Walmart refuses to meet VP Biden to talk guns

UPDATE: Walmart’s schedule has magically opened up after the company faced scathing criticism for refusing to meet with the Vice President of the United States in an effort to stop future Sandy Hooks from happening in this country.  Walmart, which previously said they had a scheduling conflict, now admits that they actually had a PR conflict.

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Walmart execs refused to meet with the Vice President of the United States on Thursday to talk about gun violence.

From the WSJ:

The White House extended an invitation to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to participate in a meeting Thursday focused on curbing gun violence, but the retailer declined due to a scheduling conflict, a company spokesman said.

The meeting is part of a series of gatherings Vice President Joe Biden is holding this week with a wide range of organizations, including the National Rifle Association and victims’ groups, as he and other administration officials undertake a broad review of gun violence in the wake of the December shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. On Thursday, the vice president is scheduled to sit down with gun owners’ groups, including the NRA, as well as advocates for sportsmen and sportswomen…

Unless the Walmart execs already had a meeting schedule with the President of the United States at that same time, there’s really no “scheduling conflict” that out-conflicts the Vice President of the United States.

The arrogance.

Adam Clark Estes of the Atlantic explains some of the dynamics of Walmart blowing off the VP:

This news is troubling for a couple of reasons. On one hand, folks on all sides of the issue have been eager to participate in what’s sure to be a policy-making conversation about gun control. Heck, even the National Rifle Association has agreed to meet with the administration. They’d just look insensitive if they turned their backs on the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings at this point. On the other hand, as the nation’s largest gun seller, Walmart has an obvious economic stake in this debate and has said that gun sales are a big part of its strategy going forward. It’s also sure to be a target of stricter regulations since its stores played a role in several recent mass shootings, most notoriously when it sold bullets to Jared Loughner before he shot Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others in 2011. It also ended up in an awkward position when it pulled the Bushmaster AR-15 from its online store after the Sandy Hook shootings.

I wrote the other day about the “sportsmen” firearms available on Walmart’s Web site.  These are not hunting weapons.  And it’s absurd to suggest you need something like this to defend your home, unless you’re living in Beirut.

walmart guns

Here’s one in particular, the Sig Sauer M400.  I love this description:

Designed for use in law enforcement, military operations, the sporting field and competitive shooting.

Other than handcuffs for sex, you have to ask yourself how many things are manufactured for military and police, but also “the sporting field”?

Here’s the M400.  Sporty, isn’t it?

walmart gun

And here’s a lovely little video of a satisfied Walmart shopper, showing off all the wonderfully horrifying toys he was able to buy at Walmart, and for a song!  Is this a great country or what?!

“They even sell AR-15s now!”


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Blarg

    Your plea to emotion doesn’t change the fact that gun control didn’t
    work the last time we tried it, nor will it work if we try it again.
    Remove emotion and look at this logically. Mental health reform is the
    way to prevent things like this from happening again, not taking guns
    out of the hands of otherwise law abiding citizens.

  • blarg

    The Second Amendment is not about sporting or hunting, it’s about owning
    firearms for defense, both against aggression and tyranny. I do not need to justify my purchase of a firearm by saying it is for sporting or hunting, I simply have to invoke the Second Amendment. What part of “…shall not be infringed” don’t you understand?

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.sitterley Brian V. Sitterley

    Such differing experiences from what I have. I kind of like Walmart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.sitterley Brian V. Sitterley

    Nobody owes either of these characters anything. Neither one has a right to expect anybody to meet with them unless they are a federal employee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.sitterley Brian V. Sitterley

    This paranoid citizen plans to join the NRA next payday. I think I owe it to my country to stand up against the likes of Obama, Pelosi, Feinstein, and you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.sitterley Brian V. Sitterley

    I can’t think of any good reason I would want to meet with either Biden or Obama. Both are despicable. Being just an ordinary citizen, I doubt either would have any interest in me anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daveclark10 David Clark

    >These are not hunting weapons. And it’s absurd to suggest you need something like this to defend your home, unless you’re living in Beirut.

    I understand what you’re saying. Now, consider this: The primary concern in home defense is overpenetration. The biggest worry in selecting a home defense weapon is that a bullet intended to stop a bad guy instead hits an innocent. This is why 12ga slugs are not a good idea for home defense. This is why large caliber hunting rifles are not a good idea for home defense.

    A stock AR15 is a small-bore rifle. It fires a .223 caliber (5.56mm) projectile weighing about 50-60 grains, (about 4 grams), propelled at about 3000 feet per second. Compared to other firearms (handguns, shotguns, large-bore rifles), the 5.56mm is very poor at penetrating building materials. The bullet tends to fragment into dozens of tiny pieces after striking wood or even drywall, let alone the outer sheathing and siding of a single family home.

    Service caliber pistols (.38 Special, 9×19, .357 Magnum, .40S&W , 45acp, and a few others) have the disadvantage of lower velocity and larger, heavier, stronger bullets. These two factors mean that handgun bullets tend not to fragment, and instead pass through intact, carrying all that energy in a single tight package instead of scattered into dozens of tiny fragments. At the same time, though, the drastically lower velocity makes these bullets exceedingly poor “man stoppers” compared to any other weapon.

    Shotguns have the same overpenetration problems as handguns. They basically fire 6 to 12 handgun bullets per cartridge at slightly higher velocity than a handguns.

    Large-bore rifles carry a lot of energy a very long distance. Depending on the particular bullet, they might shatter like the 5.56mm, or they might hold together and go through a hell of a lot of material before being reduced to non-lethal velocities.

    My point is this: If your gun-owning neighbor responds to an intruder, you, in your own home, are safer if the gun in his hand is an AR15 than you would be if it were any other type of weapon.

  • jenchem

    Yes let’s assuage the guilt of the crazy prick who pulled the trigger by placing the blame on the gun..non sequitor reasoning is so prevalent among those who arent willing to address the cause in lieu of the symptom. Tardcore.

  • whamprod

    It’s called the Bill of RIGHTS, moron, not the Bill of NEEDS.

    The first Revolutionary War kicked off over British gun control attempts: http://www.davekopel.org/2A/LawRev/american-revolution-against-british-gun-control.html

    Gun control cost/benefit analyses are immoral: http://www.forbes.com/sites/harrybinswanger/2013/01/01/with-gun-control-cost-benefit-analysis-is-amoral/

    Why liberals should LOVE the 2nd Amendment: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/04/21/496931/-Why-Liberals-Should-Love-The-Second-Amendment

    DON’T be a short-sighted tool.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.gash.9 Ryan Gash

    You realize this is a racist statement right? Fucking moron.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.gash.9 Ryan Gash

    Gladly. Using emotion to over ride logic and principle is not acceptable in a just society. Their tragedy is a terrible loss, but Democide in the 20th century is a far greater concern than school shootings. The numbers just don’t lie.

  • Jack

    Please, tell this to the folks who had to bury their children. To their faces.

    I’m sure they’ll understand.

  • Litterbox

    Meanwhile, more people die from drunk driving each year than from guns.

  • Litterbox

    So, if you really think his facts are wrong, feel free to look them up yourself and post them here. He is absolutely right about the frequency of “assault weapons” used in crimes. But hey, dont take our word for it, look it up yourself

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    God bless their lil cotton pick’n hearts

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Right on, why, thousands of people even die of natural causes and some people even die in WAL*MART when accidents happen.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Damn right, it is about gun control. That 7 plus like on your comments is appalling, because your ‘facts’ don’t even come close to the specious conclusions you put forth. The ‘racist’ dog whistle about black crime is a typical touch.

  • marvin nubwaxer

    sex, guns, violence, greed. what’s not to like?

  • Paul

    I’m sorry, I must have missed the part where I have to justify purchasing something that is my Constitutional right to own. The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting. In early America, if you didn’t hunt, you didn’t eat. Do I “need” an assault rifle? Probably not, but this is America and I don’t have to justify a need to own something, especially to idiots like the author, who knows nothing about guns. “Because they’re cool” is the only justification that free men need. As long as I’m not doing anything illegal with it, I have a right to own it according to the Constitution. I wouldn’t meet with Biden, either, because the progressives in Congress are hell-bent on banning so-called “assault rifles”, and the following facts fall on deaf ears:

    -So-called “assault rifles” are used in LESS THAN 1% of gun crime. The “assault weapons” ban is about gun control, not crime control.
    -Most gun crime happens among young black men with handguns in inner cities where there is very strict gun control. See D.C. and Chicago. THAT is where the focus should be
    -The worst massacre by a single gunman is still Virginia Tech. Cho didn’t use a so-called “assault rifle”, he used 2 pistols. You can do just as much damage with 2 pistols than you can with a so-called “assault rifle”, ESPECIALLY in a so-called gun-free zone, which ensures that the shooter will be stopped only when the police come in, 10 minutes and 30 dead people later. This debate is not about logic or facts. It’s about gun control.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brenton-Adams/100000984027424 Brenton Adams

    Yawn… Its slightly amusing to read opinion on guns from media types that wouldnt know a rifle from a their own ass.

    Why is an AR15 an ‘assault weapon’ with ‘assault clips’? I could never quite figure it out. Is the scary black paint job? The little plastic handle? The shoulder thing that goes up?

    This issue quickly becomes a dead letter loser in both houses. Walmart is wise to stay out of it.

  • Drew2u

    Southern Arrogance, innit.

  • Will

    Per the recent presidential election as America begins to pivot away from the failed policies of the past tough choices will have to be made on many fronts. One choice will be whether educated and wise citizens will continue to allow the gun profits before safety NRA and their top legal street dealer Walmart to set the gun policy for this nation. It’s time for America to put away childish things and we can start by placing a serious foot up the NRA and its legal gun drop buddies Walmart arsses. I have had it with these merchants of death and their cowardly minions including elected officials in the Republican and Democratic party who whether they will admit or not are giving voice to ignorant paranoid citizens in this country who believe that the government is coming to get them.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Its worse than blowing off the Vice President. Biden is acting on a direct Presidential initiative here, not some Biden personal issue. So they are blowing off the President himself.

    Also pretty hard to accept the scheduling conflict excuse since invites at that level start off as conversations between the secretaries to find a common time that both can make the meeting. Walmart has plenty of Executive Vice Presidents who can make the meeting in place of the CEO if there was an unavoidable conflict like speaking at a major conference the other side of the world that day.

    But other than that, canceling a meeting with someone because of an emergency meeting with the Vice President of the USA is not going to offend anyone. And its not like the CEO of Walmart needs to exactly worry about that anyway. Anyone who can get onto his schedule is pleased to do that.

    It is also rather stupid to show disrespect like that. This is Walmart’s chance to steer the administration towards the option it considers least worst. Blowing them off means that the administration might just choose a regime that Walmart hates.

    Closing the gun show loophole is not exactly contrary to Walmart interests as it will put their competition under the same control regulations as they are. Extending control to ammunition might hurt them though.

    This is not in the interest of Walmart shareholders but it is easy to see why they would do it. They are afraid that the NRA will threaten a boycott if they cooperate with the administration on this. I find it kind of interesting to hear the NRA supporters complaining about how they are treated on the net then see the moves they pull to shut down discussion of gun control.

  • Eyeball_Kid

    Anti-union. Slave wages. Cheap crap from China. Wal-Mart.

  • judybrowni

    Wow, that’s some fucking nerve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randyariddle Randy Riddle

    They had a scheduling conflict with an appointment to shovel money in wheelbarrows into their bank accounts.

  • UncleBucky

    F***k Walmart, hey? Just F ‘em.

    The only times that I ever was in a Walmart (in NW suburban Chicago) was to take my Mom who insisted that only they had the underwear she liked. As I walked around with her, I observed the store, employees and customers. The store was dingy, due to the open ceiling design and displays weren’t neat. Few employees were there strictly to serve customers, but rather seemd to be there to stock shelves, deal with problems (customers) and police the store for shoplifting. The employees I did observe looked harried. The customers I saw seemed to validate the jokes and cartoons you often see about them, with sweatshirts, sweat pants and so on. When I asked a “clerk” about whether a CD was available or not, she answered with a distracted look, “What?” When I mentioned that to an assistant manager, she asked me my name! She said she needed to report that incident. I replied, “no, I am a customer, and until I pay for something with more than cash, you don’t need my name.” On another visit, I asked a checkout clerk, “oh, what does being a cashier pay?”, she answered with a blank stare “oh, about $7.25/hr [sighs].”

    Now in this environment, where it seems that employees act like un chien battu, the store is badly kept, customers who bring up problems seem to be considered to be more annoyances than anything else, and the most highly paid hourly employees seem to be trapped against finding better employment, can you imagine the attention they would give to gun and ammunition sales? It seems to me that, regardless of the most responsible gun/ammo clerk, the retail culture I observed would not assure me that they would do more than ring up the sale. I could be wrong.

    Now, for personal reasons, I no longer have to go to Walmart. I wouldn’t ever have gone there for my personal needs. Why is it that our relatives, friends and neighbors don’t consider that leaving their money at Walmart, no matter how little, simply encourages this arrogant behaviour towards gun control?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    That video scared the hell out of me.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Disrespect for the Democratic Administration is now mandatory for far-right extremists like the Walton Family’s Chain-Stores of Poverty.

  • S1AMER

    This is not news. This is business as usual for WalMart and the Sam Walton heirs. And, alas, this is America.

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