The Walmart Shootings blog (which is not associated with any gun violence prevention organization) highlights cases of shootings and other gun-related crimes on Walmart property, and explores issues around Walmart's sales of guns and ammo.
Shootings happen in all sorts of locations and types of retail stores. And yet, for some reason, Walmart has way, way more than its share.
In 2012 there were at least 53 shootings on Walmart properties, increasing to 83 shootings in 2013, which comes to more than one and a half shootings a week. The trend has increased in 2014. These reports include shootings involving shoplifters, police responding to conflicts, drug deals in the parking lot, road rage and gang shootings, suicides, and even one hunting incident. That number doesn't even include armed robberies, gun thefts, or any other gun crimes where shots weren't fired.
Why are there so many? Is it just because there are a LOT of Walmart locations around the country? And yet, other than one or two sporadic reports, you don't hear about so many shootings at Kmart stores, or Target, or Costco. Is it because Walmart sells guns and ammo, and those others don't? As far as I can tell, Target never did. Kmart stopped selling guns and ammo in 2009. Costco in 2006. It doesn't help that Walmart often has banks inside their stores, making them even more of a target.
Is Walmart's pro-gun stance a factor? Does it make people feel justified in taking their guns to Walmart and settling disputes in a violent manner?
In 2006, Walmart stopped selling guns in two-thirds of its stores, but resumed sales of rifles, shotguns, and ammunition in April of 2011, deciding to sell rifles and ammo in half of its 4000 stores (and handguns as well in Alaska stores). They even sell assault rifles. Walmart's policy toward customers with guns is very permissive. Concealed weapons are allowed in the stores, according to state policies and permits, but as you can see from an "open carry" forum, guns have been openly carried in Walmart stores without question. And conceal carriers have had a number of accidents and caused shootings in Walmarts.
Walmart is apparently the leading retail outlet for firearms in the United States, and possibly the world.
Walmart's motto these days, is "Save money. Live better." If this is what they mean by "living better," I think they might want to re-think their pro-gun stance and get more security guards.
Walmart. Save money. Die faster.