Social media users criticized Alyssa Milano after the actress urged WalMart to stop selling guns in response to a weekend shooting in El Paso, Texas, which left 22 people dead.
The mass shooting occurred at an El Paso Walmart on Saturday morning. Initial coverage of the incident indicated 20 people had lost their lives, but the death toll rose to 22 after two more victims died at the hospital, ABC News reported.
Just hours after the shooting took place, Milano replied to a tweet from Walmart’s official Twitter account, in which the retail giant offered sympathy to victims of the attack, by saying, “This would be a great opportunity for you to take a true leadership position and stop selling guns.”
They already don’t sell ARs, AKs, or handguns.
— Jared Bryan Masten™ (@JBMASTEN) August 3, 2019
Twitter users noted that Walmart has already taken steps to drastically reduce the number and variety of firearms available to customers. In 2006, the company announced it would stop selling guns in approximately a third of its stores, according to the Associated Press. Walmart stopped stocking “modern sporting rifles,” including the AR-15, in 2015.
“They already did that in 2015. #TryAgain,” one user tweeted.
Other users remarked that the gun reportedly used by the El Paso shooter was obtained legally and apparently not sold by Walmart.
“They already don’t sell ARs, AKs, or handguns,” wrote one commenter.
According to ABC News, El Paso police officials said during a Sunday press conference that the suspected shooter used an assault-style rifle, similar to an AK-47.
Some commenters accused Milano of prematurely politicizing the tragedy.
Dancing on still warm bodies to take a shot at Walmart.
— MrsFiveO (@MrsFiveO) August 3, 2019
“Hey @Alyssa_Milano it would be great if you didn’t attempt to politicize other people’s deaths for your preferred agenda. Depriving anyone of the right to self defense is wrong,” tweeted Libertarian Redhead, a popular libertarian Twitter personality.
Milano, known for starring in hit TV shows “Charmed” and “Who’s the Boss?,” has in recent years used her celebrity to promote liberal causes such as the #MeToo movement and criticism of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Alyssa Milano and the media grapple with deadly El Paso and Dayton mass shootings
Less than 13 hours after the deadly El Paso shopping complex, a masked gunman opened fire in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people. In the wake of the two mass shootings, the public has grappled with how to explain the tragedies.
Media outlets and politicians have already begun to examine – and in some cases assign blame for – what caused El Paso and Dayton.
President Donald Trump’s critics, including some 2020 presidential hopefuls, have accused him of engendering an anti-immigrant climate in America that they say may have motivated the shooting in El Paso. A manifesto allegedly written by the El Paso shooter contains strong anti-immigrant sentiments.