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.
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?