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