After a shooting in its stores, Walmart has quietly instructed employees to remove any signage or displays that “contain violent themes or aggressive behavior.”
The decision comes after the deaths of 22 people in a mass shooting that occurred in an El Paso, Texas, location. Soon after, another would-be killer was apprehended by authorities after entering a Springfield, Missouri, Walmart carrying multiple firearms and 100 rounds of ammunition.
A leaked copy of the memo was posted to Twitter:
Apparently Walmart is telling its employees to take down displays that show violent video games, specifically shooters, as well as movies and hunting videos. pic.twitter.com/2N3t4B86tf
— Kenneth Shepard (@shepardcdr) August 7, 2019
“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,” said Walmart spokesperson Tara House in a statement.
Another Walmart spokesperson noted that though “it’s horrible … what’s happened,” “there’s been no change in policy” regarding gun sales.
However, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon sent a note to employees about the changes that suggests there may be further measures taken as the company grapples with their new position as sites of mass violence.
We are a learning organization, and, as you can imagine, we will work to understand the many important issues that arise from El Paso and Southaven, as well as those that have been raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence.
We will be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and we will act in a way that reflects the best values and ideals of our company, with a focus on serving the needs of our customers, associates and communities.