Wal-Mart Under Attack

Dec 29, 2004
George Anderson

Editorial by George Anderson

Some people just love to hate Wal-Mart and there’s no doubt the retailer makes a mighty big target.

Union organizers, trial attorneys, former employees, historic preservations, documentary makers and some elected officials are among the many who would love to see the world’s largest retailer stumble, if not fall.

The problem, however, is that Wal-Mart bashing has turned into Wal-Mart bombing and lives are at risk. In a series of what appear to be unrelated incidents across the country, Wal-Mart stores have had to be evacuated because of bomb scares. In at least one recent incident in Wisconsin, the real scare was that a pipe bomb was actually found in a store’s toy department.

Just yesterday, a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Texas was cleared for three hours until a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bomb squad removed what local police called a suspicious package.

So-called soft targets such as retail stores, restaurants and nightclubs have been the scene of numerous terrorist attacks overseas. The attractiveness of these locations for those looking to murder and spread fear is they combine high numbers of people with relatively lax security. Experts in law enforcement and security have warned that it is only a matter of time before such an attack happens on American soil.

Authorities have not made an arrest in the Wisconsin or Texas cases mentioned and, with the numbers of people who have a “gripe” with Wal-Mart, there shouldn’t be a rush to point fingers or judge. Whether these terror attacks (and that is what a bomb threat is, even if no injuries occur) are the work of mentally unstable individuals with no connection to a group or part of an organized effort doesn’t make them any more or less reprehensible.

John Kerry once said of Saddam Hussein that there was a special place in hell set aside for him. Those planting bombs in Wal-Mart toy departments should know they have a reservation, as well.

Moderator’s Comment: How concerned are you about a
possible terrorist attack by an individual or group on retail locations within
U.S. borders? Are retailers more prepared today for the eventuality of such
an attack than they were before 9/11?

George Anderson – Moderator

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