"The status quo is unacceptable"
September 4, 2019 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Walmart, the United States' largest retailer and employer, announced that it will stop selling ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifles, stop selling handguns in Alaska, and ask customers to not open-carry weapons into Walmart or Sam's Club, even in open-carry states. They also ask national leaders to strengthen background checks, remove weapons from people who pose imminent danger, and debate reauthorizing the Assault Weapons ban.

#boycottwalmart quickly trended on Twitter, and the National Rifle Association, in its own statement, tweeted 'it is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites.'

After this announcement, largest grocery chain and second-largest retailer Kroger also asked customers not to open-carry in its stores (the third-largest retailer, Costco, does not permit either concealed or open carry in its stores). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently made a similar request.

Walmart stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015, and raised the minimum age to buy firearms and ammunition to 21 from 18 in 2018. After the August El Paso shooting, they removed signs for violent video games.
posted by box (84 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Probably more than half their ammo sales are .22 rimfires, which can be fired from handguns. Are they going to stop selling .22s?
posted by Bee'sWing at 8:20 AM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


> Probably more than half their ammo sales are .22 rimfires, which can be fired from handguns. Are they going to stop selling .22s?

Via the link:

• After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons;
• We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and
• We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.


So, yeah. I guess so.

We believe these actions will reduce our market share of ammunition from around 20% to a range of approximately 6 to 9%. We believe it will likely drift toward the lower end of that range, over time, given the combination of these changes.

The subtext: they don't even care. Pretty decent messaging, actually.
posted by sixohsix at 8:29 AM on September 4, 2019 [35 favorites]


I wonder if this is an attempt to get ahead of what looks to be a potential, eventual turning of the tide RE: the immunity of gun manufacturers and retailers from victim lawsuits?

I'd like to believe that there is something more noble at work, but I doubt it.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:30 AM on September 4, 2019 [15 favorites]


I guess this is good, but its hard not to feel like too little too late.

personally I'd like to launch every gun (and rocket and bomb et al) into the sun.
posted by supermedusa at 8:32 AM on September 4, 2019 [13 favorites]


anti-gun elites

"elites" sure does a lot of multi-purpose dog whistling these days

in case anyone's wondering, guns are still pretty expensive!
posted by mikeh at 8:33 AM on September 4, 2019 [50 favorites]


I can't really complain about this, and hope it represents a larger shift in attitude. I'm uneasy with corporations leading the way but it does seem a very American solution. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
posted by wordless reply at 8:38 AM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


So, yeah. I guess so.

A .22 and a .223 are substantially different.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:38 AM on September 4, 2019 [22 favorites]


I guess this is good, but its hard not to feel like too little too late.

Well, it is too late for them to prevent a lot of deaths but it absolutely is not too late to prevent a lot more deaths. To me anyway, this feels like a pretty significant indicator that the NRA's influence is waning and that a lot of America is willing to start making some kind of change - even if it means sacrificing immediate profits to do so.

Sucks that our politicians aren't leading the way towards a less stupid dangerous society, but any movement in that direction at all is very exciting for me anyway.
posted by aubilenon at 8:41 AM on September 4, 2019 [43 favorites]


To me, it's a good move, if only because the US government tends to listen to business interests above and beyond just about anything else, and also because Walmart is so very much coded into the "working class" mythos that candidates and elected officials want to speak to and about. If even Walmart is at the point where guns are too toxic to sell, then the tide may be turning, even if dead American citizens aren't.
posted by xingcat at 8:43 AM on September 4, 2019 [43 favorites]


In the wake of a new state law that mandates that random members of the public be allowed to use my workplace's grounds for public protests, when in the past open carry wingjobs have been the only people to my knowledge prevented from doing this...

Christ. I'm just tired. Texas is getting more and more dangerous and there is just not enough energy and political wherewithal being spent on dealing with it. And there are so many of us who live and die here, every day. There is so much violence here, and so much terrorism, and so much of it from the hands of angry young white men.

We have stabbing deaths at my university, and in the wake of that we the university get told that oh, yes, now you have no limit on the size of the blade that anyone may open carry whenever and wherever you like. We have protests against being forced to allow guns into our workplaces. In the wake of that the university respectfully declines to hold a counterprotest from people with no ties to the school involving a live pantomime of a school shooting and helpful plants with guns killing the "shooter." And now there is state law saying that we must allow anyone who wants to to come and demonstrate on the grounds of my work and many of my students' homes. If you say "no, I don't want any guns here, thank you," the Lege will come after you and force some guns on you, or at least force you to let someone else march up to you and wave guns at you and scream that you ought to like it.

Yeah, good on Wal-Mart. Christ knows our state and federal law enforcement do not give one solitary shit about gun violence. At least, not that they've shown, anyway.
posted by sciatrix at 8:43 AM on September 4, 2019 [45 favorites]


Not selling in Alaska is a pretty big thing, I think. Alaska really is different from the lower 48 (based on my extremely limited couple of visits I admit). You could buy handguns in a Radio Shack I went to! And handguns are actually used realistically as self-defense against large animals like bears.

That said, they have the same problem with guns as everyone else. I remember visiting a little town in a national park, and talking to a storekeeper who told me that someone had killed about a quarter of the people living in that tiny town in the 80s.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:44 AM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


Rash of open-carry gun owners strolling into Wal*Marts and Krogers to test the companies' "request" in 3...2...1...
posted by Thorzdad at 8:46 AM on September 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


My local (Alaska) paper had a really nice community perspective the other day, on restricting the size of magazines, to treat all rifles like hunting rifles. Not a novel suggestion, but nicely stated.
posted by leahwrenn at 8:48 AM on September 4, 2019 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I am very glad that none of my friends are working in either chain right now. (Well, we don't have Kroger here, but my one roommate does work at the H-E-B which is the nearest local grocery equivalent. They took one look at that open carry law in 2015 and immediately publicly banned open carry guns from their store grounds, which is one of the reasons I really rather love the chain.) I'd be bracing for them to tell me that they had to handle and defuse a confrontation with a wingnut any day now.

Christ.
posted by sciatrix at 8:52 AM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


As I'm currently in the process of moving to a state (Utah) where I'll likely be near a number LDS churches, and shopping more at Kroger affiliated stores, so I have to say this seems positive. Baby steps - but still steps - towards people treating guns not like accessories they flaunt, but as the weapons they are. Are any major retailers taking a reverse position and doubling down to pick up the market from Walmart? I hope not, but I'm half expecting some Hobby Lobby type bullshit.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:56 AM on September 4, 2019


The Free Market has spoken.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:56 AM on September 4, 2019 [12 favorites]


in case anyone's wondering, guns are still pretty expensive!

What's a couple thousand dollars on a credit-card that you have no intention of paying back? How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings
posted by rh at 8:57 AM on September 4, 2019 [20 favorites]


Open carry makes no fucking sense to me, especially with rifles. It shows a flagrant disrespect for what guns are designed to do, and makes owning a gun a statement about the kind of person you are.
posted by SansPoint at 8:57 AM on September 4, 2019 [11 favorites]


Walmart has been slowly exiting the gun business, because it's bad for business. Not because of negative attention from gun deaths and injuries, but because the profit margins on guns and ammo is slim. From NPR, February 12, 2019, back when Dick's CEO embraced a "tougher stance" on guns after the Parkland shooting:
What's been the financial fallout for Dick's so far?

In November, the company reported a 3.9 percent dip in sales, dragged down particularly by hunting goods. Wall Street expects a similar trend to show up in Dick's full-year results due in March.

At the same time, the company's profit margin improved slightly. That's because guns and ammunition "tend to be very, very low margin," said Wedbush analyst Christopher Svezia. Dick's makes more money from selling most other items in its stores, like sports equipment or clothing.

And that's why Wall Street has been far less stirred by the Dick's story than the media, Svezia said.

For example, Walmart caused far less outcry when it stopped selling modern sporting rifles in 2015. The retailer simply said it was a business decision because those weapons weren't selling well. Last year, Walmart said it will also stop selling guns and ammo to anyone under 21 — right after Dick's made the same announcement.

And hunting has been a drag for Dick's for a long time. Fewer people hunt these days. Gun sales overall are in a decline because of what's known as the "Trump slump": The constant fear of a gun-ownership crackdown drove sales during the Obama years but has dissipated under President Trump.
The Free Market has spoken, indeed.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:58 AM on September 4, 2019 [33 favorites]


Rash of open-carry gun owners strolling into Wal*Marts and Krogers to test the companies' "request" in 3...2...1...

There was a bit of copypasta I saw on Facebook a couple days ago that went something like:

"Question: you're at a church that permits open-carry. Someone walks in holding a gun. What do you do? Do you use your own gun to defend everyone?.....

"....Trick question. If you brought your gun to an open-carry church, then YOU'RE the one walking into church with a gun. How do you know what other people are going to do to YOU?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on September 4, 2019 [29 favorites]


This will really boost the "gun show" industry I expect.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:17 AM on September 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


I still feel like I can't shop Walmart because of how they treat their employees but I know lots of people who have no choice about that. Anyway I'm glad and I hope it sticks/spreads.
posted by emjaybee at 9:25 AM on September 4, 2019 [13 favorites]


Open Carry Racism: The Right-Wing Fever Dream That Made the Trump Era Possible (Jason C. Blivins for Alternet, April 18, 2018)
Armed white citizens appearing in public came partly to define the Obama era and the resurfacing of aggressive white supremacy. Consider the Oath Keepers, made up of (mostly ex-) soldiers and cops formed as a kind of extralegal organization professing allegiance to the Constitution and not the newly-elected President (and now volunteering to patrol America’s high schools). Groups held “open carry” church services and warned about Obama’s antigun conspiracy. In the age of false-flag tweets, bots, and Breitbart, America’s politics became increasingly about displaying our vehement opposition to a thing that has not happened. What counts as truth is confirmed in our fearful anticipation—we can’t trust an expert, but we can trust what we feel.

As armed “patriots” convened at the local Starbuck’s, or protested against day laborers at a Home Depot, the outrage about losing our Glocks and TEC-9s and AR-15s contained more potent anxieties. Somehow the very fact that Obama didn’t impose Sharia law and seize guns was converted in the imagination to an anti-Christian, anti-American violence that was even more certain because it hadn’t happened yet. One self-described patriot even wondered, “What am I afraid of? I do not know—but I feel far more comfortable knowing that I have my nine-millimeter in my car.”
...
We cannot think this era without thinking of the status of non-white bodies, and we cannot think of those bodies without the fact of guns stockpiled by white people. White “patriots” claimed that they were breaking no laws, and were in fact keeping the streets safer. Confronted with the seeming unreality of their fevered visions of UN troops helicoptering into their homes at night, or of “political correctness” finally outlawing Christianity, Oath Keepers and their sympathizers muttered that just because it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it won’t. They needed to stand up against tyranny, even if you couldn’t see it, even if there was no evidence that it existed. And if nothing happened, then it was because of their open carry Braveheart cosplay.
"What am I afraid of? I don't know, but having a gun makes me feel safer" is something only white men can say in the U.S., while making everyone around them feel more concerned for their own safety, and the safety of their family and friends.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on September 4, 2019 [30 favorites]


Walmart's bargaining power due to size and reach is well known along its own supply chain. This is a good move. As someone said above, only capitalism's pillars will be heard.
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:29 AM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


Alaska really is different from the lower 48 ... handguns are actually used realistically as self-defense against large animals like bears.

Ha! Apparently you have never been to Alaska and seen an Alaska bear. No handgun is going to protect you. Not even Dirty Harry's 44-Mag. Knowledgeable Alaskans don't depend on handguns. They depend on bear spray.
posted by JackFlash at 9:42 AM on September 4, 2019 [22 favorites]


Open carry makes no fucking sense to me, especially with rifles. It shows a flagrant disrespect for what guns are designed to do, and makes owning a gun a statement about the kind of person you are.

But concealed carry is okay? If someone is a gun fetish moron who feels the need to pack heat everywhere they go, I would prefer they make their "statement about the kind of person they are" in the open so that I can avoid them.
posted by JackFlash at 9:49 AM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


One interesting thing here is Walmart getting rid of handguns echoes a longstanding right wing conspiracy theory about the CDC trying to seize everyone's guns.

(Stick with me for minute)

There's a longstanding gun-nut talking point that CDC is politically biased towards banning guns (and therefore the Dickey Amendment limiting funding into gun violence was justified).The root of this is found in the US Congress, specifically from a speech given by Sen. James Inhofe in 1998 where he argued against appointment of Dr. David Satcher to Surgeon General. Inhofe said
In fact the very agency Dr. Satcher wishes to head, the U.S. Public Health Service, has had since 1979 one of its primary goal ‘‘to reduce the reduce the number of handguns in private ownership,’’ starting with a 25% reduction by the end of this century.
Inhofe, it should be said, is the same idiot who thought holding up a snowball on the floor of the Senate somehow disproved global warming.

Anyways, the source of the honorable senator from Oklahoma's comments was a report published 20 years prior, the very first Healthy People report. For those not in the know of public health, since this initial report the CDC (in conjunction with other public health bodies) has published a report every decade outlining goals for improving the health of the nation. It's a perfectly banal publication whose topics have ranged from playground equipment to LGBTQ healthcare access.

In a bit of a twist, the 1979 report does not actually say America should reduce gun ownership by 25%. The only portion of the report that deals with guns is on page 113 and addresses them as a cause of mortality "second only to motor vehicles." The entirety of gun control measures proposed in the 1979 report consist of the following:
Measures that could reduce risk of firearm deaths and injuries range from encouraging safer storage and use to a ban on private ownership

Evidence from England suggests that prohibiting possession of handguns would reduce the number of deaths and injuries, particularly those unrelated to criminal assaults. Both assaults and suicide attempts are less likely to be fatal without firearms -- and firearm accidents would decrease.

About 20 percent of American households contain a handgun. Even if reducing handgun availability did not substantially reduce the number of murders committed during violent crimes, it would likely reduce both accidental deaths and murders of passion involving family members and acquaintances.

For those who feel compelled to keep handguns, certain security measures can be useful -- security locks, use of non-lethal (wax) bullets, and weapon storage in a location separate from ammunition and inaccessible to children.
There's another twist though!

There was a supplemental publication to the 1979 report which had a more in-depth look at the research behind the official publications recommendations, Healthy People The Surgeon General's Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: Background Papers. Again, this report covers a huge array of topics, but it does contain this passage:
Their disproportionate involvement in deaths and injuries and the ease in which they can be carried and concealed, combined with the fact that (unlike long guns) one of their main uses is to kill or injure people, make handguns a logical focus for preventative activity.

Efforts to reduce the widespread availability of handguns range from such measures as screening potential buyers to make sure they do not have criminal records... to banning the private sale and/or possession of handguns or handgun ammunition. Need for Federal (rather than State or local) regulation is suggestion (sic) by evidence that local efforts to reduce handgun purchases have led to importation of guns purchased in states with less strict controls. Strict Federal regulations of handguns and efforts to reduce their availability would be consistent with governmental activity in other areas such as Federal efforts to reduce the production and availability of narcotics. While decrease availability of handguns would probably result in increased use of other weapons in intentionally inflicted injuries, the much lower fatality rates associated with knives (the next most common weapon used in fatal assaults) and poisoning (the next most common means of suicide) indicate the potential value of such a shift.

In additional to "gun control," a wide variety of other countermeasures are available and underutilized. In illustration, firearms can be designed to minimize the possibility of inadvertent discharge and handgun ammunition can be made less likely to wound, an example being ammunition already developed for police use in crowd control. The motive for armed robbery (a common prelude to occupation homicide) could be reduced by such measures as not having large amounts of money available to potential victims (e.g., bus and taxi drivers, gas station operators, storekeepers) or modifying the manner in which people transfer cash assets from one place to another. occupation standards for groups as risk of being shot at work, including police, security guards, and cashiers, should include requirements for bulletproof garments, barriers, or other safeguards.
So there is a general notion that public health officials think reducing handguns could reduce deaths, which... is their job.

Still no 25% though, so where does this mysterious number come from?

The 1980 DHHS report, Promoting Health/Preventing Disease. Objectives for the Nation! It included a single bullet point which stated as a (nonbinding, advisory) goal, that "By 1990, the number of handguns in private ownership should have declined by 25 percent" (p.85).

So the conspiracy of the CDC to seize everyone's guns is actually based on a now 40 year old Surgeon General report which recommended a decrease in handgun ownership coupled with a number of other gun safety measures as a public health improvement. Just keep that in mind in case you hear this line of argument brought up.

After the 1980 report, gun safety starts to fade into the background of public health reports. The Healthy People 2000 report notes 75% of all firearm crimes and suicides are done with handguns, and also contains a recommendation of reducing inadequately stored weapons along with milquetoast language about how if maybe there were less guns there would be less violence but, *shrug*. The latest Healthy People report contains more language about bicycle helmets than guns.

And yet, the idea of reducing the overall amount of guns, and particularly handguns, in America is still a good idea. While mass shootings accomplished with rifles equipped with high capacity magazines and designed for a high rate of fire get national press, the majority of gun violence is still via handguns. This includes inter- and intrapersonal violence. Reducing the number of handguns would absolute, without a doubt, reduce the amount of injuries, homicides, and suicides from guns.

From my own personal perspective, I would be much more comfortable with lawmaking that turned its focus away trying to nail assault weapon jello to a wall and instead focused on reducing the number of handguns. Long guns can actually have a practical use, handguns are entirely designed for use against other humans in a social setting. So I'm not only in favor of Walmart eschewing selling handguns, and I'm not just in favor of reducing their ownership by 25%, I'm in favor of banning them outright, or at least severely restricting their availability.

Want to own a handgun? Join a regulated gun club whose participants must register their weapons, i.e., a "well regulated milita." Then earn the privilege to carry a personal handgun. Start with .22s and 20g shotguns. After you've shown responsible handling and ownership, then maybe you can apply to own (and register) other, more concealable and more powerful firearms. I am much more comfortable with the idea of someone with a multi-decade history of responsible gun ownership having access to a concealed weapon (and a AR-15 with full mag, sure why not, you earned it), than I am with any random person buying a 9mm handgun.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:50 AM on September 4, 2019 [35 favorites]


I have been a competitive shooter since I became a member of the U.S.M.C. rifle and pistol team in 1956.
For twenty years the NRA's focus was on target shooting, hunting and gun safety.
Targets were simple bulls eye targets or animal replica targets. Not human replica targets. Then in the mid 70's a group of crazies took control of the organization. Everything became self defense and they're going to take my guns.
Now competitive marksmanship matches are all about using hand guns for self defense. As if every stranger you encounter is liable to be a "bad guy" with intentions of harming you or your family.
I have met many of said people at various gun ranges and shooting/hunting clubs. Except for their paranoia and xenophobia they are often the pillars of their communities. But somehow they have succumbed to the mantra of "good guys and bad guys". And thus become single issue voters and supporters of Trump.
No purpose for this comment. Just venting about what has gone down in the last 40 years.
posted by notreally at 10:05 AM on September 4, 2019 [64 favorites]


Why don't they just straight up ban open carry in their establishments? Is it illegal to do so some places?

Walmart has been slowly exiting the gun business, because it's bad for business. Not because of negative attention from gun deaths and injuries, but because the profit margins on guns and ammo is slim.

WalMart is pretty famous for forcing suppliers to meet trending lower price points whcih generally happens thru lowering of quality. Which is fine if it is a jar of pickles but lowering the quality of guns is going to cause explosions which means their tactics can't work.
posted by Mitheral at 10:12 AM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


But concealed carry is okay?

The number of so-called "Constitutional Carry" states in the US that place no limits whatsoever on owning or carrying -- concealed or otherwise -- firearms is sadly large, but even still the majority of states require a specific class of firearms license, frequently requiring training and a background check, for concealed carry. Furthermore, the type of firearm that can be practically carried concealed (low-capacity and/or small-caliber handguns) are not particularly useful for mass shootings. CCW handguns make a lot of compromises in order to become concealable.

(Federal firearms laws make concealable rifles and shotguns illegal through restrictions on barrel length and overall length.)
posted by tobascodagama at 10:24 AM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


Ultimately I think thanks to the NRA loopholing everything to death we'll just have to ban all semiautomatic weapons. Bolt action is fine for hunting.

I've run out of fucks. Ban guns? Sure thing, let's get on that right away! Congrats NRA, you've converted me from a person who previously said he wasn't opposed to civilian firearm ownership into a person who is now willing to support a total ban on guns.
posted by sotonohito at 10:48 AM on September 4, 2019 [35 favorites]


I've been trying to find statistics on whether any given person has a greater chance of discharging a concealed or openly carried gun. I found... an article that doesn't exactly answer my question. Does anyone know? My uninformed gut tells me that someone with a visible weapon might feel more urge/pressure to use it than someone concealing a weapon, but I'm having trouble finding facts.

My old cafe used to serve as an unofficial meetup spot for an open carry rifle club. (This was before the surge in mass shootings- nowadays I'd have put my foot down hard.) Our other customers would clear tf out when they arrived. It was hinky as hell to work next to a bunch of weapons that could instantly kill me, held by a bunch of guys that definitely voted to reduce my rights, let alone while they're talking loudly about protectin' their freedoms. Seems like feeling secure is only a right if your idea of security is "I am better armed than everyone around me, also I am white".
posted by captain afab at 10:55 AM on September 4, 2019 [18 favorites]


Walmart Stores – Google MyMaps
Walmart Locations Around the World - United States - Walmart Corporate: Walmart operates more than 5000 stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
60 Amazing Walmart Statistics and Facts (2019) | By the Numbers: 75 million products; 100,000 suppliers; 275 million weekly customers.

Definitely a not-so-hidden persuader.
posted by cenoxo at 11:12 AM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm a Canadian and when I tell my American friends, of which I have many, but mostly in Los Angeles, that with the exception of in movies/tv or on the belt of a police officer/soldier, I have never in my life seen a real gun in the flesh, they are all flabbergasted.

If Walmart Canada sells them (I've never been in one, for ethical reasons), it's news to me. I've been in lots of sporting goods stores, and have never seen them there.

I'm 51 and know not a single person who owns a gun or, to my knowledge, desires to own a gun. I have no clue what the process of getting a gun in Toronto is, and where, if one wanted one, they would go to make such a purchase.

It is mind-bogging to me that so many Americans feel they need to own guns for any reason whatever. I suspect that owning a gun makes it much more likely you'll be a person who "needs" a gun.
posted by dobbs at 11:25 AM on September 4, 2019 [13 favorites]


dobbs' comment above goes more to culture than to law in Canada: you do need something called a Firearms Acquisition Certificate, which is a good step, but it is very easy to buy a gun in Canada if you want one for some reason, once you have an FAC.

I want say as well: kudos to box for framing of this post using the term "assault-style weapons", thereby avoiding a possible derail into the question of what is an assault weapon, etc...
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:49 AM on September 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


notreally: ...For twenty years the NRA's focus was on target shooting, hunting and gun safety. Targets were simple bulls eye targets or animal replica targets. Not human replica targets. Then in the mid 70's a group of crazies took control of the organization. Everything became self defense and they're going to take my guns.

The NRA’s journey from marksmanship to political brinkmanship, The Conversation, Robert Spitzer, February 23, 2018.
posted by cenoxo at 11:56 AM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


It is mind-bogging to me that so many Americans feel they need to own guns for any reason whatever. I suspect that owning a gun makes it much more likely you'll be a person who "needs" a gun.

Some of this seems to be an urban/rural thing. Growing up in coastal California, I don't think I ever noticed any gun culture, but my access to the outdoors was all hiking and backpacking. In comparison, gun culture is all around. Lots is related to hunting, but there are also trucks with AK stickers that don't have any of the usual Bone Collector-type hunting (company) imagery, including New Mexico Game & Fish's "Operation Game Thief" logo.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:56 AM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


Then in the mid 70's a group of crazies took control of the organization. -notreally

That would be Wayne LaPierre, et al. Curiously, back in those days, they had to do it by getting actual members to vote them in. They soon fixed that though, to where they didn't have to answer to anyone but themselves.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:57 AM on September 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


Not selling in Alaska is a pretty big thing, I think. Alaska really is different from the lower 48 (based on my extremely limited couple of visits I admit). You could buy handguns in a Radio Shack I went to! And handguns are actually used realistically as self-defense against large animals like bears.

Eh, not really a big deal. Also, selling guns at a Radio Shack would strike most Alaskans as very weird.

and

Ha! Apparently you have never been to Alaska and seen an Alaska bear. No handgun is going to protect you. Not even Dirty Harry's 44-Mag. Knowledgeable Alaskans don't depend on handguns. They depend on bear spray.

“Knowledgeable Alaskans” don’t expect a handgun to stop a bear but might bring one when going deep into bear country as it can make a difference (along with bear spray).
posted by D.C. at 12:41 PM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


I am so glad that citizen Walmart is finally doing something about this threat to our society.
posted by lester at 1:02 PM on September 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


Good on Wal-Mart for not selling this stuff any more.

(ObDisc: I was in the NRA rifle club at my (for bonus points: Army JROTC & Catholic!) high school, and my dad taught me to shoot.)

That said, yesterday my youngest came home from middle school and told us how they'd spent gym class getting the Active Shooter instructions which were particular to that setting -- because it's not just a classroom, see, which they heard about in other classes -- and hiding in the locker room. Her teacher promised to stand by the door with a baseball bat, and the kids were encouraged either to run out of the building and into the nearby woods or else throw their school-issued laptops at the shooter. (I told her that if she runs she should also juke and zig-zag. Sheesh, what an incomplete curriculum...)

Anyway, it made me mad that my kid's limited classroom time, already being wasted on bullshit standardized testing, is further being squandered on survival training. This time is being used to support gun sales, without which the training wouldn't be necessary. I can't think of any other industry's product being forced onto kids and teachers alike.

If the NRA makes this necessary, can they also pay the teacher for the Professional Development time to create and deliver these lessons? Maybe some snacks, too? And possibly even deliver some USEFUL information like safe firearms handling for when kids inevitably discover a gun in their own or friend's home??
posted by wenestvedt at 1:08 PM on September 4, 2019 [16 favorites]


Probably more than half their ammo sales are .22 rimfires, which can be fired from handguns. Are they going to stop selling .22s?

Yeah, but it's super rare for there to be a mass shooting with a rimfire. They aren't nearly as lethal as a centerfire rifle, so they're not used for that. Rimfire .22 has a very good ratio between recreational shooting/hunting uses vs. killing people. It's probably the last ammo type they should ban, if they weren't planning on banning it all.
posted by ryanrs at 1:10 PM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


If Walmart Canada sells them (I've never been in one, for ethical reasons), it's news to me. I've been in lots of sporting goods stores, and have never seen them there.

I'm 51 and know not a single person who owns a gun or, to my knowledge, desires to own a gun. I have no clue what the process of getting a gun in Toronto is, and where, if one wanted one, they would go to make such a purchase.


Walmart Canada used to sell hunting rifles, don't know if they still do. Canadian Tire does sell rifles and shotguns. In both cases the the rifle section is/was in the hunting isle so if you aren't a hunter you wouldn't see them.

Unless you are a complete hermit it's likely you know someone (co-worker, neighbour, priest, etc.) who owns a gun you just don't know they own a gun. Even in heavy urban areas like southern Ontario it's estimated 3% of households own a firearm. The percentage shoots way up if you know anyone in rural areas (>35%) or the far North (~67%)
posted by Mitheral at 1:12 PM on September 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


That would be Wayne LaPierre, et al.

The man responsible for the modern NRA killed a Hispanic teenager, before becoming a border agent — Harlon Carter led the evolution from sporting advocacy to political juggernaut, Medium TimeLine, Laura Smith, July 6, 2017. WP bio: Carter left the NRA in 1985 and died in 1991.

Wayne Robert LaPierre, Jr. joined the NRA in 1977, and has been Executive Vice President and Chief Executive since 1991.
posted by cenoxo at 1:22 PM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


wenestvedt: Anyway, it made me mad that my kid's limited classroom time, already being wasted on bullshit standardized testing, is further being squandered on survival training.

Just wait until they have to do standardized testing on survival training.

(I bet that idea will smell like money to somebody.)
posted by clawsoon at 1:35 PM on September 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


Another Canadian here, I was in the Navy and handled more than my share. A fair number of ex military types I know still own and shoot their weapons. So gun ownership is around but yeah the culture over all is definitely less prevalent.
I used to go to gun ranges and fire rifles with friends occasionally. But over the years any desire to do that has definitely soured. And I never was in favour of personal ownership for anyone. Keep a gun at the range and enjoy it there but why would you ever want one in your home...

Also in Canada you can have different levels to your PAL (Possession and acquisition licence) and by far the majority only have an unrestricted licence (ie simple rifles and shotguns.) While it's not technically much harder to get a restricted PAL most people just don't. A large number of handguns are also on the Prohibited list, especially easily concealable ones, so you simply can't buy or own those legally.
posted by cirhosis at 1:43 PM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


I want to preface my comments by saying that I applaud what Wal-Mart is doing, I think it is right, and that I am hopeful that it will lead to more positive change. This feels a bit weird to me because I had a thought very similar to this a few weeks ago, which is that open carry incidents and shootings in Wal-mart (really any retail chain) is tremendously bad for their brands! I think a significant reason that stores are making these moves is because their primary competition is from online retailers, Amazon being the biggest. I think all retail chains also know that that competition will only grow. If going to Wal-mart becomes associated in the minds of customers with seeing people carrying guns, then that will become a toxic spiral unless they do what they've done. In other words, why go to Wal-mart if you risk being shot when you could just order things online? People are already migrating to an online-dominant shopping model en masse. The threat of violence becoming attached to taking a trip to your local chain store is the kiss of death in an already harsh environment. The most lucrative customers for big box stores (and grocery stores) has to be middle and upper-middle class women - if they start associating going to your store with seeing people with assault rifles slung over their shoulder, then its game over. At least, that's my guess as to the deepest motivator behind this move.
posted by Slothrop at 1:51 PM on September 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


I'd like to believe that there is something more noble at work

And that's what Walmart would like you to believe, too.

Walmart is one of the largest employers in some areas, and it criminally underpays its workers and engages in extensive union-busting. It directly contributes to the despair that makes its workers, and the rest of the community, prey for these kind of toxic ideologies and fascist recruitment. It is far more to blame for the stochastic violence that we are seeing than it is 'stopping it' by requesting people not to open carry and not selling unprofitable guns.

Woke capitalism is the weirdest 2019 effect yet.
posted by corb at 3:04 PM on September 4, 2019 [16 favorites]


I'm 51 and know not a single person who owns a gun or, to my knowledge, desires to own a gun.

I'm a Torontonian who owns not a gun but several. There are plenty of us around! I love the sport, enjoy them as objects, love the camaraderie and am likely not what you think (an immigrant woman who has been an urbanite all her life and was never in the military). I am almost sure you do know a gun owner, and am 100% certain that very close to you this weekend a diverse group of people will be sitting in a classroom taking their CFSC/CFRSC/hunting courses as the first step to getting a PAL. Not being loud and obnoxious about it is definitely a cultural difference though. Even the most single issue voting firearms owners I know here find the open carry stuff and lack of equivalent background checks etc down south boggling (although it is technically legal to carry an unloaded long gun openly to transport in Canada). And it is driven in in the safety courses and reinforced by every gun owner and range owner you meet - don't tell your neighbours/coworkers/etc you own guns. Not because we're ashamed but because in a country where you can't just rock up to walmart and buy an AR-15 it makes you a potential target for burglary.
posted by jamesonandwater at 3:57 PM on September 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


Dobb: I’m in my late 20’s, and one of my [up-until-recently] close friends is a gun owner here. He hangs out with a lot of young, like-minded (and often very far-right) gun hobbyists on a semi-regular basis. Although he himself has much more apathetic, centre-right politics typical of cis-gendered men, I was depressed to discover in the past year that he partially justifies his gun ownership using some of the same alarmist, “madmen will jump through the windows and try to rape my family” self-défense rhetoric that rabid right wingers do.

That quote? I’m paraphrasing him. He asked me once, “What happens if wild people come into my house and try to rape my entire family?!” when I told him that the statistical likelihood that he’d ever get to use guns in self-défense at home (the only legally plausible situation in our country, in the absence of open or concealed carry laws) was next to nil. His reaction was almost like offense and disappointment at the same time. I even took the time to pour over the statistics and show him that violent crime in our country, particularly of the sort he was envisioning, was incredibly uncommon. I asked him why he entertained this bizarre fantasy of violence and triumph over assault. He only got more agitated, and ended up telling me that feelings of safety were more important than statistics. From there he told me I’d “never convince anyone” with such emotionally deaf arguments.

They’re out here, in Canada. Of all his gun-owning friends, he was one of only a few “left”-leaning people. The rest were the sort that believe trans- people should die, or that Muslims are out to get us, or that dA jUiCe are trying to eliminate white people.
posted by constantinescharity at 4:00 PM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]




Open carry has always weirded me out; not out of concern for the person with the gun; but for the concern about a bump-and-grab type of occurrence; or of an out right kook making a grab at it.
Negligent discharge is also a concern. Yes I know police carry chambered all the time; but I as a safety type of firearm owner Do concern over it. No bullet in the chamber; well; that pistol is not going to chamber a round on its own.
Carry frequently. Round #1; snakeshot; of which I seem to need to shoot one about every five years as I am frequently traipsing in a rural environment. Rounds #2 and onward are more oriented towards potential teethy things that might want to claw knaw maul or otherwise wail at me. Not animal psychologist; but for some reason; there are wild creatures that go nuts and try to harm regular humans.

Walmart not selling ammo At All if they chose that path; no big deal; and probably a reduction in their insurance and underwriting expenses. Of which will soon be receiving a caboodle of civil suits because well; yeah. Lots of gunfire in and around the Walmart lately. Go figure they want to distance themselves from any involvement in guns at all.
posted by buzzman at 6:31 PM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


FTFL: Resolution declaring that the National Rifle Association is a domestic terrorist organization and urging other cities, states, and the federal government to do the same.

What's more, given how much Russian money they've taken in, they're pretty a much a state-sponsored terrorist group.
posted by lord_wolf at 6:58 PM on September 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


My personal favorite argument, being pushed hard by the usual suspects (including the guy that Trump retweeted about the Clintons having Epstein murdered) is that not allowing all the guns in the universe into Walmart is the same as painting MASS SHOOTERS WELCOME over the front door.

What they don't seem to understand is that this is America. Mass shooters were _already_ welcome there, and everywhere else, because "hmmm, this is a public place in Texas, and there might be any number of people with guns inside" was zero deterrent for the El Paso Walmart shooter.

With Dayton demonstrating a very short while later that even when the response is near-instantaneous, even when Good Guys With Guns are nearby and take a shooter out within a minute, ten lives still get ended and thirty more people get shot. Because it is more important to preserve the "right" for Giant Fucking Death Machines to be accessible to the public than to try to prevent others from being victimized by Giant Fucking Death Machines.

Because someday patriots might march on Washington with their AR-15s and forcefully overthrow a tyrannical governm--hahahahahahahahahahaha I can't even finish that thought. I mean, someday, they could be peacefully watching NASCAR on the teevee and suddenly 30 to 50 feral hogs could stage a home invasion and only a gigantic magazine and semi-automatic rate of fire could save the day.

People who own guns are not the problem. People who insist on buying and selling Giant Fucking Death Machines are the problem.
posted by delfin at 7:02 PM on September 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


I'd like to believe that there is something more noble at work

And that's what Walmart would like you to believe, too.


I don't give a crap why they're doing this, it's a good thing either way.
posted by aubilenon at 10:17 PM on September 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


A lawsuit over the El Paso shooting is also on Walmart's plate. And while I understand what the people suing are saying, I really don't want armed guards everywhere I go. I have tremendous doubts about the training all these people would receive, and I don't much care to live in something that could be functionally called a police state.
posted by bryon at 10:23 PM on September 4, 2019


Rash of open-carry gun owners strolling into Wal*Marts and Krogers to test the companies' "request" in 3...2...1...

Milk run at the Walmart; and Yes! At least one, G-Lock on the hip.
posted by buzzman at 10:28 PM on September 4, 2019


Milk run at the Walmart; and Yes! At least one, G-Lock on the hip.

Christ, how do you folks live with that?

I mean, I grew up in a house with guns (my Dad was a competitive shooter and also a recreational small game hunter) but that is just bizarre and disturbing to me.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 11:10 PM on September 4, 2019


Christ, how do you folks live with that?

I just pretend they're cops, except less likely to shoot me.
posted by ryanrs at 12:50 AM on September 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


But concealed carry is okay? If someone is a gun fetish moron who feels the need to pack heat everywhere they go, I would prefer they make their "statement about the kind of person they are" in the open so that I can avoid them.
First of all, there isn’t much point in a gun if an opponent knows you have it. Second, how often do you read about a legally-armed person who isn’t a police officer wrongfully shooting someone? Pretty damned seldom. It’s almost always someone that’s already not allowed to have a weapon where the crime occurred.

People that go to the trouble of getting a weapons permit may have reasons beyond “fetishizing.” For instance, a neighbor was attacked seven years ago a couple blocks from my house. Now he rides a trike, because he can’t walk so well. Would he be a “fetishist” if he carried a gun now?

I kind of agree that open carry people are likely morons because there’s no purpose being served that wouldn’t be better handled with a concealed weapon. Except protection against animals, and people have successfully defended themselves against grizzlies with a handgun, but a rifle is clearly smarter. But a lot more trouble to carry.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 5:47 AM on September 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


I saw one of the “glock on hip in cheap nylon holster” guys in a local ice cream shop with his wife and three or four kids a few years ago. Creeped me out and I’m a shooter. I can’t see why this dude couldn’t imagine someone—geeze, a kid!—grabbing it.

One thing about Walmart’s press release that puzzled me: do they think there is such a thing as “short-barreled rifle ammunition” or was it just dog-whistling to the gun control crowd? They might as well have said “ammunition for black rifles like you see on TV.” Seemed quite cynical.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 5:53 AM on September 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


First of all, there isn’t much point in a gun if an opponent knows you have it.

This will come as news to the army
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:08 AM on September 5, 2019 [12 favorites]


When I was really young I had a friend who liked the guns and eventually I bought one because it was kind of fun to hit targets in a range with it. Also there's something to the way a chunk of machined metal, tools basically, for any purpose, feels. Like it's ripe with intent, with thought. Any well made tool. Just a pleasure to hold, to manipulate.

I got it at a show, when I went with my friend. The memories of that place still give me the creeps. Anyway I never really liked the weapon aspect of the thing. I didn't like the thoughts that part of its purpose would inspire. It mostly sat in a lock box for over a decade. When I moved to Canada it stayed behind; I gave it to a different friend who was a responsible person who owned guns but had never exhibited any kind of fetishism about them, and never I've missed not having it.

Cameras inspire that same "well made tool" feeling and I have several.

I was born in the US, haven't been back in like 10+ years and at this point, as far as I'm concerned the entire country is THERE BE DRAGONS on maps. I have friends I'll probably never see again. Unless they come visit.

It's not that I don't recognize what the country has become; it's always been this stupid. It's just the stupidity was masked under the common belief of "we'll give the queers and brown people a few cookies and they'll settle down and stop complaining, and eventually everything will turn out all white, just like God intended."

Except that since it's clearly not going that way, the masks are off and civility is out the window.

I dunno how y'all do it, live day to day, but then again, I have the enormous privilege to be a Canadian citizen now. Mostly I have to worry about being inadvertently threatened by inattentive drivers, or get stared at for wearing a skirt or a rainbow (more often I get smiles).

I am not sure why this comment on this post but it's something that's been bubbling around for years. The "melting pot" is starting to boil over and there's going to be a flare up.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:38 AM on September 5, 2019


They’re out here, in Canada. Of all his gun-owning friends, he was one of only a few “left”-leaning people. The rest were the sort that believe trans- people should die, or that Muslims are out to get us, or that dA jUiCe are trying to eliminate white people.

This is why it's something of a shame that Canuck gun owners are so safety conscious, quiet, disorganized and, well .... boring. No doubt Canada has it's gun nuts as we have all other types of nuts, but anecdotes (some of which may even be true!) from one loudmouth who ignores safety best practices can end up being applied to all 2.2million and growing PAL holders. FWIW I am in and out of gun ranges, stores and shows weekly and while firearms owners definitely trend conservative - unsurprising as they are largely rural or suburbanites with all the ranges run out of the city - nobody has ever come close to ranting to me about trans people or commented on The Jews or The Muslims one way or another (well maybe except to be jealous at the competence of ex Israeli army target shooters here). I'm more likely to be bored to tears with news of their kid's hockey tournament.

And if someone is ranting about using a gun for home defense (not really feasible given our handguns must be locked up, trigger locked and separated from their ammo when at home) that may well arise when their spouse and other references are checked by the RCMP when they go to apply or renew so loudmouth may regret the rants. This is not the US, although they sure like exporting their guns up here to gangs whiles ours are triple locked away. Maybe walmart's move will help with that a bit.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:39 AM on September 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


>But concealed carry is okay?
>First of all, there isn’t much point in a gun if an opponent knows you have it.

This notion of wanting to secretly carry a gun around is uniquely American. The rest of the world looks at Americans as if they are nuts. The idea that there are millions of Americans walking around in public secretly packing heat is ridiculous.

I would rather those people were exposed, using open carry, so normal people can stay away from them. They should be shunned as the sociopaths they are.
posted by JackFlash at 7:18 AM on September 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


First of all, there isn’t much point in a gun if an opponent knows you have it.

You're assuming that these fuckers think "opponents" are just people who might beat them in a physical contest, as opposed to people who might be intimidated out of beating them in a verbal argument or social confrontation.

Look, I've talked about gun violence in Texas on Twitter and on Tumblr occasionally, and every time I do it, these people show up in my mentions trying to intimidate me and threaten me. And it works, because I am not very physically intimidating and I know it. My only leverage is the judgement of my peers, and that's cold comfort if I wind up in the emergency room or dead. And I'm the kind of fucker who gets louder and more angry when threatened, usually--but guns scare me like nothing else does. My only power is the judgement of society, and the constant legal victories of these people in my home state just enforces to me that no one much cares if I die.

These men want to threaten people like me into being silent. Full stop. For all their rhetoric, this is not actually about maintaining safety in a confrontation. This is about throwing around physical force in order to ensure social dominance. And there is a lot of point to signaling to someone like me that you have a gun, and there is nothing I am legally allowed to do about it.
posted by sciatrix at 7:23 AM on September 5, 2019 [14 favorites]


(And yeah, gun people, I fucking notice when you're more worried about curtailments on your own privileges than pushing back these fuckers. I notice what you collectively care about, and it ain't my safety, either physical or mental or emotional. I don't see very many pro-safety gun nuts standing up against these shitweasels in my community. If safe gun aficionados are the kind who keep their shit quiet, man, that means that these shitwits can use their lack of shame to further muscle me and people like me into silence.

Fucking do something about it, because you have a lot more social power on this one than I do. I do what I can, but gun control leaves me feeling paralyzed and angry and totally helpless, because experience tells me I am. Why aren't gun lovers who give a shit about that not attempting to stage wholesale takeovers of the NRA? Why aren't you demonstrating everywhere guns are sold? Why doesn't that fucking matter more to people than the concern that someone will judge you for liking guns?

I get so shaky about this.)
posted by sciatrix at 7:28 AM on September 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


I want to gently suggest that some MeFites consider when they participate in gun violence threads whether they might inadvertently be repeating behavior that the site is also trying to improve vis-a-vis white people in PoC conversations and conversation spaces. We are reaching a point, statistically, where US gun violence is so widespread that any public conversation about gun violence is likely at least being witnessed by survivors of gun violence. I teach at a US university that had an attempted mass shooting in the spring. I was not on campus because I was dealing with a life-or-death emergency surgery. But it happened in the building next to mine and my colleagues and students were deeply affected. A young man sacrificed his life to tackle the shooter to the ground and saved many others in so doing. The commenter above me is talking about a culture of fear on her college campus, as well. The silver lining is that that culture of fear has become untenable enough that the gun control side is finding its voice. I just wish it hadn't taken so many dead bodies to happen.

So, please consider how it sounds when you come into a conversation and start saying "Don't look at me! I'm a good gun owner!" or "We don't have that problem in my country!" or in some comments in this thread, both of those things. I am not asking for mod cleanup or deletion in any way, but I think people might want to consider how their comments might feel.
posted by Slothrop at 7:28 AM on September 5, 2019 [14 favorites]


sciatrix - hugs and amen.
posted by Slothrop at 7:30 AM on September 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Again: I've taught through a school violence event at my school, one that was immediately followed up with a law that allowed larger knives to be openly carried in public. I've had to explain what happened and help make sense of things to my students. I have had to make quick calls on what to tell my students when rumors of a student who was stabbed and bleeding out outside the campus gym were ripping through my campus Twitter. No guns, and that's a fucking wonder.

Our campus gun safety advocates are constantly served with death threats. I said at the beginning of this thread that we just had a new state law come into effect that forces the university of Texas system to host demonstrations on our grounds from any member of the public who wants to host one. This is what these people wanted to do the last time we said "no, you cannot do this on our campus."

I'm hyperventilating, here. Like Slothrup, I'm not asking for deletions because frankly, I think it's better if y'all see what I have to say. But I am certainly not thinking better of "responsible" gun owners who don't push back against this shit, because I get to deal with the trauma to the rest of us in my own home community.
posted by sciatrix at 7:34 AM on September 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


Second, how often do you read about a legally-armed person who isn’t a police officer wrongfully shooting someone?

Daily.
Every day!

You're going to backtrack and quibble, barricading yourself behind weasel words in a rhetorical foxhole you already dug with "legally-armed" and "wrongfully"

I see you. I know what you're doing.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:08 AM on September 5, 2019 [19 favorites]


Yeah, there are several stories daily of presumably legal firearm owners shooting someone or themself, or letting their gun fall into the hands of a child who shoots someone or themself. Here's a study of one year of gun violence in Pittsburgh showing that 86 of 762 gun crimes were committed by a person legally carrying their own firearm; that's a gun crime every four days in just one mid-sized city. Eighty-two percent of weapons involved in mass shootings over the last three decades have been bought legally. Most gun owners are safe, responsible, and legal, until they're not.
posted by peeedro at 8:16 AM on September 5, 2019 [12 favorites]


Thing is, to anyone who isn't a gun fetishist an openly carried weapon is a threat. It is a statement that the person carrying the weapon may decide to kill you if you do something they disapprove of, and you have no idea what their standard for deciding to kill you might be.

But the gun fetishists seem to hold guns in this weird juxtaposition of most essential thing ever because they're great deadly weapons for self defense/tyranny/need to kill baddies/etc and also as totally harmless fashion accessories that it's laughable and pathetic anyone ever gets upset about.

Open carry needs to be totally and completely banned under all circumstances except on a shooting range, hunting, and transporting a weapon from a gun safe to one of those two destinations. I'm talking felony level multiple years in prison and no guns for you for the rest of your life level banned. You walk outside with a gun strapped to yourself and terrorize everyone you need to not own guns ever again.

Concealed carry needs to be on a basis of genuine need, not just "I like gunz!". I do not want random yahoos with a head full of Rambo fantasies carrying guns around even if they aren't doing so openly to intimidate and threaten others.

Second, how often do you read about a legally-armed person who isn’t a police officer wrongfully shooting someone?

We do however read about fine upstanding people who carry guns everywhere having a child take their gun and kill either themselves or someone else with that gun because carrying a gun everywhere makes you careless about it.

I recall a person in an advice thread (here? reddit? somewhere) who was very upset with his sister in law. She'd asked him not to carry his concealed weapon into her home, and he'd reluctantly agreed. But then one day, per him, he just innocently forgot he was carrying his gun and now she's angry with him and he thought it was extremely unfair since he hadn't been trying to deliberately subvert her no guns rule he just forgot he had it with him. He never understood the fact that if he can forget he has a gun with him that's the problem and why is SIL was both upset and 100% right to ban his gun from her home.

We also see not entirely infrequent stories of people with concealed or open weapons who have accidental discharges. Like the guy who accidentally shot up UT Austin less than a week after the lege forced guns onto university campuses.

The big point here is that one is too many. Gun carrying is unnecessary and one single death or even wounding proves it's too dangerous to let people do for fun.
posted by sotonohito at 8:28 AM on September 5, 2019 [13 favorites]


For the record, I'd also like to end police officers routinely carrying sidearms. A gun in a cop car might be justified, guns if they're going into a situation where it can be reasonably expected that they might need them, but just Officer Friendly carrying a gun on a traffic stop? No.
posted by sotonohito at 8:31 AM on September 5, 2019 [15 favorites]


how often do you read about a legally-armed person who isn’t a police officer wrongfully shooting someone?

Not to pile on, but this says more about the reading habits of the commenter than about anything related to actual gun violence in the US.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:03 AM on September 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Second, how often do you read about a legally-armed person who isn’t a police officer wrongfully shooting someone?

Take another look at your question and how tightly you have to parse it. You have three stated restrictions narrowing this phenomenon down to what you appear to think is an acceptable number of human beings being shot.

If someone thought the best argument for a baseball player being in the Hall of Fame is "He was the best batter against left-handed relief pitchers in the month of September," I'd just raise an eyebrow and change the subject.
posted by Etrigan at 11:45 AM on September 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


Last weekend, a guy I have considered a friend, for decades, came to my house and brought an open carry gun. He politely took it back to his car when I asked him to, but our subsequent conversation about it was distressing. He said he is afraid of "those Antifa crazies, who knows what they want?" The most charitable interpretation I can think of for that statement, is that he's fallen in with a terrible friend group. Really terrible. I mean seriously, he's heard of Antifa and fears them, but he doesn't know what they want? Where would he ever even FIND an Antifa, if he's not marching with actual Nazis somewhere?

I wish I were better at debating this shit in real time.
posted by elizilla at 8:39 AM on September 6, 2019 [12 favorites]


He only got more agitated, and ended up telling me that feelings of safety were more important than statistics. From there he told me I’d “never convince anyone” with such emotionally deaf arguments.

Dude’s wrong about damned near everything except that. He’s 100% dead-on that you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t arrive at rationally. Doesn't mean we shouldn’t push back; he may be unreachable but it’s important to keep these pants-wetters from infecting others with their fear. The ammosexuals we just need to impact with legislation and societal pressure. They don’t need to believe in statistics but we can push for evidence-based laws on firearm restrictions and keep them from bringing their murder jewelry into places where civilized folks go.
posted by phearlez at 9:28 AM on September 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


Regarding gun-owning friend: a possible response to his argument that feelings of safety are more important than statistics is that feelings are important, yes, but that can't extend indefinitely for everyone equally. Some fears are more along the line of phobia or paranoia. We can't really live with each other if everyone with a fear, phobia or paranoia has equal rights to do as they please to allay their fears. Those with fears, even reasonable ones, don't have carte blanche to do whatever they want.

I would consider telling this friend two things. First, that his feelings are entirely valid and that you want him to feel safe. Second, that while his feelings are valid if the underlying cause for him to feel that way is based on false information then he is going to do things that will actually make him less safe. And maybe he's ok with that and he wants to keep doing something even though he knows it makes no rational sense. I regretfully do irrational things that make me less safe (eating poorly, not being active enough, driving a car). But I don't pretend that doing those things makes me more safe and I even try to improve myself by trying to eat better, being more active, and not driving too much and when I do driving carefully.

So you might have some luck with getting him to admit that the gun may not be the most rational way to BE safer and then see if he can be mindful of ways to improve by not relying on an emotional support gun to get through the day.
posted by Green With You at 11:46 AM on September 6, 2019 [2 favorites]


Rash of open-carry gun owners strolling into Wal*Marts and Krogers to test the companies' "request" in 3...2...1...

Walmart Asked Gun Owners to Stop Carrying Guns in Their Stores. This Group Is Defying Them.

Retailers Walk Thin Line by Asking, Not Telling, Shoppers Not to Carry Guns
David Amad, a gun rights activist and the vice president of Open Carry Texas, is not especially bothered by Walmart’s recent announcement that it is “respectfully requesting” that customers not openly carry guns into its stores.

Mr. Amad said many of his group’s 38,000 members had carried their guns openly into Walmart stores since the retailer made the policy public last Tuesday. None have been asked to leave.
It's rather funny and unsurprising that the same people who claim an armed society is a polite society will say "fuck you and your respectful request not to carry guns here".
posted by peeedro at 9:20 AM on September 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Building fires, tornadoes, and nuclear attack are the only school drills I remember from my schooling in the 70s-80s.

Modern commercial buildings, the exceptions being newsworthy, just don't burn much anymore: steel, concrete, and glass combined with mandated non-flammable furnishings and fire suppression systems make false alarms and unintended deluges more likely than the fire itself, a price paid for safety. And we're all indoctrinated so that when a fire alarm goes off, we file out and assemble somewhere outside, waiting for the all-clear, even as adults.

My parent's generation didn't have any real warning for tornadoes -- there weren't even tornado sirens in town until the 50s, and outside of town they had to rely on phone calls and luck. But over the decades the problem was gnawed away at, and now we have spotter planes, Doppler radar, probably a dozen other technologies I'm not aware of all predicting, tracking, and warning away all the time. We still can't stop them, but getting a "seek shelter now" local alert really gets your attention and those drills conditioned response your ass to safety fast. Well worth the R&D and operating costs.

We're also still working on the nuke thing, but MAD was hammered out by both sides not blinking during some very scary standoffs. I almost don't think I have to mention the costs of this particular partial-solution. I remember only one "if we get nuked" drill, first grade I think, but by 6th grade the teachers were openly mocking the concept of surviving a nuclear war and suggesting we live like the bombs were going to fly tomorrow. But it beats playing Fallout for real.

So, what's going to happen when the students currently being indoctrinated to associate guns with such evils come to power?
posted by Blackanvil at 3:18 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


I saw a small gun store the other day with a flashing sign that said
WELCOME WALMART SHOPPERS :)
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:29 PM on September 16, 2019




My understanding is that hardly any shooters were using Colt parts as it is, they were mostly using stuff from third-party manufacturers, including the lower receivers (the most significant part from a US regulatory standpoint). The article even mentions this, briefly. So, for one thing, this is a business move rather than a moral stand, and for another it won't actually affect the availability of AR-15s.

A good analogy would be if Dell announced that they were getting out of the business of selling desktop PCs to end-users so they could focus on enterprise sales instead. End-users would have still have access to exactly the same hardware at the same prices, they'll just be buying it from Acer or whoever instead of Dell. (And enthusiasts who build their own from parts will be completely unaffected.) Except that Colt's market share for consumer AR-15 sales is way lower than Dell's market share for end-user desktop PC sales.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:53 AM on September 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


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