Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

Posts Tagged ‘handguns’

Workers stage a walkout to protest gun sales at Walmart stores

Friday, August 9th, 2019
“There’s an intense irony that Walmart continues to sell guns, despite the constant shootings in its stores.”

Dozens of Walmart workers at an e-commerce facility in San Bruno, California, walked out Wednesday to protest the retailer’s continued sale of firearms, despite two recent deadly mass shootings.

The 40 or so employees stood outside in a circle for 15 minutes, according to The Washington Post. Gathered together, the group hung their heads during a moment of silence for victims of the recent gun violence.

Among the group was e-commerce employee Kate Kesner, who helped organize the protest. “There’s an intense irony that Walmart continues to sell guns despite the constant shootings in its stores,” Kesner said.

While Walmart, the second largest retailer in the world, stopped selling assault rifles in 2015, it still sells firearms in about half of its 4,750 U.S. stores. The retailer also continues to make headlines for its sale of a bullet resistant backpack.

Tom Misner, an operations manager at the San Bruno site, told the Post that he was a firm believer in the Second Amendment, but “I don’t understand how that has included weapons of mass destruction.”

He hopes that the company, which also donates to politicians who accept funding from the National Rifle Association (NRA), would use its might to fight for make-sense gun policy. “Congress will not do anything,” he told the Post.

The walkout at Walmart comes just days after Saturday’s mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart that killed 22 people. Several hours later, a gunman opened fire early Sunday outside a popular nightclub in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people including his sister.

Mass shootings claim multiple lives and grab headlines, but account for just a small fraction of the deaths attributed to gun violence.

Days before the El Paso shooting, Walmart became the venue for another deadly shooting. In Mississippi, a disgruntled ex-employee returned to the store and shot and killed two managers before being shot and injured by police.

On Wednesday, two men were arrested at a Walmart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for an isolated incident involving a gun. After one pulled a pair of scissors on the other during an argument, the second brandished his firearm, sending nearby patrons into a panic.

Given the recurring violent incidents, Walmart removing firearms completely from its shelves would seem like a no-brainer to some. But another retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods, experienced a decline in sales in an apparent backlash after removing firearms and ammunition from its stores in 2018.

Still, while Walmart could play a very important role in the fight to end gun violence, which side of history they will be on stands to be determined. So far, company officials have told the Post that they believe there are more constructive ways for workers to voice their concerns than staging a protest.

“There are more effective channels such as email or leadership conversations. The vast majority of our associates who want to share their views are taking advantage of those options,” said Randy Hargrove, a spokesperson for the retailer.

Organizers of the San Bruno protest also started a Change.org petition to call on company executives to stop selling firearms, and as of publication, it was just 5,000 signatures shy of its 50,000 goal.

This article appeared originally in Think Progress on August 8, 2019. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Kay Wicker is the editorial assistant at ThinkProgress, and also covers gun policy.

When The Revolution Comes, Your 401(k) Will Be First Against The Wall

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Everybody’s favorite vampire squid, Goldman Sachs, has practiced a form of virtual class warfare for a long time now.

But Bloomberg reports today that top execs there are now arming themselves for the real thing:

“I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,” said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.

I called Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag to ask whether it’s true that Goldman partners feel they need handguns to protect themselves from the angry proletariat. He didn’t call me back. The New York Police Department has told me that “as a preliminary matter” it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names…

Talk of Goldman and guns plays right into the way Wall-Streeters like to think of themselves. Even those who were bailed out believe they are tough, macho Clint Eastwoods of the financial frontier, protecting the fistful of dollars in one hand with the Glock in the other. The last thing they want is to be so reasonably paid that the peasants have no interest in lynching them.

I’m not sure what kind of Mad Max future these people are envisioning, exactly. But it is kind of funny to imagine an investment banking nerd thinking that dropping $500 on a Glock 19 will turn him into the Road Warrior.

UPDATE (4:00PM): More reactions…

SEIU:

They just don’t get it. The thousands of people that showed up outside their door in Chicago and DC aren’t part of some violent mob; we’re taxpayers who’ve been taken for a ride by Wall Street and want to get off at the next stop. Our message has been clear and simple every time: stop using our money on lobbying and bonuses.

LOLFed:

Goldman employees…think about this for a moment. You work for one of the nation’s most hated institutions. You’re pretty unpopular already. But one of the few things Goldman has not yet been accused of is actually killing someone. Do you really want to be the one to break that long and storied tradition of not killing someone? That’s a guaranteed way to get your bonus chopped down to five figures, mister.

*This post originally appeared in Change to Win on December 1, 2009. Reprinted with permission from the author.

About the Author Jason Lefkowitz: is the Online Campaigns Organizer for Change to Win, a partnership of seven unions and six million workers united together to restore the American Dream for everybody. He built his first Web site in 1995 and has been building online communities professionally since 1998. To read more of his work, visit the Change to Win blog, CtW Connect, at http://www.changetowin.org/connect.

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