Summary of Resolution
The current socio-economic situation in the United States implements civil rights to free possession and carrying of weapons. In particular, Americans throughout the country have the right to possess short and long barrels, rifled or smooth-bore guns, as well as semi-automatic ones. At the same time, retailers sometimes neglect the rights of citizens to security. To fulfill this constitutional duty, stores must take due care of human rights by the leading international human rights instruments.
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The right of citizens to own weapons in the United States is enshrined in the 2nd amendment to the Constitution of 1791. According to the amendment, “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (McNamara, 2017, p. 1). The Walmart store chain has been freely selling and selling many weapons that serve the interests of athletes and hunters.
As the world’s largest retailer, with ten percent of the total revenue of all TOP 250 members, Walmart has been vulnerable to terrorist activity in its stores (Tanne, 2019). In response to these tragic events, the store’s management decided to limit the sale of handgun ammunition and short-barrel rifles commonly used for hunting purposes. The evolving events have led the famous American journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin to an open letter, which he addressed to the CEO of the Walmart network. In particular, the letter published in the New York Times stated that “the legally purchased weapons that were used in the mass shootings did not come from Walmart” (Sorkin, 2019, para. 6).
However, the control of firearms trafficking is a labor-intensive activity in the United States, so firearms are exchanged through a private transaction between a dealer and a seller, the so-called “black market.” Only the official number of applications for an arms license in 2015 was over 308,000 (Meadows, 2018). With the authority of the Walmart retail chain in influential circles, Doug McMillon’s CEO has a real opportunity to change the situation radically.
We recognize that the current situation around the sale of legal weapons is not ideal and does not rule out the possibility of new murders. The final position is that it is necessary to return the recovered ammunition back to the counters. It is also necessary to strengthen control measures over the arms trade, to isolate the zone of purchase of weapons from the sales floor. It should be prohibited to enter the shop with their weapons, for this purpose a special safe for temporary storage can be provided.
As part of the resolution, the Walmart retail chain returns to the counter’s ammunition and weapons that were removed as security measures after the terrorist attack on August 3. For the next annual shareholders’ meeting, Walmart will report on the steps taken to strengthen national security. The weapons will give citizens their rights back and satisfy the shareholders’ interest in the investment plan. We urge shareholders to vote for this Proposal.
Arguments in Favor of the Resolution
As the world’s largest retail and wholesale network, Walmart sold weapons annually to a wide range of licensed individuals. The company states that it has always been responsible for the sale of firearms and has taken timely action beyond national security requirements (“Firearms and Ammunition Manual”, 2019). The company’s reputation for serving hunters and athletes has disintegrated after several mass shootings inside the store (Hoffer, 2019). The company had to take sides with the group of people who initially called for a ban on the free sale of weapons.
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The main motives for buying weapons in the US are hunting, sporting activities, and protection. However, it is incorrect to think that weapons are available to everyone. Opponents of the mass distribution of weapons believe that under this second amendment, every person will have a gun in their hands, which will increase the crime rate. Besides, the US is already the first country by the number of armed citizens. According to statistics, for every hundred residents, there are 120.5 samples of weapons (“United States – Gun Facts,” 2017).
However, data from the same source shows that although the United States is the most armed country, it is only in tenth place by the number of deaths from firearms. This fact is explained by the fact that obtaining a license to own a weapon is quite tricky. The certificate is issued only after the completion of the training course, medical examination, fingerprinting, and payment of state duty. The existing social filter is designed to filter out the distribution of weapons to potential criminals.
In addition, firearms may not be sold to persons recognized as mentally ill, former prisoners, or drug addicts. The current situation is that when buying a gun in a shop, the buyer must fill in a special application form and sign several documents. Walmart went further and made a video recording of the arms purchase process (“Firearms and Ammunition Guidelines”, 2019). The proposed resolution proposes further strengthening of security measures in the Commissary.
Buyers should be prohibited from entering the store if they carry weapons. Instead, a deposit box could be offered to store guns and pistols in the store for the duration of the stay. This measure could be monitored using a system similar to that used in airports and the subway to detect prohibited items. This can reduce the likelihood of further armed conflict.
Also, another idea of the resolution was to develop a route to minimize contact between the buyer of the arms, and the rest of the customers. As part of this goal, it is proposed to improve the system of buying weapons at Walmart. The customer cannot immediately choose the gun he likes and pays for it. Instead, he indicates the seller’s product code and goes to a specially prepared area for the purchase of weapons, isolated from customers. After paying for the goods, the customer leaves the sales floor. And in case he wants to go back, the purchased weapons will have to be left inside the safe.
The right to free possession and carrying of weapons by Americans is enshrined in the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, for security reasons, some retailers, such as Walmart, impose additional restrictions, thereby ignoring the rights of citizens and reducing ammunition sales. Therefore, the resolution was created to change the situation by introducing two additional measures. Among other things, the decision supports the idea of returning isolated goods to the counters. As a result of this work, it was decided that the shareholders and investors of Walmart will defend their interests and freedoms, as well as the benefits and privileges of American citizens.
Firearms and ammunition guidelines. (2019).
Hoffer, E. P. (2019). Gun violence: The physician’s response [PDF file].
McNamara, J. (2017). The fight to bear arms: Challenging the Second Amendment and the US Constitution as a sacred text. European Journal Of American Studies, 12(12-2), 1-16.
Meadows, R. J. (2018). Gun crime, gun laws and citizen defense in the united states. Social Sciences, 7(2), 81-87.
Sorkin, A. R. (2019). Dear Walmart CEO: you have the power to curb gun violence. Do it. The New York Times.
Tanne, J. H. (2019). US supermarket chain Walmart limits gun and ammunition sales.