Wal-Mart has much more than foul-mouthed lyrics to worry about.
The retail giant, which has consistently removed offensive albums to save its wholesome appearance, has blood on its hands.
In 1996, Sheryl Crow released the song “Love is a Good Thing” which contained the lyrics, “Watch out sister/Watch out brother/Watch our children as they kill each other/with a gun they bought at the Wal-Mart discount stores.”
It was no coincidence the world’s largest retail chain deemed the record distasteful and refused to stock its shelves with the album.
In response to the move, company spokesperson Dale Ingram said, “Wal-Mart believes this is an unfair, untrue and a totally irresponsible comment.”
Ingram, who said the song insulted the chain, did not mention the incident in Oklahoma where a 13-year-old boy shot four of his classmates in school.
He shot them with a gun his father had bought at Wal-Mart six years earlier.
Even though Wal-Mart has since stopped the sale of handguns in its stores, the chain still offers ammunition to its customers.
That same ammunition leaves people like Marsha Midgette with serious brain damage.
Midgette’s boyfriend shot her while she was working at a Wal-Mart, in Pottstown, Pa.
He bought bullets for his .22 caliber handgun at the store and chased Midgette down the aisles. He shot her, then turned the gun on himself.
Yet, there are people who oppose the petition against bullet sales entitled, “Wal-Mart is nothing without its customers,” pioneered by gun control advocate Michael Moore.
They cite K-Mart as a prime example of what happens when ammunition leaves the shelves.
While filming for the documentary Bowling for Columbine, two victims of the Columbine shooting and Moore himself went to K-Mart and pressured executives to stop ammunition sales.
K-Mart conceded, and following the incident, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
But Wal-Mart does not need to sell ammunition in order to survive.
Earning $218 billion a year, the chain amasses about the same gross domestic product as the country of Austria.
They sell more jewelry, toys and groceries than any chain in the United States.
If they want to continue their worldwide domination, I would recommend keeping customers – not killing them.
Those in opposition to Moore’s petition have started a movement of their own.
Under the theme of protecting Second Amendment rights, the conversely named petition, “Wal-Mart is everything, because of its customers” has over 33,000 signatures to date.
Tommy Garner, a staff writer for womenbowhunters.com, believes stopping ammunition sales would infringe on Second Amendment rights.
“As I have stated before, guns are not the problem,” wrote Garner.
“The problem is the fact that we have educated our society to think that violence is cool and that there is little consequences for taking a human life. Until we re-educate America to remember that human life is precious and sacred, the violence will continue.”
I wish fellow petitioner Peter Falconio had heeded Garner’s words.
Along with Falconio’s signature (#5405) is the comment: “Being able to carry a gun is a way of life in America. Don’t try and deny us our rights. There’s no better high in the world than jerking yourself off and unleashing your load, as you fire bullets into one of God’s lesser creatures, for example a stag or even Afghan!! God bless America.”
Ammunition does not belong on the shelves of Wal-Mart, and Falconio’s comments make that crystal clear.
Brandon Lausch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.