Walmart Halts Sales of Weapons At Stores In Syria
In war-riddled Syria’s capital Damascus, 78-year old Ahmoud shuffles his way to work every morning in the hot morning sun. He walks with a limp down the sidewalk oblivious to the occasional burst of gunfire, believing no sniper from either side of the on-going civil war will fire on him.
Ahmoud is a greeter at Walmart and his bright blue and yellow vest protects him. Everyone wants the 16 Walmarts in the crumbling city to stay open, and killing one of the store’s workers might make the American company shutter its locations like McDonalds restaurants did recently.
But Ahmoud is worried since Walmart announced that it will no longer sell automatic or semi-automatic weapons, or “peace tools” as they are refered to in Walmart’s Syrian flyers.
“Bashar Assad’s men. They buy tools at Everything Vendor,” said the nearly toothless Ahmoud lighting a Lucky Strike Lite with a Tim Tebow cigarette lighter, and referring to Walmart by its street name. “All the other peoples fighting. They buy tools at Everything Vendor also. Now they are to be mad that no peace tools. This is not good for me. I am not so important now. Not so safe now.”
In a statement released to media, Walmart said weapons such as the Bushmaster .223, Colt AR-15, Tec-9, and Uzi Shredder would by pulled from all stores in Syria immediately as an “obvious corporate stand to help make the lives of all Syrians safe from rapid-fire weapons.”
“We are good neighbours,” said Michael Smith, Walmart VP Sales & Margins, Middle Eastern Zone. “And like all good neighbours, we don’t like to see people killing each other willy nilly. That’s not the Walmart way at all. Save Money. Live Better. That’s the Walmart way!”
Walmart was refered to by Forbes Magazine recently as the world’s largest public retailer of guns, and investment managers estimate weapons represent more than 20% of the company’s profits. While Walmart has kept its stores open in war-riddled Syria largely because both factions have unofficially declared the stores as protected sites, analyists now wonder if anger at not being able to buy weapons with no background check will affect the stores’ safe status.
“People still need shampoo and highlighter pens and microwave bacon, so I think they will remain untouchable,” said Ahmoud. “I hope so.”
White House officials refused to comment but an aide close to recovering Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Reuters off the record that, when told of the good-will gesture of Walmart, the Secretary simply said, “You’re f***ing kidding me.”
With the announcement of the “temporary de-stocking” of weapons, the windy streets of Damascus seem to have more tumbleweeding Walmart flyers than people this early morning. In a push to keep customers coming, the ads brag of “Rollback” prices on Pep-Pep-Pepperoni Pizza Pops, Tupperware Picnic Pacs, and Charmin Sani-Wipes.
Reporting for The Lapine