It is always interesting to watch knee-jerk reactions to horrible events. Take, for instance, Walmart’s decision to stop selling handgun ammunition and ammunition commonly used in assault-style rifles.

America’s largest retailer says it also will curtail selling handguns in Alaska, the only state where it still offers them. It earlier stopped selling assault-style rifles. The action follows two horrendous shootings at its stores — a July shooting at a Mississippi store and one in El Paso in August.

Walmart, though, says it will continue to sell hunting rifles, shotguns and ammunition for those guns.

Will that make anybody measurably safer?

It should be noted that the Centers for Disease Control say more than 36,000 people died in 2017 from unintentional falls. The World Health Organization says the U.S. leads the world in ladder fatalities, with more than 300 deaths and 500,000 injures annually. Yet Walmart continues to sell ladders.

About 40,000 people die each year in motor vehicle traffic accidents. Drunken drivers are involved in about 11,000 of those deaths. Yet Walmart continues to sell alcohol.

Some 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017, yet the retailer continues to sell pharmaceuticals.

Between 2007 and 2017, nearly 1,700 people were murdered with a knife or sharp object per year – or four times the number of people murdered by rifles. Walmart still sells knives and hunting rifles.

It also should be noted that about 39,700 people died in firearm-related deaths in 2017. Of those, about 60 percent were suicides.

That year, handguns were involved in 64 percent of the 10,982 U.S. gun murders and non-negligent manslaughters, the FBI says. Rifles of all types were involved in only 4 percent of the deaths. FBI statistics show more people were beaten to death in 2017 than were killed by rifles.

A New York Times analysis last year concluded that since 2007, at least “173 people have been killed in mass shootings in the United States involving AR-15s.” That is fewer than 17 per year over the span of a decade.

One is too many, of course, but if Walmart really is interested in making us all safer, it also would stop selling alcohol, pharmaceuticals, knives and ladders.

2 Responses to Safer?

  1. Donald Drumpf September 9, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    An odd take.

    Knee jerk wouldn’t be the word I would use. Mass shooting are nothing new. Walmart’s ever decreasing sale of firearms is nothing new. As you noted above, Alaska was the last state where handguns specifically were sold at Walmart stores and they removed “assault” rifles prior to that. This seems to be more of a calculated constant restriction, not even close to a spur of the moment decision.

    Not going to bother looking up the fire rate of an AR or the number of gun incidents that occurred with handguns, and that’s because the numbers are obviously high. So if Walmart has taken the stance to stop selling weapons that have an increasingly high fire rate, which is measurable, and has taken the stance to stop selling guns that are easily concealable and used for the majority of gun related violence, which is also measurable, than how is that not safer? Seems to me that the elimination of those tools will make things a tad bit more difficult for the next mass shooter.

    Every single time death from firearms is mentioned, someone will always bring up other events that took peoples lives. Falling on a ladder, traffic incidents (heavily regulated by the way), knives, and without a doubt, and especially on this thread, abortion. My personal belief on that is the data required to start the gun control debate is overwhelming and close to a tipping point. It’s easier to point something out on the horizon and cloud the issue than to take it head on and find solutions. The time is here, and we can start to mend these massive gaps in our gun legislation now. Why won’t conservatives help save lives? Also, and kind of a pet peeve for me, you mentioned quite a few things that take lives, but didn’t mention Tobacco or Alcohol. Tobacco kills around 480,000 per year, and alcohol kills around 88,000. Both of those have collateral damage, as the user is not the only one affected by it’s use – drunk drivers and second hand smoke. This paper took the stance that Marijuana should be regulated heavily and not be allowed to use smoke rooms due to the Anchorage air ordinance. Why would this paper take the anti-marijuana stance, pro-gun, pro-alcohol, pro-tobacco position. I’m having a difficult time identifying a path of logic. Care about health by limiting marijuana, don’t care with guns, tobacco and alcohol, but back on caring when it comes to car safety and ladders. It doesn’t track, and that usually means someone is hiding an agenda. Probably the right to purchase guns with anonymity if I had to guess.

    I don’t see a reason to criticize Walmart for this decision. They see the current day problems, recognize that they do have a part in it, and have decided to take themselves out of the equation. It’s admirable. How long until the realization that credit cards are used in the majority of gun purchases, and corporate america starts to restrict what their cards can be used for? Already do just that for bitcoin, so it’s only a matter of time.d

  2. Bill Hutchison September 10, 2019 at 9:47 am

    D.D. has given away or sold all his firearms? That is his choice. If he wants to influence my firearm choices he will have to come up with better logic.


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