As a former loss prevention employee of the company, I never thought I would find myself praising Walmart for anything. While the retailer has a lot of issues, in the interest of fairness, I have to give them credit when they do something right – even when it’s for business reasons instead of caring about the common good.
According to CNN, Walmart will discontinue sales of military-style semi-automatic weapons due to slumping sales at their stores. Earlier this year, the retailer’s CEO stated that this would probably happen.
“Our focus in terms of firearms should be hunters and people who shoot sporting clays, and things like that,” said McMillon in June. “So the types of rifles we sell, the types of ammunition we sell, should be curated for those things.”
When asked at the time if he would curtail sales of semiautomatic guns, McMillon said “yes.”
“We want to serve people who hunt and fish and we want to have a great sporting goods department,” he said. (Source)
As expected, gun fanatics are having a hissy fit over on Walmart’s Facebook page. They’re complaining that the company is bowing to activists like me who want sensible gun regulations and think that people who want to own assault rifles should undergo a series of checks to make sure they are qualified to own a weapon that can kill dozens of people in a minute.
It really doesn’t take much to piss them off, and this is especially hilarious because any serious outdoorsman does not buy their fishing rods and reels or firearms at Walmart. Honestly, Walmart is where you go when you forget to buy trout lures and you’re on the way to the boat ramp at 4am, or you realize that you left your blaze orange vest at home 200 miles away while you’re on a deer hunting trip.
Furious that Walmart (like any business with slow sales) would stop selling a product that costs a lot and also has a bad reputation, these people have left a series of angry messages on their page. Here are a few of them in all of their grammatically incorrect and misspelled glory.
“We see your political stance on the second amendment. Where not blind, no one cares about hunting rifle anymore! Majority of new generation doesn’t hunt thay target shoot. I will not be going to Walmart any longer!”
“Shame on you, Walmart! Shame on you for caving and jumping up on that BS liberal anti-Second Amendment propaganda bandwagon! Shame! Shame! Shame! “
“If you won’t sell firearms anymore, I can shop at Target.”
“The sheep will follow. Explain how criminals follow the law. How does taking guns away from law abiding citizens make them safer?”
“Boycotting all stores thanks to the political choice to stop selling AR-15 platforms. Thera at least 5 grand a year you won’t see.”
“Walmart does not like the second amendment.” (Source)
I am willing to bet that, like me, most of these people have never purchased a firearm at Walmart. It’s also safe to assume that they don’t understand product quality, business practices or any part of the Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment.
A lot of the fishing rods and reels they sell, along with the guns, are cheaper versions of name brands that are produced specifically for the retailer. Back when I worked at a small tackle shop in Georgia, we sold fishing reels from Ambassadeur while Walmart sold a similar model for a lower price. Even though they looked the same and had model numbers close to the ones we offered, the reels were not the same and were inferior in quality. On a regular basis, we had customers who complained about the price difference but couldn’t understand why the reels they bought from us lasted longer than the ones they bought from the Walmart on the other side of the bridge for $20 less.
The same thing goes for the semi-automatic military-style rifles Walmart sells, which most gun enthusiasts can tell you are cheaper for a reason. In other words, if you were a sportsman who was really serious about owning a quality AR-15, you wouldn’t buy one from a big box store anyhow – as some of the people commenting pointed out. Instead, you would go to a local store and purchase a better quality rifle from someone who knows the difference between .223 and 5.56 NATO ammo, rather than an employee from another department who makes close to minimum wage and needs management help to fill out a Form 4473.
Now, if only Walmart had employees in their sporting goods section when you actually need them, not to mention employees that know the difference between spinning reels or baitcasters.
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