Retail giant Wal-Mart issued an apology after it reportedly mixed back-to-school shopping experiences with horrific shooting massacres at school.
The supermarket chain sparked controversy when a Reddit user posted a picture, apparently from within a Wal-Mart store, on a board dedicated to humor. The image showed a glass case of unidentified long guns. Above the case, a sign boasted, “Own the school year like a hero.”
The phrase is associated with a back-to-school advertising campaign for children, which features comic book crime-busting heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman, and has no link to firearm sales.
It is probable the sign placement above the gun rack was a mistake. Some online users also suspect it was placed there by a prankster customer.
However, people who viewed the picture found it in very bad taste, given the United States’ history of mass shootings at schools, such as Sandy Hook and Columbine.
Soon after the image went viral, people took to Twitter to lambast Wal-Mart for the offensive and highly inappropriate sign.
The store chain was quick to reply, stating the sign placement was a big mistake. It is now attempting to control the damage and is doing its best to respond to each and every person who has posted the photo online and is demanding explanation.
We hear you. 😞 This was horrible and we removed the sign as soon as we found out. -Vik— Walmart (@Walmart) August 9, 2017
This was a terrible error. We are working to identify the store involved. -Mac— Walmart (@Walmart) August 9, 2017
To clarify, we spoke with the manager at the location reported to us and they confirmed there was no such sign. Looking into this -Dean— Walmart (@Walmart) August 9, 2017
Wal-Mart said one of their managers “confirmed there was no such sign” at the location where it was allegedly seen. Spokesman Charles Crowson told the New York Daily News the reported location of the sign was a result of miscommunication. The retail giant is now attempting to track down where the incident actually occurred — not an easy task, since Wal-Mart has 4,000 stores across the United States.
However, the damage has already been done.
I see Walmart has taken the Betsy DeVos approach to back to school sales. pic.twitter.com/2ecV2UYxIO— Amadeus Almighty (@AmadeusAlmighty) August 10, 2017
"walmart accidentally puts back to school sign up on firearms" if this was a political cartoon we'd be like "that's a little heavy handed"— gremory 🦎 mosity (@nefaeryous) August 10, 2017
I want to say I enjoy shopping at Wal-Mart.Hate the long lines.That sign over the guns that department all should be FIRED....@Walmart— Lisa Brown (@LisaBro51437923) August 10, 2017
This is troubling? Who thinks of an ad with guns and being a school hero? Really Walmart we thought you were better than this...ok— Dimples 4 Democracy (@democracy_4) August 9, 2017
The retail giant banned the sale of assault weapons in 2015 yet it still remains the biggest seller of other firearms in the United States. Apparently, a lot of people don’t know this.
Does Walmart actually sell guns you're telling me someone can just walk into Walmart and buy a gun is this a southern thing— emily (@aIaskadelano) August 10, 2017
Jesus I'm fortunate to live in Canada 🇨🇦 The fact that Walmart sells guns in 🇺🇸 is appalling, then this sign...there are no words #GunSense— Nana 🍃🌻🍃 (@Nanny2V) August 9, 2017
does walmart really sell guns?— ✨tube mode active✨ (@JosepineFluff) August 9, 2017
tesco selling guns
Although the guns were placed behind a glass case, they were still visible to children.
Banner/Thumbnail credits: Reuters, Michelle McLoughlin