Things That Matter

Walmart Makes History: Announces End Of Sales Of Handgun Ammunition And Asks Customers To Leave Their Guns At Home

After another deadly mass shooting, this time in Odessa and Midland, Texas, which left seven people dead and another 25 injured, it is clear that people in this country experience more gun violence than anywhere else in the world. Mass shootings in America are now a daily occurrence. Sounds like we’re exaggerating, but it’s true. Saturday’s shooting in Texas was the 283 mass shootings in the country, and we’re only on day 244 of the year, which means there are more shootings than there are days of the year. What would make it all stop? Changes in gun laws, perhaps? There are some baby steps taking place right now and a lot of people are pleased with this news, but not the ring-wing sticklers. 

Walmart announced today they are ending the sale of handgun ammunition that can also be used for assault-style weapons. 

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wrote a letter to his employees in response to the shootings in El Paso, Texas, Southaven, Mississippi, Dayton, Ohio, and last weekend’s shootings. 

“In Southaven and El Paso, our associates responded to anger and hate with courage and self-sacrifice. Our immediate priorities were supporting our associates and the impacted families and cooperating with law enforcement. In parallel, we have been focused on store safety and security. We’ve also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer. It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.”

McMillon went on to say that the company has previously made other changes including ending the retail of handguns and military-style rifles such as the AR-15. They also raised the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, and require a “green light” on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of  “red light,” and they also videotape when people are purchasing guns, and only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.

Here are the new gun retail changes that Walmart has announced: 

  • After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons; 
  • We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; 
  • We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.
  • We are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted

McMillion also asked the country’s lawmakers to “move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger.”

Some people on social media praised this move by Walmart including Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. 

“Open carry is dangerous, and we applaud Walmart — one of the largest companies in America — for taking this important action,” Watts said in a press release statement. “No one should have to wonder if the guy with a gun strapped to his back in the milk aisle is a threat. Moms Demand Action volunteers have been asking Walmart to block open carry in its stores since the 2014 shooting death of John Crawford III in an Ohio Walmart, a call for action that intensified after last month’s mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart. This is a very significant step from one of America’s best-known companies; it was made possible by a cultural shift that people like you have helped achieve, showing that Americans want to be kept safe from gun violence. Our elected officials should remember that reality when they return to Washington next week.”

Naturally, the National Rifle Association (NRA) was livid after this announcement and told their followers to buy their gun accessories elsewhere. 

Those on the conservative side have already launched into a #boycottWalmart with some tweeting, “Y’all just a bunch of liberals. Never going to your stores again @Walmart @WalmartInc #boycottwalmart.” Another said, “Your decision to stop selling guns and ammo is just another reason I have STOPPED SHOPPING at your stores. If you desire to punish all because of the actions of a few then you WILL NOT get my money! I hope you go bankrupt!”

The likelihood of Walmart going bankrupt because some are choosing to boycott after this new stand against (some not all) guns is highly impossible. 

Walmart is, after all, the largest retailer in the country, so where else can people get a deal on cereal and toys? Is Kmart still around? Either way, we applaud Walmart for making small changes that will make a bigger impact. And while they might lose money, they will help save lives. 

READ: A Country Is On Edge As White Men Threaten To “Shoot Up” Walmart’s From Texas To Florida

El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

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El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

adriana.candelaria / garbrielndresden / Instagram

El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, has been indicted on 90 federal charges related to the deadly attack, including hate crimes. The shooter admitted to having a specific community in mind when he carried out the attack at the Texas Walmart.

The El Paso shooter is facing federal hate crime charges in connection with the deadly shooting.

Credit: p_craig / Instagram

On Aug. 3, 2019, shooter Patrick Crusius walked into an El Paso Walmart and killed 22 people, injuring 23. Some of the victims were Mexican nationals who were shopping.

Crusius has now been charged with 90 federal charges because of the attack including hate crimes resulting in death and an attempt to kill. The shooter admitted to wanting to target Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the attack.

The grand jury that indicted the shooter referenced “substantial premeditation” before the attack.

Credit: @JakeBGibson / Twitter

Before the attack, Crusius spent six weeks buying an AK-47 and ammunition. Shortly before a 911 alert of the shooting, the shooter’s manifesto appeared online. The manifesto spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The manifesto also stated that “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”

Crusius drove 10 hours overnight from Dallas to El Paso to carry out the shooting. After the shooting, Crusius gave himself up to police stating, “I am the shooter.” The federal indictment comes on the six-month anniversary of the tragic shooting.

Some claim that the language in the manifesto parroted some lines and sentiments from President Trump.

Credit: @eptxyds / Twitter

While the wording ming be similar to what President Trump has said in the past, it is not known if the president actually inspired the shooter. According to AP, the shooter claims that his anti-Mexican beliefs were set before the president and his campaign.

A memorial has been built at the Walmart to honor the 22 victims of the shooting.

Credit: tallyngrams / Instagram

“This hate crime may be considered an act of domestic terrorism, as have other hate crimes throughout our history, like the violence wrought by white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, told reporters on Thursday.

The deadly shooting united a community in the face of hate and mobilized a gun reform message from Walmart.

The announcement to change open carry policies for the stores and limit the sale of guns and ammunition was widely celebrated. Gun reform activists saw the move as a way to limit the spread of gun violence in the country.

READ: The El Paso Walmart Where A White Nationalist Killed 22 People Reopens With #ElPasoStrong Banner

Police Are Searching For Someone Who Left Tubes Of Bedbugs At A Walmart

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Police Are Searching For Someone Who Left Tubes Of Bedbugs At A Walmart

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As if we don’t have enough to worry about when going about our days, now we have to worry about bringing home bedbugs when we go out to shop. Or at least those that shop at a Pennsylvania Walmart.

Apparently, a customer left two pill boxes filled with bedbugs in the superstore in an attempt to infest the shopping giant. Obviously, this is a big deal and poses a risk to public health so the police are now investigating.

Police are investigating a bedbug infestation at a Pennsylvania Walmart.

A Walmart in Pennsylvania is facing a bedbug infestation after someone released the parasitic insects in a men’s changing room, state police said.

A manager at the store in Edinboro found a closed pill bottle with live bugs crawling inside and reported it to authorities Thursday, police said in a release. The bottle was found inside a boy’s jacket which was for sale.

We take this seriously and are looking into this,” a Walmart spokesperson told CNN. “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation.”

On Friday, health safety company Ecolab confirmed that the insects were bedbugs. An Ecolab employee also reported seeing bedbugs crawling around the men’s changing rooms the same day, according to police. A Walmart employee later found a second closed pill bottle containing dead bedbugs in the men’s department, police said. Edinboro is in the northwest corner of the state, near Erie.

The situation is so serious that not only is Walmart closed to the public, authorities have sectioned off the entire entire.

“A third-party pest management service has visited the store and we are working with them to assess next steps,” the Walmart spokesperson said.

“In the meantime, we have blocked off the impacted area.”

State Police are investigating the matter and looking for the person or people responsible, they said.

A bedbug infestation is a nasty thing that’s difficult to fight.

Bedbugs are “small, flat, parasitic insects” that survive by feeding off the blood of people and animals as they sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They do not spread disease, but can leave itchy bite marks which may lead to an allergic reaction for some people.

While extremely small, bedbugs can live for months without feeding. Bedbug infestations are also very expensive to fight. Professional extermination of bedbugs typically costs $200 to $1,500 per room and often fails.

Bedbugs are present all over the world, but in recent years Europe, the US, Canada and Australia have witnessed a resurgence of the pests.

Bedbugs have been a staple of American life since the Mayflower. In 1926, infestations in hotels and apartments had become so common that experts couldn’t recall a time when they weren’t a problem. People hated being bitten in the night by these pesky bloodsuckers hiding in mattresses, but the bugs seemed impossible to wipe out.

Then everything changed in 1939, when a Swiss chemist named Paul Hermann Muller discovered the pesticide DDT, which proved stunningly effective at killing insects. For decades thereafter, DDT and other chemicals helped keep America’s homes and hotels bedbug-free.

But it didn’t last. Since 2000, a new strain of pesticide-resistant bedbugs has been popping up in the US. In 2009, there were 11,000 reported complaints in New York City alone. In New Jersey, a Rutgers study found, fully 1 in 8 low-income apartments had infestations, with bugs hiding in sofas, beds, and tiny cracks in the wall. Many residents don’t realize anything’s amiss until they wake up in the night with strange bites and rashes. By then, the unwelcome guests can be tough to get rid of.