The ready availability of guns at the world’s largest retailer—which also happens to be the world’s largest retailer of firearms and ammunition—is troubling enough. But Walmart took things a step further this week, by appearing to endorse school shootings in an unfortunate confluence of back-to-school marketing and all-American gun nuttery:
That picture—which The Washington Post reports was originally taken in an Evansville, Indiana store by a woman named Leeanna May—immediately went viral, reposted around Twitter and Facebook as one of the many bleak ironies of life in 2017 that we’d probably critique as “too on the nose” in a screenplay. Walmart, which basically can’t afford any more bad publicity ever again, responded by alerting the store’s manager and having it taken down:
I’m happy to tell you our store manager Christina has removed the sign from the display. Thanks again for alerting us to this. 👍 -Vik
— Walmart (@Walmart) August 9, 2017
So congratulations to the anonymous employee who put this up as a (very dark) joke, and to get back at Christina for yelling at them for clocking in two minutes late after lunch. You did it. At least, that’s what we’re hoping happened, because the alternative—that Walmart doesn’t have an issue with continuing to sell guns after at least one mass shooting, the murder of three people at a Jewish community center in Overland Park, Kansas, in 2014, has been directly traced to a gun bought at Walmart, and that they spring into action when someone makes them look bad, but not when their products literally kill people—is just too depressing to consider.