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This week, in response to a mass shooting within one of their stores, Walmart decided to stop selling handgun ammunition and restrict open carry on the premises of their buildings.
I agree with what my friend Paul Carlson wrote: The message that Walmart is sending out is loud and clear, Walmart is not happy that their customers own guns.
This action by Walmart is very troubling from a cultural standpoint, as Walmart is the last general retail chain to even acknowledge the existence of guns in American culture. Sears was once a major retailer of guns, and even had their own brand of firearms, as did Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney.
Walmart is sending the signal that handgun ownership is not something they support. However, handguns are what armed citizens such as myself and millions of other armed citizens rely on to defend our lives and the lives of all we hold dear. By banning the sale of handgun ammunition, (and also banning the sales of AR-15 rifles), Walmart is declaring that guns are for hunting, not for self-protection.
Which is completely out of touch with the reasons why Americans buy guns. It is not 1954 anymore, and Americans are not buying guns to go hunting. Rather, we see firearms as a way to enjoy time on the range, participate in the shooting sports, or defend all that we hold dear.
The market will judge how Walmart’s decision to no longer cater to the needs of the American gun owner will affect its long-term profitability. I hope Walmart also remembers that at one time Sears, Montgomery Ward, Kmart, and J.C. Penney all sold guns, and all those retailers are either piled up on the ash heap of retail history, or on a road that leads there.