With the recent developments of the mass shooting at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Aug. 3, 2019, a ban has been placed on openly carried firearms and on certain ammunition sold in Walmart stores. There were 22 people killed and many injured at this crime scene. The suspect was believed to have committed this act as a hate crime. This was a tragedy that should be prevented in the future and deserves this attention from communities, not just Walmart. Walmart is taking a stand by enacting this ban, but they cannot prevent all violence within their stores.
Walmart has been known to update it’s security and has recently put employees at the entrances to check for items that are not in bags in case of robberies at the Villa Rica, GA Walmart and many other stores. They scan the items that are not in bags and check the receipts. They have added more security cameras in the grocery lines as well. The employees at the front of the Walmart store are essentially their first line of defense against shoplifting, but having employees doing this job is not necessarily protecting these individuals. This could make customers feel safer, but the ban seems to be all they can do in the fight against many forms of violence.
Considering that Walmart is a widely used store, there are still bound to be flaws within this new ban or updated security. It seems as though Walmart is trying to make customers have less fear of going into stores, but they have not banned concealed carry within stores. A concealed carry permit or open carry license is required to have firearms in public areas in the state of Georgia. Since these are two different permits, some people are limited in their carry now within Walmart. We have a right to bear arms according to the 2nd amendment, but restrictions are in place for where we can carry a firearm anyway. Does Walmart have the authority to make such a call and is it making customers feel more secure?
If Walmart wanted to stop more violence from guns in its stores, it could be easier to just ban any kind of gun carry altogether. However, Walmart sells guns and ammunition in stores. It would be bad for business to completely ban any kind of carry from Walmart or ban the sale of guns in its stores. This might affect customers in their demand for guns and ammunition too. With our 2nd amendment right in question, this scenario would not work.
Supposedly, this was intended to be a hate crime which means we can do more as communities to come together to stop gun violence in stores and hate amongst different groups. We can promote a safer environment for convenience stores by telling them what we want in convenience stores. Walmart is supposed to have almost everything that you need in your day to day life. How often do we need guns? We all have wants and needs, but the convenience store has always been more focused on needs.
Consumers could always buy guns at a gun shop instead of a convenience store, but Walmart is more of an all-encompassing business. Guns being readily available at Walmart could be beneficial or harmful, but we have just as much of a say in a corporation’s business as they do in the long run. After all, there would be no business without consumers of their products. Businesses and customers have to work together to ensure that we see less of these violent events take place.