Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Exposing Wal-Marts Crush On Bloomberg

The following changes will go into effect as soon as practical:

  • Creating a record and alert system to record when a gun sold at Wal-Mart is later used in a crime. If the purchaser of that gun later tries to buy another gun at Wal-Mart, the system would alert the sales clerk of the prior buy and could refuse to make the sale.
  • Retaining the recorded images of gun sales in case law enforcement wants to view them later as part of an investigation.
  • Expanding background checks of employees who handle guns and expanding inventory controls.
Any sales person working in any Wal-Mart store can turn down a request to purchase a firearm. No reason necessary. Guy looks a tad glassy-eyed? Don't make the sale. Customer "looks" shady? Send him packing. This has been their written-in-stone rule since day-1. But the average employee wants a hassle like a hole in the head, and turning down an otherwise good purchase is going to mean lawsuits galore, paperwork up the ying-yang, and if WM wants to go through the extra expense PLUS keep their prices the lowest around, good luck.

All Wal-Mart sporting good stations are surrounded by video cams. So who cares if they decide to keep the tapes forever. More expense to them, and see above.

The background checks for most employees have always been sketchy at best, and maybe its a good thing they pay more attention to who they hire. Anyway thats their business.

Bottom Line?

Nothing to see here. Since Bloomberg wouldn't have clue-one that Wal-Mart pretty much can already do all of the above, let him feel like he's won a great victory. Wal-Mart Sporting Good workers do one thing extremely well, and that is completing the paperwork to everyone's satisfaction. T's crossed, I's dotted, zero tolerance for mistakes. You don't see them on any BATFE hit-list because Corporate Headquarters has always been anal about the paperwork, and if they want to spend the cash to stroke Bloomy let 'em. The VAST majority of customers will see absolutely no difference in the purchasing experience, but since WM has cozied up with crazy old Bloomberg we're all supposed to go stark raving mad.

Nothing really has changed, except the one in a million shot that some clerk will want to deny a purchase if a name comes back as someone whose weapon has been used in a crime. That sucks for any number of reasons, and if that makes you hate them then by all means do so.

Just don't think that they've re-invented the wheel.

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