Following last week's disgusting tragedy at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas - where an armed gunman killed 22 people and wounded 24 others - the company has sent out notices to employees requesting them to remove "any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior" from the sales floor, including "violent games, specifically PlayStation or Xbox units" and electronics department events for "combat style or third-person shooter games", as well as action movie scenes and hunting season videos.
We've taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and it does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment. Two employees were killed in a shooting at a Mississippi Walmart on July 30.
Warren says on Twitter that Walmart "is one of the largest gun retailers in the world" and has a responsibility to prioritize public safety. Meanwhile, the store will keep selling both violent video games and guns.
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Though some politicians have claimed the modern epidemic of mass shootings is tied to increasing violence in video games, there is no known link between violent video games and violent acts.
The retailer is one of America's biggest sellers of guns and ammunition, and to be sure, it has taken some steps to curb gun violence. Is it possible someone at Walmart believes the colorful ink-slinking squid people in Splatoon 2 are capable of spurring someone to violence, and are they planning to lock down the paint section of the store if this is the case? "Remove from the sales floor or turn off these immediately".
Walmart has issued an official statement after news broke on August 8 that the company was telling its employees to remove violent video game displays from stores. That policy now appears to be sweeping up the sale of games themselves, despite the original in-store memo only specifying displays and advertisements. "Do the right thing-stop selling guns", posted Warren on social media. Another mass shooting followed in Dayton, Ohio on August 4 that left nine people dead and 27 injured. A Twitter user noted that their local Walmart had removed nearly all video games from the display case and was not even selling games anymore. Walmart has about 4,800 US stores, Dick's operates more than 720, Academy Sports has more than 250, Bass Pro Shops has about 180 stores, Fred Meyer has around 130 and Camping World operates 120.