High tech shopping service company, Instacart, is booming with the COVID-19 lockdowns. Available in over 5,000 US cities the company now claims to have over 500,000 shoppers up from 180,000 at the start of the pandemic. With growing popularity comes new problems, and the San Francisco based company is facing a lawsuit from the National Rifle Association (“NRA”). The NRA claims that the recent change to the Instacart’s terms and use violate user’s Second Amendment rights.
The updated terms and use now include:
“No firearms, explosives, hazardous materials, or weapons of any kind can be listed or available for purchase”.
Ed Schultz of Muscatine county Iowa, an area hit particularly hard by COVID-19, recently tried to order a case of .22 long rifle ammunition but couldn’t find it on the app. Ed suffers from glaucoma, lost his hands in Vietnam*, has to choose between paying his electric bill and buying his bipolar medication, and hunts for squirrels in his backyard to sustain himself.
“I’ve been buying ammunition from Instacart for over a year now” Ed explained to me holding up his iPhone X with a spiderweb crack on the screen.
“I’ve had ammunition, black powder, and gun oil, delivered no problem! Iâ€˜ve used the same shopper for everything. He dropped off batteries, toilet paper, pressure cookers, fertilizer, underwear, sunglasses, rock salt, rock candy, piles of rocks, high frequency radio receivers, diamond coated chop sticks (if the Emperor comes by you got to be prepared), fresh produce, and would ever else I need. It has been a lifesaver for me. I don’t think they understand how much this is going to hurt rural America.”
I asked Ed if he ever had an actual firearm delivered through Instacart. He paused then proceeded to tell me how he lost his hands in Vietnam.
Those sentiments and the glaring denial of his Constitutional rights are being reflected in an upcoming lawsuit by the NRA. President of the NRA, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North shared his thoughts with The Stonk Market.
“The Founders made it crystal clear, â€˜Shall not be infringed’ means exactly that. We the people have every right to have arms delivered to our homes, or overseas, and to safely move money, or drugs, securely with our banks, or CIA planes, to local, or foreign economies. This is another case of liberal elitists trying to dictate their culture on the rest of America. America is a melting pot. If you don’t like the laws in one state, then you funnel money into guerrilla fighters until you do like the laws.” Powerful thoughts from a powerful man.
For now, it looks like the future for Instacart will be decided by the people and the courts. Will Americans choose convenience in exchange for their Constitutional rights? Will the courts drop the hammer on the innovation engine of Big Tech? I asked Ed what his thoughts were on how this would play out.
He looked at me, downed a glass of grain alcohol, and asked me “How what would play out?”
*Ed originally lost his hands from a railroad accident when he was 16 and then lost his prosthetic hands when he and his second wife were on vacation in Vietnam in 2002.