I swung by the local Fred Meyer store yesterday(7/19/2012) for a few paint brushes. I use this store frequently as it's my grocery store, my pharmacy, my coffee source (nearest Starbucks) and they're good for everyday household items too. The store was remodeled about a year ago and I hadn't yet been back to the far corner where the paint, hardware and sporting goods department landed. I turned the corner thinking the desk in front of me was where the paint supplies would start, and instead was confronted by cabinets of handguns and racks of rifles. I was taken aback by the vast array of guns (well over 75) on display and available for sale. At the time, there were two Fred Meyer service people discussing the fine particulars of handguns with two different customers. I was back in the store today and, unbelievably, there was another customer discussing a gun purchase.
Which brings me to my question: why does my grocery store sell guns? Are gun sales such a high volume business that a cross-category grocery/department store chain can't miss out on the opportunity? The question is so much more revelent today as we all grapple with the Aurora shooting, and my friend mourns the loss of her cousin from that horrible act of senseless violence. In light of last night's shooting, the Eaton Center in June, Columbine, Springfield High (Oregon) and so many other shootings that occur all over American cities, I have to wonder if we shouldn't reexamine our gun control laws. Buying a gun shouldn't be as easy as going to the grocery store. I don't know if better screening is required, longer waiting periods implemented or if we need a complete ban on certain types of guns. What I am certain of is that something must change. I know that there will always be bad people in the world, and no legislation will ever completely stop them from doing horrible things. But if giving up our right to own certain guns could prevent a future senseless shooting, then by all means, I am willing to give up that right.
I ask that anyone reading this consider learning the names of the victims of the Aurora shooting. Remember at least one of them instead of the name of the deranged individual that put an end to the lives of so many innocents.
Donald D. Parker.