“When ignorance gets started it knows no bounds.” —Will Rogers
Time for some new tires. Wal-Mart had a decent price on Goodyear Tracker 2 tires for my SUV (or, urban assault vehicle as my friends who strap Pruis’ to the behinds refer to it as) So I lumber on into Wal-Mart in my Ford Explorer. The tires were mounted and balanced in just under an hour and I spent just shy of $500.
As I leave through the double automatic doors, the service center employee follows me out and says, “One more thing…I noticed the gun in the truck…Wal-Mart has a strict policy of not working on vehicles with firearms in them. Please leave it at home, next time”
What that employee had observed was my (unloaded) lever action 30-30 Marlin rifle hanging in the scabbard on the rear of the front seats (see below)
Taken aback by his pointed admonition, I decided to inquire further. “Did the firearms’ presence make you feel unsafe?” I queried. He stammered and stuttered. Don’t really know if it was because I caught him off guard or he was stammering due to his speech impediment. Nevertheless, he insisted, “We have this policy…” So, I insisted that the policy did not apply to me and that my vehicle was my personal space irrespective of “who” had my vehicle and I expect my space to be respected.
“Well…Guns are dangerous”
So are cars and you work on lots of them. You ‘ain’t’ belly-aching about that, though. Don’t worry, ignorant one…the rifle won’t bite you…It’s just a collection of wood and metal and will remain inanimate until some external energy is applied. You have my word on that.
I pointed out that nowhere is this policy that he speaks of, visibly posted… or, does it effectively notice the customer of the prohibition. Moreover, having scoured the Wal-Mart website, I could find no presence of the policy anywhere. Seems to me if this was an important policy, it would be important enough to notice offending customers.
Where I have broken no federal state or local laws, pointless is any further discussion regarding some policy that rises out of nothing more than an anti-gun viewpoint, much less the rank ignorance of a store member.
Did my feelings get hurt? Absolutely not! These dialogs are not only instructive, but worth having, especially if one is a gun person like I am. The one thing I am always going to do, however, is hold accountable those who make up their own rules as they go and try to enforce them on others. That was the purpose of my conversation. I highly doubt that Wal-Mart has clearly and unambiguously stated the policy for which the employee tried to impress upon me. Wal-Mart seems to thrive on lack of clarity in issues like this. Do I think Wal-Mart is anti-gun? I personally think so.
But..but…but…they sell guns!
Yeah, not so much.
Around 2007 Wal-Mart stopped carrying rifles and shotguns at stores in this area, claiming that the market was soft. But I think Wal-Mart is astutely aware of how loud the gun community is and is strategically backing out to fulfill the wishes of their corporate anti-gun ideology. Perhaps most folks are not aware that Wal-Mart has been a major contributor to the Brady anti-gun organization.
Wal-Mart getting out of the gun-selling business is a good idea. The rifles and shotguns retailed by Wal-Mart are low-grade manufacturing which is self-evident in the fit, finish and quality of firearm. Such guns were exclusively made for Wal-Mart and do not garner decent resale values.
But don’t take my word for it, look up a Wal-Mart gun in the Blue Book of Gun Values. Half the time, you might not find a reference for it..or if you do the information is a “model of brevity” with a bare-bones value. Other times, the manufacturers websites have sparse information about, “Wal-Mart Specials.” As if they don’t want to admit it came from them.
Sears, Montgomery Wards and other retailers were far better at it back in the day and consequently, our Lexicon of gun lingo now includes the term, “Wal-Mart Special,” denoting a cheaply made low-quality gun garnering little value.
There is the “People of Wal-Mart” who actually sell the guns. Who is this in the baby blue vest? I have known a few Wal-Mart employees. They complain incessantly about the job, punctuating the conversation with an occasional, “Wal-Mart Sucks”, and eventually they leave those jobs…Thus, high turnover is not only common, but a fact of life at Wally-world. So when buying a gun, do you think the blue vested, freckle-faced kid is going to give you credible information? Not likely.
At Wal-Mart in Manchester I once overheard a jerk-clerk telling a woman that .357 magnum ammunition is suitably interchangeable for use in .38 revolvers. Naturally, I stuck my beak into the conversation for obvious reasons. So what else are they telling the customers about guns they sell?
Fine by me if Wal-Mart stops selling guns…They suck at it, anyway and its painful to watch Junior in his blue vest confabulating made-up lingo trying to sound knowledgeable about guns, when in fact he is not. Stick to selling Wiffle bats and blow up pools, kid and leave the guns to the pros.
As for this no guns in vehicle policy? I challenge any Walmart Corporate Hack to contact me and set the record straight…[crickets, chirping here ]