Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is feeling the pressure to act on gun violence following a pair of horrific mass shooting incidents in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.
As ABC News reports, McMillon wrote a statement to his employees where he promised a “thoughtful and deliberate” response from Walmart in the near future. He did not provide any specific proposals.
Walmart has been specifically affected by recent gun violence as two employees were killed in Southaven, Mississippi during a shooting incident on July 30 and more than 20 people were killed in and around a Walmart in El Paso on Saturday.
McMillon reportedly visited the El Paso area after the attack.
“As it becomes clearer that the shooting in El Paso was motivated by hate, we are more resolved than ever to foster an inclusive environment where all people are valued and welcomed,” McMillon said in the letter per the report.
“Our store in El Paso is well known as a tight-knit community hub for people in the region, where we serve customers from both sides of the border,” he added. “I continue to be amazed at the strength and resilience that we find in the diversity of the communities where we live and work.
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And, from ABC News:
In the aftermath, Walmart faced mounting pressure to stop selling guns.
McMillon wrote that the corporation will “work to understand the many important issues that arise from El Paso and Southaven, as well as those that have been raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence.”
“We will be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses, and we will act in a way that reflects the best values and ideals of our company, with a focus on serving the needs of our customers, associates and communities,” he said.
McMillon acknowledged the “shock, anger, grief” employees may be feeling in the wake of deadly shootings.
In his lengthy statement, McMillon also recognized Walmart employees who acted bravely to help customers in the store when the shootings started.
“We heard incredible stories of associates who made heroic efforts to get customers to safety,” the CEO said. “From our Store Manager, Robert, who was leaving the store and then ran back in when he heard the shots, to Gilbert and Lasonya, who helped dozens of customers to safety out the back of the store, to Mayra, who may have been the very first responder and did an exceptional job, bandaging wounds and helping customers escape.”
“When the worst happens, we counter with our best selves. We support each other, pray together, stand firm and heal together,” he concluded.