Law abiding citizens are again taking it in the shorts as Walmart announces it will stop selling both handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition. Not only that, but they want customers not to openly carry firearms in their stores, even where it’s allowed by law.
This is another knee-jerk reaction to the recent shootings in Texas, one of them at a Walmart in El Paso.
The retail giant will stop selling .223 and 5.56 caliber when it depletes its inventory. And you may remember back in the 90’s the chain halted handgun sales in every state except Alaska. Well, that’s now changed, too.
An internal memo to staffers from CEO Doug McMillon said, “In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like this will happen again. The status quo is unacceptable”.
As big as Walmart is, with more than half of its 4750 stores selling firearms, it only accounts for 2% of all guns sold in this country. Most sales are made at independent gun shops or local shows, not the big box stores.
Gun control advocates praised the moves. Of course they did and they hope Washington is listening. You know who’s listening? The millions of REGISTERED gun owners, hunters and sportsmen and women who LEGALLY purchase weapons and ammo. As an owner of multiple firearms, I support background checks. The jury’s out on how to handle gun shows.
Walmart stopped selling, and I hate the term, “assault weapons” in response to shootings in the past. But they still sell crowbars, baseball bats and kitchen knives. Anything in the hand of person intent on using it on someone is an “assault weapon”. Someday, the national media may understand that.
We seldom hear of the people who legally carry firearms (CCW) that thwart criminal activity. And it happens a lot. According to the FBI, nearly 16.5% of “active shooter” events were stopped by CCW individuals as of July 1st of this year. Want some facts? Florida’s homicide rate dropped from 36% ABOVE the national average to 4% BELOW after passing concealed carry. And not only Florida, but Virginia, Arizona, North Carolina, Minnesota and Michigan had similar results. Forty states now have it.
Walmart and Kroger join a string of other retailers and restaurants including Starbucks, Target and Wendy’s in asking customers not to openly carry their guns when they visit their premises. But they are not enforcing an outright ban because they don’t want to put their employees in confrontational situations. Then why do it?
We’re expecting federal lawmakers, traveling with armed guards to make these decisions for us? On January 29th, 1788 James Madison wrote, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country”. Churches now have them. Schools now have them. Is this the answer? I don’t know, but it’s a deterrent to something tragic happening.