Aug 9, 2019 - Economy

Walmart removes signs and displays with depictions of violence

In this image, law enforcement stand in a Walmart parking lot at night. The Walmart logo is on a tall sign behind them.

Texas State Troopers keep watch at the makeshift memorial for El Paso shooting victims. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Walmart has instructed employees to remove "any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior," including those marketing violent video games, after recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the AP reports.

Reality check: No scientific study has shown a connection between violent video games and gun violence. "Scant evidence has emerged that makes any causal or correlational connection between playing violent video games and actually committing violent activities," according to the American Psychological Association.

  • Yes, but: Research has shown that violent video games can increase an individual's physical aggression.

The state of play: Walmart has not changed its policy on gun sales or the sales of violent video games. 22 people were killed in the shooting in its El Paso location.

  • Worth noting: The El Paso shooter ordered his assault-style weapon online, per the New York Times.

What they're saying: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and President Trump pointed to violent video games as a contributing factor in the shootings.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for Walmart to "stop selling guns" on Friday, citing the retailer's status as "one of the largest gun retailers in the world."
  • Sen. Kamala Harris said Walmart "can and should stop selling guns" at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday.

Flashback: Dick's Sporting Goods stopped selling semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines after last year's Parkland shooting, a move that caused its sales to fall in the months after.

Go deeper: Amnesty International issues U.S. travel warning over "rampant gun violence"

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