Business decisions are not violations of your rights. Usually…

Most of the Second Amendment advocates on social media are up in arms – no pun intended – about Walmart’s decision to deeply scale back its sales of ammunition. Now, it would be easy enough to pillory Walmart’s press release. “Short barrel rifle ammunition” and “large capacity clips” aren’t really a thing, after all, but getting details right is less important than getting the proper spin on your public relations story.

The short version of what I’m sure will be my unpopular take is that Walmart is, first and foremost, a business. It exists as a money making machine for its shareholders. The end. Somewhere in an Arkansas-based executive suite, they made a business decision that they could afford to lose some percentage of their sales by getting out of a segment of the retail ammunition business. Unless Walmart is being run by certified morons, it was a dispassionate decision made based on dollars and cents… and no, before someone asks, Walmart isn’t infringing on your Second Amendment rights.

It’s been a long time since Walmart was just a simple chain of southern variety stores, but they are still big business in rural communities across the country. They sell a metric shit ton of hunting equipment, outdoor supplies, and yes, ammunition and firearms. Because of their ubiquity in the marketplace, avoiding their reach completely feels unlikely… but a simple check of my last year’s expenses shows me that if I simply change where I get my canned goods, dry foods, and basic groceries, I can deprive them of upwards of $5,000 a year – a bit more if you figure in other household incidentals.

One person’s changed buying habits won’t make a lick of difference to Walmart, of course, but it will funnel money into other businesses, that are, perhaps, less willing to sell out a core demographic element of their business model. A few hundred or a few thousand people determined to do the same can make a tremendous difference in throwing cash towards businesses that support, or at the very least aren’t antagonistic towards their values and priorities.

Walmart has their own business calculus and so do I.

God bless America…

It’s Saturday… and here in Ceciltucky, Saturday means the weekly grocery run to Walmart. Now Walmart being what it is, I rarely leave with only groceries. Today’s plan was to pick up a few backs of the D-cell batteries that there are never enough of at the store before a hurricane and check prices on a variety of ammunition over in the gun aisle. Let the record show, that I was at least successful at scavenging sufficient batteries for the next power outage.

Ammunition was a different story. Aside from a few boxes of assorted 12 and 20 gauge shells and even fewer boxes of .30-06, Walmart’s cupbord was looking pretty bare. I guess at least a few of the people around here have been paying attention. Usually I’d be annoyed that what I had wanted wasn’t in stock. Instead, I looked over at the guy running the gun counter, nodded hello, and simply said “God bless America.”

Need more ammo…

I think it’s fun that the tinfoil hat brigades of the internet have gotten up in arms about federal agencies purchasing “large” amounts of ammunition. It’s especially fun when they define 147,000 rounds as “large” amounts. Let’s face it, many of us know individual citizens with at least that much ammo stored in their basement, hideout, bunker, or other secure, undisclosed location where they plan to wait out the end of the world. When you have an quarterly firearms training requirement for a couple hundred people, +/- 200,000 rounds just isn’t going to last that long. And it’s definitely not going to be enough to wage a shadow war against our fellow citizens. It’s cute that some people are just that paranoid, though.

Let’s ponder this for a moment… If the United States Government were really planning to wage war in the streets against its own citizens, don’t you think that maybe, just maybe they’d have ordered the ammo on some kind of “secret” contract instead of by posting it right there on the internet for every contractor in the country to see? For the record, they would have probably ordered more than 100 sets of riot gear, too, but I’m trying to stay just a little focused.

Look, a little paranoia isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s healthy to ask questions in a constitutional republic, but it’s not healthy to see a conspiracy that includes millions of run of the mill working stiffs at every turn. At that point, you start making the shift from concerned citizen to crazy coot and that’s never pretty. Like TMZ, sure it’s good for entertainment value, but it’s not exactly what I’m going to consider hard news. Yeah, I’m looking at you here, Infowars.

P.S. And before someone raises the question of the millions of rounds ordered by Homeland Security, go ahead and do the math on the number of armed guards they have who are also required to do quarterly firearms training and you’ll find that the per capita number of rounds ordered isn’t particularly alarming either, but hey, thanks for playing.