Gun Flag Second Amendment File photo

I want to shop in peace, not shop in terror.

Growing up in Florida I was always taught different actions to take in the event of hurricanes, tornadoes, a stranger approaching and shootings.

I’ve experienced all of these events except one — a shooting.

By the grace of God, I can say that. Still, numerous Americans of all ages can’t say the same. That is unacceptable.

Every day when I go shopping at Walmart and other department stores, I stroll through the aisles to see makeup, hair products, video games, and school supplies locked up behind glass doors,  yet until recently, guns and ammunition are proudly on display with deals being broadcast. The same care is taken for eye shadow and killing machines.

This makes sense for a country that boldly states in its Bill of Rights that we have the right to bear arms.

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” the Second Amendment states.

What about the rights to those killed by the abuse of this amendment?

There were 26 killed in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, 49 lost at PULSE nightclub in 2016, 58 murdered at a Las Vegas concert in 2017 and, most recently, 22 slaughtered at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

In the span of seven years, countless lives were taken off this earth and no one seems to care. When did we allow ourselves to become so indifferent to such actions?

When the Walmart massacre occurred, I overheard some startling conversations.

“Oh, those poor people, may their family find peace, well anyway like I told you — I didn’t really like the new it movie, it was whack,” someone said.

Even reporters blew past it the same way we fast-forward through commercials.

It’s truly frightening how normalized this has become. How we must consistently be on the lookout for the nearest exit. The newest trend is even more startling with bulletproof clothes, backpacks and blankets.  

Despite government inaction, there is change on the horizon as department stores are starting to self-regulate and change the conversation.

Recently Walmart put out a statement announcing its intention to discontinue much of its ammunition sales as well as a complete elimination of hand gun sales. In addition, they will no longer allow customers to openly carry firearms in stores.

Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kroger are also testing the waters. DSG is pulling all hunting gear including guns from 135 stores and Kroger are telling customers to stop openly carrying guns in their stores.

Both anti-gun and gun rights advocates have strong opinions on these actions, all saying these stores will no longer receive money from them if their particular stances are not taken.

The influence of money is what holds back change in this world. Most retailers are afraid of losing their steady cash flow from loyal consumers who either happen to be anti-gun activists or gun rights advocates.

However, what all these retailers need to realize is that it isn’t about removing someone’s rights or watching out for your bottom line.

It’s about protecting lives not machines.

Every American’s right is to live and breathe. We all just want to get our ice-cream or Redboxes in our pajamas and make it home alive.

Yet, our entire country is split on this issue when there isn’t a need.

We need more enhanced and safer procedures, background checks and practices regarding acquiring, carrying and maintaining these firearms. We don’t need to completely ban firearms, just make commonsense reforms.

(2) comments

msmithp2

I am sorry but I do not understand your argument at all. Do you think that because a store does not sell ammunition, that a homicidal criminal will not shoot people in that store. Are you implying that they will buy the ammunition to shot people int he store before starting their attack?



Your call for, "enhanced and safer procedures, background checks and practices regarding acquiring, carrying and maintaining these firearms,” is just a red herring taking the focus away from where it is needed. Do you really think that safe carrying practice stops mass shootings? That these are all accidental discharges by the perpetrators, who would not have shot anyone if they only had safe carrying guidlines.



"What about the rights to those killed by the abuse of this amendment?” No one is killed in these situations by the abuse of the amendment. It is illegal to shoot people. The second amendment does not recognize a right to kill people. What the amendment does allow if for people to be armed to defend themselves from bad actors who wish to do harm.



Stores carrying guns does no one harm. Shooters bring there arms in to the stores. They are not using the ones in the stores.



We have made substantial progress over the last 25 years with violent crime and firearms based crime being reduced by about 50%. This is with an almost doubling of the number of firearms in civilian hands, so it is obviously not a gun issue. The problem is criminal behavior. Until we do abetter job targeting the perpetrators and not lawful businesses and lawful citizens there will not be a change.

asyndicate

Hi msmithp2,



I would like to address multiple points you have made. It seems you have regurgitated various talking points often associated with conservative pundits such as Stephen Crowder and Ben Shapiro.



Let's first address that nothing with ever be perfect especially when it comes to gun reform in the United States. You fail to acknowledge what will happen in the aggregate when you state that there will still be mass shootings. There will be a measurable decrease in gun violence. Yes, there will still be instances where an individual may purchase a weapon off the black market and effectively use it. Gun reform won't fix all gun violence , but can it have some decrease? Yes, absolutely. Now the point of gun reform is to add as much barriers as possible to prevent a person with malicious intent to acquire a weapon. Now this idea is very reasonable and it is evidently shown when over 90% of the American population support Universal Background checks. https://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2017/oct/03/chris-abele/do-90-americans-support-background-checks-all-gun-/



Nobody wants guns in the wrong hands. Even the majority of NRA members acknowledge there needs to be some sort of necessary background checks. The question remains. Will this have an impact? Yes it will. Will it have a giant impact? Probably not, since Walmart is just one company. Again, this is evidently shown in the recent shooting of Odessa. The mass shooter purchased his weapon in a private sale, which doesn't require a background check. The shooter failed a background check in 2014.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/West-Texas-Gunman-Was-Fired-From-Job-Called-FBI-Before-Shooting-559178091.html



Think about it. If we had universal background checks this shooting may have been prevented. Now you would probably retaliate saying the shooter would of purchased his gun at the black market. Now that's possible; however, don't you want to put some more roadblocks so MAYBE he isn't able to get a gun? Every reasonable person says yes to that. Again, are these laws foolproof? No, but will you see a decrease in the aggregate of mass shootings? Yes.



Now some might say "BUT you are restricting good people from getting a gun." I answer, no. If the person is truly good they will be able to pass a background check and successfully acquire a gun. There are clearly more examples of laws that could of prevented more gun violence.



Other various ways to prevent more gun violence.

-Target the phenomena that cause crime, poverty being a significant one.

-Suicide by firearm can be massively helped with universal health care, but also be addressing mental health

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.