You shouldn’t be shocked to learn that Walmart announced this week it would stop selling guns and ammo to adults ages 18, 19, and 20. The multinational corporation with a half a trillion in annual net sales has a history of being a fairweather supporter of the Second Amendment. More on that in a moment. But first the statement on what led Wally World to discriminate against young adults.
“In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales,” said the Arkansas-based company in a statement.
“Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age,” it continued. “We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.”
My take is good for Walmart. It’s a free country. Businesses can do whatever they like. For example, if Walmart wanted to suddenly stop selling newspapers to gays and lesbians. It could do that no problem whatsoever. Right? Oh, wait, are you saying that would be a problem? Bad example.
How ‘bout if it banned the sale of sugary sweets to fat people, like myself. Now I’m sure no one would raise a stink about that. After all, obesity kills more people than AIDs and firearms combined. Wait, you’re kidding. That, too, would cause rioting in the streets?
Fine. I got it. How ‘bout this. If Walmart prohibited old people — over 60 — from driving to their store locations. Old people can be slow and dangerous behind the wheel. I think everyone would consider that a public service. We can all agree on that. What, we can’t?
Back to being serious. Walmart has a history of being, how shall we say, not exactly a best friend to the 2A. For starters, they stopped selling guns in about two-thirds of their stores in 2006 citing waning “customer demand.” What horrible timing. Had they waited two more years, they would’ve been able to cash in on the Golden Age of Gun Sales spurred by President Barry Obama.
They partnered up with Michael Bloomberg in 2008 to roll out a computerized system to log all purchases as well as video record every over-the-counter sale. Sounds a little 1984-ish to me. If you bought a gun at Walmart over the past decade, “Smile, you’re on Bloomberg camera!”
In 2015, Walmart discontinued selling black rifles; once again citing “customer demand.” In other words, it wasn’t politics. It wasn’t because Walmart finally caved to pressure from anti-gun shareholders, i.e. the Trinity Church, who had demanded that the retail giant stop selling ARs. Nope. It was all about dollars and cents. And better serving the gun community. Right. Don’t believe that for a second.
Then there’s Walmart’s policy on self-defense which instructs employees to “disengage” if the suspect “brandishes or threatens to use a weapon.” The company fired several Utah employees who stopped a knife-wielding shoplifter. Those employees sued and won in court. The judges said essentially that it’s okay to instruct employees to stand down — unless withdrawing is not an option and the use of force is reasonably exercised to prevent great bodily harm. That’s common sense.
Walmart didn’t see it that way. They want their employees to disengage under every circumstance. Even if it’s to protect and defend themselves. Because encouraging employees to take action in those instances sets a “bad precedent.”
Where does this leave us and Wally World? I guess that’s up to you. If you believe that they are good custodians of your 2A rights, by all means, continue to shop there. If you believe they are a soulless enterprise that puts profit over people and panders to anti-gun forces, it might be time to take your business elsewhere. But the choice is yours. Do with this information what you will.