 laws (federal, state, county & city) regulating the sale, possession & use firearms and ammunition in this country. If Camping World wants to join that paperwork nightmare, more power to them.

Mitchell

as a member of the Good Sam Club, I find it wrong that my membership is in any way supporting the sale of firearms.

Simple: cancel your membership

Mark C McCabe

This week alone, the 5,000,000+ NRA members shot nobody. Many of these members enjoy RV’ing in addition to firearm sportsmanship and personal protection activities. My opinion is that if you do not like firearms or would like to repeal the second amendment (and possibly the first), simply ignore the catalog pages that show pictures of the guns for sale and concentrate on the remainder of the catalog. We all have the right to disregard and not participate in any activity we choose to. We do not have the right to prohibit others from selling legal products, or to prohibit customers from seeing related ads because of ones personal biases or dislikes. Please note I am not an NRA member…

Daniel

Chuck, As much as you dislike Markus, I don’t understand why you are still a member of the Good Sam Club. Being a member you are condoning his business practice. I could care less what he sells or advertises in his magazine.

Dawn McCarthy

I would like to point out that the individual involved in the New Zealand Mosque massacre is in fact not insane. He is a terrorist with ties to neo Nazi and white supremacist movements. This was a well planned and orchestrated terrorist attack. To say he was crazy somehow lessens his culpability.

Tom

I come from a family of hunters and I firmly believe in the right to own guns. But that right, like ALL rights should be tempered by common sense. Not EVERYONE should have the right to own EVERY gun. But that isn’t even the question here. The question is whether Camping World can advertise guns? Clearly, they are entitled to do so. If they want to advertise sex toys, they can do that too! But customers are also entitled to express their dissatisfaction.

Mike C

As camping and outdoor activities such as hunting go hand in hand I see the rationale to do so. If anyone has problems with it then they should not buy these items and the owners may re-evaluate the feasibility and profitability of these items. I do not like people limiting my choice and forcing their beliefs on me. I understand they may a differing opinion but that is the beauty of our country- we can disagree but remain friends.

Michael S

Respectfully, you are a “member” of the Good Sam Club, not an owner or partner in the business.

You never explain why you believe “I do not believe that the business of the Good Sam Club, as many of us perceive it, should have anything, even remotely, to do with the selling of semi-automatic weapons.”

Why? They are legal. So, a business is selling a legal product to make money. Why shouldn’t they advertise them?

Please put that in your next newsletter.

Michael Dees

Well as a life time NRA member, I understand the “enthusiastic” and predictable defense of firearms in a forum like this comprised of many older and traditional folks like myself. I also understand how someone opposed to semi-auto firearms AND with a very strong (and justified) enmity to CW would find the combination due to the assumption of their irresponsibly alarming. In any case, I have to support their right although I personally would not do bussiness with them

Lino

Let up guys….. Its an article of Q’s and A’s. Food for thought!

Bill Harvey

Chuck,
I’m not a Camping World fan either. My wife and I have been camping for over 30 years and still love it.
I’m also a proud member of the NRA, and support the right of any honest citizen to own and carry arms, as we do when we travel.
Bill Harvey

Captn John

Chuck’s dislike of ML is really off the chart. I’m not a fan either but give him credit for being business minded. I’ve read nearly every comment here and find many are made by ill informed or those unable to comprehend. NO automatic guns are sold or legally held in this country without a very difficult to receive permit. Silencers fall under the same laws.
I have a concealed carry permit valid in 36 states. I refrain from visiting the liberal enclaves where I’m not welcome as able to protect myself and family. I’ll even feel obligated to protect those anti-gun people if needed. Maybe they would prefer I just leave the scene and allow them to be raped or murdered and call the police? When seconds count the police are only minutes away. They actually put more in body bags than they can directly protect from harm. Laws preclude them from protecting, only taking action AFTER a crime.
So the surveys indicate about 1/2 of all RVs admit to having a gun, I wonder how many more decided not to admit the fact.
When ads come to the house I may look for a new shirt or pants. I don’t look at the women’s or children’s sections. Why do people have a problem with Gander putting an ad in CW? Actually, a gun section in most CW stores would make sense along with a fishing section. Time for ML to expand the buildings and make room!
So, you do not buy from CW, I do not buy from Amazon or Walmart. I really don’t give a darn what they advertise so why does a CW ad get your panties in a wad?
By the way, my carry guns are NOT semi-auto, they are revolvers. I don’t like leaving brass on the ground. I do own an AR 15 plus a couple semi-auto hand guns and shotguns.

TJ Ferrell

I don’t like it when people say someone doesn’t “need” something; it’s not your place to say what someone needs or doesn’t need. No one is forcing you to purchase a firearm.

hkhailey

I had an incident where, If I had not been armed and trained, My wife and I would have had to face dire consequences from several drunken individuals. I just thank God that I didn’t have to actually pull the trigger. I don’t miss and it would have been a lot of paperwork.

alvin.e

Geeee, a lot of folks are “fired up” about this gun sales article.

I for one, can’t thank Mr. Lemonis enough for making it finally clear to me that a semi-automatic weapon belongs in any RV. Just like a refrigerator, a recliner and a crapper.
Only the combination of a March 22, 2019 article titled “The RoVing Naturalist” (
https://www.rvtravel.com/the-roving-naturalist-oh-rats/ ) and this CampingWorld Gun article made this crystal clear to me.

Just like many other RVer’s, we’ve been fighting a loosing battle against mice, rats, squirrels, ants and other “intruders”. “Chemical weapons” were not always successful to fully eradicate the gang. Even my canine guard dog is no match against an army of nightly ant attacks.

This is why I will immediately head on out, driving 2 hours just so I can hand over my money to Mr. Lemonis. As a matter of fact, I might as well get two or three of them “eradicators”.

On that happy note, everyone take a deep breath, lighten up – and enjoy life. After all, free speech is still legal in this country.

Richard

You say that you don’t like Marcus Lemonis Yet you look thru the Camping World catalog. I’m sure you are picking and choosing what you like in the catalog. I don’t know why you should single out guns. You relate it to the shooting incident in New Zealand and do mention the the man was mentally ill. What does that have to do with us sane gun owners that like guns. Maybe we like looking at them in the catalog.

David Kiefer

You gotta be kidding !!!!

Freddy

I was a little shocked to see your opinion. It appears to be anti-gun but if you say it isn’t, so be it. As an avid gun collector, I like seeing advertisements about all types of guns anywhere I can. It seems appropriate to see them in any catalogue regarding outdoorsy stuff, like camping. I say don’t look at the pagers that contain items you have no interest in. I don’t look at items that don’t intertest me and don’t complain about them being there either.

Bob

Gander Outdoors and Overtons are advertising in Camping World. You don’t buy these firearms from Camping World. I go to CW to look around. I buy from Amazon. PLEASE DON’T CALL A RIFLE, SHOTGUN OR HANDGUN A “WEAPON”. Weapons are for killing people. If you want to kill people join the military.

Solar Steve

Guns are the one thing designed to kill otherwise healthy living beings. They are destructive, even as a defense they do more harm than that which they defend against. Why are guns legal when other harms, like bomb materials are not?