My cold, dead hands are smarting after this one!

Never thought I’d see the day when the good old boys at Wal-Mart would so deliberately piss off the NRA (statement here). But here you have it, straight from the AP wire, typos and all (full story):

WASHINGTON (AP) ― New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is applauding Wal-Mart for toughening it’s (sic) regulations for selling guns. Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest seller of firearms.

The store says it will make videos of purchases and create an internal log so guns they sell can be traced if later used in crimes.

Mayor Bloomberg has been leading a national campaign called “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.”

Wal-Mart didn’t say how low (sic) it would take to implement the changes in its eleven hundred stores.

The National Rifle Association denounced the company’s move.

I won’t take sides in this fight. What’s the point? I’m no fan of Wal-Mart, but I do shop there, especially for the lowest prices on ammo — always! I am a defender of the 2nd Amendment and an oft-embarrassed member of the NRA. (Someone has to hang around to apologize for the knuckleheads who run that place.)

Do you think it coincidence that Wal-Mart’s announcement comes just days following the death of former NRA president Chuck Heston? Holy Moses!

It was one step forward and two steps back at Kent State this week…

After what looked like the start of fruitful dialog on race — on campus and in life — (I wrote about it here), Black United Students Monday published this strong rebuttal to Beth Rankin’s “I am not a white bitch” column.

I won’t try analyze it. You can if you’d like. And I won’t take sides on this one, either. Instead, I’ll let out a loud sigh of disappointment if that’s OK with you.

I had hopes that our feisty columnist from the Daily Kent Stater had triggered a real conversation on race. And I’m damned proud to have her in my school. Whatever happens, I believe this generation we call the millenials may be the ones who finally overcome racial animosity in our country.

We old hippies talked a good game; this group of young 20somethings really seems to get it. Peace!


11 Responses to My cold, dead hands are smarting after this one!

  1. From BUS’ rebuttal:

    The statute of limitations on this topic is up, Ms. Rankin.

    This, coming from a student group that took over a month to officially respond in print. By rudimentary PR standards, that is an abysmal failure.

  2. E. Wagner says:

    I believe it was Morgan Freeman who said the only way to stop racism, is to stop talking about it. I think he is on to something.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

  3. E. Wagner says:

    Enjoy your break Bill!

  4. Blair Boone says:

    I thought the BUS column made some very good points. Why is it that whenever a majority person cries racism, it’s an invitation to dialogue, but when a minority person cries racism, it’s playing the race card? And why is it that only a majority person can be credited with starting a dialogue on race? There wasn’t much dialogue in some of the vicious, ignorant, racist comments I saw posted after the original Stater column, some of which read like the typical racebaiting fare you see after the average sports article that features someone like Tiger Woods. Do we hold Beth Rankin or the Stater responsible for comments they didn’t make? No, so why blame BUS for ignorant racists who attend their events, just because in the instances Beth mentioned the racists involved were black. Finally, what does a minority person or organization have to say to receive credit for continuing the dialogue? Is a forceful rebuttal disallowed? Must they be meek and mild? Beth’s original column certainly wasn’t meek — had the feel of “I’m mad as hell and not taking it anymore.” So if the BUS rebuttal is a bit forceful, why isn’t it brave for taking on a popular (among whites, anyway) columnist? Nope, the subtext seems to say they’re not allowed to respond in kind.

    Hardly seems fair.

  5. Bill Sledzik says:

    The BUS column made some excellent points, which is, in part, why I didn’t take sides on this one. Beth’s column and the BUS response were both angry in tone. Understandable, given the treatment of both parties. But the BUS meeting immediately following Beth’s column appeared hopeful. I’m just sorry that discussion has ended.

  6. jeff weber says:

    The article that talks about walmart not selling guns in its stores anymore did make some good points. There are too many loopholes that can allow anyone to buy guns. gunshows in particular don’t require background checks for their patrons to purchase them so walmart decided to discontinue their product line of all guns to be able to keep them out of the wrong hands because it could be proven as a liability against them or any other store. I feel this is a smart move and hopefully more stores will follow suit with this example.

  7. Bill Sledzik says:

    Thanks for dropping by, Jeff. I see you have a Kent State e-mail address, so I can only assume an instructor in some class required you all to read some blogs and post a comment. A little advice for the next time, Jeffster: Read the post, and read the links. Your comment here is so disconnected from what actually happened I can only guess you are hoping the prof won’t bother to check it. WalMart discontinue gun sales? From my cold, dead hands, dude!

  8. Jeff Ledbetter says:

    Are Wal-Mart’s steps actually toughening the process of purchasing a gun? Most stores already use internal logs and video surveillance to track the sales of certain medications, notably the allergy drug pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of crystal meth. These logs add an extra layer of hassle to making a purchase, but they don’t seem to do much good in deterring people from buying the drug or getting enough of it to make meth.

    Misspellings aside, it seems as though Wal-Mart has done the minimum to placate everyone. Bloomberg and Wal-Mart get good press coverage for the new restrictions, while the NRA is assured that these book-keeping techniques won’t actually change how Wal-Mart handles its gun sales.

  9. Bill Sledzik says:

    No doubt this will help authorities looking to trace a gun back to its purchaser. That’s a good thing on the one hand, since gun crime is way too prevalent these days. But it’s a bad thing if you are among those who don’t trust the government to use such information responsibly and to leave law-abiding gun owners alone. That’s the NRA’s concern and paranoid as it may seem to some folks, I understand it.

    Of course this doesn’t change how Big Wally handles gun sales. But what most people (including journalists who wouldn’t know a semi-auto from a single-shot) overlook is that Walmart stopped selling handguns 15 years agp. So in the end, this policy does nothing more than make Mayor Bloomberg feel as though he’s done something.

    Long guns have never been a significant problem in crime circles, as thugs find it difficult to stuff a 30.06 rifle down the front of their pants. (Is that a Winchester, or are you just happy to see me? Wah-Wah!)

    Point of my post is that WalMart’s news policy of videotaping gun sales violates a longstanding relationship WalMart has with those who own guns and defend the right to do so. I’m caught in the middle here. I like guns. I don’t like Wally.

    The policy also shows that WalMart will compromise to boost its bottom line. With most of suburbia saturated with Wally stores, the company must now turn to urban environments (like NYC) to expand its customer base. It will be interesting to see how Wally do this in places where 150-acre fields are unavailable for their bulldozers. Wally will have to rethink its approach to community relations, and that could be a very good thing. Target figured this out long ago. I’d shop there, but they don’t sell ammo!

  10. Melvin Jones says:

    Actually, I like guns and I have no real problem with Wally. They make money and they save people money. They don’t make anyone work for them, and they don’t make anyone sell through them.

    They are capitalist and they do it pretty much better than anyone else. Don’t hate them because they’re successful.

    Melvin Jones

  11. Bill Sledzik says:

    Without question, Wally is the most successful and innovative retailer on the planet. I’ll just assume the absence of ethics doesn’t bother you at all.

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