In response to the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Walmart is ordering its stores to “remove signing and displays referencing violence.” The company-wide memo went public today, telling stores to take action immediately. Specifically, employees were told to remove violent movies and video games, as well as any hunting videos.
“Review your store for any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior. Remove from the salesfloor or turn off these items,” the memo reads. “Turn off any hunting season videos that may be playing in Sporting Goods, and remove any monitors or displays that show the videos.”
It’s unclear if this is permanent or temporary, but earlier this week CEO Doug McMillon said the company would have a “thoughtful and deliberate” response to recent events. In an email to The Associated Press, spokeswoman Tara House said the latest action was done “out of respect for the incidents of the past week.”
The retailer will still sell guns, but has a history of introducing new policies following shootings. In 2015, Walmart stopped selling AR-style rifles, and in 2018, they banned guns and ammo sales to those under 21 years old.
No matter what side of the political aisle you’re on, or what your thoughts are on AR rifles, video games, or movies, to label hunting videos as “violent” or “aggressive” seems like a step too far. Walmart’s heavy heart may be in the right place, but their denouncement of hunting videos is certainly misplaced.