Tear Down This Walmart!


So we had a clever premise in mind — “Suspicious Activities at Walmart” — but as we sat down to compose a list of hilarious! entries, we encountered an Insurmountable Problem:

We’ve only been to a Walmart once in our life.

And really, Greeter gags will only get you so far.

Homeland Security deploys video to Walmarts [Salon/early-warning credit to Jamie Sommers]

Considering what Walmart has done to US America to get it’s low low prices, it would be in the terrorists’ best interests to leave them alone.

I find all of these activities at a Wal-Mart suspicious. But are they unusual?

–Rent a cops trampled to death by stampeding shoppers
–Someone cooking meth in the trunk of their car in the parking lot
–A 17 year old slapping her two year old child across the face for disrespecting her
–A couple whose combined weight exceeds 600 pounds feeding their children fast food
–People paying for cheap Chinese electronics with crumpled singles and fives
–Immigrant cleaners forced to work overtime for free and locked in stores overnight
–Giant displays of Proud to be a US ‘Merikan flags and paraphernalia, all made in China and Vietnam
–Fluorescent lights designed to induce seizures
–Systematic discrimination against female employees
The People of Wal-Mart


I really dislike that woman.

@SanFranLefty: It’s been pointed out at Consumerist that the people most likely to be reported to the cops are those who skip past the receipt checkers.

ETA: OMFG This is the guy who introduced SB1070 in the state leg. I’ll bet this goes national by the end of the day.

@SanFranLefty: New Mexico’s first shooting by a person with a concealed carry handgun permit was in an Albuquerque Wal-Mart in a part of town called “the war zone” (air force base, bars, pawn shops, drugs, prostitution, hookers, cheap motels, shitty rentals; my friend The Dog was a slumlord there for a while). A woman was getting stabbed by her ex when this 72 year old guy reaches over the deli counter and ventilates the bad guy with three rounds from his nine. Fortunately, the shots didn’t overpenetrate and hit the woman, who already had nine stab wounds.


@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I just Jedi mind trick those guys and nod as I roll past them.

This whole TSA at Wally’s thing will make for some interesting discussion at the home of my right-wing Rush loving former fishing buddy and his artist wife, the Wally’s dairy manager who is also my oldest friend.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: thanx for the link to blogforarizona.com. i had never heard this quote from hhhumphrey until i read it there:
Sen. Hubert Humphrey once said that, “the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

why do so many disagree?

@redmanlaw: the CHP issue looms large here in rocky top. so large that the new teapublican’t tennessee legislature is threatening to do away with it in favor of no permits necessary, just unlicensed heat packing of any type allowed anywhere. unfortunately, i am not making that up. my prediction for the future is that one day a criminal will be shot in the act by a citizen exercising 2nd amendment rights who will then be shot be a cop arriving a few seconds too late on the scene doing what he is trained to do, which is to stop the person he sees shooting someone else by lethal force if necessary. bound to happen.

@jwmcsame: I have been following that on saysuncle.com, a gun blog run by a friend of a friend. The ccw literature says to drop the heat when the fuzz rolls up.

@redmanlaw: sound advice. i’ll check out that blog. my only home defense presently is a razor sharp machete, two strong arms, and two fast feet as the last resort. i live on a very steep hill at the end of a private road that should make most criminals seek other victims, but i am considering arming myself due to a rash of home invasions elsewhere in rocky top. is $200 enough to get a decent pistol and should i go revolver or clip? please advise. most folks here who own guns never practice and that seems insane to me. i refuse to play on softball teams that never practice and of course guns are much more serious, deadly serious. so if i’m gonna pack, i’ve got to practice. what’s the cost of a visit to an indoor range and enough shells to get very accurate?

@jwmcsame: RML knows far better than I do, but I have the impression that $200 is still Saturday Night Special territory. Plan on more like $400-500 for a quality pistol. Go to a range that has rentals and shoot everything they’ve got, see what you like. Revolver vs. semiauto is largely a personal preference issue.

I think you’d be better off investing in a shotgun — much less chance of going through walls and hitting other people, and there’s little in the world to make a home invader shit his pants than the kerchack sound of a shotgun being cocked.

All that said, you’re far better off with a sturdy stick/flashlight/machete and a can of pepper spray. It doesn’t have the psychological “go away” effect of the cocking shotgun, but statistically you’re pretty likely to have whatever weapons you use turned back on you — I’d rather be beaten and pepper sprayed than shot, if I have the choice, and between those two things you’ll repel a lot of people. Won’t have much effect on really high thieves, though, so if that’s the situation a deadly weapon may be the only choice.

Are the other home invasions typically happening by pro criminals, well armed, etc., or are they tweakers in search of the next fix?

@jwmcsame:For about $300, I would go with a used good quality medium frame revolver in either .357 or.38 special with a 4 in barrel. A .357 will also shoot .38 specials, but not vice versa. You may be able to find a good used Smith and Wesson or Ruger at a reputable gun shop, pawn shop or gun show. if you buy from a shop, you may be able to return it if it’s not satisfactory for you (I once bought a S&W revolver with light spring tension so that it didn’t go bang all the time so I took it back and got a snub nosed revolver).

I recommend a double action revolver (fires and advances the cylinder with each trigger pull) because of ease of operation. New gun owners should avoid snub nose revolvers because the short distance from the rear sight to the front sight (the sight radius) makes it difficult to aim. A semi-automatic pistol can have a lot of bells and whistles on the gun and in its operation that can get confusing, ie. external safeties, racking the slide to feed a round after inserting the magazine, external hammers that can be cocked so the gun can be carried with the safety on, magazine releases, etc.

Also, ammo for .38 special full metal jacket practice rounds is about $16 or $18 for 50 rounds at Wal-Mart. Shoot about four or five boxes of that stuff with ear protection to get comfortable with the gun. Try to put all your shots into a paper plate at seven paces. Take some lessons if you don’t know some one who shoots. You should buy special hollow point ammo for home defense, such as Hornady Critical Defense or Speer Gold Dot personal defense ammo. Other brands are available. Stuff’s abourt $20 for a box of 20, so it’s not for shooting cans for fun, although you should shoot an adequate number of rounds to know where your gun hits with it, which may be different from where it hits with the full metal jacket ammo. DO NOT use FMJ ammo for home defense because it could overpenetrate and hit someone in the next room or outside.

That being said, I opted for a Glock 19 9 mm semi auto for my bedside home defense gun with an extra magazine and an led flashlight over either of my Ruger revolvers solely because its magazine holds up to 15 rounds, which gives more time between reloads. My snubnose Ruger SP 101 .357 with a laser sight hold five rounds of .38 special personal defense ammo and goes out with me along with at least one reload when I carry it. I carry my full size Ruger GP 100 with six rounds of big fat lead bullets when I go hunting for use in unexpected encounters with bears, mountain lions and two legged predators.

Read up on this. Read what Mossad Ayoob and other writers have to say, visit the website below, read some magazines that cover home defense as well as sport shooting. Borders and other big stores carry gun books so spend some time perusing the shelves. I have several books on personal defense and defensive pistol shooting I could recommend.

Mall Ninjas and know it all gun writers pooh-pooh the .38 special (“real men use only non-metric calibers starting with a ‘4’), but they work on people. John Lennon was killed with a .38 (massive damage to the circulatory system), and so were Selena and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Put a call on the wall in the sandbox and we can discuss this further. The most important thing about shooting? It’s fun. We don’t tell that to everyone.


@jwmcsame: Oh, and range time: depends a lot on the range, but my local range is about $10-15 to rent the lane, $15 to rent all of their handguns (one at a time), and then ammo runs between $10 per 100 rounds for .22 through about $40 per 50 rounds for the big stuff like .44 mag and .50 if you’re going for the real penis-replacers. I think 9mm is $15/50 or so. Buying ammunition somewhere other than the range is much cheaper, but may also be prohibited by the range (as ammo is how they make their money, much like cinemas make money on concessions).

@IanJ: When on the walking trail with Mrs RML, I carry a 5ft heavy hardwood rake handle as a walking stick that can be used for jabbing, swinging or blocking. I always have a tactical LED flashlight with a scalloped bezel for shining in a bad guy’s eyes at night or for striking, jogger pepper spray and a Gerber folding knife.

Shotguns are a very good value for home defense, and you can go hunting with them, but you need two hands to use them. When you have a one hand hold with a handgun, you can have a phone or flashlight in the other (unless you have a flashlight mounted on the pistol . . . )

But like jwmcsame says, running away is always an option. I got myself out of a mugging that way. First blow to the head and I was half a block away before turning around.

@IanJ: The BLM lands outside of town are my range. Thanks, America!

@mellbell: She did and has massive PTSD. There’s an interview with her at the end of the video.

In topic: I’m in a class with, among others, various law and order types. US marshals, customs, etc. Hillcracker types from Alabama, Jawjuh and east Texas. Dripping with patriotism and get the bad guys mentality.

But you know what we all agreed in at lunch today? The Patriot Act is an abomination and it is frightening when you can go to jail for merely lying to an FBI agent. Cameras in public places figured highly in the un-American plate du jour.

Dum sum Stinque-up photos in the sandbox.

@Nabisco: That’s actually incredibly encouraging to hear. The Patriot Act is an abomination.

@IanJ: Very encouraging. I’ve actually been surrounded by some outstanding folks for two weeks.

Celeb TJ/ Flaming lib radio talker Stephanie Miller is coming to Santa Fe for Christmas. “Joe and Valerie” invited her out. After Rachel and original Wonkette, Steph’s my secret lib GF.

IanJ and Redmanlaw,
Thanx for the advice. My armed friends here talk but never end up at the range. The home invasions around here are fools looking for pills. I dont or at least hope i dont fit the pillhead profile, so i dont think they’ll come looking for me. the southeast is now suffering more from oxy and hydro addiction and related crimes more than meth now. Florida gives pills away from their alleged pain clinics and folks from ga, tenn, ky, and both carolinas flock there for $ or two pills they can sell for $30-$50 bucks each back home. it is so sad. i think the double action revolver is the way to go and i always prefer used things like cars, furniture, cds,dvds, and tires (2 used michelins for $30 down the street last more than a year) so the same should hold true for guns. i figured $200 might not be enough. i promise both of though that i will practice and become proficient, but i have always had some fear of guns but i think that is healthy. thanks again

@IanJ: no shit. homeland security has to be the most fucked up name for any agency ever. do the homeland security schutzstaffel have to wash out of the atf, fbi, dea, tsa, fire dept and prison guard unions to qualify? i hear that the prison guard union in california has bargained salaries up to 100k these days, is that true?

@jwmcsame: You’ll lost the fear, but never lose the respect. There are plenty of guys walking around with fewer finger than they were born with or worse from firearms accidents.

As for fear, the first time I took my Glock to the dirt berm on BLM land where I did most of my shooting until I found The Top Secret Spot, I felt like I had a black mamba in my hand. I just put in the time, got used to it and practiced a lot. I quit counting after 2,000 rounds some time in the summer of 2009, and I got the thing in February. I didn’t count all the .38 and .357 rounds I shot last year, but I loaded up 800 in addition to what I bought for shooting and stocking up (thanks for the Ammo Shortage of ’08-’09, paranoid right wingers and tea baggers.) I can shoot all my pistols both right and left handed, from on my back and on my side due to a lot of practice involving lying in the dirt . Find a patch of land where you can do that.

Can’t say enough about my Rugers. True American Heavy Metal. After a bit, you may want to get a .22 pistol so you can practice way more for cheap, or get into reloading which is fun but time consuming. It’s like tying flies – it’s supposed to save money, but you spend a lot on supplies. I can load for two pistol calibers and about six rifle calibers. I’d load for 9mm, but it’s so cheap now it’s not worth it.

@jwmcsame: Agreed with RML, you’ll lose the fear (I’ve converted a number of my extremely liberal actor friends), but the respect should always be there. Agreed also that the only way to be any good is lots of practice.

For myself, I’m a .22 shooter. It’s cheap, and I’ll probably never take up a firearm against another living thing — for me, it’s just a fun hobby that has nothing to do with self defense, hunting, or anything else. Putting .22 through a piece of paper at 10, 50 or 100 yards is much the same as putting a .223 through the same paper, although there’s a bit more challenge to it at 100 yards, and .22 is around 1/10th to 1/50th the price per shot. .22 also hurts your shoulder a lot less (ie, not at all).

I do not even remotely recommend .22 for self-defense of any kind. I mean, it’s more effective than spitting on your assailant: .22 is certainly deadly, but it doesn’t produce the kind of big damage a larger round does, and nobody makes the cool self-defense rounds in .22 like they do in .38 or 9mm. One Glaser Safety Slug will terminally ruin your day, while one .22 hollowpoint will hurt a lot, as Ronniebabes demonstrated in 1981.

EDIT: Huh, just read the W.pedia article on Ronnie’s assassination attempt — I hadn’t known before that Hinckley used explosive rounds. Perhaps I was wrong about “cool self-defense rounds.” (Although I’d hardly call explosive bullets that fail to go off most of the time cool.)

@jwmcsame: “Welcome to the Gun Show.” In This Moment, featuring the new queen of metal Maria Brinks.


Saw them at Mayhem Fest last summer. Holy crap! Son of RML and I almost got crushed against a fence down in front to the side when they were on. LOTS of people wanted to see them.

@IanJ: Friend of mine has one of those Rohm revolvers that Hinkley used. That thing is a piece of shit. You might recall that Hinkley hit everything but his target with five of the six shots. That actually reflect the total lack of accuracy of that thing. There is no pattern to it. Shots literally fly all over the place. It’s only worth is its historical value.

As for the “explosive bullets,” the brand of ammo Hinkley used had a little priming charge that was supposed to help the bullet expand on impact. Performance is pretty iffy. I can’t say for certain whether the bullets worked as advertised or not. You can still buy them at $15 for six. I personally won’t be spending any money on them.

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