Notices are being handed out to Walmart employees detailing that they need to remove signings and displays for violent video games in their stores. However, Walmart will continue to sell guns.
On Saturday, August 3rd, a twenty-one-year-old gunman killed 22 people and injured 24 more in a Walmart at El Paso, Texas. Investigators believe the shooter is anti-immigration, targeting El Paso because of how close it is to the Mexican border. It is presumed, based on the investigation, that the shooter was primarily targeting Hispanics.
The El Paso shooting was one of several recent shootings that happened in a short amount of days that gained nationwide attention. The shootings brought up the discussion of gun control and the 2nd Amendment, with several high profile people blaming the shootings on video games. Even United States President Donald Trump called out video games as the cause of the shootings.
The discussion of violent video games causing people to carry out violent actions in real life has been going on since the early 90s. With violent video games like Mortal Kombat becoming increasingly more popular among children, adults became concerned that violent games lead to violence in real life.
The controversy seemingly had died down in recent years, until these past few shootings happened. Now the blame for the recent shootings has gone to video games again. Anti-gun activists have protested to have guns be removed in Walmart stores; Walmart instead sent a notice to employees that they will be removing displays and other things that advertised violent video games.
Game journalist Kenneth Shepard posted a copy of the notice on his Twitter account. The notice details that employees need to unplug gaming consoles that contain demos of violent video games. The notice also informs employees to cancel any promotional events that focus on combat-style or third-shooters games. The notice also explains to employees that they need to turn off any hunting videos in the sporting goods sections.
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
— Kennibal Lecter (@shepardcdr) August 7, 2019
Vice Gaming will elaborate more on Walmart’s new position in promoting violent video games. With that said, despite toning down on the promotion for violent video games, Walmart will continue to sell firearms in their stores.
The irony isn’t lost on most journalists, as many found it hypocritical that the stores will choose to downplay the promotion of shooters, yet will continue to sell weapons that can lead to real-life shootings. Anti-gun activists have been protesting Walmart for them to stop selling guns at their stores. Many people believe Walmart gives people easy access to guns in the United States. In general, many anti-gun people have argued that it is too easy for normal citizens to get firearms in the US, especially for minors.
With mass-shootings becoming a growing concern within the US, it appears that many people are looking for ways to pass the blame away from guns. It appears for the moment, that video games are the ones to blame for the recent shootings.