Two days ago, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon sent a letter to their employees part of which reads …
We’ve … been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer. It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.
We’ve been giving a lot of thought to our sale of firearms and ammunition. We’ve previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a “green light” on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a “red light,” to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.
Today, we’re sharing the decisions we’ve made that go further:
After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons;
We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and
We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns. [emphasis added]
Finally, we encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness. We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior. Today, I’m sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures.
As you all know, I am no fan of Wal-Mart, but I applaud this measure with both hands. It is too little, and too late coming, but at least the CEO of this company has, finally, shown some common sense and more concern for the people of this nation than most of our elected officials.
Within minutes after Wal-Mart making this announcement publicly, the NRA flew into a rage!
Well, if you think the NRA represents the ‘voice of the people’, if you think that most people in this nation are against any form of gun legislation, as the NRA would have you believe … explain this:
“Shares of the retailer rose more than 1% to a record high on Wednesday. The gains game after Walmart announced Tuesday that it would change its policies around gun-sales in response to two deadly shootings that killed 24 people at Walmart stores in El Paso, Texas and Southaven, Mississippi.” – Business Insider, 04 September 2019
Similarly, after Dick’s Sporting Goods announced in February 2017, in response to the devastating Parkland school shooting, that it was raising the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, and would no longer sell assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks in any of its 730 U.S. stores, their profits increased by 3.2%.
As a result of Wal-Mart’s announcement, some gun nuts took to Twitter, calling for a boycott of Wal-Mart, but you know what, folks? In a May Quinnipiac poll, 61% overall said they are in favour of stricter gun regulations. The breakdown here is interesting: 91% of democrats, 59% of independents, and only 32% of republicans. What a shocker, eh?
Note that women are more in favour of gun regulation than men (again, no surprise there), and blacks are overwhelmingly more in favour than whites … could be because they are most often on the receiving end of a bullet. Apparently 5% of the people polled didn’t much care one way or another. Sigh.
Wal-Mart, with its 1.5 million employees nationwide, is the single largest retailer in the nation. They may, in a very practical sense, have even more clout than the NRA when they choose to use it. But, it isn’t enough. The shooter who killed at least 7 and injured 20+ more in Odessa Texas last Saturday had failed a background check to buy a gun … twice. Yet, he had an AR-15 assault weapon in his car when police tried to stop him in a traffic stop. How? He bought it in a private sale … in Texas, private gun sales do not require a background check.
And, in spite of two mass shootings in Texas last month, the state legislature expanded gun rights … nay, I cannot even call it “rights”, for these rights infringe on others’ rights … by passing the following:
- Senate Bill 535: allows Texans to carry guns in churches, synagogues and other places of worship, unless otherwise banned by those places with proper signage.
- Senate Bill 741: prohibits property owners’ associations from banning storage of guns on rental properties.
- House Bill 121: provides a legal defense for licensed handgun owners who unknowingly enter an establishment that bans firearms as long as they leave when asked.
- House Bill 302: prohibits landlords from banning renters and their guests from carrying firearms in lease agreements.
- House Bill 1387: loosens restrictions on the number of school marshals who can carry guns at public and private schools in Texas.
- House Bill 1177: allows Texans to carry handguns without a license during a state of disaster.
- House Bill 1143: prohibits school districts from banning licensed gun owners from storing guns and ammunition in their vehicles in parking lots.
- House Bill 2363: allows certain foster homes to store guns and ammunition in a locked location.
Take a close look at these! They prohibit a landlord from banning guns in his/her rental property! How utterly stupid! They loosen gun laws in schools, churches, foster homes. What could possibly go wrong, eh? Governor Abbott signed all these bills into law in May & June, and they went into effect the day after the Odessa shooting. Irony?
C’mon people!!! Let’s get serious and make it damn clear once more that people’s lives, that our safety, the safety of our children, mean more than anybody’s so-called “right” to own and carry a gun. Get the damn guns out of the hands of civilians! At the very least, insist on background checks for every single gun sale, and ban the damn assault rifles once and for all!
Note that in his letter to his employees and his public announcement, Doug McMillon encouraged the nation’s lawmakers to act. I second that motion … time to get back into phone-calling and letter-writing mode, my friends. This madness cannot continue!