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Shopping mall shootings leave retailers at risk

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

25 Jul 2022

Retail

Image: Pexels

A fatal shooting at an Indiana shopping mall in the U.S. last week left four dead, including the shooter. The shooter was killed by another shopper, who also happened to be carrying a gun.

Earlier this month a man opened fire at Copenhagen mall killing three people and critically wounding four others. A suspect, a Danish local, was arrested after the shooting.

Armed shoppers, carrying weapons, can easily enter public shopping spaces. There is no law in the U.S. which prevents them from owning guns.

“It is no secret that criminal activity at retailers as has jumped significantly over the last few years,” Karl Langhorst, an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Criminal Justice and an expert on retail loss prevention and corporate security, told Footwear News. “And unfortunately, we’re seeing a trend that those incidents are becoming more and more violent.”

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, recorded 310 gun violence incidents between January 1st 2020 and May 14th. This averages to over 7 gun-related incidents per day. According to Forbes, the U.S. has averaged more than one mass shooting a day in 2021.

In a tweet last Monday, America’s National Rifle Association (NRA) said: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” This mentality is unfathomable for most Europeans, where carrying arms in most countries is deemed illegal.

Retailers have a responsibility to provide safe working environments for their employees, says Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), yet it is something they cannot reasonably guarantee given the current state of gun violence in the U.S. BSR calls for raising awareness with employees and consumers on the impacts of gun violence and advocating for common sense legislation.

To some, common sense means banning firearm ownership altogether.

Gun violence