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Gun Violence Survivors Demand Walmart Honor 2004 Pledge to Stop Selling Assault Weapons Nationwide

Nearly 250,000 people join gun violence survivors' letter to Walmart to demand the retailer stop selling assault weapons and deadly munitions. A protest is scheduled for Tuesday in front of Newtown, CT-area Walmart.

Editor's Note: The Walmart Supercenter in Eureka sells 15 to 20 types of firearms, including assault rifles, but not hand guns. Do you agree that Walmart should cease carrying assault weapons? A sporting goods employee at the Eureka Walmart tells Patch assault rifles are on back-order, and could take up to two years to replenish the inventory.

This Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 11 a.m. EST gun violence survivors indicated they will join dozens of Walmart customers to demand that Walmart—the nation's largest gun retailer—honor a 2004 pledge to stop the sale of assault weapons and munitions in their stores nationwide.  

Gun violence survivors, consumer watchdogs and concerned citizens will rally outside the Walmart in Danbury, CT, just minutes from Newtown, to deliver a letter from survivors asking Walmart to honor its pledge.  

Nearly 250,000 concerned consumers have signed a petition in solidarity with gun violence survivors, demanding the company stop selling assault weapons and put people over profits.   

Tuesday’s action at the Newtown area Walmart is being organized by SumOfUs.org, a global corporate watchdog, and is joined by similar petitions on SignOn.org, Change.org, MomsRising and Courage Campaign. The delivery will occur one month after the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 26 people, including 20 children.

“If Walmart wants to call itself a family-friendly store, it needs to stop profiting off dangerous weapons designed to kill large numbers of people," said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, executive director of SumOfUs.org in a news release about the protest. "Walmart has an opportunity to help put an end to these tragedies, and we demand that it join us in saying enough.”

“In the past, Walmart has responsibly volunteered to stop selling assault weapons, but they haven't followed through on past promises,” said MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner.

“We’re here to hold Walmart to its promise. Assault weapons have no place in our communities. We want Walmart to show they care about children and families by stopping sales of assault weapons to keep our communities safer.”

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting nearly one month ago, parents of victims and gun violence survivors joined together to urge Walmart to stop selling assault weapons and munitions via the following letter sent by survivors:


January 9, 2013
Michael Duke
Chief Executive Officer
Wal-Mart
702 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716-8611

Dear Mr. Duke:

For families across Newtown, Conn., this past holiday season was not a time of joy and celebration but rather a period of profound grief and mourning. They spent their days burying loved ones and their nights wondering why. Children’s gifts remained unopened under the Christmas tree. The empty seat at the dinner table was a somber reminder that this nightmare was in fact reality.

While we cannot imagine the particular horror that the Newtown families have experienced, we are regrettably all too familiar with the painful impact that senseless shootings can have on everyday Americans. As survivors of gun violence and the families of its victims, we write to seek your help and urge you to act so that others do not have to suffer as we have.

For years, your company has reaped massive profits from the sale of military-style assault weapons, including the Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3 Rifle – a semiautomatic firearm similar to the gun used to murder 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Weapons like these are designed to kill large numbers of people as quickly as possible, and they are available for purchase in Wal-Mart retail locations across the country.

It is puzzling why a family-friendly store like Wal-Mart would sell such weapons just aisles away from the strollers and school supplies. But what is perhaps even more puzzling is why your company never fulfilled its promise to refrain from selling assault weapons. It was only eight years ago, after all, that Wal-Mart was hailed as a model of corporate responsibility for giving its assurances to U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein that the store would not carry these guns after the federal assault weapons ban expired.

Erik Winborn, Wal-Mart’s Vice President for National Government Relations at the time, said in the September 2004 announcement: “Wal-Mart only sells firearms and ammunition appropriate for sporting or hunting purposes, and that will continue to be our focus. We will not be carrying assault weapons.”

Yet any Wal-Mart shopper could easily tell by looking around the store that Mr. Winborn’s statement is simply not true. Assault weapons of all brands and models continue to adorn your shelves, from Sig Sauer M400s to Colt LE6920s.

We know the horrific capacity of these weapons to wreak havoc on our communities because we have witnessed it firsthand. They have no place in our streets and in our homes, and we strongly insist that you honor your 2004 pledge to ensure they have no place in your stores either. Doing so will help save countless lives and prevent other families from enduring the pain we carry with us every day.

Over the last several years, you shamefully decided that your company’s earnings were more important than keeping your word. Today, we appeal to you not as business leaders but as Americans. Wal-Mart should do the right thing and put families first, lest the next mass shooting is carried out with an assault weapon sold in your stores.

Sincerely,

Yvonne Alameddine, brother Ross murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Sallie M. Badger and Col. (ret) Bill D. Badger, Tucson shooting survivors
Joyce Bishop, daughter and unborn child murdered with a gun
Michael & Jeri Bishop, son murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Nancy Bowman, Tucson shooting survivor
Anita Busch, cousin Micayla was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Jim Calhoun & Elaine Goss, son injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Alec Calhoun, injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Danny & Annie Carney, sister shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Kenneth Dorushka, shot and injured in Tucson shooting
Jeanne Dube, son murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Francine Dulon, mother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Andrew Goddard, son Colin shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Roxanna Green, daughter Christina-Taylor murdered with a gun in Tucson shooting
John & Suzanne Grimes, son Kevin shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Emily Haas, shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Lori & Channing Haas, daughter shot and injured in Virginia Tech shooting
Jennifer Herbstritt, bother Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Joseph Herbstritt, brother Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Margaret Herbstritt, son Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Michael Herbstritt, son Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Stephanie Herbstritt, brother Jeremy murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Christian Heyne, mother Jan murdered with a gun
Timothy Heyne, wife Jan murdered with a gun
Suzi Hileman, Tucson shooting survivor
Theresa Hoover, son A.J. was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Jerri & David Jackson, son Matthew was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Nardyne Jeffries, daughter Brishell was murdered with a gun
Jennifer Bishop Jenkins, sister Nancy and brother-in-law Richard were murdered with a gun
William B. Jenkins, son William was murdered with a gun
Amardeep Kaleka, father Satwant was murdered with a gun in Oak Creek shooting
Pardeep Kaleka, father Satwant was murdered with a gun in Oak Creek shooting
Alicia Lane, brother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Stephanie Loftin, brother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
John R. & Patricia R. Maisch, Tucson shooting survivors
Melinda Moses, brother Stephen was murdered with a gun
Annette Nance-Holt, son Blair was murdered with a gun
Emily Nottingham, son Gabe murdered with a gun in Tucson shooting
Jerzy Nowak, wife murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Sylvie Couture-Nowak, mother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
William F. O'Neil, son murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Mike & Teresa Pohle, son Michael was murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Barbara La Porte, son murdered with a gun at Virginia Tech shooting
Priscilla La Porte, brother murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Karen & Harry Pryde, daughter murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Miya Rahamim, father Reuven was murdered with a gun in Accent Signage workplace shooting
Sami Rahamim, father Reuven was murdered with a gun in Accent Signage workplace shooting
Peter & Catherine Read, daughter Mary was murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Greg & Rena Medek, daughter Micayla was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Lonnie & Sandy Phillips, daughter Jessica was murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting
Roger & Faith Salzgeber, Tucson shooting survivors
Randa Samaha, sister Reema was murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Omar Samaha, sister Reema was murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Pam & Bruce Simon, Tucson shooting survivors
Jim & Doris Tucker, Tucson shooting survivors
Paul & Susan Turner, daughter murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Brad Updegrove, brother-in-law murdered with a gun in Virginia Tech shooting
Jessica Watts, cousin Jonathan murdered with a gun in Aurora shooting

Cc:
Rob Walton, Director, Wal-Mart
Aida Alvarez, Director, Wal-Mart
James Breyer, Director, Wal-Mart
Michele Burns, Director, Wal-Mart
James Cash Jr., Director, Wal-Mart
Roger Corbett, Director, Wal-Mart
Douglas Daft, Director, Wal-Mart
Mike Duke, Director, Wal-Mart
Timothy Flynn, Director, Wal-Mart
Marissa Mayer, Director, Wal-Mart
Gregory Penner, Director, Wal-Mart
Steven Reinemund, Director, Wal-Mart
Lee Scott, Director, Wal-Mart
Arne Sorenson, Director, Wal-Mart
Jim Walton, Director, Wal-Mart
Christopher Williams, Director, Wal-Mart
Linda Wolf, Director, Wal-Mart
Alice Louise, Director, Walton Family Foundation

SumOfUs.org is a global movement of consumers, investors, and workers all around the world, standing together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable and just path for our global economy. View SumOfUs’s petition here: http://action.sumofus.org/a/walmart-guns/?sub=pr

MomsRising.org is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States. MomsRising is working for paid family leave, flexible work options, affordable childcare, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes so many others.  MomsRising also advocates for health care for all, toxic-free environments, and breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families. In 2012, Forbes.com named MomsRising’s web site as one of the Top 100 Websites For Women for the third year in a row. View MomsRising’s petition here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Walmart-Weapon/

Change.org is the world's largest petition platform, empowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see. There are more than 20 million users in 196 countries who use our tools to transform their communities – locally, nationally and globally. View petition on Change.org here: http://www.change.org/walmartguns

SignOn.org is the non-profit, online campaign platform from MoveOn.org that lets anyone start and run their own online campaigns.View Courage Campaign’s petition on SignOn.org here: www.signon.org/sign/tell-wal-mart-stop-selling

JH January 14, 2013 at 01:31 PM
So why isn't MADD protesting WalMart for all the alcohol they sell??? They sell a hell of a lot more booze than they do guns, and there are more drunk driving deaths than gun related homocides. How much pseudoephedrine that gets sold at WalMart gets turned into Meth? How many cigarettes does WalMart sell? How many deaths from lung cancer? How much junk food at WalMart gets eaten by people that eventually die of a heart disease? We can play this game all day, but none of these shooters bought their guns at WalMart. WalMart doesn't sell at the big scary "gun shows". I hope they stand their ground and continue to sell LEGAL products to the citizens that can LEGALLY own them.
Frustrated reader January 14, 2013 at 02:49 PM
And therein lies the problem...some things just should not be legal, as they are neither necessary or logical, they haveno basis in "need"for the average person. Yet they are so appealing to the deranged and evil.
FedUpVet January 14, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Just FYI, Lanza left the long guns (shotgun and semiautomatic rifle) in the car. He used two handguns during his criminal acts. The police report says all this. This is an excuse at weapon's grabbing by the liberal media, liberal politicians and liberals that want to control society their way. They want to to dictate our rights and this is the first step. Same as Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Mussolini did. I guess the media also just missed the new Executive Order allowing the President/Government to shut down web servers, websites and media outlets that they want to.
JH January 14, 2013 at 04:19 PM
No one NEEDS alcohol, cigarettes, junk food, etc either. Banish those from WalMart too if you're going to pull the guns and ammo off the shelves. How many lives & homes have been destroyed from alcohol abuse? Yet it's still on the shelves. Alcohol can be controlled and not abused by "the average person", so are you going to take it away from them because of what the "deranged & evil" alcoholics do after consuming mass amounts of it? You can't have it both ways. They tried the Prohibition, it didn't work. Same happened with the AWB of 1994......didn't work.
Caffeinated January 14, 2013 at 04:37 PM
"Just FYI, Lanza left the long guns (shotgun and semiautomatic rifle) in the car. He used two handguns during his criminal acts. The police report says all this. " You are misinformed. Lanza used the semiautomatic Bushmaster XM-15 (AR-15) with multiple 30-round mags along with a Glock 10mm and Sig Sauer 9mm (both semiautomatic). He left the shotgun in his car.
Liane January 15, 2013 at 12:15 AM
The Gifford's assailant had been stalking Rep. Giffords for quite some time, her campaign was aware of him - no one did anything. The Aurora Theatre killer had been diagnosed by a college psychologist as being "dangerous". That report sat on the desk of a college bureaucrat - no one did anything. Adam Lanza's mother was well aware that she lived with a "dangerous" young man. She allegedly told one babysitter "not to turn her back on him". Yet, she did nothing to lock up her guns and/or to put trigger locks on her guns. She did nothing. The Fort Hood killer (although I notice he is constantly left out of this conversation) had multiple notations is his file regarding troublesome behavior - no one did anything. The ACLU has been very effective at designating the "rights" of the mentally/psychologically ill. These people should have been institutionalized to protect them from others and others from them. Also, there is a decided lack of conversation regarding psychotropic drugs. FYI - a gun (any gun) is an inanimate object. It is not what is in the hand, it is what is in the heart.
Rhett Rebold January 15, 2013 at 03:22 AM
A gun or a nuke for that matter is a force multiplier for whoever wields it; be a pimple-faced 14 yo at the rifle range or a deranged killer. It is the combination of mental illness and great killing power that is the problem. Hitler in prison = no problem. Hitler with a nuke = big problem.
Perry Phillips January 18, 2013 at 07:06 PM
We all want to do the blame game when something bad happens, but yet we let our children play video games that show so much blood and death and we think that's ok! We dont want to take away auto's when a drunk or stoned driver hits someone and kills them. We see our country's moral standards drop more every year, its okay for a woman to have an abortion just because she doesnt want the child but thats not murder! We all better look around and see what going on in our cities, towns and country , look back 75 yrs and you' ll see a very different America

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