After a gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart on Saturday, killing 22 and wounding more than two dozen more, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is pledging a “thoughtful and deliberate” response. In a post shared to Instagram late Tuesday, Miller addressed the El Paso shooting, as well as a recent shooting at a Southaven, Mississippi Walmart, though he failed to address calls for the retailer to remove firearms from its stores.
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“As it becomes clear that the shooting in El Paso was motivated by hate, we’re more resolved than ever to foster an inclusive environment where all people are valued and welcomed,” McMillon wrote in a note addressed to Walmart employees. “Our store in El Paso is well known as a tight-knit community hub, where we serve customers from both sides of the border. I continue to be amazed at the strength and resilience we find in the diversity of communities where we live and work.”
“We’re a learning organization, and we’ll work to understand the many important issues arising from El Paso and Southaven as well as those raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence,” he continued. “We’ll be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and will act in a way that reflects our best values and ideals, focused on the needs of our customers, associates and communities.”
In the wake of the El Paso shooting, which came less than a week after a former Walmart employee shot and killed two other Walmart employees at a Southaven, Mississippi, location, many have called on Walmart one of the largest sellers of guns and ammo in the nation, to pull firearms from their stores.
On Monday, a Thomas Marshall, a Walmart e-commerce category specialist based in the company's offices in San Bruno, California, sent a mass email to the thousands of the company’s e-commerce team urging them to go on strike Tuesday to urge the retailer to stop selling firearms.
“In light of recent events, and in response to corporate's inaction, we are organizing a 'sick out' general strike to protest Walmart's profit from the sale of guns," Marshall wrote, according to Business Insider. “Tomorrow, Tuesday 8/6/2019, do not show up to work."
There have also been sweeping calls on social media for Walmart to pull guns from its stores.
As the New York Post points out, the retailer stopped selling handguns in every state but Alaska in 1993, and in 2015, stopped selling assault-style rifles. Just last year, the retailer selling firearms to anyone under age 21.
At this time, Walmart has no immediate plans to change its gun-sale policies.