In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, retail giant Walmart has pulled the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle from its online store. The Bushmaster was the primary weapon used by Adam Lanza in the killing of 20 children and six more adults.
Though Walmart has pulled the weapon off its webstore, the chain sells the rifle in-store at 1,700 locations, reports The Nation.
Additionally, the private equity firm Cerberus has put the US firearms maker Freedom Group up for sale following the Sandy Hook shooting. Freedom Group includes Bushmaster, the maker of the Bushmaster AR-15. The company was bought by Cerberus in 2006, who added another 10 firearms manufacturers to the group, reports CNN.
“It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level,” said Cerberus Capital Management.
Translation? No more money to be made here. Let’s pack up and go.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, sells more firearms and ammunition than any national competitor. Walmart stopped selling guns at roughly one-third of its stores in 2006, citing low demand, but then expanded gun sales from 1,300 stores to 1,750 stores in 2011. Demand for guns went up in 2008 and since November 2012, partially out of fear of new gun control legislation being introduced by the Obama Administration.
One Walmart protestor finds it deplorable that the retailer sells guns alongside other helpful and affordable products. “Don’t try to sell me an apple and a gun at the same time,” said Bertha Lewis. “Don’t tell me that you’re trying to give fresh fruit and vegetables to people so that they can have a healthy life, and then you turn around and on the next counter you have instruments of death.”
Do you think that Walmart made the right call by dropping the Bushmaster? Should they stop selling guns altogether?