Although the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been reported to be floundering lately with issues like financial struggles, they’re definitely still trying to make their mark. They freaked out this week after Walmart enacted a major change and rolled out plans to stop sales of handguns and some kinds of ammunition while also enacting store policy against customers carrying firearms in stores, no matter the state of local open carry laws. The change follows two recent shootings in their stores, including one Mississippi incident where a former employee killed two people on the job and a high-profile one in El Paso, Texas, where a white supremacist killed 22 people and wounded many more.
The NRA complained:
‘It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms. The truth is Walmart’s actions today will not make us any safer. Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimize law-abiding Americans. Our leaders must be willing to approach the problems of crime, violence and mental health with sincerity and honesty.’
In fact, Walmart has long been one of the largest providers of firearms and ammunition — so actually, those long lines might be a little more dispersed than the National Rifle Association is imagining here. They’re so caught up in the supposedly sacred or whatever freedom to… what exactly? Buy bullets at the same time that you buy bread? Take a gun around with you when you’re buying that bread? Where exactly does the Constitution — or any other currently in-place law, for that matter — protect that supposedly oh-so-precious law in the United States?
Walmart had been facing some pressure to stop firearm sales following the recent El Paso incident that came from interests as prominent as leading Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.). There were even surges of pressure like a walkout protest at a Walmart corporate office in California, where a group of staffers banded together to draw attention to the cause of trying to pressure their employer to stop selling guns.
Previously, they’d raised the age to purchase any guns in their stores from 18 to 21, a move the state of Florida also undertook following the mass shooting at a Parkland high school. The NRA filed a lawsuit trying to get that Florida move overturned. In 2015, Walmart also stopped selling assault rifles. Those are the kinds of actual weapons that have been used in many recent mass shooting incidents — despite this regularity and thereby clear chance to cut off a supply that’s leading to carnage, Republican leaders haven’t acted.
Currently, options on the table include legislation mandating universal background checks for gun purchases that the Democrat-majority House passed months ago. That change is supported by a majority of the population, including people from both political parties, but despite the fact that it’s languished for months, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he’d have Republican committee chairs try and come up with something — nothing has happened, even still.