Well, I’d like to think it’s a principled stance, but it’s a stance probably just based around money, profit and loss, and sales. From Bloomberg news:
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said yesterday that it would continue to sell guns, including rifles like the one used at Newtown, where 26 people, most of them children, were killed on Dec. 14. By contrast, Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS) suspended sales of similar guns at its more than 500 stores.
Searches of five kinds of semi-automatic rifles on Wal- Mart’s website showed them to be out of stock at stores in five states, including Pennsylvania, Kansas and Alabama. Wal-Mart doesn’t sell guns online, instead asking customers to input a zip code to see if their local store carries a specific weapon.
“We remain dedicated to the safe and responsible sale of firearms in areas of the country where they are sold,” David Tovar, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, said yesterday.
ARs aren’t popular because Walmart sells them. Walmart sells them because they’re popular. They know it’s a product that many, many, many people want to buy, and Walmart is willing to sell it. AR type rifles have been the hottest selling rifles in the last decade as military servicemen want their old rifles, shooting competitors want them, sport shooters want them, those that embrace the Second Amendment want them, varmint hunters, deer hunters, critter hunters, self-defense advocates (especially in large areas) want them, moms and dads, girls and boys, grandma and grandpa want them.
This is more an indicator of how overwhelmingly popular the AR series rifle is than of Walmart taking a stand. Here, Walmart represents the demands of its consumers. And its consumers believe in the right to keep and bear arms, and are voting with their dollars.