John Hoak, a friend of RANGE magazine from Bighorn, Wyoming, evoked a little controversy with his recent letter to Mitt Romney, (see “Wyoming man opens a can of “whoop ass” on Mitt Romney for conviction vote). Saying that John Hoak is “opinionated” in his letters to various parties doesn’t quite tell the story. We prefer to call him a fire-breathing defender of truth, justice and the American way! Below is his response to Walmart’s corporate policies put in place following horrific shootings by madmen which, unfortunately, occurred in or near their stores. ~Editor
Dear Mr. McMillon and Walmart Executives:
Each life lost to and/or person injured by cowardly murderers & assassins is tragic, shocking & infuriating. The profoundly painful impact on all of us is magnified when we experience multiple or mass murders. Every citizen (including corporations) has the right & responsibility to take effective action to prevent recurrence of similar horrors. However, the problem of gun violence originates causally with human behavior, not guns. The malevolent inclination of one person to commit violent acts against others is an immutable base trait of human character which cannot be changed by further restrictions on the availability to and use of firearms & ammunition by law-abiding citizens.
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Contrary to taking effective action against mass killings, and without resolving or even addressing the root problem (violence inherent in human nature), you Walmart executives have helped to perpetrate a separate grievous, growing & dangerous injustice: the further erosion of citizens’ vital and Constitutionally-guaranteed right to keep and bear arms without infringement.
By adopting additional restrictions on firearms & ammunition sales, Walmart’s executives have aligned – knowingly or unwittingly – with progressive/liberal gun-control advocates, explicitly supporting & advancing liberals’ publicly-avowed goal of limiting & reducing gun-related rights and ultimately disarming the American public. The Second Amendment was not promulgated only or primarily to protect Americans’ right to hunt – as your response seems to imply Walmart believes – nor exclusively to protect our core natural right to defend ourselves against violent criminals.
Critically, this unequivocal legal & Constitutional protection of a fundamental right was adopted by our Founders to help assure that American citizens would never be disarmed and held helpless to the whims of a heavily-armed, tyrannical, centralized government. The Second Amendment bulwarks all other freedoms. You were gravely mistaken to aid & abet the progressive/liberal national gun control movement – the cultural & political opponents of your consumers – by surrendering to hysterical calls for ‘action’, cloaking your incremental, additional restrictions on my rights in the guise of public service.
There are numerous effective, practical means by which you and all of us can help to protect ourselves from mass-murder and public violence, without punishing law-abiding citizens. (I or others can enumerate some of these tactics, if you really seek effective violence minimization in your stores and in society.) In sum, don’t take away my rights & freedoms and tell me it’s ‘for the best’. It is incumbent on you to reconsider and reverse your decision to restrict firearms & ammunition sales.
You owe this to America and to your freedom-loving consumers. If your ‘working-man’ constituent consumers are informed & alert, your financial well-being (and that of your shareholders) may depend upon it. As I said below, I will shop elsewhere, and will encourage others to do the same, until Walmart gun sales policy reflects & supports American interests, specifically as embodied in the Second Amendment.
John HoakBig Horn, Wyoming