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article imageThe #BoycottNRA campaign might really work

By Karen Graham     Feb 27, 2018 in Business
From its beginnings on Twitter, #BoycottNRA has taken on a life of its own, sparking outrage from the NRA and multiple discussions on social media. But most stunning is the number of companies that have cut ties with the NRA.
Canadian Business writer, Chris McDonald wrote on Monday, "If the NRA were a publicly-traded corporation, I’d be short selling its stock. Not because the organization is going away anytime soon, or because I think Americans are going to repeal the Second Amendment anytime soon. But because a group of high school students seems to be doing substantial damage to its already divisive brand."
And this writer believes McDonald is correct in his assessment of this particular social media-led boycott. The Washington Post describes the #BoycottNRA movement as "crashing through Wall Street" as blue-chip companies debate between consumer demands versus their profit margins.
The NRA's executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre made his first public comments on the...
The NRA's executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre made his first public comments on the tragedy in Parkland, Florida in an address to the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland
A most unusual boycott
As McDonald points out, #BoycottNRA isn't really a boycott against the NRA, its membership or core business. Instead, the creators of the boycott have asked companies that do business with the NRA to cease and desist from any business practices. This usually involves extending benefits to NRA members in the form of discounts on purchases or cash-back NRA-branded credit cards.
And while many boycotts may seem frivolous, this boycott, or movement, is totally different. In some ways, it is reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party of 1776 in which Boston colonists, fed up with British taxes on tea and against the monopoly granted the East India Company, threw chests of tea into Boston Harbor.
Activists protest outside Kalashnikov USA  a manufacturer of AK-47 rifles  on February 25  2018 in P...
Activists protest outside Kalashnikov USA, a manufacturer of AK-47 rifles, on February 25, 2018 in Pompano Beach, Florida, near Parkland where the shooting deaths of 17 students and staff at a school has boosted calls for gun control
The Boston Tea Party started as a movement, and in effect, a boycott that eventually grew into the American Revolution. And interestingly, the #BoycottNRA movement is aligning businesses with the political climate, forcing Republicans into a defensive posture not seen in a number of years.
And the whole impact could eventually hurt an organization's or company's bottom line, maybe. But one thing is certain — with the latest polls showing close to 70 percent of Americans now favor tighter gun laws, and while bumps in the polls favoring stricter gun laws usually rise right after a school shooting and then drop — there has never been as large a shift as has been seen in this poll.
While the boycott may not hurt anyone's bottom line, it is sending a signal to politicians that should be squirming right about now - worrying about whether they will be re-elected. This, to me, is the essence of the boycott. If 7 out of 10 Americans want some sort of change in our gun laws, then the people have spoken. After all, the Constitution starts out with "We, the people....."
Amnesty noted that students in the US were "standing up against gun violence"
Amnesty noted that students in the US were "standing up against gun violence"
Olivier Douliery, AFP
I hope our elected representatives in Congress take those three words to heart and listen to their constituents, too, because a cozy affiliation with the NRA is not considered a plus anymore, according to McDonald. "And that’s a good thing," he adds.
It is interesting that McDonald, who teaches ethics and critical thinking at the Rogers School of Management, notes the NRA would be considered a fringe group in other industrialized nations, while its "antiquated understanding of what a citizenry needs in order to safeguard itself against tyranny would be laughable."
Hundreds of students protest outside the White House to demand tougher gun control measures
Hundreds of students protest outside the White House to demand tougher gun control measures
There is a fair amount of misunderstanding regarding the real meaning behind those 27-words that make up the Second Amendment. But as our country continues to grapple with gun violence, pro-gun activists have come to rely on their interpretation of the amendment, saying it "gives them the right to bear arms.
The NRA is dangerous and that danger started 30 years ago when a group of activists pushed the leadership to install new leaders that were more intense and very focused on the Second Amendment. I will leave readers with a quote from McDonald: "It’s long been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. We’re about to find out whether the boycott is mightier than the gun."
For an up-to-date list of companies who have joined the #BoycottNRA movement, Wikipedia now has a 2018 NRA boycott page.
More about BoycottNRA, Social media, NRA, Corporate america, Second Amendment Foundation