Snapshot|Commentary

Editor’s Note: This article is informative/ commentary. In the beginning of this article I discuss the background of the El Paso Shooting and why I didn’t cover the shooting originally. Also, I discuss Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillion’s memo to Wal-Mart employees after the shooting and why I am covering the end of Wal-mart’s selling of firearms and ammunition. 

Below that piece of the article is the internal memo from Doug McMillion explaining the end of Wal-Mart selling of firearms and ammunition. If you want to skip ahead and read feel free. If you want to read The whole article for greater context feel free. 

Back in early August the El Paso shooting happened where twenty-two people tragically  lost their lives at the hands of Patrick Crusius. A month later CEO Doug McMillion released an internal memo to Wal-Mart employees regarding ending the sale of firearms and ammunition at Wal-Mart locations. The end of firearm and ammunition sales at Wal-Mart will take place once stores have depleted its current stock of both. 

I did not cover this story as I had with a few other mass shootings here in 2019. The purpose of those intelligent briefs where to give facts about the case at hand minus the political slant. I stopped covering stories of this nature because I didn’t want to empower or amplify his message or his deeds. It is a slippery slope trying to navigate those waters of facts without amplifying his message or people trying to put a political slant to the facts you present. So, I made the decision to step away from covering mass shooting intelligence briefs. 

When the El Paso shooting occurred I did talk about the horrific incident with family, friends, and co-workers and how we could work together to reduce violence in this nation. It is a diverse and sophisticated subject matter that should be handle with nuance, not with a blunt response. 

I let my feelings be known that I thought it was a way for Wal-Mart to pandering to the illusion of safety and helping the problem without bringing any real solutions to protect their consumers. I also thought it was them pandering to anti-gun activists. Be that as it may the decision has been made by Wal-Mart to end the sale of firearms. 

On Friday or Saturday the Tactical Life blog released a commentary piece on Wal-Mart banning of guns at its location. I read the article. I believe it to be a little high on the rhetoric but, does bring up some valid points and arguments within the commentary. (Click here to read article) After reading it I wanted to cover the story from a 2nd Amendment news/commentary perspective. The erosion of any right by a corporation should be noted and seen by the public.

We must remember these organizations don’t care about your beliefs, values, or political affiliations. They fain understanding and moral high ground to continue to make a profit off of you. Those businesses only concern is to make a profit for their shareholders. If they have to do it buy hook, crook, or seeming moral authority or benevolence they will. 

Doug McMillion’s internal memo to Wal-Mart employees

Below is the internal memo from Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillion discussing the change of policy and the reasons why. I will let you the reader make your decisions on the purpose and reasoning behind end of selling firearms and ammunition. 

Dear Associates,

A month ago, in El Paso, Texas, a gunman with an assault-style rifle launched a hate-filled attack in our store, shooting 48 people resulting in the loss of 22 innocent lives. Just a few days prior, two of our associates were killed by another associate in our store in Southaven, Mississippi. And hours after the shooting in El Paso, our country experienced another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. This weekend brought tragedy to Midland and Odessa, Texas.

In Southaven and El Paso, our associates responded to anger and hate with courage and self-sacrifice. Our immediate priorities were supporting our associates and the impacted families and cooperating with law enforcement. In parallel, we have been focused on store safety and security. We’ve also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer. It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.

After visiting El Paso on Aug. 6, I mentioned that we would be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses. We’re ready to share our next steps.

We’ve been giving a lot of thought to our sale of firearms and ammunition. We’ve previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a “green light” on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a “red light,” to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.

Today, we’re sharing the decisions we’ve made that go further:

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.

We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand. As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same. Our remaining assortment will be even more focused on the needs of hunting and sport shooting enthusiasts. It will include long barrel deer rifles and shotguns, much of the ammunition they require, as well as hunting and sporting accessories and apparel. 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.

As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers. We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.

We believe the opportunity for someone to misinterpret a situation, even in open carry states, could lead to tragic results. We hope that everyone will understand the circumstances that led to this new policy and will respect the concerns of their fellow shoppers and our associates. As it relates to concealed carry by customers with permits, there is no change to our policy or approach. This morning, we briefed your leadership team on how to communicate this change in policy to customers when needed, and they will be sharing that with you very soon. We will treat law-abiding customers with respect, and we will have a very non-confrontational approach. Our priority is your safety. We will be providing new signage to help communicate this policy in the coming weeks.

As an additional step, we commit we will work alongside other retailers to make the overall industry safer, including sharing our best practices. For example, we are exploring ways to share the technical specifications and compliance controls for our proprietary firearms sales technology platform. This system navigates the tens of millions of possible combinations of federal, state and local laws, regulations and licensing requirements that come into effect based on where the firearm is being sold and who is purchasing it. We hope that providing this information, free of charge, will help more retailers sell firearms in a responsible, compliant manner.

Finally, we encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness. We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior. Today, I’m sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures. As we’ve seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades. We should not allow that to happen. Congress and the administration should act. Given our decades of experience selling firearms, we are also offering to serve as a resource in the national debate on responsible gun sales.

We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we’re going to continue doing so. Our founder, Sam Walton, was an avid outdoorsman who had a passion for quail hunting, and we’re headquartered in a state known for its duck hunting and deer hunting. My family raised bird dogs when I was growing up in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and I’m a gun owner myself. We understand that heritage, our deeply rooted place in America and our influence as the world’s largest retailer. And we understand the responsibility that comes with it. We want what’s best for our customers, our associates and our communities. In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again. The status quo is unacceptable.

Doug

Sept. 3, 2019

What did you think of McMillions internal memo to employees! Do you believe he is helping in the fight against mass violence in America. Let us know in the comments below. 

Thanks For Reading 

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