Every time there is a mass shooting — and they are almost daily occurrences in America in 2019, especially we say: This one is it. This is the tipping point. This is the proverbial straw that will break the camel’s back.
The powers-that-be that rule the White House and the Senate will finally hear the unmistakably almost unified national voice seeking background checks; and, they will finally — finally – to tackle the proliferation of mass-kill weaponry sold as de rigeur hunting guns at shows, stores and online.
Oh yes, we say: this will finally happen. After all, what could be worse than Sandy Hook—the wholesale , cornered in their classrooms slaughter of innocent little children. It will surely happen in 2013, we thought.
And the beat beats on and the band played on and on.
The strategy has been to wait it out; wait until the passions and fires, the deep anger and distress, following each shooting fades. Just hunker down, the NRA and its minions say; This Too Shall Pass. Just: hold firm.
They do. They are right. It just: passes.
And then the next one comes. Same thing.
” Thoughts and Prayers/Thoughts and Prayers”…Right….
The latest interchange of early this week occurred when Republican Majority Leader McConnell said that he would move only at the president’s say-so on background reform, etc. Only when and if Trump took the lead. I’m right behind ya, Mr. President, he was saying: A thousand yards behind ya.
But in a way, can you blame McConnell, strategically? Trump has been up down closed open go start all over the place on guns. He had staked out a position, got the Hill leaders behind him—only to kick the slats right from under them only minutes later.
Understandably, why would a political leader like McConnell want to stake out first only to be made a total fool of by his President—again?
So, I really despaired of anything ever happening to break this cycle. No effort from the government.
Something is really, really, really seriously, systemically wrong as hell when a freely elected popular legislature like the Senate cannot heed the call of over 85 percent of Americans favoring strong background check reforms, and a majority seeking gun-type limits, which is a thornier, more debatable and admittedly more nuanced issue. Background check enhancements and closing sales loopholes? No brainer! Slam Dunk, right? Wrong.
So, we hope maybe the private sector will do something. After all, nothing is more central, speaks louder than and impacts all more than the market, right?
On Tuesday, the market did so. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private-sector employer and largest retail chain — a company that serves more American lives cross-cutting all areas of the country than any other company save perhaps than Amazon removed handguns and small barrel weapons from their stores and stopped selling ammunition as well.
With over 4,000 stores—and selling a predominately Red State NRA community writ large, this was not an insignificant move on several levels.
A clear message was sent by Wal-Mart’s chief executive and leadership: If government won’t act, we will. How can we serve the communities we take money from by possibly enabling this senseless rash of mass killings? After all, unheralded and virtually unreported, two Wal-Mart employees were shot dead at a store by an ex-employee in Mississippi.
After all, it was at a Wal-Mart in El Paso where the hate-fueled egged-on-online-alt-right-immigrant-hate chose to slaughter his victims.
Dick’s Sporting Goods will likely follow suit.
This is a gutsy decision by these stores because they serve the hunting/sporting communities who purchase legal firearms and supplies.
If these two stores stop selling ammo and most guns, that leaves the smaller shops—which are far less in number and power than these two chains—as well as the gun shows and online sellers as the supply line.
The focus will now be on Microsoft to put pressure on the online sellers; from Google to restrict ads for gun shows and online sales; pressure has already been felt by Apple that has suspended ApplePay for most gun purchases.
There ARE legal gun purchases in America. There are legal, appropriate and permissible guns, supplies and ammo in America.
The Second Amendment is here to stay. The Supreme Court was pretty clear in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). Municipalities cannot ban guns — but the late Scalia left the door open to reasonable regulation. But that is not going to happen.
The private sector, through acts as significant as Wal-Mart, will lead the day.
Jon F. Weinstein