What’s the Walmart connection to the shooting of Trayvon Martin?

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Does the Walmart 1 Percent have a connection to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager who was gunned down in Florida last month? Walmart, the largest seller of guns in the US, worked with the National Rifle Association to help promote the law that may be keeping Martin’s killer free.

Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, is protected by the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, which permits the use of deadly force if an individual feels that their life is in danger. Where did this law come from? According to a report on Talking Points Memo, this law was championed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Minutes documenting a 2005 meeting from an old ALEC website provided to TPM by the Center for Media and Democracy and Common Cause show that Marion Hammer of the National Rifle Association (NRA) pitched model legislation to ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force. An old NRA update also documented the meeting. “Her talk was well-received, and the task force subsequently adopted the measure unanimously,” the NRA wrote in an Aug. 12, 2005 post on the NRA website.

We know that Walmart is a financial supporter of ALEC.  But just how connected is Walmart to the “Stand Your Ground” legislation? According to a post from Media Matters for America, a senior Walmart executive was co-chair of the criminal justice task force that approved the proposal back in 2005.

ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force was co-chaired in 2005 by Republican Texas State Representative Ray Allen and Wal-Mart executive Janet Scott. Neither has had anything to say about ALEC’s Castle Doctrine despite being there at the creation. When contacted yesterday by phone, Allen claimed not to have heard about Trayvon Martin’s death. “I can’t say I’m familiar with [the shooting], I’ve been traveling for the last six days,” Allen told Media Matters. Allen left the Texas statehouse in 2006 and now runs his own lobby shop with the subtle name GovBizPartners. The Wal-Mart press office did not provide an interview with Jane Scott, Allen’s co-chair of the 2005 task force.

It’s not surprising that Walmart refused to comment, but the company probably can’t stay quiet for long. Already, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has written about the ALEC connection to the Trayvon Martin shooting. Meanwhile, Walmart is already under fire in New York City for being the largest gun dealer in the country. How long until more people connect the dots between Walmart, guns, and the killing of Trayvon Martin?

You can download a flyer about the connection between Walmart and ALEC by clicking here.

Comments

  1. paul says:

    The NRA and Walmart–I can’t think of a more disgusting combination. One helps fools get guns to kill innocent people, and the other takes advantage of innocent workers and poor people.

  2. Beverly Burk says:

    Most employee’s at WalMart I speak to would like a union, however they are afraid to fight for it.

  3. Dilla says:

    I decided to go back to Walmart to get other items after hainvg such a wonderful experience yesterday.Well, I had an AWFUL experience today. They weren’t aware of the policy. Mangers (yes plural) were back in a room with my coupons and printed copy of the policy trying to figure out what to do. I requested they just go on the same website I went on – or call corporate. Tired of the ridiculous wait, I took my frozen products out of my reusable bag and was about to ask the cashier to retrieve my coupons and policy when someone came out to make the appropriate adjustments (reluctantly since they couldn’t find the policy themselves).

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