In what may be the most deliberate warning yet that we could be in for a hell of a week in the United States, Walmart sent out an internal memo to all stores ordering all guns and ammunition removed from the sales floor. While the products will continue to be sold on demand at every retail outlet, the company is concerned that their stores could be subject to looting if there is widespread civil unrest after the election.
“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” a Walmart spokesman said.
While it’s not entirely clear if this precaution is directly tied to fears about how leftists might react to the reelection of Donald Trump, the implication is clear if you look between the lines. Yes, there is unrest right now in Philadelphia, but that violence is hardly nationwide. Take your guns and ammo out of the display case in Philly, if that’s what you’re concerned about. No, this enormous step, coming as it does only days before November 3rd, is almost certainly related to the election.
And unfortunately, Walmart is not alone in their concerns.
“I’m worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized, there is a risk of civil unrest across the country,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said this week in a conference call with investors. “Given this, companies like ours need to go well beyond what we’ve done before.”
Asked about preparations his state is taking, California Gov. Gavin Newsom told Politico: “As it relates to making sure people are safe, making sure not only the process of voting is a safe and healthy one, but keeping people safe after the election for whatever may occur. The answer is yes, we are always gaming out different scenarios and making sure that we are prepared.”
And in Colorado: “Denver’s top officials will launch a police command post in preparation for potential post-election unrest — the first time the city has taken such measures around an election,” reported the Denver Post on Friday.
“Election night is not really my concern,” said Denver Public Safety Director Murphy Robinson. “It’s after election night that is my concern.”
Walmart may be putting their guns away for safekeeping; if you and your family live in a city where looting and rioting is a possibility after the election, you might want to keep yours where you can reach them.