Walmart previously said it would be taking action to help the safety and comfort of customers following a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas store that left 22 dead and dozens more injured. Many believed that one measure the store could take would be the decision to stop selling guns inside of their locations across the country, but Walmart decided to go a different route.
As it turns out, Walmart has decided that the correct move is to ban violent video game displays from their stores and that they will be using that as a protective measure moving forward.
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment,” Walmart said in a statement to USA Today.
Along with the El Paso shooting, a Walmart in Mississippi was the scene of a shooting when a former employee killed two workers.
Following those incidents, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon had issued a statement about the violence.
“Last week, our Walmart family suffered two separate acts of violence. It’s difficult to find a word strong enough to describe the way we feel. We’re feeling a range of emotions – shock, anger, grief. We also feel gratitude for the first responders in El Paso and Southaven and are proud of the way associates reacted so courageously,” the statement began.
“I’m in El Paso today, and I’ve met heroes. We heard incredible stories of associates who made heroic efforts to get customers to safety. From our manager, Robert, who was leaving the store then ran back when he heard shots, to Gilbert and Lasonya, who helped dozens of customers to safety out the back of the store, to Mayra, who may have been the very first responder, and did an exceptional job bandaging wounds and helping customers escape. I also got to thank Sarah and her team from the Sam’s Club next door for the care they provided to customers. We heard story after story of courageous associates putting others ahead of themselves.
“When the worst happens, we counter with our best selves. We support each other, pray, stand firm and heal together. We’re proud to be woven into the American fabric as a place for all people, a community gathering place.”
Removing video game displays may not be the most proactive measure, but it is a start — especially when the president has singled out video games as one of the main reasons for the rise in mass shootings.