Walmart removes violent video game ads after shootings but continues to sell guns
Last weekend, America was rocked by two deadly back-to-back shootings, which claimed the lives of 30 people in just 13 hours.
This incited international outrage, with many celebrities like Rhianna calling once again for a major reform of the USA's gun laws. Outrage was worsened by President Trump's decision to give a speech where he blamed violent video games for the shootings.
He said that the US now has a culture which "celebrates violence" and it's caused by "gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace."
Now, hot on the heels of the President's words, Walmart has removed ads for violent video games from their stores, but they continue to sell guns.
The major retailer has been the site of two recent mass shootings; one on June 30 at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, which left two employees and a police officer injured, and the incident at a branch in El Paso, Texas, last weekend, which left 22 people dead and a further 24 injured.
Employees were subsequently sent the following notice: "Immediate Action: Remove Signing and Displays Referencing Violence."
It came to the world's attention when it was posted to Twitter by Kenneth Shepard, a freelance writer, and subsequently did the rounds on Reddit.
"Review your store for any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior," the notice reads. "Remove from the salesfloor or turn off these items immediately."
In an interview with Vice, an anonymous Walmart employee explained how they reacted to the notice:
"I went into work yesterday and they handed me a copy of the instructions to remove the violent signage and gaming displays. And I immediately threw it away because it's obviously a way to shift the blame from the real problem regarding the mass shootings. I didn't get to confirm this yesterday but they aren't doing anything about the sales of guns and ammo in the store."
There have been countless studies conducted on the effect violent video games can have on player's lives, but research into what causes mass shootings has found no correlation between them and firearm violence.
All the while, USA Today has reported that there has been no change on Walmart's gun policy.