National retailer Walmart is reportedly having its employees remove signage and displays that "contain violent images or aggressive behavior." This includes video games in particular, as well as violent movies and hunting videos, though guns will remain on shelves.
This comes in the wake of several deadly shootings over the last weekend, one in particular at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. 22 people were killed when a shooter opened fire, and the state is now considering new gun legislation.
It requests Walmart employees turn off or unplug any video game consoles showing a demo of violent games, "specifically PlayStation and Xbox units," as well as remove any signs referring to "combat or third-person shooter video games." It also asks that they cancel any events involving these kinds of games, to verify no violent movies play on televisions, and that any hunting season videos be turned off.
We reached out to Walmart for comment, but did not hear back by publication. While the video games and hunting videos are going down, it sounds like the gun section will continue to stay open in at least some Walmarts, one anonymous employee told Vice.
"I didn't get to confirm this yesterday but they aren't doing anything about the sales of guns and ammo in the store," the employee said.
This seems like a direct response to the situation in El Paso, as well as part of the larger national discussion of gun violence. Though blaming video games for violence is a very tired rhetoric and scapegoat at this point, several leaders, including Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, have gone on television to say video games teach young people to kill. While this is likely a save-face for Walmart, it also condones ideas like that, rather than what could be a true cause for gun violence in America.