GOP leaders have been pushing to blame mass shootings on video games.
Walmart customers were terrorized by an armed gunman wielding a loaded rifle on Thursday. The incident occurred as Walmart responded to widespread calls that it cease selling guns by banning displays of violent video games.
A 20-year-old man in Springfield, Missouri, walked into a store wearing body armor and a rifle with over 100 rounds of ammunition. Police say he will be charged with making a terrorist threat.
"His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business here," Springfield Police Lt. Mike Lucas told reporters.
Witnesses told a local news station that the gunman used a cell phone to record video of himself walking through the store.
Instead of responding to those concerns, Walmart chose to enact a ban on advertising for video games.
The company sent a bulletin to employees telling them to take down signs and displays "referencing violence."
"We've taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment," Walmart spokesperson Tara House said.
Walmart's cosmetic response to the serious problem echoes the rhetoric from senior Republican leaders.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said games are the problem — not guns — because they "dehumanize individuals."
Trump echoed his message when addressing the nation on the shootings. Trump laid blame on "gruesome and grisly video games" but took great pains to note that "mental health and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun."
Walmart customers in Missouri saw firsthand the fallout from the company's decision to follow in Republican footsteps.
Despite covering up video game ads, the guns are still out there — and they can be purchased at Walmart.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.