WTF Walmart?

I took my time, as I usually do, so I could think about what Walmart’s recent change around firearms and ammunition means to our industry before I gave my take.

I like to say that adults make decisions based on facts, not emotion, so I wanted to make sure I focused on the facts.

Highlights of Doug McMillon’s Statement

  • History of supporting hunters – I had several issues with how McMillon made statements about being a huntimageer and gun owner as if it makes the decision valid. It was a great example of trying to say that he is one of us, but he clearly isn’t as he parroted several of the gun control crowd when he used “large capacity clips” and “military-style weapons” in his memo while calling our for “common sense” measures. Some of the other highlights that follow support that he is not a friend of our community. Let’s also not forget that he also said he wants to reimplement the so called assault weapons ban that had no impact on crime.
  • Stop selling handgun ammo – Walmart’s market share is very high, and them no longer selling ammo will drive up the price at other stores and will very likely result in job losses in the industry as changes will need to be made to distribution channels to get ammo to other stores for sale and distribution to us. To be honest, when I would travel for training, I would often purchase ammo from Walmart as it isn’t possible to carry 6000-1,000 rounds for the training classes that I take.
  • Stop selling handguns in Alaska – The reason Walmart was selling handguns in Alaska is that they are able to meet the requirements to do so, and get valuable firearms into the hands of those that live in the back country and have the need for reasonably priced firearms for protection as well as small game hunting.
  • Stop selling 5.56mm and .223 ammo – This has similar impact as stopping handgun ammo sales. It will hurt the community of law abiding sportsmen and those that need practice and defense ammunition.
  • Open carry discouraged – I have never supported open carry, but it is a right. Taking away the ability for some people that do not have conceal handgun permits to still carry to protect themselves and their loved ones is a huge detriment to the community. Walmart is trying to make itself into a gun free zone. Do they not understand that criminals don’t abide by the laws and by making themselves gun free zones, they are only making their customers less safe?
  • Encouraging government intervention – This clearly shows that Walmart is not a friend to our community and absolutely does NOT support hunters.

Who Wrote the Memo?

I wonder who actually wrote the memo. It was clearly drafted by a PR firm that is anti-gun as they used the same language, and inappropriate terminology, in the memo.

I do not believe that McMillon wrote the memo.

History

Just to lay the foundation, let’s remember, Walmart caved to the PC crowd, the social terrorists, when the stopped selling certain guns. It was clear that they were trying to appease these people.

Walmart caved to the pressure the first time, then they caved again when it came to selling long guns to those that are 18 by raising the age limit to 21. Again, to appease the PC crowd.

Then, they caved to the PC crowd that didn’t like certain shirts with certain slogans.

Now, they are taking another step and sacrificing more of the business to appease these social terrorists.

This won’t stop here. Next, it will be the shot guns and hunting rifles, then it will be all archery accessories and components, then it will be anything that can be used to hurt people.

Walmart set the precedent awhile back, and they are going to continue to cave over and over again.

Hypocrisy

Having had the opportunity to meet Sam Walton and talk to him at one of the stores in Southern Colorado, it is clear to me that he would never support this action. Sam Walton was big on guns, and he clearly wanted Walmart in the market.

Next is the clear virtue signaling that is taking place. Walmart says they will continue to sell what they have in stock. Wait… WHAT? If this ammo is so evil and is causing so many problems, why not stop selling it right away. Take the loss. Show that you really mean it. No, they are going to continue selling until they run out so they won’t have to take a loss. Profit over the supposed safety issue that they are saying is the reason they will stop. But wait, there is more. If guns are evil, then stop selling all of it. Oh yeah, there is that profit thing again.

What really bothers me, though, is that McMillon’s memo makes it sound like he is making the change to save lives, but the hypocrisy runs deep when Walmart continues to be huge sellers of other products that cause poor health and deaths at high rates. Should we be asking McMillon about how he can take that point of view with firearms and ammo, but not for:

  • Tobacco products
  • Alcohol sales
  • Junk food

Come on, which of those cause more issues? We could look at many of the products sold by Walmart that cause poor health. However, those just don’t matter. They make good money, and there just aren’t enough people protesting the loss of life caused by drinking.

Dick’s Lesson?

Many people point out that sportsmen lashed out, and hard, when it came to Dick’s violating the trust of its customers and removing firearms from its shelves because of the number of people that protested them, and they were not even customers.

Outdoors sportsmen are not going to stand pat when it comes to Walmart, and we can expect them to take action, even if it is just voting with their dollars and spending their hard earned income at other stores that support them.

What was the impact to Dick’s? They lost $250 Million, at least that is the amount that they attribute to their anti-gun stance.

Summary

Walmart’s actions will not impact violent crime. Their new policies would not have prevented any of the attacks that supposedly drove them to make the change. None.

However, Walmart’s actions will have a significant impact on law abiding citizens, especially rural customers.

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Nobody Wants to Take Your Guns

I still hear it on a regular basis. Gun control activists like to say that nobody wants to take your guns when having discussions with Gun rights activists.

Clearly, they are being disingenuous. Either that, or they are just incredibly ignorant about what the gun control political leaders want to accomplish. I am going with the former.

It is clear that confiscation is the real desire, but at least several of them understand that they will need to get there, gradually.

Here are several examples, and there are several more out there, but I just got tired of putting these together. I have better things to do with my time than prove gun grabbers to be stretching the truth, which would be the nice way of calling them outright liars.

I won’t bother commenting on each one. They are all very clear.

Biden, Joseph – US Senate, US Vice President

“Banning guns is an idea whose time has come.”

Clay, William – US Representative

“The Brady Bill is the minimum step Congress should take…we need much stricter gun control, and eventually should bar the ownership of handguns, except in a few cases.”

Clinton, Bill – US President

“I feel very strongly about it [the Brady Bill]. I think – I also associate myself with the other remarks of the Attorney General. I think it’s the beginning. It’s not the end of the process by any means.”

Clinton, Hillary – US Secretary of State, Presidential Candidate

“I don’t know enough details to tell you how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Australia example is worth looking at.”

Cuomo, Andrew – NY Governor

“Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option.”

Davis, Danny – US US Representative

“I am saying I would like to make it where nobody except military personnel would ever have access to these weapons.”

Fass, Barbara – Stockton, CA Mayor
“I think you have to do it a step at a time and I think that is what the NRA is most concerned about. Is that it will happen one very small step at a time so that by the time.”

Feinstein, Diane – US Senate

“Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe.”

“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them… ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.”

Frosh, Brian – Maryland Attorney General

“We should ban guns altogether, period.”

Himes, Jim – US Representative

“Nobody wants to take away people’s guns. We just don’t want to be any different than Canada, or Australia, or Great Britain.”

Jackson-Lee, Sheila – US Representative

“I would personally just say to those who are listening, maybe you want to turn in your guns.”

Metzenbaum, Howard- US Senate

“I don’t care about crime, I just want to get the guns.”

Morse, John – Colorado Representative

“People who own guns are essentially a sickness in our souls who must be cleansed.”

Muhlbauer, Dan – Iowa Representative

“The state of Iowa should take semi-automatic weapons away from Iowans who have legally purchased them prior to any ban that is enacted if they don’t give their weapons up in a buy-back program.  Even if you have them, I think we need to start taking them.”

Obama, Barrack – US President

“We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”

O’Rourke, Robert Francis “Beto” – US Representative

“’Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

Owens, Major – US Representative

“My bill … establishes a 6-month grace period for the turning in of all handguns.”

Reno, Janet – US Attorney General

“Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.”

Schakowsky, Jan – Illinois Representative

“We want everything on the table. This is a moment of opportunity. There’s no question about it…We’re on a roll now, and I think we’ve got to take the–you know, we’re gonna push as hard as we can and as far as we can.”

Schumer, Charles – US Representative

“We’re here to tell the NRA their nightmare is true.”

Waxman, Henry – US Representative

“If someone is so fearful that they are going to start using their weapons to protect their rights, it makes me very nervous that these people have weapons at all.”

Vividness

Definition

Vividness: The creation of powerful feelings or clear images in the mind.

What we see after cases of mass shootings or school shootings is a great deal of outrage and demands that we make changes that will dramatically impact law abiding citizens and have little or no impact on criminals and evil doers. We see lots of emotionally based arguments and outrage. 

A couple of other examples of vividness include being killed by a shark, and falling through the ice, especially when it involves children. Based on the number of news stories, you would think that sharks are on a rampage against mankind and the the average person is incredibly stupid and is willing to walk out on the ice for no reason at all.

The vividness of these images jump into the minds of most people and they can visualize the imageincident, put themselves into it, or put their loved ones into that incident. It makes it more real and more a part of their lives. Their fears become real.

The major issue with vividness is that people tend to lose the ability to use reason to think about the incident, the likelihood of it happening to them or their loved ones, and that there are many more likely concerns that they should have.

Basically, people lose all sense of perspective. Look at the backlash that Neil deGrasse Tyson is currently facing people he tried to bring some perspective to the most recent mass shooting, both of which were horrible, but incredibly small as far as the percentage of deaths in the United States.

It is amazing how many deaths we have in our country that are several times larger that get ignored because they just don’t bring the same level of vividness. People just seem to forget how many people die, every single day from (in no particular order):

  • Underage drinking
  • Suicide
  • Opioid addictions
  • Accidental poisoning
  • Pedestrians hit by automobiles
  • Auto accidents, in general
  • Medical mistakes
  • Malnutrition
  • Falling off of chairs and other objects
  • Drowning
  • Gang violence
  • and the list goes on and on…

The Point?

The point is that many of these deaths are not as vivid, nor are they matching anyone’s national political agenda anywhere near the same level as the anti-gun agenda. The only two that come close to being politically enflamed are suicide and opioid abuse/addiction. However, they don’t get near the attention that a shooting does.

Transitional Spaces

Definition

First, the definition: Transitional spaces are spaces where we pass from one place to another, and are usually “uncontrolled.”spaces we must pass through when going from one place to another.

Examples: This list is not exhaustive, but it should provide insight into the concept.

  • Going from your house to your car and from your car back to your house.
  • Exiting your car to go into the store and, especially, going from the store to your car.
  • Going from one store to another across a courtyard.
  • Crossing the street to the neighbors house.
  • Driving through an area.

“Danger zones” is another way to think of these spaces.

Why Do We Care?

“Danger zones” is why we care.

Criminals tend to stakeimage out these transitional spaces and watch for potential victims. Lots of people make themselves out to be vulnerable because they aren’t taking due care in these transitional spaces.

In the words of Bill and Ted, “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.” What happens in the parking lot of the Circle K can be very “iffy” and should concern all of us.

What Should We Do?

It is pretty simple, don’t look like a vulnerable victim.

  • Understand the area. Know the boundaries. Know where criminals might be at, how they might approach.
  • Don’t be alone. A lone victim is a much better target than a couple or a group.
  • Be aware. Too many people have tunnel vision when passing through a transitional space. Don’t look at your phone and check for text messages, or make a call.
  • Hands free. While it is likely that you might be carrying a bag when leaving a store, try to keep a hand free. You might need it. At a minimum, be prepared to drop your bag so you will have free hands to defend yourself.
  • Plan your transition. Understand your path, understand where you will be most vulnerable and try to avoid those vulnerable moments, if possible.
  • Be prepared. This may sound like a stupid statement, but so few people are prepared to defend themselves and they don’t have a contingency plan for when things go wrong and don’t work out like they planned.
  • BE AN ASSHOLE. Yes, be prepared to be an asshole. It has happened to me multiple times, where I have had criminals try to “interview” me and gauge whether I am a potential victim. You may see it happen in parking lots every single day where somebody tries to get close to you with a “Hey, got a minute? I need some help” statement or something similar. Be an asshole, and tell them, loudly and clearly, “Stop right there and keep your distance” so that they know that you are not a potential victim.

Summary

Be vigilant. Be safe. Be an asshole.

Violence–You Need To Be Good At It

I keep hearing people say that “Violence is never the answer.“

I have noticed that, most of the time, the person that makes that imagestatement, or something similar, is usually trying to take some kind of moral high ground. Usually, it is the same kind of person that says that “There is good in all people.”

Yes, most people are good. However, there are some people that are just simply evil or mentally unbalanced. There are people out that that are looking to cause harm and even kill for material gain or just to feed their inner evil demons.

Anyone that has been around for more than a minute knows that there are people that will use violence to get what they want.

While violence is seldom the answer, when it is the answer, you risk failing the test of your life. When the test is a pass/fail, and you fail, it could mean the end of your life, and the lives of loved ones. When it is time to flip the switch, you need to be as violent as possible as quickly as possible, so you pass the test.

If you ever need to be violent, I hope you are really good at it.

Yeah, it is an odd thought, but I felt the need to share it.

Mental Preparation

I was talking to a couple of friends and a couple of guys I had just met, recently. Each of us are involved in teaching defensive imageshooting and defensive tactics. One guy is somebody that I served with in the Army many oh so many moons ago, one is a 20+ year police veteran that worked in Detroit, and the other two are, in their own words, “just a couple of guys that train because we want to protect ourselves and our families.”

After a few minutes of BS, and some discussions about our different backgrounds, we found a couple of topics that really stuck with us and drove the rest of the discussion:

  • Tactics differ between the military, police, and civilian worlds. They are dramatically different.
  • The mental aspect needs to be a major focus in training.

Let’s focus on the latter for a this post. I have a couple of great examples.

Example 1

My police friend told us a story about being called out to a shooting. He got there, and found the victim, alive, but in serious jeopardy of dying. As he applied first aid and was waiting for medical services, he heard the victim tell the story.

The victim was approached about a block from the ATM machine by a guy asking if he had a lighter or match as his lighter was out. As he started to say that he didn’t smoke, the other guy got closer and then within a couple of feet, then demanded the money he just got out of the ATM. The victim finally clued in, way too late, and tried to get distance and pull out his gun and yell at him to get away. The guy then punched him, and took his gun away from him. The victim then tried to rush him, and got shot. While they were talking, he asked the victim why he didn’t shoot. The victim told him that he would never shoot somebody and that he only carried the gun to scare away potential attackers.

My police friend said that he had the victim’s conceal permit taken away while the victim recovered in the hospital. He told the Sheriff that issued it that he said he would never shoot somebody, so there was no reason to let him carry a gun. I am sure several of you reading this are thinking, “I would have shot him.” I will have to say, yeah, I bet you believe you would have, but, really would you have shot him? After all, he wasn’t armed.

Example 2

My military friend said, “I am not shocked to hear that he didn’t shoot. I am shocked to hear that he had made the decision long ago that he would never shoot anyone.” Then he looked at me and said, “No, I will tell this one. Don’t you dare say anything.” He then proceeded to tell his story.

During a mission, him and the other three members in his team were trying to get close to an enemy position so they could call in indirect fire. As they maneuvered through some dense jungle, being as quiet as possible as the team was not to engage the enemy, they were there to find the target, verify it, and call for fire. He was on point, at the time, and coming around a couple of trees, he came face to face with two guys on perimeter security for our target. He froze. The three of them all froze just looking at each other. He said it felt like they looked at each other for several minutes, then he heard the shots that killed them.

One of the team, shot them. A burst into each of them.

They were blown, and they had to haul ass and get out of the area.

I am sure some of you are thinking, yeah, he trained for that, and failed. That is on him, and he must have had some crap training. This is somebody that I respected more than the vast number of people that I served with in the past. He was somebody that I always trusted to have my back. He, later, proved himself over and over.

Mental Prep

As we talked, it was clear that some people just don’t do what needs to be done for whatever reason. It can be conscious choice or just being startled and the training not kicking in like expected. It happens.

The question is how you train to be able to do what needs to be done at that critical moment. We all kind of agreed that force on force training doesn’t help because everyone knows it isn’t real. It may was well be paint ball.

We all, kind of, agreed that it is all about the mental reps. You have to imagine the scenarios, you have to visual drawing and shooting. You have to imagine the after action and what you will do when the threat is done. You have to imagine it all over and over and over again. You have to visualize it until it becomes real and so that, just like drawing and aiming, it becomes muscle memory. It needs to become an automatic response to the triggers that you imagine and that fit with when you are willing to shoot to defend yourself and your loved ones.

I am sure there is more to it, but that is what we all got out of the conversation.

Type 3 Malfunction

What is it?

This malfunction is often described as a double feed. Basically, there is a mess of stuff going on in the gun. One round failed to extract, and another round was picked up by the slide and it tried to feed into the occupied chamber.

Symptom: The trigger feels squishy or just wrong to the shooter. In most of these imagemalfunctions, the slide has not gone cycled far back enough to reset the trigger. This malfunction can be caused by:

  • Bad extractor
  • Dirty gun or not properly lubed gun
  • Magazine failure

Issue: This malfunction is unique because it involves the following multiple forces fighting each other:

  • Magazine spring – The magazine spring pushes up on the rounds to hold them up in place. The top round is being pushed up against the top of the slide.
  • Recoil spring – The recoil spring forces the new round forward using all its strength.
  • Magazine lip – The magazine lip, is also involved as it is locking the new round in the imagemagazine. While this isn’t true for all magazines, most magazines will still hold the round in the top of the magazine as it has not had a chance to be moved completely free of the magazine. The magazine is a major issue here as it can’t just be dropped, and it can’t even be ripped out in many cases.

So what do you do?

  1. Move! – You just experienced a malfunction, and you need to get out of the line of fire, imagepreferably to some cover. While moving, you need more information, so you should be tiling up your gun so you can see if you can identify the problem.
  2. Lock – Lock back the slide. For most semi-automatics, we have to lock the slide back to relieve the pressure of the recoil spring. In this step, we make sure that the magazine is fully seated.
  3. Rip – Once the recoil spring pressure has been relieved, you can press the magazine release and rip out the magazine. It will, probably, not drop free by itself. You will need to use some physical force.
  4. Retain- Retaining the magazine saves critical time and the critical rounds that it holds. It is imagepretty simple to slide the magazine between the gun’s stock and your hand. Since so many people only carry the magazine in their gun, they don’t have the option of dropping the magazine. Of course, if the magazine is defective, it will still be a problem, which is the main reason to have another magazine available.
  5. Rack, Rack, Rack – Rack the slide, vigorously. You need to rack it multiple times to make imagesure that the round in the chamber is cleared. Keep the magazine in place as you rack the slide.
  6. Insert – Insert the magazine back into the gun. Better yet, replace the magazine with another one as the failure might be magazine related, and you will have the same issue.
  7. Rack – You need to rack the gun again, to feed a round into the chamber.
  8. Sight In – You  need to get that sight picture and resume shooting if the threat still exists.

All steps should be performed at eye level so that you can continue to assess the target. The target may no longer be present or may have stopped because of previous hits.