After the mass shooting that took the lives of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Dick’s Sporting Goods decided to stop all sales of assault style guns and accessories in their stores. After a mass shooting at one of their own stores that took the lives of 22 people, Walmart decided to remove video game displays it deems violent.
Fred Guttenberg—whose 14 year-old daughter Jaime was murdered at her high school in Parkland—let the billion dollar retail chain know what he thought of their decision.
@Walmart, my daughter did not die in Parkland because of video games. She died because of weapons and ammunition that was available for purchase in Walmart. Stop hiding behind made up issues and come to grips with the reality of your role in gun violence.https://t.co/sQeTADKkFW
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) August 9, 2019
Walmart announced after two shootings at their stores—one in Mississippi and one in Texas—they would “temporarily remove advertising displays for violent video games.”
A Walmart spokesperson said:
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment.”
— Eurogamer (@eurogamer) August 9, 2019
Guttenberg was not alone in his condemnation of Walmart’s response to a domestic terrorist attack at one of their own stores. The second incident in Mississippi involved a former employee who shot and killed two store managers.
Let’s stop going to Walmart until they stop messing guns and ammo.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) August 9, 2019
Hey @Walmart ! I’ve heard you plan to remove some video games from your stores. Not the guns, but the video games…How about removing the stupidity behind you corporate decision? pic.twitter.com/gtreXBPVr5
— Manuel Oliver (@manueloliver00) August 9, 2019
Walmart is the largest retailer of guns in the US.
Many people have been shot and killed inside Walmarts in recent years.
Less than a week after one such incident, a man walks thru Walmart w/ body armor & weaponry b/c Walmart permits open carry.
Walmart: It’s our video games
— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) August 9, 2019
— Lauren Wolfe (@Wolfe321) August 7, 2019
— emi (@_emisarmiento) August 9, 2019
I’ll be buying back-to-school supplies for my kids soon, but those don’t include bulletproof backpacks, guns, or clips.
The decision by Walmart to pull violent video games but NOT guns from shelves misses the point of gun violence ENTIRELY.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 9, 2019
Guy at a @Walmart in 2020.
“I wanna buy this AR-15”
“Sure thing pal”
“I’ll also take 300 rounds of high velocity ammo”
“You got it sport”
“Gimme one of those 100 round drum mags too”
“Done & done”
“And add this video game in there”
“WHOA! SLOW DOWN RAMBO! ARE YOU NUTS?”
— Billy Redacted (@BillyRedacted) August 7, 2019
According to a policy statement from the media psychology division of the American Psychological Association:
“Scant evidence has emerged that makes any causal or correlational connection between playing violent video games and actually committing violent activities.”
Dr. Chris Ferguson stated:
“The data on bananas causing suicide is about as conclusive. Literally. The numbers work out about the same.”
The countries of Japan and South Korea both spend more per capita on video games.
Neither country experiences the violence seen in the United States. Both also have very restrictive gun control laws.
— Jacob Windrix (@JacobWindrix) August 9, 2019
.@Walmart: If video games caused gun violence, Japan would be grappling with one of the worst gun violence crises on the planet. Yet Japan seldom has more than 10 shooting deaths a year in a population of 127 million people.
It’s the guns. https://t.co/107OaTUnFy
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 9, 2019
Researchers also raised questions about when politicians, mass media and the public seek to blame violent video games, movies, TV shows or other media after an act of violence. Video games were more than “eight times as likely to be brought up when the shooter is White than when the shooter is Black.”
Dr. James Ivory stated:
“We should think about when we are more comfortable looking for something else to blame. I haven’t heard any Senators talk about video games when an immigrant commits a crime.”
this dude left a manifesto explaining why he killed these people and they’re still going to go with “it was the video games” https://t.co/nJyEvcNPl5
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) August 9, 2019