5 More Victims of Gun Violence, and the Role of WalMart

 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Update to Another School Shooting
with Multiple Victims, 1 dead, 4 wounded,
Possibly Multiple Shooters

 

Kids learn from what they see about how to deal with their emotions, with conflicts, with impulses, and they learn violence from the adults in their environment, including media.

Events like this result from our culture of gun violence.  Expanding gun carry, expanding who we can shoot and when we can shoot directly makes events like this more likely to occur.  It sends the wrong message about what it means to be an adult, and how people SHOULD respond to situations.

Shooting is NOT what we want, it is not what we should make more legal.  It is not acceptable from older people and it certainly is not acceptable from kids.

We need to send the message by our laws and by example that this is NOT how responsible adults behave, that this is undesirable behavior.

What we DO need to be doing to set a better example is to honor the UNARMED teacher who protected students, who chased the gun wielding kid out of the school before anyone else could be hurt, as an example of good behavior, honorable and brave behavior. THAT is courage that should be recognized, honored, celebrated and rewarded; NOT the example of more people shooting other people in a crisis. THAT is the only way to discourage this kind of occurrence, not more guns, and certainly not adults shooting students with guns.

From MSNBC.comt: 4 hurt in Ohio high school shooting

At least four students were injured in a shooting Monday morning at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, according to Cleveland television station WKYC.
Authorities say the alleged gunman is in custody. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office would not confirm whether the shooter is male or a student.
Some students told Fox 8 News they saw two gunmen.
FBI agent Scott Wilson said after Monday morning’s shooting that there was one suspected shooter. He wouldn’t discuss the extent of the students’ injuries.
According to WKBN.com, police scanner traffic is reporting three victims are in critical condition and one is stable. Medical helicopters are converging on the Wal-Mart in Chardon, where a landing zone has been set up.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the shooting happened in the cafeteria, according to a waiting parent, Jessica Bryant, whose daughter had seen it and sent her a text message.
Another parent, Jeannette Roth, said her son told her the shooting happened while students were eating breakfast and waiting for first period. She told the paper a student “stood up and started shooting, and then it was chaos.” Nearly 1,100 students attend Chardon High School.
Students fled and locked themselves in classrooms for safety.
Civil deputy Erin Knife, of the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office, says the shooting was reported around 7:30 a.m.
Schools in the area are locked down.   
Chardon is located about 30 miles east of Cleveland.

From the number of recent shootings at WalMarts, it makes sense they’d be the go-to site for the evacuation of the injured.

There have been lots of shootings AT WalMarts in the news, in recent months, from the bargain hunting with guns last November (shoppers seemed to confuse deer hunting with bargain hunting), and/or the accidental shooting as a shop lifter drove over the foot of the security officer earlier this month, and of course the funny if it weren’t so dangerous drops-his-pants and drops his gun discharge in the WalMart bathroom incident,  or the recent WalMart employee who shot a supervisor and then shot himself,  and then there was the one where a WalMart employee was arrested because of only threatening to shoot a supervisor, or maybe blow up a WalMart.

Wal Mart had stopped selling firearms and ammo for a time.  Time magazine in April 2011 wrote about Wal Mart bringing guns back into their stores, along with ammo, and why they had stopped selling firearms, in an article entitled ‘Ammo on Aisle Three” WalMart Brings Back Guns to Many Stores”.:

We can hear it across the country: Hey, honey, could you pick up some butter? And while you’re at it what about a Remington 12-gauge?

Walmart is resuming gun sales at half its stores across the United States in a bid to attract male buyers and revive its appeal as a one-stop shopping destination.

Company spokesperson David Tovar says it was a business decision to sell guns in certain stores, as the appeal of the guns were broader than they originally thought. He added the company was still committed to responsible gun sales, saying it would maintain compliance of all applicable local, state and federal laws.

(More on TIME.com:Why Are the Mentally Ill Still Bearing Arms)

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, had pulled guns from the shelves of its U.S. stores five years earlier, along with thousands of less popular items. But after a customer backlash, they put many of the products back on the shelves.

and

Federally tracked gun sales in the U.S. grew more than 12.7% in the first quarter of the year, but the sales were mostly for handguns, which Walmart will not sell and has not sold since the early 1990s when it faced lawsuits because of its notoriously lax training for gun clerks. In 2008, the company voluntarily adopted stricter gun sales policy as part of an agreement with Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Wholesale sales of handguns and long guns in the U.S. in 2009, totaled around $2.6 billion, according to the trade group National Shooting Sports Foundation’s most recent figures. This excludes exports and sales to law enforcement and military, and is bases on taxes paid by manufacturers.

In other words, it is not about ideology; it is all about profit, lucre not liberty.

Clearly, people with guns are dangerous to other people, in public places, in shopping centers, in schools.  And thank you WalMart for making your parking lot available as a public service for the evacuation of wounded, including your own employees and shoppers after shootings.  It is very public service minded of you.  Of course, WalMart, you also do a brisk business in selling guns and ammo to these people.  Having been a fan of the peopleofwalmart.com site, when I need a good laugh…….I’d be happier if they didn’t sell to these people.

Presumably the employees get a discount on these purchases, making it both cheaper and more convenient for the subsequent parking lot medical evacuations after the in-store shootings.  WalMart has a lot of political clout, and they use it to further their profits.

Followthemoney.org noted, quoting Forbes magazine:

Four Waltons and Wal-Mart collectively gave the most, with $6.8 million in total giving. Walton-related contributors favored Republicans with 72 percent of their total contributions.

and relating to the past two election cycles, compared to this one, for context and perspective:

4, 7, 8, 9. Christy, Jim, Alice, and S. Robson Walton

Wal-Mart and the top four wealthiest Waltons contributed a combined $6.8 million in the last two election cycles.

Wal-Mart and the top four wealthiest Waltons contributed a combined $6.8 million in the last two election cycles, mostly to Republicans.

Most of their contributions went to Republican candidates or the Republican Party. A majority of that total, 72 percent, came from Wal-Mart Stores and Wal-Mart PACs, with the remaining 28 percent coming from the Waltons. Overall, 72 percent of the total, or $4.9 million, was given to Republican candidates in 41 states; 16 percent, or $1.1 million, went to Democratic candidates in 41 states.

Wal-Mart and the Waltons also favor incumbents: $3.2 million, or 65 percent of their total, went to incumbent candidates.

 

TABLE 3: Wal-Mart and Walton Contributions
Contributor Total
Wal-Mart $4,876,161
Alice Walton $665,000
Christy Walton $656,050
Jim Walton $329,900
S. Robson Walton $256,000
Total $6,783,111 

Wal-Mart has contributed $4.9 million. 76 percent of that total, or $3.7 million, went to Republican candidates. Democratic candidates received 20 percent of the total, or $967,070.

The late John Walton and his wife, Christy Ruth Walton, gave $650,050 in the last two election cycles. Republican candidates in three states (California, Michigan, and Wisconsin) received 52 percent, or $341,550. Democratic candidates in two states (New York and Wisconsin) received only 3 percent, or $17,500. Three ballot measures in Calif. received 45 percent, or $295,000, of Christy Ruth Walton’s total contributions.

Jim Walton and his wife, Lynne, contributed $329,900; 51 percent of that amount, or $168,550, went to Republican candidates in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin. Democratic and non-partisan candidates in Arkansas and Wisconsin received 26 percent of the total, or $86,350. One ballot measure in Arkansas received 23 percent of the total, or $75,000.

Alice Walton contributed $665,000, all of which went to candidates in Arkansas and Texas. Republican candidates in those states received 97 percent, or $642,000; Democratic candidates received 3 percent, or $23,000.

S Robeson Walton is  the least active political giver of the Waltons, with $256,000 in contributions. He only donated in the 2005–2006 cycle, to two Republican candidates in Arkansas and one California ballot measure, Proposition 77. The committee received 98 percent of S Robeson’s donations, or $250,000. The remaining 2 percent went to the 2006 Republican candidates for governor and lt. governor in Arkansas.

So, I would expect that an organization that caters to gun and ammo sales to make their profits would be supportive of any and all shooting activity, if only to try to put a positive spin on their merchandising.  And sure enough, there is a direct connection between the Waltons and Wal-Mart, and the shadowy entity which writes legislation that is promoted by Republicans, including but not limited to pro-gun legislation – ALEC.  Here is the tie -in between ALEC, pro-gun legislation, profits and Wal Mart.

What is the connection to more pro-gun  legislation, and more gun and ammo sales?  Look no further than ALEC, and the 2010 list of – pardon the pun – the ‘big guns’ behind ALEC, the organization that drafts so much of the right wing extremist legislation, from 2nd Amendment to Immigration laws like the Arizona ‘papers please’ legislation.  The American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) report, available in pdf here for 2010 – ALEC_report.pdf, shows…who else?  Does anyone doubt that the legislation is driven by corporate profits and the profits of the few richest individuals?

ALEC Private Sector Board Members 2010

       Raymond Bracy, Wal-Mart

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