[Recently, at the Weaverville Walmart, an] individual strutted through the store with his sidearm, while frightened mothers grabbed their children into the aisles or scattered out of the store. With mass shootings in the U.S. now a common occurrence, you can’t blame them if they do their future shopping online instead of exposing their families to this type of danger.
What is more difficult to accept is the cowardice and insensitivity of these gun-toting John Wayne wannabes. As a Korean War veteran, I’m appalled at the historical ignorance that allows them to terrorize women and children. The Second Amendment of our Constitution is still open to dispute; most people forget that during my lifetime, the right to bear arms was interpreted by the Supreme Court as dealing with a state’s — not individual’s — right to regulate ownership. It stood for 70 years. It was not until 2008 that, in the 5-4 Heller decision, the Supreme Court shifted to allow individuals, including, theoretically, criminals and the mentally ill, to possess firearms.
When less than 20 percent of our representatives have served in the military (only two congressmen from North Carolina) from over 70 percent 40 years ago, our population and its representatives have lost all connection and respect for weapons, violence and fear. There aren’t many seasoned veterans who, after the crucible of war, get a thrill at the look of fear in a mother’s eyes.
Shame on this individual and others like him. Shame on Walmart’s failing to put their corporate lobbying behind an effort to regulate firearms in a public area (if it’s not allowed on government property, why should it be allowed in malls?). Shame on our cowardly senators and congressmen who are on the NRA’s payroll and thereby conveniently close their eyes to the history behind our Second Amendment clause. Shame on us for not rising up in outrage and allowing this issue to disappear into another black hole news cycle.
— Richard Unanue
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Walmart Media Relations but did not receive a response by press time.