I am British and my family and I spent two years living in Virginia. I remember my first time shopping at Walmart in Yorktown, and discovering the gun counter right there next to Homeware and between Children’s Clothes and the Beauty aisle. I didn’t shop in Walmart again during my time living there, and feel revulsion at the thought of those guns on display there even now.
Walmart owns subsidiaries all over the world, including Asda in the UK, so my suggestion for people who want to end gun violence, is to start boycotting Asda. A list of Walmart’s other global subsidiaries is here. Skye Jethani has written eloquently about the vested interests of the gun industry in the US and in particular how there is no organisation wealthy enough to take on the National Rifle Association (NRA), the pro-gun lobbying group. Walmart is the largest company in the world; if Walmart’s customers demanded gun-free shops and a commitment to ending the violence, then consumer pressure could take on the NRA. It’s a possibility at least. (this excerpt is from a longer post available here).
Another idea, for Americans, is to boycott strip malls where there are gun stores. Tell the other shops at the strip mall that you will no longer shop there because there is a gun shop next door. Your decision will be fed back to the strip mall management who will realise it is not good for business to rent to a gun store. In this way gun stores can be driven away and if there are less gun stores it makes it harder to get hold of a gun and in turn there will be less gun violence. Likewise, it means there will be less money flowing to the NRA.
My biblical inspiration for this is the story of Daniel, found in Daniel 1. He and his three friends abstain from the non-kosher food, which, when you think about it wouldn’t have harmed them if they had eaten it. Instead their abstention was symbolic and demonstrated they were wisely setting themselves apart and refusing to go along with the crowd.
I’m moving back to the USA in the summer, for another two or three year stint, this time in Alabama. I want to be safe while I am there, and I want my American friends to be safe. This is why I will be boycotting Walmart and strip malls where gun stores are present. There is a wave of pressure mounting, please join in. Like, share, follow or comment to let me know that I am not alone, thank you.
(Incidentally, although this image does show what the gun counter looks like in Walmart, it is not my image and I suspect there is an element of fake news as the school sign looks as if it has been moved there. The point though is that guns are sold as if they are regular household goods and are on display next to children’s clothes and toys, food etc.)
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