Over a month ago, a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart left 22 dead, 24 injured and an entire community broken.
The domestic terrorist attack, carried out by a white gunman, occurred on the morning of Aug. 3.
In response to the tragedy, Walmart made the executive decision to remove all violent imagery and video from all locations on Aug. 9. This choice is incredibly ironic, considering Walmart is one of the leading gun and ammunition sellers in the world according to CNN.
According to NPR, all employees have since been ordered “to remove marketing material that displays violent imagery and to unplug or turn off video games consoles that show violent games.”
Employees were additionally instructed to verify that all screens in electronic departments do not display violence, like hunting videos or questionable advertisements.
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week,” spokeswoman Tara House told The Associated Press, reported by NPR.
Additionally, USA Today reported, “This action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment,” according to House.
In the wake of the shooting, gun control advocates and those affected have agreed that the discontinuation of violent imagery seems unrelated, and has no immediate impact on the problem. The company needs to address the access to guns they have historically provided. Although Walmart stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015, the company only began to require those purchasing a weapon to be at least 21 years of age just last year.
Although this is a problem our country has not always had to deal with, it should be expected that businesses can evolve to encourage the safety and preservation of American lives.
Despite the fact that Walmart was quick to initially implement the controversial move, the company’s current actions have reflected more thought concerning the issue.
As of early Sept., Walmart made the initiative to end all handgun ammunition sales. They have additionally urged customers not to openly carry guns into their stores. This action has inspired a movement, soon joined by several large-scale organizations. Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, Meijer, Aldi and Publix are just a few of the major corporations that have since banned open carry.
This measure includes all store locations, overshadowing states that continue to allow open carry, such as Missouri, Texas, Iowa and more.
Walmart has also stressed Congress to pursue increased gun control efforts.
Other major corporations are called to take a stance regarding gun control in their stores. Companies around the nation have the relative power to regulate guns under their rules. Taking a stand, such as changing open carry policies, shows a concern for our nation while upholding the utmost responsibility to protect customers.
This will be Emily Stisser’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.