Over the weekend, the US faced another shooting tragedy that claimed the lives of 31 people across two separate incidences. At the center of the tragedy was one business in particular: Walmart (NYSE:WMT).
WMT stock fell as news of the events unfolded. Currently, WMT sells for $108.28 USD; a slight increase since the weekend’s low of $105.82.
Walmart Stock Falls But Recovers
The US retailing chain was the chosen site where 22 people were murdered in El Paso, Texas. A gunman entered the store, and indiscriminately opened fire.
As you might imagine, shares of the shopping superstore fell dramatically as news of the event unfolded. Though unfortunate to be the chosen location for the crime, the damage to Walmart’s stock is due to another reason altogether—it is the largest seller of guns in America.
An irony of sorts; the shop is famed for its wide and varied selection of firearms that range from handguns all the way up to semi-automatic rifles. Now, multiple authoritative figures, gun-control lobbyists, and groups are hitting out against Walmart, calling for it to change its stance.
For example, one of America’s leading writers on corporate America, Andrew Ross Sorkin, issued an open letter to Walmart’s Chief Executive, Doug McMillon, saying the following:
“In the depths of this crisis lies an opportunity: for you to help end this violence […] You, singularly, have a greater chance to use your role as the chief executive of the country’s largest retailer and largest seller of guns — with greater sway over the entire ecosystem that controls gun sales in the United States than any other individual in corporate America.”
Now the pressure to use its corporate power to crack-down on the sale of weapons is coming at Walmart from all angles.
Igor Volsky, founder and executive director of Guns Down America, said the killings at Walmart put the retailer under an obligation to take a lead:
“The El Paso [Texas] shooting happened in their store. They have a responsibility to go further. Walmart could use its political and lobbying clout to force change.”
Unfortunately, the US’s largest retailer has faced criticism of this type before. And this weekend’s shooting is the second gun-related horror to have happened at its stores in 2019. One week ago, two managers were shot dead while at work at a Walmart in Mississippi.
Now, as many people call for the company to rethink its arms sales, shares are being affected.
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