Wal-Mart: no more blue-light gun specials

Wal-Mart has announced it's pulling back from the firearms business:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has decided to stop selling guns in about a third of its U.S. stores in what it calls a marketing decision based on lack of demand in some places, a company spokeswoman said Friday.

The world's largest retailer decided last month to remove firearms from about 1,000 stores in favor of stocking other sporting goods, in line with a "Store of the Community" strategy for boosting sales by paying closer attention to local differences in demand.

Most people seem happy with the decision, starting with small businesses:

The change could be a boon for mom-and-pop hunting stores that lost business when Wal-Mart moved in, said Steve Wagner, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry.

Gun-control advocates hailed the decision as well:

The Violence Policy Center, a gun control group, said Wal-Mart's decision reflected what it called a decline in gun ownership. "The marketplace has spoken and the losers are America's gun industry and the gun lobby," VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann said in a statement.

It's all part of the Wal-Mart's efforts to go upscale, trading in the plastic crap and blue collar goods image for wine bars, boutique styling, and cardigan sweaters. My theory: taking a page from Target, they've decided that instead of fighting their middle-class critics, they're going to entice them to start shopping there.