Friday, April 18, 2008

Wal-Mart is dead to me.

We have learned that Wal-Mart has decided to jump whole-heartedly upon anti-gun mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's gun-banning bandwagon.

I must confess that in the past I've had my reservations about Wal-Mart, but in the last couple of years it has proven itself to be relatively convenient -- especially at four AM.

No longer.

For those Gentle Readers who may need a bit of backfill, Michael R. Bloomberg is the extremely anti-gun mayor of New York City best known for violating multiple Federal laws and compromising law enforcement investigations in his zeal to -- and this is a quote from Hizzoner:

“Now we have a duty as well, one that rises above all partisan politics, and one we will pursue relentlessly: And that is to rid our streets of guns, and punish all those who possess and traffic in these instruments of death."

Real big on "punishing all those who possess ... these instruments of death" isn't he? Notice that he doesn't bother to distinguish between lawful possession and unlawful possession -- because, to him, any possession of guns should be unlawful.

So, here's Wally-World, eagerly signing the dotted line on Bloomberg's "Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership" -- which mandates ten things Bloomberg wants every gun dealer to religiously follow.

Most of these are vexing and irritating burdens upon lawful gun buyers, but since Wal-Mart is a private business, Wal-Mart has the right to do as it wishes with it's business -- and if it wants to videotape the face of everyone who buys a gun ... that is their right.

However, in true Bloomberg fashion, one of the ten points he wants everyone to worship violates Federal Law.

The violation of Federal Law is enumerated in point #2 -- the part of Bloomberg's Code of Conduct in which he develops a "computerized system to log crime gun traces". If someone buys a gun which turns up at a crime scene, then the next time that person attempts to buy a gun, the "computerized system" will recognize the buyer and deny flag the sale.

The only computerized source for "crime gun" serial numbers or "trace data" on crime guns is restricted -- BY FEDERAL LAW -- to on-going criminal investigations by law enforcement.

Unless Wal-Mart became an accredited Law Enforcement Agency when I wasn't looking -- the first time they access the ATF's trace data system ... they're going to be in violation of Federal Law.

That's Bloomberg for you. Why the man isn't being treated to an extended stay at Club Fed for his past flagrant flouting of Federal Law is beyond me, but he's obviously staying his course.

So.

I'll never buy another thing at Wal-Mart. They have the right -- as a private company -- to get as silly-arsed as they see fit.

I, also, have the right -- as a private citizen -- to spend my money where I bloody well see fit -- and I will be damned if one single, solitary penny of mine will ever cross a threshold at a Wal-Mart ever again.

I have sent hand-written letters to Wal-Mart HQ expressing my dismay and contempt for this policy; and Monday I shall do so in person to the local store manager.

Bugger 'em all.

LawDog

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish there were a way to get a law passed that all, ALL elected officials who wish to ban guns should have to relinquish their personal security detail. If the tax payers can't have their personal protection, then anti-gun, elected officials should joyfully give up their tax payer funded security.

It may sound petty and childish, but it's getting to the point where I don't care.

martywd said...

Leftist elites have despise Wal-Mart for quite a while now. I'm figuring that Wal-Mart's corporate types are hoping this kind of political appeasement will improve their image? Not really sure why they bother though since the two Wal-Mart's in the area closest to me in Round Rock haven't sold firearms for over a year or more? Oh and as far as the elite and Wal-Mart? The leftist's will continue to hate Wal-Mart no matter how far corporate bends over! Now Wal-Mart corporate can add gun owners to the list of groups that despise Wal-Mart. Very slick thinking.

Miguel said...

I am in favor of Walmart actually doing all that. And before anybody starts foaming at the mouth towards yours truly, allow me to explain why. The State of Florida (The Gunshine State) some years back passed very strict laws regarding the keeping of firearms' records that include penalties of up to 5 years and 5 thousand dollars to individuals doing this deed. you think your local Wally World the Manager or employee at the sporting goods section getting nailed and sent to jail because headquarters said so? And the answer will be yes in the first 3 to 5 cases until news reach headquarters. Next headquarters will find out that they are fined 5 MILLION bucks for keeping such records. I think the penalties apply per incident so we are talking a serious amount of moolah that WalMart must shed for playing footise with Bloomberg. I have no idea how many firearms Wally World sells a week, but 100 should not be too far fetched.
Told ya Florida Law is strict

ironpacker said...

Call me a cynic, but I figure that the suits that run Wally's World figure that loss of firearms sales will be offset by the good PR of going along with the asshat mayor of NYC.

Personally, I would rather be in Castle Dracula at sunset than shop in WalMart. Their salesstaff seem to be too stupid and slow to work in most DMVs and customer service is mainly a slogan imo

Draven said...

Why isn't he having an extended vacation at club fed?

1- Too many Clintonites left in the DoJ, see the Solicitor General's brief and testimony re: Heller.

2- He's filthy rich and can afford lots of lawyers.

If we plebes tried to do stuff like this, Bloomberg himself would want us arrested.

bob@thenest said...

I didn't think I could despise Wal-Mart any more than I did.

I was wrong.

the pawnbroker said...

glad to see this evil crap finally discussed...my original comment is here:

http://poetnthepawnbroker.blogspot.com/2008/04/were-watching-you-too-wally.html

i was an ffl in fla for 30 years; one of gun buyer's prime concerns was creating a record of the firearms they own, and the law only prevents gov agencies from maintaining one, not a private entity like wal-mart, which will now have a video record of not just the faces of lawful buyers but the firearms that go with them...any doubt they'll be sharing that database with bloomberg & co to help them get nyc stores approved?

and that record of gun traces? as you say lawdog, they better have access to only those guns they sold, otherwise some gov agency will be in big trouble...and keep this in mind: they will base their little ban on sales to individuals who purchased guns that were traced, and assume the gun was used in a crime, and that's not at all generally the case...atf runs traces on guns for a lot of reasons, including just the fact that the gun was located where a crime was committed...remember that marlin .22 you bought five years ago, and sold to a friend or in the newspaper? well, that guy might have sold it, and that guy might have sold it again, if it eventually ends with a trace for whatever reason, you, as the original purchaser of that gun, and a completely legal law-abiding individual are now banned from purchasing a gun at wal-fuckingmart...Constitutional rights? we don't care about no stinkin' Constitutional rights, we're by God wallyworld!

they are willing to lose your business as a gun buyer in order to snuggle up to bloomberg and his fascist buds in the hopes of expanding their empire further... but they are not willing to give up everything else, so like you, lawdog, every swingin' dick out there needs to make that pledge, and it won't be easy, because they've killed off most of the competition...but make the pledge, and follow through...

I WILL NEVER SPEND ANOTHER DOLLAR AT WAL-MART!

this story and this pledge needs to go viral throughout the gun blogging and Constitution-loving universe! FUCK WAL-MART!

OA said...

"...but since Wal-Mart is a private business..."


Whilst they're non-governmental, they're a publicly held company. Stock owners could raise absolute hell if they wanted, though I suspect there's a lot of Wal-Mart denouncing leftists in that woodpile.

KBCraig said...

I remain bemused at those who think this is some scary new development. It's scary, but it's not new.

Every sales transaction at Wal Mart has been video recorded for many years. Every purchase you've ever made there using a check or plastic has been duly noted in their big database, which makes note of what you, personally, have purchased, and also contains your personal banking details.

All the records Wal Mart keeps regarding gun sales, are legally required, with the exception of this new "crime gun" thing. Since Wal Mart doesn't have access to criminal records showing which guns have been used in crimes, they have no way to create that database anyway.

To those of you have been living in Condition White regarding your personal privacy: good morning!

To those of you who have been under the mistaken impression that we're not living under fascism: good morning! I don't use that word lightly: fascism is a system of strong jingoistic nationalism, and collusion between strong authoritarian central government and strong government-protected corporations, with no regard for privacy or rights of citizens.

What better term to describe America in 2008?

Anonymous said...

Here's my story. I stopped at Wallyworld in Amarillo one evening on my way home from a patient because it was the only place open and I needed two things: 1) catfood, and 2) a dog collar. Nearly an hour and probably half a dozen "duh?" employees later, I found what I was looking for and went to the checkout.
There, of course, was that stupid sign saying "if there are more than four customers in line" they'll open another check out register.
Ha. There were probably a dozen people in line, and there wasn't anyone opening another cash register. Nor was there anyone for the next hour it took me to get checked out, because, although this was the restricted-number-of-items (like 10 or 20) line, there were (my pet peeve) at least three people with loaded to overflowing carts, complete with small runaway children, coupons, food stamps, and wanting to write a check without identification ahead of me.
But then there's the time at another Wallyworld, when I had approximately $40 worth of stuff and handed the clerk a $100 bill. She didn't have enough money in her register to give me change. So she called back somewhere for someone to bring it to her. Half an hour later, here came two people, strolling and laughing, in no hurry to accomodate a customer, with the change. I should have left. I WOULD have left, except the clerk had glommed onto my hundred like grim death. Next time, there'll be a fight.
Then on the other hand, at yet another Wallyworld, I was in line when the register closed-I'm good at that; it's my fate-and another customer came over and led me to a shorter line because I was obviously in a hurry. NEVER go to WalMart when you're in a hurry. I went over and the customer and I were talking about the time it took to get through check-out when a clerk at a register an aisle over (to whom we weren't even talking) said, "You'd better be glad for these lines; that's what keeps you from having to pay so much"
Flew all over me like ugly on the ape, that did. So I shoved my basket aside, told her I could fix it so she didn't have to worry about my paying a damned thing, and asked for a manager.
They advertise loud and long that they will employ 'seniors.' Well, they do, and then demand that these people-usually 'greeters'-remain on their feet for most of an 8-hour shift.
They also used to advertise that after an employee was there for a certain number of years, WalMart would do matching funds for college education. What they didn't say was that when the employee was just about to qualify for those matching funds, they would cut their hours until it was impractical for them to work there any longer. Well, it was a legal, though perhaps not ethical, out.
Then there was the case of my former landlady's son, who worked for Sam's for about four years and found that new employees were being hired with a beginning salary more than he was being paid after all his time there. He went to complain and was told like it or lump it. Of course he quit.
WalMart isn't the only business which cares nothing about the intelligence and ability of its employees. Just because someone is really bright and works hard for them until they have seniority doesn't mean they'll get promoted. WalMart employees are just retail cannon fodder.
Unfortunately, WalMart isn't the only business with this attitude; it's nation-wide, and I believe we can thank the Wharton School of Business for the so-called money saving ideas which have progressively turned American businesses into entities which demand service and loyalty from their employees while giving them nothing in return, and who have so much confidence in the fact that customers won't go anywhere else no matter how they're treated, that they don't require even common courtesy from their employees.
For the current rude, cutthroat attitude which prevails among employees, we can probably thank The Donald and his vicious t.v. show.
Remember also that WalMart (and schools, from elementary public to universities) was a ringleader in demanding a social security number for identification purposes. Not telling my age, but I'm old enough to have a social security card which says quite clearly, Not For Identification Purposes. We see, on a daily basis, television infomercials saying in effect, "Don't give your social security number to anyone" yet here we are, merrily handing it out and even having it printed on our checks because places like Wallyworld initiated the requirement of it for ID. Thanks a million, guys-from your friendly local identity thief.
I won't go into my experiences at Lowe's-owned, in case you didn't know-by the Wallyworld/Sam's conglomerate.
I do my dead level best NOT to shop at WalMart. Their employees are in the main uninformed, disgruntled, and downright rude, their products are often shoddy, and I just don't like them. Now I can add this latest idiocy to my list and stop shopping there altogether. There's something about hysterical fawning that just doesn't set well with me.
LawMom

k2 said...

My local Wal-Mart has a picket line outside, so I won't cross it. It has been 2 years since I went there voluntarily.

Lonestar Gal said...

I must confess, I am now, after reading your post this morning, VERY glad that Bloomburg decided not to run! I was unaware of his stance on the 2nd Amendment.(**hides face in shame**)
I was just freaked out by the other available "candidates" for the Presidential bid, and thought since he has done good things for NY, that he may be good for the country.
Just goes to show you what happens when you don't have cable, local news channels just don't let you in on the important info.
Thanks for the heads up LD!

Anonymous said...

If it really did cost Wal-Mart 5 grand per firearm, I'd go down and buy 2 Mossbergs just to fine them $10,000. :D

fuzzys dad said...

Wal-Mart has gone to hell since Mr.Sam died. Shame on them.

Twycross said...

Is Walmart actually able to access this data, or is this just an empty gesture? I have no love for Walmart, but I don't plan on a boycott over the latest hollow PR move.

OA said...

KBCraig said...
"Every purchase you've ever made there using a check or plastic has been duly noted in their big database, which makes note of what you, personally, have purchased, and also contains your personal banking details."

I use this cool thing called "cash". Then again I haven't shopped there in years, so I guess it's moot.

Regolith said...

This puts me in an uncomfortable position...

Wal-Mart is the only place in town to get certain amenities such as printer ink, not to mention the countless other things that the other stores in town just don't stock. And it costs too much to got to the next town over (45 miles over a steep mountain pass) to find such things.

I may not boycott them entirely, but I'll definitely be spending much less money there, until such time as I find a better alternative or move out of this place, which should be in a little over a year.

"gunner" said...

regolith,
for those office type supplies check "staples" and the other big office supplier, (i can't think of the name just off hand) for their web sites to see if they will deliver via usps or untied parcel.
"gunner"

Miguel said...

I emailed Wal-Mart corporate and asked specifically about how are they planning to marry their new deal with Bloomberg and the fact that the deal runs against Florida Statutes, here is their Beat-Around-The-Bush answer.

Thank you for your message.

Dear Miguel,

Wal-Mart understands its role as a leading, responsible retailer in the U.S. and is making strides to strengthen its already existing security processes to help combat illegal gun activity in the communities we serve.
Wal-Mart has a long and proud history of offering the products hunters and outdoorsmen want and need and that will not change.

It is important to note that these procedures should not impede law-abiding citizens from purchasing firearms at our stores that sell them. These processes merely provide us, as a retailer, an additional mechanism to assist law enforcement when illegal activity occurs.

We are hopeful these enhanced processes with help from law enforcement and other retailers committing to do the same can make a positive difference in our communities.

Thank you,
Wal-Mart Customer Relations

the pawnbroker said...

kbcraig:

on the assumption that you used the term "bemused" in its correct context meaning "bewildered and confused" as opposed to an incorrect synonym for "amused", i would like to correct your misconception that wallyworld's new video plans are the same as the security video that it uses throughout it's stores...

what they plan is a dedicated, concentrated video at the gun counter itself, closeup views of you the buyer as you complete the 4473, and of the particular firearm you are buying...this is completely counter to the requirement that gov not retain specific information of the purchase of guns...4473's remain with the retailer until such time as the ffl is not renewed and is then sent to the records depository of the batfe, and they are not to be used for any purpose other than to comply with atf trace requests...what wal-mart plans for this new video archive we can only guess, but make no mistake, it will be a complete searchable archive independent of required federal and/or state paperwork.

and those trace requests will be the basis of the seperate planned database dossier which will deny purchases by anyone who has ever purchased a firearm which was the subject of a trace...that does not mean the gun was used in a crime, it does not disqualify a buyer by any law, but only by wal-mart in its role of agent of bloomberg and his minions in pursuit of his good graces and quid pro quo...and they have no problem selling out your Constitutional rights to obtain same.

let there be no "bemusement" here...this is indeed a new, invasive, backdoor gun control measure...that it comes from the nation's largest firearms retailer is insult to injury of the greatest magnitude...they deserve your disgust, anger, letters to their corporate and your government representatives warning against any divulgence of protected information.

and most important to wal-mart itself, as total of a withholding of any of your dollars as possible from this behemoth that has gotten so big for its britches that it would arbitrarily and unjustly void your personal and Constitutional rights...

and i repeat myself, FUCK WAL-MART!

phlegmfatale said...

I love the tap dance in the Walmart Customer Relations letter. They probably think they answered his questions.

All the more reason to support small, local retailers.

bob@thenest said...

LawMom, to your list you may add:

Rare occasion, had to accompany the wife into THAT store. While there realized I needed pipe cleaners. 3 people in the tobacco section. None of them had a clue what a pipe cleaner was.

Idiots.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"Wal-Mart has gone to hell since Mr.Sam died. Shame on them."

This is a classic example of why I hope (but, sadly, do not expect) the Death Tax will stay dead. I think what is wrong with Wa-Mart - and a lot of corporate America - is that there is nobody in a position to say "Don't do that, my name is on the building". The Death Tax ensured that in the second generation a company will fall into the hands of the bean counters and boardroom boneheads.

Simeron Steelhammer said...

I dunno. I agree that Wal-Mart has headed down the garden path since Mr. Walton passed on and that they have alot of issues but, I can't fault them entirely either. They do keep their prices low and thus, have gotten to the top of the food chain, they do alot of donations and charity work, it is never a black and white issue really, more shades of grey.

I don't think them signing this little agreement is a good thing. I also don't think it will have much effect outside of the New York area either and I would be curious as to the first few times its put into effect to see if someone could nail both Wal-Mart and Mr. Bloomburg to the wall with ten penny nails for it.

Maybe the NRA will be willing to have 100 or so members go into Wal-Mart, pick up a nice pistol or rifle and have some minor little "crime" done (say littering) so this gets triggered.

Then when they pull the access or the people are denied being able to get a gun because of it, WHAMMO, the NRA gets to fund the real victims and then let's see if Wal-Mart and Bloomburg can bury this under a mountain of cash?

Of course, that's in a more perfect world. I'm more interested in how the Supreme Court is going to handle the 2nd Amendment cases before it right now.

Anonymous said...

Wow Lawmom! Count me in among those who are being screwed over by their employer (a university) who hires people at the same salary I have busted my hump for years to get, then turns me down when I ask for an upgrade in my position since what I am doing now is WAY more than my job description.

As Mr Dog would say - *sigh*

I do like my job and have invested too many years there to quit. I will by God stay there until I am 90+ or until I get my position upgraded.

I'd kind of like to boycott Wal-Mart, but I do like their prices (see first paragraph for reason).

Ky Person

Anonymous said...

bob@thenest
Well, United is no more expensive for groceries, RadioShack has printer ink if shopping online isn't the thing, and Dollar General and Family Dollar stock quite a few basic canned goods amd staples at a very reasonable price.
On the other hand, there's Lowe's.
I went in to buy ceiling fans a few years ago, six of them and an area rug.
Now, I'm about 5'5" and I don't stretch far enough to reach the boxes. Several employees walked past, increasing their speed as they became aware of my plight.
So I got a ladder-I know, I know, it says ask for help; well, I would if I could catch someone-climbed up and was on my fourth fan when a head emerged from around the corner. Reminded me of those popup figures you shoot (at) at the carnivals. This apparently disembodied head said, "You aren't supposed to be up on the ladder" and disappeared before I could ask IT to get up there.
Having gotten my fans down-which of course, wouldn't fit in my cart-I left them neatly stacked and went to look for someone with a dolly. Finally found what appeared to be an abandoned one, dolly, that is, stacked the fans on it, and, you guessed it, another head popped up and said, "You aren't supposed to push that,"
and vanished. Doggedly, I continued to the area rugs. There I found exactly what I wanted, but the wrong size. The right size was about 12 feet up on a shelf. This time when the head popped around the corner, I yelled "STOP!" It startled him-actually, yes, it was a him-so much that he did. Stop, that is. I told him I wanted that carpet. He said he'd go get a ladder.
Never saw him again.
In the meantime, I thought I would get paint.......
This goes on. I would absolutely swear that the employees were hiding from me. Apparently they do this all the time.
I left everything where it was, drove the 200 miles to Amarillo, bought six fans, a carpet, some paint at Home Depot, and overnighted in the city and ate a fine meal at Hoffbrau for less than the six fans, rug, and paint would have cost me at Lowe's.
On the other hand, it's a few years later, and I now don't go to Home Depot, either. I would swear WalMart owns them as well from the way they behave. They do wait on you, and then you wait, and wait, and wait, and try to deal with the utter incompetence and indifference of the employees when you actually try to get what you ordered AND PAID FOR.
I spent a week trying to catch the woman who sold me some linoleum I didn't seem to be able to claim. She was always "in a meeting" Don't you love that? I finally said I would be at the store at 10 am. the next morning to collect a check for the money I'd paid out for the linoleum. Oh, I couldn't do that. Maybe not, but my lawyer could. Amazing how fast a meeting can end. I haven't been back.
I am acquiring a well-developed loathing for corporate entities and their indifference to their customers. Apparently they have so many, the loss of one doesn't mattter.
Unfortunately, this appears to be spreading to my favorite medical entity, Scott & White, which has had a sudden and unfortunate huge expansion in the last 18 months or so. I can't get my doctor's clerk to understand that 1) letters addressed to him are meant for him, and she's not to open them to see if there's a complaint so she can hide them, and 2) that I have a 7-hour drive to get there for my yearly physical, have to spend at least one night in a hotel there, and I really would like to get it all done at once. So far this year, my 'yearly' physical has been in October, January, and May.
This whole mess with corporate attitude is like a steam roller. I am to the point that I will pay more to go to a little privately-owned shop than to one of the big stores. Granted the big stores have a larger selection and are cheaper, but remember, although I'm Scots, cheaper doesn't always equate with outraged stubbornness!
LawMom

bigdaddyb said...

This is nothing more than Bloomberg doing nothing so that he can claim to have done something.

All but the trace DB and videotaping are currently in force. The refusal to sell on a 'default proceed' (whatever that is) should hopefully get them sued.

Don't get me wrong. These are egregious and are hideous violations of personal privacy and civil liberties.

Wal Mart has lost its way. They've forgotten how they became great. Their greatness has long departed.

Sam would be ashamed and angry.

Anonymous said...

I visited Walmart yesterday, but since it was a return (son got 2 identical games for Bday, so returned one) I figure that doesn't really count.

Zundfolge said...

I'm certainly not going to talk anyone here out of their Walmart hate, but I do have a few random thoughts I figured I'd throw into the mix.

All of the sudden we're mad because Walmart is doing something in concert with hyper anti-gun Bloomberg; but they're still selling guns! Can't say that about K-Mart or Target (one of which never sold them, the other wimped out when Michael Moore started saying mean things about them).

I shop at Walmart because they're significantly cheaper than Safeway or Kroger for groceries and cheaper than Target and Kmart for other household items. If I was forced to do all my grocery shopping at Safeway or Kroger I would no longer be able to indulge my shooting hobby. Period. No ammo, no new guns, cancel my range membership and gun magazine subscriptions and it still wouldn't pay for $80-$100 a month I save by shopping at Walmart.

Walmart is NOT a union shop. For that reason alone they'd have to set up gun confiscation centers or start murdering children before I stopped shopping there. Not only are they cheaper than the previously mentioned stores, shopping there does not have me funding damn labor unions ... and by extension the worst leftist elements of the DemocRAT party.


As for most of the complaints about Walmart's business practices, their collection of data on their customers or the fact that they're stocked with a bunch of stuff made by the Chi-Coms, I can't for the life of me find another retailer that doesn't do pretty much the same thing.

Will said...

Actually, they have a really bad effect on American vendors. They have a habit of running their suppliers into bankruptcy. Couple? years ago, of their ten biggest American suppliers, eight were forced to file due to very predatory practices. If you sell something to them, they will very quickly become your biggest customer. After you ramp up to meet their purchase numbers(and you have to or your board and stockholders will make you do it), they have you by the short hairs. Then they start telling you how to make your product cheaper, who to buy your supplies from, and on and on... It become a vicious circle. And, they don't care if you go under from all this. All they want, or care about, is cheap stuff. After this became known to the manufacturing world, some companies decided to steer clear of Wally world. Managers decided that a smaller company in good financial health was way better than entering The Death Spiral of Selling To Wal-Mart.

Assrot said...

They been dead to me since they quit selling guns in South Florida about 8 months ago.

I'd die of thirst before I'd by a bottle of water from them. I'll never set foot in one of their stores again.

Joe