Last month’s horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has propelled America’s gun violence epidemic back into public awareness, with record rates of Americans backing stricter gun control laws. At the center of the controversy is the National Rifle Association (NRA), which blocks legislation to curb gun violence, influences politicians with megabucks campaign contributions, and sends voters out in droves to support pro-gun candidates. As the gun lobby continues to value ‘2nd Amendment rights’ over the lives of the innocent children and adults massacred in Parkland, and in countless other cities, there have been increasing calls to boycott the NRA. Using the hashtag #BoycottNRA on social media, outraged citizens have successfully pressured companies such as United, Delta, Hertz, and Alamo to stop offering savings and discounts to NRA members.
Yet despite the intense public scrutiny, there are still unwavering companies with business ties to the NRA, some of whom you likely patronize. FedEx FedEx has insisted it will continue to offer a 26% shipping discount to members of the National Rifle Association’s Business Alliance, despite pressure to sever the relationship. The decision has resulted in a number of companies pledging to withdraw their business from the shipping firm. Camelbak, Bell & Giro Outdoor enthusiasts beware: CamelBak water bottles, Bell bicycle helmets, and Giro ski goggles are all owned by Vista Outdoor, a company that designs, develops and manufactures ammunition, long guns and related equipment products. Vista, a loyal vendor at the NRA’s annual gun show, has remained silent despite seeing its brands dropped from stores such as REI and Mountain Equipment Co-Op. Vinesse Wines As the ‘official wine club of the NRA’, Vinesse offers gun lobby members an exclusive first-time discount of over $84 and sells ‘NRA Collector’s Series’ wine packages. According to Think Progress, the company has refused to respond to questions about the discount. HotelPlanner.com The hotel booking service provides discounted rooms to NRA members. Co-founder Tim Hentschel told Bloomberg that the company would not be cutting ties with the gun lobby. Apple & Amazon Streaming services such as Apple and Amazon offer customers NRA TV, a fear-mongering pro-guns channel from the NRA. A petition by Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America urging the services to stop screening NRA TV’s hateful rhetoric is gaining traction. Meanwhile, a Change.org petition asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to exclude NRA TV from the company’s streaming services has been signed by almost 300,000 supporters to date. Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg has called for viewers to cancel their Amazon Prime subscriptions if the company does not cut ties with the NRA. Ackerman McQueen and clients Oklahoma-based advertising and PR agency Ackerman McQueen has spent decades fine-tuning the NRA’s aggressive pro-guns narrative. Indeed, advertising gurus at the agency carefully composed the NRA’s post-Sandy Hook massacre angle that the killings were a result of video games, movies, and music videos. The question now is why family brands such as Leapfrog and Six Flags, plus other Ackerman McQueen clients, are content to use an ad agency that is embedded with the NRA. Want to join the movement to boycott the NRA? Remember that a boycott doesn’t work if you’re still invested in the company. If you want to make a stand, OpenInvest’s include and exclude feature can help you divest from any company profiting from gun violence or, in turn, invest in companies that have disconnected from the NRA. Add that to our divest weapons screen to totally clear guns from your portfolio. All you need to do is sign up here.