Thursday, September 5, 2019

Walmart, guns, and safety

I note that Walmart has announced new restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition, and has asked its customers not to open-carry their firearms, even in states where this is legal.

I have no problem with Walmart making whatever decisions are best for its business.  That's entirely within the company's purview.  What troubles me about these restrictions is that they're public relations window-dressing.  They won't actually do anything to solve the problem of the misuse of firearms for criminal purposes.  They're feel-good measures, not actually do-good steps.  The Babylon Bee highlighted the difference in its usual masterly satirical way.

In a bold move intended to curb the thousands of deaths from vehicles each and every day, Walmart has decided to stop selling auto parts, sources confirmed Tuesday.

According to shocking reports, people have purchased car parts at Walmart and then those cars have been involved in accidents, proving a direct correlation between selling auto parts and causing deaths.

"We can no longer be complicit in an industry that kills over 3,000 people a day," said a spokesperson for Walmart. "Every time we sell a muffler, steering wheel cover, or flame decal, we are potentially causing the death of a person, and we cannot support that any longer."

"It's clear that bad drivers and poor road conditions don't cause vehicular deaths---cars do."

There's more at the link.

That satirical article highlights the issue.  There is essentially nothing Walmart can do to solve the problem.  It's a lot bigger than the company.  Criminals are going to be criminals, whatever the store's policies may be.  Walmart can ratchet up security measures so far that they interfere with shoppers' entry and exit - which would drive away many of its customers - but even those can be bypassed, through planning, human error on the part of security officials, equipment failure, or other means.  Its new policies are, as I said, mostly public relations window-dressing.
  • Stopping the sale of ammunition used in what are wrongly termed "assault rifles" by the anti-gunners won't stop their owners from buying it elsewhere.
  • Asking its shoppers not to open-carry firearms won't stop a criminal from bringing in one (or more) concealed.
  • Stopping the sale of handguns in Alaska?  I've been there, several times.  Most of the handguns I saw displayed in Walmart in Anchorage were intended for defense against nature's toothed, clawed and antlered beasties, because Alaska is full of them.  (I carried one myself, for precisely that reason.)  I don't see how stopping the sale of a .44 Magnum or .454 Casull revolver in Alaska will prevent mass shootings with semi-auto pistols and/or rifles, thousands of miles away in the lower 48 states.

As I said, Walmart is free to make whatever decisions it wishes;  but I wish those decisions had been based on practical reality, rather than kowtowing to the anti-gun lobby.  I don't open-carry anyway, based on my own assessment of the security risks of that practice;  but you can bet your boots I'll be carrying concealed (legally) whenever I enter a Walmart store.  So will a very large proportion of my friends and acquaintances.  Not one of us has ever used our firearms in a criminal manner, and please God none of us ever will.  We carry ours to stop someone else acting criminally against us.  I don't know whether Walmart's management can or will take that into account.

This smacks of "Don't just stand there!  We've got to do something!" - whether or not the something they do will actually achieve anything.  Sadly, one sees that more and more these days . . . and when the cosmetic, public-relations measures don't work, and it happens again, they'll ramp up the useless measures until they impinge on the rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens, all in the name of saaaaaaaaafety!  (Cue bleating of goats here.)  It's for the chiiiiiiiillldren!  (Add baa-ing of sheep.)  If even one life is saved, it's worth it!  (Oh, yeah?  What about the people who will be killed or injured, because new restrictive measures meant that they could no longer legally defend themselves against criminal attack?)

Sadly, I fear that's what we're going to see happening more and more, to the detriment of our constitution, our Republic, and our personal safety.

Speaking of the anti-gun lobby, that's one of the advantages of private sales and purchases of firearms.  They're legal in most of these United States, but no paper trail is required - no sales receipt, no transfer documents.  Gun-grabbers can only confiscate what they can trace or physically lay their hands on.  I know several people who've (legally, of course) sold one or two guns privately to friends, and bought one or two to replace them (sometimes of the identical model) from the same or other friends.  With no Form 4473 or other paper trail to follow, the record of ownership (the "chain of custody") is broken.  "Sure, Mr. Gun-Grabber, I used to own that firearm, but I sold it some time ago.  No, I don't recall exactly when - it was a while back.  No, I didn't keep a record of the buyer's details.  That wasn't legally required at the time, and I'm afraid I don't recall them now.  Where?  I don't rightly remember . . . maybe at the local gun show?  Sorry I can't help you any further."

That's also a strong encouragement to stock up on ammunition in cartridges and/or calibers that may be subject to restrictions.  Work out how many rounds you can reasonably expect to shoot in training and practice each year, multiply that by the number of years you expect to live, and plan accordingly.  Buy extra for friends, if you can afford it, and buy more magazines to hold and feed it.  As my friend Tamara has been known to say, when asked "How much ammunition should I have?" or "How many magazines should I have?", the correct answer is always "More."

Let this also be an encouragement to standardize on a few cartridges for your most important firearms, rather than have weapons chambered for everything under the sun.  If your main battery consists of, say, .308 Winchester, .223 Remington, .22 Long Rifle, 9mm. Parabellum, .38 Special and .45 ACP, you can build up stocks of those cartridges to meet almost any likely future need.  Less common rounds or chamberings can be in your collection, of course, but I daresay no-one except the most dedicated enthusiast is likely to use up a thousand rounds of .38 Long Colt or .577/450 Martini-Henry!



SiGraybeard said...

In a world where there are virtually no borders to commerce, stores should be trying to set themselves apart as better than their competitors. Dick's Sporting Goods sells overpriced Tee shirts with team logos on them, like the other sporting goods chains. They should be trying to show they're better to attract customers, not drive them away.

Walmart sells everything, like Amazon, and they've been trying to unseat Amazon as the biggest online store by offering the two day shipping without a membership fee. If Walmart's not going to sell things I'd go into the store to buy, I'll stop shopping there. Where else do you go where you can say, "while I'm picking up some 9mm for the range trip, I'll pick up some tomato sauce"? If I'm just going to buy from someone online, I don't need to go into Walmart for anything. Thankfully, I still live in a state that online ammo sellers can ship to.

The Lab Manager said...

After Sam Walton passed away, Wal Mart has really gone down hill in terms of employee treatment and other issues. It is true that Wal Mart saves consumers money, but in the long term, at what cost? I hate being herded into the self check out lanes which are okay for an item or two but not a buggy full of stuff.

This gun issue is simply the latest in corporate virtue signaling by those who live in a gated community protected by armed guards that probably lacks any 'duh-versity' unlike us proles who have to be aware of this in some parts of the country.

Uncle Lar said...

"I daresay no-one except the most dedicated enthusiast is likely to use up a thousand rounds of .38 Long Colt or .577/450 Martini-Henry!"
But then Peter, however can we be expected to properly defend ourselves against the next Moro or Zulu attack?
On a more serious note, both Dicks and WalMart are guilty of virtue signaling of the worst sort. As you say, their bans on certain legal products cannot possibly have any effect on criminal acts yet have the potential to inconvenience if not outright endanger honest citizens simply trying to defend themselves with the most effective means available.

Old NFO said...

It is interesting when you consider that Wally World didn't immediately pull all that ebil pistol and .223 ammo. The statement said they won't fulfill new orders. The reason is that they effectively do not make enough profit on the ammo as the mfg costs/sell price are within pennies of each other. So while they virtue signal, they also dump a product that they don't make money on.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Peter;

Very good post, I used to buy ammo at Walmart because it was not "cheap" but reasonable. I would go to walmart and buy household groceries and slip in a couple boxes of ammo. When Sandy Hook happened and there was a massive run on ammo and guns and it took years for the ammo prices to recover. Well I was one of the ones that got caught up short, I have what I call my "War-load" I will not go below a certain amount and Sandy Hook caught me near that lavel so I had to curtail my shooting and I couldn't buy ammo because of the prices were so high. I can't drop a "C-note" or 2 on ammo when I buy ammo, other things have priority since I have a family and their needs take precedence over my hobby.
You are also spot on on common calibers, I have .22LR, 5.56, 308,30-06, .38 and 357 and .40 S&W. Those are my common calibers, not including my Nagant and my 303 British. I have several rifles and pistols that share common calibers and I am fixing to buy a carbine in .40S&W.
I buy my ammo from Academy, their "house" ammo is pretty good and their prices are reasonable and despite the owners being liberal, they like making money so they ain't gonna go "All Dicks" on us. People will need to stock up, I have a feeling that they will go after the ammo venders more, if they can choke off the supply they will get what they want anyway, a disarmed society and we will have to kowtow to those that would try to lord over us like the feudal lords of old.

Jerry said...

I feel we give these fools too much credit when we use the term virtue signalling. I prefer the term, idiot signalling. Walmart is signalling that they are really useful idiots.

Unknown said...

After the next shooting in one of these "Gun Free" stores, we need to have people sue the location owner for not properly protecting them after refusing to let them defend themselves.

David Lang (since it doesn't properly show my name if I authenticate with my google account so I can get replies)

Robin Datta said...

"When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away" - John Steinbeck

Robin Datta said...

"A scrimmage in a Border Station --
A canter down some dark defile --
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail --
The Crammer's boast, the Squadron's pride,
Shot like a rabbit in a ride!"

Peripatetic Engineer said...

Ready, Fire, Aim