A Mass Shooting at Walmart
This episode of the journal is brought to you by merrill. Get personalized investment advice and guidance to help. Put your plans into action. What would you like the power to do. Learn more at merrill dot com on saturday. A gunman walked into a walmart in el. Paso texas and opened wouldn't fire then just thirteen hours later in dayton ohio. A second man started shooting outside of a busy bar. The death have count continued to rise today as of monday afternoon. The two shootings combined killed at least thirty one people and injured at least fifty fifty america weeps for the fallen today the president addressed the nation are harsher shattered for every family whose parents children husbands and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives during a press conference following el paso shooting the city's police chief grappled grappled with the question we ask after every mass shooting. How could this have happened. He pointed to three particular things capability ability of the weapons that and then his intent and then the location of where he shows was a walmart where people are in large a number there so if you're fr- fired randomly at people you can call it a lot damage today on the show. One of the nation's worst mass shootings at the nation's largest private employer. Welcome to the journal. I'm ryan knutson. It's monday august fifth. Valerie bore line covers breaking news <unk> at the wall street journal. You've covered a lot of these mass shootings in your career as a reporter. How does this one or these two differ. You know i i have covered a lot of these in. It's like a each one you remember. I mean i keep a list like my journal so i will remember. They're all aw haunting this weekend. I think was striking because they happen in such quick succession and think also because it was immediately clear this this is a level of hate and destruction and horror on the order of charlottesville and charleston because it was a declaration colouration of war on american people who have different colored skin so i think that was what made saturday el paso so different to me and you also reported that the shooter drove nine hours to get to el paso. Can you tell me why he did that. He chose hispanics. If you think about out this walmart it is literally within sight of the border with the united states and several of the people that were injured and killed were from mexico and and el paso is a city of six hundred eighty thousand eighty percent hispanic so it's clear that he chose to kill as many hispanic people as he could and he came to a place where it was. It was highly likely that that could happen so authorities are also saying that there was a manifesto posted online. It may have been written by this shooter. Can you tell us what's in that. The manifesto was about logistics and it was also about his personal feelings rulings of of why he would do this. A lot of the rhetoric really echoes the rhetoric around the border that we're hearing in the public sphere right. He says our country is being overrun pretty soon. The democrats will have a one party state because they are intentionally bringing people into this country that align with their political views. It sounds look what he was talking about was highly political. It was highly political and he acknowledges it. White terrorist crimes have become an increasing part and by percentage wise the the biggest part of domestic terrorism in this country and that includes like anti-abortion cinema and other types of terrorism and there's a thread. I have a feeling a lot out of us had not heard of it or not that familiar with it called the great replacement which is a theory about white europeans in this case being replaced by in migration and the threat that that posed european culture and that kinda got picked up as you might predict within nationalist circles so the christ church shooter earlier this year in new zealand who killed killed more than fifty people in the mosque. He called his own manifesto. <hes> the great replacement and there was a new study that came out that found a twitter mentions of this theory theory have been skyrocketing in the past couple of years. It's a new name for an old tenet of white supremacism. I talked with an expert who said look this idea. Idea of being replaced has been around since jim crow when white plantation owners were worried about being replaced by freed black slaves and by northern carpetbaggers this this idea of the great replacement is at its root a fear of a certain type of white american life being replaced in supplanted. Can you explain the halbe strategy. In some ways for shooters has changed over the years. Experts in mass shootings really look back at columbine in nineteen ninety nine as has sort of the advent of this modern event so it was typically disgruntled young men with a some sort of relationship with that school and they were able to entrap a large number of vulnerable people in in close spaces and then in the last several years. We've seen more of a movement movement to big chaotic public spaces where people are coming and going. There's not an existing not like a movie theater where there's a power structure. Someone's kind of running running everything and you think about the las vegas shootings that took place at a big outdoor concert think about last weekend with the the garlic festival in california. Those are the ones that are just just so hard to prevent with the walmart on saturday in uh. Paso i saw on social media. There were kids. They're out front for a school fundraiser. Of course there were there. Always these are at walmart and saturday. Walmart is the town square in many many places of this country. My my predominant coverage areas the south and i spent a lot of time time and walmart because in many communities it is the main place where you can buy food toothpaste in many places rifles but also also were you. <hes> you run into people if really is a center of communities all over this country after the break if if walmart is a community center. How do you protect that community. This episode of the journal is brought to you by merrill. Whether your life goals include getting to that dream project or shaping your legacy merrill can help turn your ambitions into action with personalized investment advice and guidance. What would you like the power to do. Learn more at merrill dot com com investing in securities involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money merrill makes available products and services offered by merrill lynch pierce fenner and smith incorporated a registered registered broker dealer member s._i._p._c. Welcome back in sunday's shooting in el paso was actually the second shooting at a walmart last week. There was a shooting last tuesday and mississippi where that was a employees who had been suspended the week before who came back and killed two walmart workers seriousness our has been covering walmart the wall street journal for four and a half years. She says the company has had to confront violence on a regular basis. There's a lot of crime that happens in walmart. All of life happens in walmart but to have have a shooting on this scale in terms of loss of life is rare. The company said that this is the largest shooting ever in a walmart store in a statement posted on instagram the companies c o wrote my heart aches for the community in el paso especially the associates and customers at store to two zero one and and the families of the victims of today's tragedy my colleague chip cutter talked yesterday to some experts on what can a place like a retailer do a big open environment do about this and the response was it's really hard because you can't create highest security airport situation in front of a retail store. If you want to make money at at the same time they've tried to fight amazon and all the other competitive threats on the industry so for retailers and places like that the experts chip talk to said it's all about preparing and training and responding quickly so what kind of training is walmart doing for its employees. Walmart started building a train gene in two thousand fourteen that would prepare workers for an active shooter situation and they rolled that out to stores in two thousand fifteen. It's a computer based test it. Was you know sit down at a computer peter seah scenario. There's a video answer questions. That was all around basically avoiding the shooter keeping yourself and customers safe and only only defending yourself if you really had to. They made that training mandatory on a quarterly basis in two thousand seventeen so to me. That's just a sign that they have seen. This says. An increasing risk they also now are rolling out more training with virtual reality and oculus headset is in the back room of every walmart store in america and they do all kinds of training on that but one of them is the active shooter drill which i've taken an year standing there. You're in the store feels like you're a worker and the shooter comes then and you hear it and there's chaos and then a multiple choice question pops up in the v._r. Experience in your past. Should you tackle this person. Should you alert your supervisor. Sure sure you call nine one one. It's trying to prompt you to understand you should be communicating and protecting yourself not trying to tackle the shooter basically but but it's it is an intense experience to take it because you're sort of running into the back room in hiding with some workers and some shoppers and then finally the police is com and everything's okay at the end in the wake of the shooting. You've been talking with a lot of walmart employees. How are they feeling. They're feeling scared about how the effects them or if now bombers target copycat shooters. It's just as closer to home than other experiences so when i talked to workers yesterday they said you know. I just came into work. It was a little eerie one thing that walmart did is they turned off the radio that plays in stores on saturday walmart had turned it off because they didn't want any insensitive song to pop up on on the radio and a walmart store and they have since turned back on but i think for workers it was just a reminder that things are different now and this is something that happened and something we have have to be conscientious of toes about walmart's history with guns. They have a long history with guns. Sam walton who was walmart's founder was an avid hunter and guns have been in stores for a long time. It's part of the company's culture history. It's based in arkansas. There's a lot of hunters that our executives it also also is one of the largest seller of guns in the country and has therefore become a target for criticism of gun sales and increasingly the company is aware of that and responding funding to it in a different way they lagged a little bit you know at first in the nineties one of the last retailers to get rid of handguns <hes> but things have changed range so they limited sales of assault style weapons in two thousand fifteen and then last year they raised the gun by an age to twenty you one for guns and ammunition at all stores that's above the federal law and that was in the wake of the parkland shooting and in that case they tied it explicitly to that event. They said that they wanted to make a change because of it and that something needed to be done that also was unique for walmart because in the past when they've sort of limited gun sales or taken them out of some stores they have said it's because of demand so they're being a little bit more aggressive on this front so do we think that walmart's policies around gun sales may change anyway following the shooting so far. There's no sign that that is going to happen. They already participate in pretty extensive background. Check programs. They sell guns now their assortment minute very hunting oriented. You know i don't know if there is a next thing for them. Because in my mind the next thing is take guns out of stores altogether other and i can't see them doing that culturally or from a business standpoint in the future and i'm not getting any signs from the company that something like that is coming yet. The gun at the shooter used in paso didn't come from a walmart walmart doesn't even sell that type of gun but there is still a looming question about walmart's liability liability in this incident val line who we spoke to earlier in the episode thinks that as mass shootings become more common liability is the new legal frontier here. The liability question is one of the biggest ones right now for corporations just an emerging area of the law in there a lot of unknowns for for example with las vegas. This shooting took place in a public place but the shooter was inside the hotel and so two years after the fact. There's still sorting through all the galaxies. How many people are injured. How badly injured there are. A number of lawsuits brought against the hotel and m._g._m. Told the federal regulators just two months ago that they expected to pay a settlement to the shooting victims and that's a massive example but it's not the only example and so it remains to be seen what the liability is for corporations one of the things they can do to mitigate the risk is to train <unk> and train and train. You can show that you took. It took the risk seriously but it's just not clear if these events keep happening what the risks are for corporations reputational and financially. Would you expect me happen in the coming days. One of the things that'll be interesting with legislators and with congress there there is a push in some interest in and president trump has even said there needs to be consideration of changes on on salt weapon loss so we'll see whether that comes to fruition you mentioned that you make a note to yourself in your journal about all of the shootings that you who covered how many entries these are there <hes> gosh now you're gonna make me cry eleven allied in but it is also i think it's a personal well disciplined which is speaking personally <hes> to also really it's so small but to force myself to to read the names of each personnel was killed and and and think about that you know it's it's a person's life and <hes> <music> and i'm a parent and just being able to talk with my young kids will where where are you going early on a saturday morning. Well i have to go cover a shooting shooting and here's what that means and and parents of little kids who for the last decade have have dealt with this. I and everybody else in this country. I think response to these things on a really this role level this morning at the white house good morning president trump responded to the bigotry behind saturday's shooting in one voice <unk> our nation must condemn racism bigotry and white supremacy these sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in america hatred warps the mind ravages the heart and devours the soul he laid out a number of proposals to stop the gun violence mental health law. The president suggested new restrictions on people with mental illnesses including involuntary voluntary confinement. He repeated his past endorsement of red flag laws laws that allow guns to be confiscated from mentally. Ill people mental l. Listen hatred pulls the trigger not the gun president trump also asked the department of justice to propose legislation so that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty and he criticized the internet as a hotbed for radicalization calling on social media companies companies to do a better job of catching early warning signs in order to preempt mass shootings. We must recognize that. The internet has provided vitus a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturb mayes and perform demented ex. We must shine a light on the dark recesses assesses of the internet and stop mass murders before they start but he did not address a common criticism from democrats that his rhetoric has contributed tune environment of violence earlier today though he tweeted that republicans and democrats should work together to pass background checks by quote owed perhaps marrying this legislation to desperately needed immigration reform <music> back on wednesday <music> <music>. Thanks for listening <music> <music>.