Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Of walking and Walmart

Among the many things I love about living in the Northwest is how colorful the landscape remain throughout the winter, not only because of the everpresent evergreens but also because of the yellow, orange or red bark on so many trees and bushes. The hour-long walk around Green Lake in Seattle is color-therapy at its seasonal best. Plus it offers as good an opportunity for people-watching as an outdoor terrace in a Parisian café (one of my favorite pastimes when we visit family and friends there.) The crowd is strikingly different though: mothers dashing forward behind racing strollers, others dragged by eager pooches, muscled men in skimpy tank tops, Gore-Texed gents leaning on heavy canes, leashed dogs everywhere, mostly well behaved, old couples and odd couples, talking walkers and walking talkers, cyclists, roller-bladers, everyone in-lane, everyone oh so Seattle. Peaceful...
So we walk. We talk some. Mostly we watch. Sometimes we notice more than once the same people walking in the opposite direction. When it happens, I always regret not having paid more attention in school to problems featuring two trains leaving at different hours from different cities and going at different speeds: where and when would they pass each other? Are we seeing this elderly couple twice because they actually walk faster than us? It seems unlikely but then why are we meeting them again before our own walk around the lake is over?
My mathematically bent husband remains unfazed: he quickly processes the facts (where we first pass the couple, where we are now) and comes up with the answer. I like it that some problems can be easily solved.
As we walk I feel a burden lift then fall again then lift again: grief like an invisible cloak fluttering in the breeze. And I look at the faces, animated or stoney, smooth or wrinkled, dour or smiling, and I wonder  at the stories that live and breathe behind each of them...
Back home, the peace Green Lake has brought is shattered as I listen to Walmart and the AR-15, a Feb.6 podcast from the Leonard Lopate Show. From there I go to How Walmart Helped Make the Newtown Shooter's AR-15 the Most Popular Assault Weapon in America, the original article by George Zornick in The Nation. I had thought Walmart had pulled the weapon so that it could no longer be bought online. It turns out that it could never be bought online and that Walmart only pulled it from its online catalog but continued to carry it in its stores. I didn't know that gun sales was what helped the company pull out of a slump. I also didn't know that Walmart was now "the biggest seller of firearms and ammunition in America."
There is indeed a story behind everyone and everything, isn't there? Many of them never see the light of day but when they are exposed, when we clearly see that from coast to coast thousands of us are either already impacted or threatened by the plot, don't we have not only the right but the obligation to look for ways to bring about a different ending? I regret that Walmart declined to be interviewed for the article. I am still hoping it can be convinced to change its policies (or at least to make sure each and everyone of its stores abides by its stated policies). Meanwhile, let's vote with our feet and walk away both from Walmart Stores and from Sam's Club which it owns and operates.

27 comments:

  1. MC, I am so glad to hear from you today. As far as walking away from Wal Mart, that certainly is not an issue for me and my family. Something about purchasing groceries and underware for my family and a battery for my car, a tire for my lawn mower, a depth finder for my boat (you get the idea) is just confusing for me.

    Davidson County, NC is where I live and tonight at 7:00 pm our county commissioners are holding a meeting with gun control being one of only two things on the agenda for tonight. With your familys permission I would like to attend this meeting to speak on Noah's behalf. We are back to defending the second amendment. I just want to take a stand and defend common since. I do not want your .22 I want your AR-15. You can have your right to bare common since arms and our children can have their right to bare life.
    As always MC, you are all on my mind and will never be out of my heart. Continue taking your walks. It is the smallest of things that we fail to appreciate the most. Love always.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and intentions, Anonymous, but please speak at the meeting on behalf of all of those who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook shooting as well as the thousands of innocents who get killed each year by gun violence. We cannot forget a single one of them...

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    2. Dearest MC, I attended the meeting last night. Our commisioners decided that "we", Davidson County, NC ,would not support any form of gun control neither on a state or federal level. I could not believe in the lack of support for such common since legislation. On a lighter note, I also got back in time to watch the latter part of the State of the Union. We, as a nation of innocent victims, do DESERVE a vote. I will not let this rest on my part with a handful of county commisioners who are just playing politics. I will continue to push. We absolutely have to make the end justify the means. Love to you and your family as we all carry Noah, and the others, in our hearts.

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  2. Between my personal and work expenditures, I used to spend about $12,000/yr at Walmart and Sam's Club. I've chosen to purchase at Target and BJs instead. I know that $12000 is nothing to Walmart and that the loss of my business will not make the slighest mark on its bottom line, but it's the thought that counts, at least to me. Much of what I buy is for kids and I can't imagine patronizing a company who is actively supporting and selling weapons used to kill them. Walmart is a purely market driven company and is thereby not beholden to the same moral and ethical standards as its community oriented competitors. Please support Dicks Sporting Goods which has chosen to stop selling assault weapons.

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    1. I couldnt agree more with you, I will not be shopping at Walmart anymore either.

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    2. I.will not shop there either. Couldn't agree more. As always Noah, u and Ur family are in my thoughts

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  3. I agree with Cheryl, I am no longer a patron of Walmart and Sam's. Change starts in small places, so 12000 a year may not be a lot but if 50 percent of their customers do this they will listen. MC just wanted to let you know you and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Noah is on my mind everyday and I want you to know that your cause and his death will not be in vain.

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  4. I consider myself well informed, but I did not know that about Walmart. I have never really shopped there as I do not care for their business practices. This seals the deal for me. Good for you Cheryl! MC, Be well and know you are in our thoughts! Liz

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  5. MC - Thank you for enlightening us on Walmart's practices. I do know that they are so powerful that they drive what their suppliers sell and how they do it. I do not like nor have I ever liked Walmart. I am a Target and Costco person. On occasion I do shop at Walmart but no more.

    I am still waiting for my county in VA to have a gun buyback but I do not think there will be too many of these in Virginia. I am hopeful as I so much want to get rid of mine; I had commented in another post of my desire to do so. I do not know another way to dispose of it where it will be destroyed. If anyone knows of another way, please reply here.

    I noticed your link to Noah's Ark of Hope is no longer on this site. I do hope the fund is still around.

    Peace and Love,

    Eric
    Burke VA

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  6. Hello MC, thank you for writing, I look forward to read all your posts. I continue to pray for you and your family. I was not aware of the Walmart scenario, they should be ashamed of themselves, I hope the CEO or upper management or the owners will never have to go through what your family and other families have gone through.I will be boycotting them.

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  7. Hello, MC, nice to see you again. Thank you for informing us about Walmart. I live in NYC, so they do not have a presence here, but I will remember. I find it despicable that they sell weapons, such as the AR15, capitalism at its more irresponsible at the best. They already violate many human rights or labor laws, so add this to it.

    I hope you enjoy the natural beauty that is the Pacific NW. I am still thinking and praying for Noah and your family. The new photos on facebook were enjoyable, in a bittersweet way.

    Peace and Love,

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  8. As always, it is so good to hear from you. As of today, I will transfer ALL my prescritions away from Walmart. As a diabetic, I think I have plenty prescriptions to transfer. And, I will take new ones somewhere else. It's not much, but at least it gives me personal satisfaction knowing that I am doing it for the children. Step by step... Whatever it takes. Thank you for the information MC.

    I think of you, Noah, Veronique, and the rest of your family every day. I have you in my prayers every morning and every night. XOXOX...

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  9. What a beautiful photo, dear MC.

    There is no Walmart here or in Australia but whenever I go Stateside I will avoid it like the plague until they come around to respecting our intelligence. I'm disgusted that they needed to use gun sales to get them back on track. I will tell people I know who travel to the US often as well.
    Julia x

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  10. I despise Walmart. In my small town, they put the 2 other smaller grocery stores out of business. I go out of my way to buy locally from farmers and waterman when I can, and drive 40 minutes to get to another grocer. Down with big brother! Gorgeous pictures, MC.

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  11. Hi MC,
    Just wanted to be sure you saw your daughter in this moving video. I cried for Noah, for Veronique today. Walmart is way off my list.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PwNlCgf5jNE

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    1. Thank you Laura for this link. Veronique is an astonishing woman thrust into strength she probably never knew (nor wanted to know) she had. Her words make my heart ache and I know my ache is only a sliver of what she feels day and night. My heart and prayers go out to Veronique, Lenny, MC and the children. May your memories during waking hours and sleep be strong and comforting. This "One Man Tornado" will hopefully use full force to make a change for the better in this country. I know you never looked into his eyes and thought the world would know his name or that he may change the country and save the lives of countless others, but this possibly was his calling. Pozner Family...... keep talking..... someone is listening. If not the country at large yet, there is someone, somewhere that put down their gun today in memory of Noah.... much love......sherri

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    2. MC - My goodness. What a wonderful, strong woman you have as a daughter. I pray for her success in enacting change. I stand with her, with you, with Noah, with Newtown.

      God Bless.

      Peace and Love,

      Eric
      Burke VA

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  12. MC...you and your family and the countless other families are in my thoughts and prayers. I am done with Walmart and Sam's Club. I will also make do whatever I can in calls and rallies and boycotts to see that these weapons are off of shelves and out of the publics hands. I served in the Army and feel so strongly that they have no place outside of war.

    Jessica De Los Santos

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  13. I am from upstate New York and we have a fairly new Walmart in our town. I have never been a huge fan of walmart. They seem to be popping up everywhere ruining the beautiful landscape with their huge, ugly building and strip mall that always come with it. Just before the Walmart was built there was a housing development going up on a hill in back of where the walmart now stands. It promised to be one of the best views around. A year later Walmart decided to build their monstrosity right down the hill from these beautiful homes. I am so happy my husband and I decided not to build there because I would have to look at the building everyday. I had no idea you could purchase a gun from Walmart. I rarely go in there, but now I will NEVER shop there. Your picture reminds me of my town in the Fall. Beautiful! Love and Prayers to you and your family. Still thinking about all of those beautiful 26 faces xoxo

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  14. I've never liked Wal*Mart, for many different reasons from their business practices to how they drive smaller mom-and-pop stores into the ground, and I've always thought it ridiculous that you can buy a gun and billets there, but they refuse to sell CDs with Explicit Lyrics stickers on them. Their priorities are in serious need of revision. I'll gladly shop anywhere BUT there.

    I've been thinking about Noah all morning, and keeping you and your family in my thoughts - especially today.

    Many hugs,

    Kim

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    1. **sigh** That's supposed to be bullets, not billets. This is what happens when I post before I've had my coffee...

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  15. Hi MC, I just viewed a video interview with Veronique, discussing memorials and angels from this month. She is an incredibly articulate and on-target with regard to much needed public policy reform on gun leglislation and matters on mental health. I just want to acknowledge her and her braveness in this unbearable circumstance. She does not need to make any apologies to anyone about her position, firstly, because I believe she is correct. Secondly, because she is the mother of a victim.

    I really admire your family.

    Prayers and best wishes,

    Eileen

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  16. I agree with you all on this. I live out here in Las Vegas, NV, which I'm sure you know is a 14 hr. town. Well,
    since the tragedy of Sandy Hook, I refuse to shop at Wal-mart my self. As you know we do have alot of gun violence here,
    and I sure wish the state could get a hold of the gun control. I send my Prayers to you and your sweet family and little NOAH
    will always be on my mind, as well as being in my HEART each & everyday!
    Thoughts & Prayers,
    Terri

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  17. First, let me say-I continue to think of and pray for you and your family quite often. I also want to add that I have never shopped at WalMart, not for the reason you mention in this article, but for their poor treatment of employees. You have just given me another reason never to set foot in that store. Take care and God Bless

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  18. On the subject of your lake walks - I sometimes walk with my oldest grandson (he will be 6 in March) at a lake close to his house. For the most part we walk together but there is one part of the path where it splits into a small loop and he goes in one direction and I go in the other. We are in sight of each other and he likes to wave from the far side and yell out a "hello grandma". I am never sure where we will meet as sometimes he runs as fast as he can and other times he stops to watch the birds or throw rocks in the water, but eventually we meet up again and continue on together.
    So in regards to your story I feel like Noah is walking "the loop" and in his own way he is waving to you and yelling out "hello grandma" when you get signs from him like your NOA flight number. It is so sad that you are not able to walk together but I believe he is still there in spirit and the two of you will eventually meet each other on "the loop" and continue on together.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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    1. What a poignant analogy, Brenda

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  19. I know this won't make any real difference in your grief, MC, but I have not shopped at Walmart since I read this post. I've been trying to figure out why, of all the children killed that day, Noah has remained with me the most consistently. I have a son, David, who is 7, a little over a year older than Noah, but also in first grade. Ever since he was a baby, I've usually kept his hair very short, using the clippers rather than scissors to give him that "buzzed" look. Lately, however, he has said he wants to grow out his hair, and just today I noticed how much he resembles your Noah. He is blond haired and blue-eyed, but his expressions and facial structure are quite similar to Noah. From your stories, I suspect they might have been good friends if they ever had a chance to meet.

    As always, my love to you and to all who love Noah. My prayers will continue until I can pray no more.

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