Democratic Representative Ted Lieu slammed Walmart for taking down video games that depict violence days after a mass shooting occurred at one of their branches.
The 50-year-old politician took to his Twitter page on August 9 to call out the chain for their decision.
Dear @Walmart, remember how:
Mario Kart caused people to drive faster?
Pac-Man caused folks to eat more?
Fortnite radicalized a white supremacist to shoot Hispanics at your store?
You disrespect the victims of mass shootings by making up stupid shit. Stop blaming video games. https://t.co/NEnqg38GbT
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 9, 2019
“Dear @Walmart, remember how: Mario Kart caused people to drive faster? Pac-Man caused folks to eat more? Fortnite radicalized a white supremacist to shoot Hispanics at your store?” Lieu wrote in his tweet.
“You disrespect the victims of mass shootings by making up stupid s**t. Stop blaming video games.”
Apparently Walmart is telling its employees to take down displays that show violent video games, specifically shooters, as well as movies and hunting videos. pic.twitter.com/2N3t4B86tf
— Kenneth Shepard (@shepardcdr) August 7, 2019
Two tragic shootings happened at two separate Walmart branches. On July 30, two Walmart employees were fatally shot in Southaven, Mississippi by a disgruntled coworker who was previously fired. A police officer was also injured in the incident.
Then, four days later, the bloody El Paso, Texas shooting left 22 dead, according to BuzzFeed. Authorities are viewing the El Paso mass shooting as a hate crime.
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and it does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment,” Tara House, a spokesperson for Walmart, said in a statement regarding the removal of any video games portraying violence.
Meanwhile, Business Insider reached out to the company and was directed to the statement provided by Walmart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett, on Twitter.
Don’t be confused by us asking our teams to be sensitive about violent images on the sales floor right after innocent people were murdered at our store. We’re not suggesting this is the answer to gun violence. https://t.co/meDZvqduSP
— Dan Bartlett (@danbartlett6) August 9, 2019
Despite the two consecutive shootings at two different branches, Walmart, one of the world’s largest firearms dealers, continues to sell guns.
A company spokesperson told Bloomberg over the weekend that the company had no plans to stop selling weapons.