With all the stress and commotion going on around the world, especially with election day upon us, many people were not pleased to hear that Walmart has decided to put guns and ammunition back on display at its stores in the United States.
A few days after making the decision to remove ammunition and firearms from displays at stores as a safety precaution, citing “civil unrest” in some areas, Walmart said it made the decision to put those items back on store shelves for customer satisfaction.
Earlier this week Walmart instructed its stores to take firearms from out of view and put them in a secure location in the back of the store, sold upon request. This decision was made after what happened in Philadelphia, resulting in an African American male being fatally shot by police.
Police brutality and gun usage in America are at an all-time high. The lack of police accountability has resulted in riots across the country, most recently after the tragic death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. People have said they don’t feel protected by the police, especially those who are African Americans, hence the reason more guns are being brought for protection.
Although Walmart never specified how long it would keep firearms off of its shelves, no one expected that firearms would return to the main shopping areas this soon, especially with the possible fallout from this week’s election.
Azari Alexander, an MBA candidate at Florida A&M, said she was unaware that Walmart had that much power to make such an important decision.
“Everyone is preparing for the biggest election in history, and the majority vote can go both ways. However, our community can use the purchase of firearms to their advantage,” Alexander said.
The Walmart company sells firearms in approximately half of its 4,700 stores in the United States. A survey conducted by YonGov found that more than 53 percent of Democrats and more than 59 percent of Republicans agree or strongly agree that there will be an increase in violence as a result of the presidential election. Fifty-seven percent of independent voters also expect violence, according to the survey.
Some Tallahassee residents aren’t surprised by Walmart’s policy switch, but some are concerned that people may take advantage of Walmart’s decision. Tallahassee local Jazmin Cook said: “By all means, people should be able to purchase what they want, but it becomes a problem when people start to use firearms to harm others for the wrong reasons.”
Many Americans will be following the results of today’s election closely, wondering how their neighbors and fellow countrymen will react if the result is not what they wanted.