Finally, 20 Years Later, Walmart Does the Right Thing
(September 5, 2019) — Yesterday Walmart finally announced they’d stop selling ammo for assault weapons & handguns — 20 years AFTER these 2 boys, Richard and Mark, were shot at Columbine High School — and 18 years after I took them to K-mart headquarters where the three of us convinced K-mart to permanently ban their assault weapon and handgun ammo.
Columbine was one of the first the first school massacres of the modern era — and my friends and I decided that day when it happened to make a film (“Bowling for Columbine“) that would shock the nation’s conscience so that there would never be a second school massacre. Ha! Well, we believed in the power of film (and still do).
We asked Walmart back then to join our success at K-mart in banning these bullets and clips. They refused. And in these 20 years since Columbine, while Walmart continued to sell millions of bullets, over 500,000 Americans have been killed (homicide, suicide, accidents) by gun violence — more than all the Americans killed in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Bush Wars combined.
My crew and I seriously thought one movie would keep the body count to the 15 who died that day at Columbine. I asked at that time, “How many deaths will it take for this country to lay down its guns? Are these 15 dead children (including one teacher) enough? When will America’s conscience scream ‘ENOUGH!’?”
Well, sadly, it was never enough. There have now been THOUSANDS of mass shootings (definition: 4 or more shot per incident) since Columbine — an average of one mass shooting per DAY! Walmart finally now got around to banning the non-hunter ammo — once the death and the blood and the white nationalist racial killer came to their doors. So good on them.
I guess the 22 dead at their El Paso store was their limit. What’s yours? The 20 first-graders with their heads and faces blown off at Sandy Hook clearly wasn’t enough.
Would 100 six-year olds splattered across the hallway walls of your local elementary school be enough?
What if a cadre of alt-righters stormed the high school in your neighborhood, spraying bullets everywhere and leaving a thousand dead children riddled with the ammo they’ve been stockpiling from Walmart? Would that be enough? C’mon — everybody has a number!
There IS a number in most people’s heads where the average citizen would finally say, “OK, THAT’S enough dead kids with no faces left. Let’s drive to DC and occupy the Senate!”
But as our movie also pointed out, laws alone won’t end this madness. We are different from nearly all other countries because only we want to kill each other in such large numbers. Why? Why us? Have that discussion in the car on your way to DC.
Here’s the clip from “Bowling for Columbine” showing how we ended the ammo sales at K-mart in less than 24 hours, 18 years ago:
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