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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Petition Demands Wal-Mart Stop Selling Assault Weapons (Hint, Hint: Go Sign It)

Posted by on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 4:18 PM

As police investigate yet another school shooting, survivors of gun violence have announced that next Tuesday, January 15th, they'll deliver a letter and petition demanding that the nation's largest gun retailer, Walmart, honor a 2004 pledge and stop the sale of assault weapons in their stores.

The letter reads, in part:

It is puzzling why a family-friendly store like Wal-Mart would sell such weapons just aisles away from the strollers and school supplies. But what is perhaps even more puzzling is why your company never fulfilled its promise to refrain from selling assault weapons. It was only eight years ago, after all, that Wal-Mart was hailed as a model of corporate responsibility for giving its assurances to U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein that the store would not carry these guns after the federal assault weapons ban expired.

Erik Winborn, Wal-Mart’s Vice President for National Government Relations at the time, said in the September 2004 announcement: “Wal-Mart only sells firearms and ammunition appropriate for sporting or hunting purposes, and that will continue to be our focus. We will not be carrying assault weapons.”
Yet any Wal-Mart shopper could easily tell by looking around the store that Mr. Winborn’s statement is simply not true.

According to a press release, the gun violence survivors, organized by SumofUs.org and other consumer watchdogs, will rally outside the Walmart in Danbury, Connecticut—just minutes from Newtown—at 11:00 a.m. (EST) next Tuesday to deliver the letter and petition.

Once again, you can sign the petition over here, and you can read the full letter—and its heartbreaking list of signees—after the jump.

January 9, 2013
Michael Duke
Chief Executive Officer
Wal-Mart
702 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716-8611

Dear Mr. Duke:

For families across Newtown, Conn., this past holiday season was not a time of joy and celebration but rather a period of profound grief and mourning. They spent their days burying loved ones and their nights wondering why. Children’s gifts remained unopened under the Christmas tree. The empty seat at the dinner table was a somber reminder that this nightmare was in fact reality.

While we cannot imagine the particular horror that the Newtown families have experienced, we are regrettably all too familiar with the painful impact that senseless shootings can have on everyday Americans. As survivors of gun violence and the families of its victims, we write to seek your help and urge you to act so that others do not have to suffer as we have.

For years, your company has reaped massive profits from the sale of military-style assault weapons, including the Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3 Rifle—a semiautomatic firearm similar to the gun used to murder 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Weapons like these are designed to kill large numbers of people as quickly as possible, and they are available for purchase in Wal-Mart retail locations across the country.

It is puzzling why a family-friendly store like Wal-Mart would sell such weapons just aisles away from the strollers and school supplies. But what is perhaps even more puzzling is why your company never fulfilled its promise to refrain from selling assault weapons. It was only eight years ago, after all, that Wal-Mart was hailed as a model of corporate responsibility for giving its assurances to U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein that the store would not carry these guns after the federal assault weapons ban expired.

Erik Winborn, Wal-Mart’s Vice President for National Government Relations at the time, said in the September 2004 announcement: “Wal-Mart only sells firearms and ammunition appropriate for sporting or hunting purposes, and that will continue to be our focus. We will not be carrying assault weapons.”
Yet any Wal-Mart shopper could easily tell by looking around the store that Mr. Winborn’s statement is simply not true. Assault weapons of all brands and models continue to adorn your shelves, from Sig Sauer M400s to Colt LE6920s.

We know the horrific capacity of these weapons to wreak havoc on our communities because we have witnessed it firsthand. They have no place in our streets and in our homes, and we strongly insist that you honor your 2004 pledge to ensure they have no place in your stores either. Doing so will help save countless lives and prevent other families from enduring the pain we carry with us every day.

Over the last several years, you shamefully decided that your company’s earnings were more important than keeping your word. Today, we appeal to you not as business leaders but as Americans. Wal-Mart should do the right thing and put families first, lest the next mass shooting is carried out with an assault weapon sold in your stores.


Sincerely,

Yvonne Alameddine, brother Ross murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Sallie M. Badger and Col. (ret) Bill D. Badger, Tucson shooting survivors
Joyce Bishop, daughter and unborn child murdered with a gun
Michael & Jeri Bishop, son murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Nancy Bowman, Tucson shooting survivor
Anita Busch, cousin Micayla was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Jim Calhoun & Elaine Goss, son injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Alec Calhoun, injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Danny & Annie Carney, sister shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Kenneth Dorushka, shot and injured in Tucson shooting
Jeanne Dube, son murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Francine Dulon, mother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Andrew Goddard, son Colin shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Roxanna Green, daughter Christina-Taylor murdered with a gun in Tucson shooting
John & Suzanne Grimes, son Kevin shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Emily Haas, shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Lori & Channing Haas, daughter shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Jennifer Herbstritt, bother Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Joseph Herbstritt, brother Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Margaret Herbstritt, son Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Michael Herbstritt, son Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Stephanie Herbstritt, brother Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Christian Heyne, mother Jan murdered with a gun
Timothy Heyne, wife Jan murdered with a gun
Suzi Hileman, Tucson shooting survivor
Theresa Hoover, son A.J. was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Jerri & David Jackson, son Matthew was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Nardyne Jeffries, daughter Brishell was murdered with a gun
Jennifer Bishop Jenkins, sister Nancy and brother-in-law Richard were murdered with a gun
William B. Jenkins, son William was murdered with a gun
Amardeep Kaleka, father Satwant was murdered with a gun in Oak Creek shooting
Pardeep Kaleka, father Satwant was murdered with a gun in Oak Creek shooting
Alicia Lane, brother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Stephanie Loftin, brother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
John R. & Patricia R. Maisch, Tucson shooting survivors
Melinda Moses, brother Stephen was murdered with a gun
Annette Nance-Holt, son Blair was murdered with a gun
Emily Nottingham, son Gabe murdered with a gun in Tucson shooting
Jerzy Nowak, wife murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Sylvie Couture-Nowak, mother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
William F. O'Neil, son murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Mike & Teresa Pohle, son Michael was murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Barbara La Porte, son murdered with a gun at Virginia Tech shooting
Priscilla La Porte, brother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Karen & Harry Pryde, daughter murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Miya Rahamim, father Reuven was murdered with a gun in Accent Signage workplace shooting
Sami Rahamim, father Reuven was murdered with a gun in Accent Signage workplace shooting
Peter & Catherine Read, daughter Mary was murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Greg & Rena Medek, daughter Micayla was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Lonnie & Sandy Phillips, daughter Jessica was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Roger & Faith Salzgeber, Tucson shooting survivors
Randa Samaha, sister Reema was murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Omar Samaha, sister Reema was murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Pam & Bruce Simon, Tucson shooting survivors
Jim & Doris Tucker, Tucson shooting survivors
Paul & Susan Turner, daughter murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Brad Updegrove, brother-in-law murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Jessica Watts, cousin Jonathan murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting

 

Comments (22) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Last time I was in Walmart, all I saw were sporting and hunting weapons.

How are you defining assault weapons?
Posted by GermanSausage on January 10, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
2
Take this survey too...

Should The US Build More Asylums?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on January 10, 2013 at 5:14 PM · Report this
4
@1 yup yup...I travel the country and often park at Walmart stores (they usually are pretty welcoming to truck drivers, unlike most retail stores). I don't think I've ever seen what I'd consider an assault weapon. Most are hunting rifles.

And, about this petition, I suppose it's all very well, but I doubt Walmart is shaking in its boots worrying about the Stranger's readership boycotting the store. They don't really strike me as the demographic.
Posted by Corydon on January 10, 2013 at 6:17 PM · Report this
5
I wonder how many things there are that Wal-Mart is the largest retailer of, just by virtue of their being so huge.
Posted by Ben on January 10, 2013 at 6:17 PM · Report this
7
I don't even shop at Walmart. I wonder how many of the rightgeous people who signed the petition do. So what's the point of signing it? To threaten Walmart that we'll ignore them harder?
Posted by floater on January 10, 2013 at 6:20 PM · Report this
8
Wait, what's the association between assault weapons and the Virginia Tech shooting? He used a pair of pistols.
Posted by Russell http://lovinglyhandmadepornography.com on January 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 9
This might be the most stupidity-infested gun nut comment thread of any such thread Slog has initiated to date.
Posted by mikethehammer on January 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM · Report this
JonnoN 10
If you clicked the link, all your questions would be answered! 110k Stranger readers have signed so far...
Posted by JonnoN http://www.backnine.org/ on January 10, 2013 at 7:10 PM · Report this
11
@10, I clicked the link and saw a semi-automatic hunting/sporting rifle.

Yes, it's black. Yes, it's got a plastic stock. But it's not any different than any other semi-automatic hunting rifle except for cosmetic features.
Posted by GermanSausage on January 10, 2013 at 7:23 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 12
You know what that letter reminded me of? The same letters that religious nutjobs send out trying to ban abortions. All emotion. All anecdotes. Zero convincing arguments.

Assault weapons sold aisles away from, (gasp), STROLLERS!

Oh sweet jeesus no! The children! No!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

(wrings hands, cries hysterically)
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 10, 2013 at 8:44 PM · Report this
fletc3her 13
@8 The Virginia Tech shooter used semi-automatic pistols. One of the Columbine shooters used a fully automatic pistol. Both of these can be considered assault weapons.
Posted by fletc3her on January 10, 2013 at 9:09 PM · Report this
14
@13, semi-automatic pistols are pretty standard and have been such for a long, long time. I've never heard of of anybody calling a semi-automatic pistol an assault weapon. That's a pretty ridiculous claim. The pistols used at Columbine were likewise semi-automatic. It's true that they also used sawed-off shotguns, but those were blatantly illegal. They took normal shotguns and sawed the barrels off themselves.
Posted by GermanSausage on January 10, 2013 at 9:13 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 15
@14

The SPD defines some pistols with certain features as assault weapons. I know what you're going to say -- the short version being, you, some guy on the Internet, knows more about guns than the police department. That's what makes you a blowhard.

Proceed with your gun geek cock wagging now. Show us how much you know. I know I can't stop you.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 10, 2013 at 10:29 PM · Report this
16
@15 they do define some pistols as being assault weapons.

But it's a pretty retarded definition, having to do with cosmetic features, and not the actual danger of the weapon in a shooting scenario.

So I'm not entirely sure what you think your point is.
Posted by GermanSausage on January 10, 2013 at 10:55 PM · Report this
17
I'd sign a petition that said "Walmart, stop selling"

Posted by michael bell on January 11, 2013 at 12:19 AM · Report this
18
Actually petitions are stupid, I wouldn't sign one. It's akin to liking something on Facebook.
Posted by michael bell on January 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM · Report this
Nelson Bradley 19
Classify Walmart as a Hate Group.
Posted by Nelson Bradley on January 11, 2013 at 7:15 AM · Report this
Bill Freeman USA 22
Did these people really sign this petition? I'm calling shenanigans. Too coincidental that so many people signed that had friends and family murdered, but so few signed that did not.
Posted by Bill Freeman USA on January 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Bill Freeman USA 23
I sincerely hope that WalMart does nto cove to this nonsense.
Posted by Bill Freeman USA on January 12, 2013 at 10:18 AM · Report this
25
Virginia tech shooter had a mental illness, Aurora shooter had a mental illness, Newtown shooter had a mental illness. I don't see the problem here being guns. Also he didn't just walk into the school, he broke in through a window. So all the "armed guards" talk is garbage. Why don't they put bullet proof glass in the schools?
Posted by drewfus429 on January 14, 2013 at 11:54 AM · Report this
27
walmart stopped selling guns altogether a while back. haven't seen any guns in walmart in at least two years. when they did sell guns it was only bolt action rifles and pump action shot guns. these damn libtards need to stop the propaganda and get their facts straight!!
Posted by Annoying Apricot on February 26, 2013 at 12:16 AM · Report this
28
walmart stopped selling guns altogether a while back. haven't seen any guns in walmart in at least two years. when they did sell guns it was only bolt action rifles and pump action shot guns. these damn libtards need to stop the propaganda and get their facts straight!!
Posted by Annoying Apricot on February 26, 2013 at 12:19 AM · Report this

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