A strange ploy since it’s obvious what they’re trying to do and also obvious that it won’t work.
There is a certain item to be found in Walmart stores which lefties are perennially agitating against, particularly after mass shootings. But it’s not “violent displays.”
If Walmart didn’t want to end gun sales, they’d have been better off doing nothing at all. A token gesture like this aimed at deflecting attention from its gun policies will end up pissing gun-grabbers off even more than silence would have, since it has the effect of highlighting the fact that the company won’t indulge them on their pet issue. Imagine believing devoutly that the only way to end mass murders is to stop guns and having Walmart tell you, “We won’t do that but we’ll keep the posters for the next Grand Theft Auto game out of the store, mkay?”
The retailer instructed employees in an internal memo to remove any marketing material, turn off or unplug video game consoles that show violent games — specifically Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and to monitor and turn off any violence depicted on screens in its electronics departments…
Under the heading: “Immediate Action,” employees were instructed to “Review your store for any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior. Remove from the salesfloor or turn off these items immediately.”…
Patrick Markey, a psychology professor at Villanova University who focuses on video games, found in his research that men who commit severe acts of violence actually play violent video games less than the average male. About 20% were interested in violent video games, compared with 70% of the general population, he explained in his 2017 book “Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong.”
Here’s a typical headline (in this case from NBC) about the move. Does this read like good press or bad press for the company’s show of “sensitivity”?
Not only do guns remain on sale, notes Scott Shackford, but so do … violent video games. It’s just promotional materials for the games that are verboten. The point here, it seems, isn’t to blame video games for causing mass murder by somehow warping people’s brains, it’s merely to spare customers from being reminded of the recent shootings by keeping images of violence out of the stores. Although even then, says Shackford, why make that a national policy instead of one exclusive to Walmart stores in El Paso and Dayton?
Their attempt to change the subject isn’t working on gun-control fans. To the contrary:
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 9, 2019
Walmart stopped selling semiautomatic rifles, including AR-15s, in 2015 and began focusing on sportsman firearms instead. It also previously raised the age limit for purchasing weapons in its stores to 21. A question for the readership, then: Does anyone know of an analysis positing how many mass shootings have been committed with weapons purchased at Walmart? I’ve been googling but can’t find anything definitive. There have been some — NBC notes that “the 2011 shooting in Arizona, in which 18 were shot, and the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were killed” involved guns or ammo from Walmart. But my guess is that the number is very small, particularly since the time when the company phased out semiautomatics. This Time piece from last year succinctly explains why. Rifles aren’t used in many homicides, period, let alone sporting rifles being used in mass murders. Also, I would guess that a degenerate who’s preparing to indulge a super-soldier fantasy by gunning down a bunch of “enemies” wouldn’t want to shop for his weapon of “war” at a pedestrian supermarket where moms are busy buying groceries. He’d feed the fantasy by going to a gun store to show seriousness of purpose.
If it’s mass shootings you’re primarily worried about, then, Walmart circa 2019 is a weird place to target. If it’s guns generally that you’re eager to ban, then targeting a mega-corporation that sells them all over the country makes more sense. Hence Warren’s protest.