Walmart stores this week began removing signs with “violent images” and turning off displays that demo violent video games. The company said the move is due to recent mass shootings, including one at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week,” Walmart spokesperson Tara House said Friday. “This action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment.”
A mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso on Saturday morning left 22 people dead. Early Sunday, nine people died in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. Following the tragedies, some politicians, including , have cited violent video games as one of the contributors to such incidents. However, research suggests that video games don’t cause violent crime and likely have no connection to mass shootings.
On Sunday, a Walmart spokesperson told Bloomberg the company has no plans to stop selling firearms.
Walmart ordered employees to remove “signing and displays referencing violence,” freelance journalist Kenneth Shepard tweeted Wednesday. This reportedly included turning off video game consoles featuring violent games, canceling events promoting combat or shooter games and a ban on playing violent movies or hunting videos.
Walmart isn’t the only company making changes following the most recent mass shootings. ESPN and ABC Sports decided not to air theplanned for Aug. 11. They also said the decision was made “out of respect.”