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Walmart will no longer sell ammunition that can be used in what they term ‘short barreled rifles,’ specifically:

5.56 x 45 mm (the round fired from standard government issue M-16 and civilian AR-15 rifles and carbines)

and

7.62 x 39 mm (the round fired from the AK-47 and it’s legion of variants as well as its ancestor, the SKS)

A ‘short barreled rifle’ is a specific designation of firearm that is heavily regulated and which requires special applications and federal paperwork with background checks, fees, etc.  Most of us who shoot don’t have one.  My friend who is a SWAT team doctor probably does.

This link gives an overview.  HT to the website, The Truth About Guns.  https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/want-a-short-barreled-rifle-heres-how/

If Walmart meant ‘carbine,’ that is to say, a shorter type of already legal rifle (with a barrel no shorter than 16 inches), then their PR department bungled the description.  No surprises there.

Both types of ammunition above are also fired from some bolt-action rifles for hunting and sport.

The other rifle ammunition that remains on the shelves and which they acknowledge is for ‘hunting,’ (the word used by those looking to reassure others that they aren’t after their guns quite yet) is generally equal to or more powerful than the rounds described above.  Take for example the 30.30, 30.06, .270, 7mm-08, 7mm magnum 300 Winchester Magnum and others.  These are very energetic calibers.

They just aren’t typically fired from semi-automatic rifles.  For now, lever action, bolt action and single shot rifles are OK.  Until they aren’t, at which time they will be designated ‘sniper rifles’ and Walmart and others will pull them from their shelves.

How many gun deaths are there each year in America?  In 2017 the number was just south of 40,000, with the 60% of those being suicides.  https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/16/what-the-data-says-about-gun-deaths-in-the-u-s/

Mind you, that’s 40,000 deaths of 40,000 human beings. I’m not trivializing it.  But let’s run some numbers in light of the things said and done by Walmart at the behest of larger political forces.

Now, it appears that in the US alone about 80,000 individuals every year die from alcohol related illnesses and accidents.  The last time I walked through Walmart (not looking for ammunition by the way), wine and beer were still sold to the masses, and to those who undoubtedly sometimes drink and drive.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that more people who buy their alcohol at Walmart drink and drive than people who buy their ammunition at Walmart ever shoot at a human being (much less engage in a mass shooting).  The thing is, alcohol worldwide is associated with close to 50% of violent crimes.  That’s a big number.  It would make sense that Walmart would pull it from their shelves.

Walmart continues to sell cigarettes, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Albeit, not to anyone under 21.  They care, you know!  Smoking, per the CDC, is responsible for about 480,000 deaths per year in the US.  I was recently visiting my father in a hospital in WV. Across the street, patients in gowns and hospital socks dragged IV poles to a driveway where they smoked with nurses and other hospital staff.  Bet some of them buy their cigarettes at Walmart!

Walmart sells vast amounts of unhealthy food and soda.  Obesity is rampant, and often particularly so in areas where Walmart has great influence, or may be ‘the only game in town’ in rural America. In fact, obesity is believed to be behind 300,000 deaths per year in the US.

I’m pretty sure Walmart pharmacies still dispense opioid analgesics.  In 2017, there were 70,237  drug overdose deaths in the US.  The majority were opioids.  Way to care about public health Walmart!

Look, I don’t want to see anyone die a violent death.  I hate the violence humans inflict on one another. I’ve spent a fair amount of time dealing with it as a physician.  I am also increasingly disturbed by the violence on television and movies. No, I don’t want to ban it. I’m just saddened that we are somehow numb to images of murder.  And I say that as a long-time gun owner and shooter.  I never want to shoot anyone.  Even if it were a clear case of defense of myself or family, it would be a terrible thing.

But I also hate this ridiculous virtue-signaling behavior by politicians and corporations, who are unwilling to look at the big picture, unwilling to stand behind the fact that their customers are good people.  And unable to grasp the hard reality that violent crime continues follow a downward trend in America.

The people who make these policies ultimately don’t care about people nearly as much as they care about control and ideology.  And really, about making money by appearing to have the right views that attract the right customers with the right money.

As you’re taking the ammo off the shelves, Walmart, look around at the other things you sell.  I’d say you might be surprised.  But I doubt it.

Edwin