Aug 9, 2019

Walmart removes signs and displays with depictions of violence

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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Walmart to halt sale of ammunition for handguns, assault-style weapons

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Contributor/Getty Images

In the wake of 2 mass shootings at Walmart stores in recent months, the company said Tuesday it plans to discontinue handgun ammunition and all sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used with military-style assault weapons, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Walmart is the world's largest retailer. So while this move is incremental, it's one of the strongest statements yet from the business community on the issue of gun violence.

Go deeperArrowSep 3, 2019

Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Warren and Biden on the debate stage on Jan. 14. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a new gun reform bill on Thursday with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) that calls for raising the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21 and increasing the excise tax on gun sales to 30% and ammunition sales to 50%.

The big picture: 2019's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Virginia Beach; and near Odessa, Texas, have pushed 2020 Democrats to take harder stances on gun control than in the last presidential election, when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton only briefly addressed the issue in their primary debate.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mass shootings persist, gun violence research stalls

Reproduced from Stark et al., 2017, "Funding and Publication of Research on Gun Violence and Other Leading Causes of Death"; Chart: Axios Visuals

A chronic lack of gun violence research and data inaccuracies have hindered change to gun laws in the U.S., multiple scientific reports show.

Why it matters: Scientists and members of Congress have been working to boost gun control research amid persistent mass shootings. Increased funding for research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could help social scientists, law enforcement and policymakers understand the causes of shootings, according to nonprofit news organization The Trace.

Go deeperArrowAug 10, 2019