Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Of walking and Walmart
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.