Smith&Wesson vs. Walmart. Guess Who Wins?

I Last week I promised to cut down on writing columns and already did a column this week, but a story out of Delaware caught my eye today and I just need to respond. The story, in a Delaware news website, is based on an interview with some Delaware residents who represent the gun ‘rights’ gang, and of course are extremely disappointed that Walmart has decided to stop selling handgun and assault-rifle ammunition because, after all, keeping a good supply of self-defense ammo around is just as important as making sure that your house gets clean water from the tap.

The problem for these pro-gun guys, of course, is that maybe they don’t need to get a latte at Starbucks or Panera, but there really isn’t anyone who can afford to boycott Walmart when it comes to buying the things we really need. And this creates something of a dilemma for Gun-nut Nation because the only way they can really express their anger or disappointment when a retailer says ‘no’ to guns, is to say ‘no’ right back and take their business somewhere else.

But the comment that really caught my attention was from Jeff Hague, who is identified as President of the Delaware Sportsman’s Association who said this: “It’s a shame (Walmart) made such a bad business decision based on a political issue.” And then he added this line: “I’m just glad I’m not a stockholder.”

That statement about not wanting to own Walmart stock may not be the statement which is furthest from reality in the gun debate this year, but it’s close. And to show you how desperate Gun-nut Nation has become in their efforts to craft a narrative that will bring them back to even with the other side, what Jeff Hague should do is pretend he owns Walmart stock and has decided to sell it so that he can buy stock in Smith&Wesson, just to show that he will put his money where his mouth is when it comes to guns.

Ready? Three years ago, Walmart stock was selling for roughly $70 bucks a share. Yesterday it closed at $115. Three years ago S&W shares were going for $26 a share, yesterday they closed under $6. And Jeff Hague says he’s ‘glad’ he doesn’t own Walmart stock? Does this guy live on the same planet that I live on?

See you next week.

4 thoughts on “Smith&Wesson vs. Walmart. Guess Who Wins?

  1. You are spot on Mike. Let’s remember that most Americans feel less safe as gun carrying increases and most Americans, including the majority of gun owners, want to take some bold measures to deal with gun violence and the many massacres we have seen. So the majority of consumers will be pleased to see what Walmart is doing. Gun rights advocates who refuse to compromise on this issue will be sidelined. We cannot keep living like this. It is unsustainable.

  2. Walmart is a corporation. It can sell what it wants and not sell what it doesn’t want to sell. Aside from handgun ammo, 7.62×39, and 5.56×45, I don’t know what else its not selling but that’s up to Walmart. Its a free market, right?

    Its not a big deal to me. I’ve been in a Walmart twice in the last twenty years and we let our Sam’s Club membership lapse about a decade ago in favor of Costco (which, by the way, is a gun free store but that another topic). The other advantage to the Albuquerque Costco is that there is a Sportsman’s Warehouse right next door so we can stock up on food, household goods, and ammo in one trip. I order my match grade ammo at the nice gun shop around the corner (to me, fun is not spraying the range but hitting small steel targets at 200+ yards) but the plinking ammo is cheap at the Warehouse.

    The problems I see with the no-compromise crowds (and I criticize the gun ban crowd too) is that they dismiss a lot of opportunity for common ground. Raise the blinking standards. We don’t hear much about people shooting up Dodge with a full auto rifle because they are hard to own. There are relatively few of them (I think I read somewhere less than a million) because you have to jump through a flaming Federal hoop to own one legally. They are owned by genuine gun nuts and aficionados rather than anyone with a credit card who can pass a 4473 quiz (or in the latest case, get one on the sly).

    Some efforts to restrict AR and some handgun and mag ownership to a more select crowd is somehow never on the table and I think that is stupid. It won’t solve every problem but I think the takeaway from a lot of these gun pseudostudies is the the bottom line is where you have more controls you have fewer guns and therefore fewer of them are going bang at the wrong time. As Tom says, many of us are dedicated gun owners but not entirely confident that we have this situation under balance and control. Or as my brother, an AR-toting Progressive says, “can we somehow damp down the pendulum swings?

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