By Harold Moskowitz
The term “boycott” has been around since Captain Charles C. Boycott was subjected to social ostracism during the Irish Land War of 1880. He was a land agent for an absentee British landlord. An entire town socially isolated him. The goal was to pressure him into lowering rents and decreasing the number of evictions of Irish tenant farmers. In our nation, the “boycott” became an effective form of pressure by labor unions to improve working conditions. It was also used to help end discrimination against African-Americans. Historically, it has always been used as an organized form of pressure to change conditions viewed as “unfair.”
Presently, it is being used as an economic weapon against businesses associated with the firearms industry in general and the National Rifle Association in particular. In the Progressive Liberal “war” against the right to keep and bear arms, the boycott is no longer a weapon aimed at unfair practices. Today, it targets the God-given individual right to self-defense passed down to us by the Founders. The N.R.A., seeking to preserve that right for future generations has become the “lightning rod” of their efforts to end firearm ownership in our nation.
It doesn’t take more than a relative handful of emails repeated over a period of days with anti-N.R.A. or anti-gun messages to pressure corporate public relations directors. Fear of perceived negative public opinion is sufficient to produce changes in policy toward firearm related sales and the N.R.A. This pressure is easiest to achieve in the aftermath of a mass shooting.
In the week following the Parkland, Florida shooting, two anti-gun organizations were ready for instant anti-N.R.A. action. According to Kristina Monllos, senior editor for Adweek, a $230,000 two-page ad was purchased in the New York Times. It listed all Congressional members who had accepted N.R.A. political contributions along with their office phone numbers. An action plan called for the use of the hash tag (#) “Throw Them Out.” The ad was put together by a Progressive Liberal counseling firm called SKD Knickerbocker. Not surprisingly some of the firm’s political clients have been Barack Obama, Andrew Cuomo, and Michael Bloomberg.
After Parkland, many corporations were pressured “morally” to make public their positions on gun related matters or to break any economic arrangements with the N.R.A. Rachel Siegel, a national business reporter for the Washington Post, wrote (3/21/18) that within two weeks of the shootings, four retailers altered their policies on firearm-related sales. Wal-Mart stopped selling firearms and ammunition to anyone under twenty-one years old. Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field and Stream stopped selling AR-15 rifles and high-capacity magazines. They also raised their firearm sales age to twenty-one. The grocery chain Kroger, owner of Fred Meyer general stores, raised their firearm sales age to twenty-one. L.L.Bean also has stopped selling firearms and ammunition to those under twenty-one. In addition, L. L. Bean felt it necessary to announce that “L. L. Bean does not and never has supported the N.R.A.” The Mountain Equipment Co-op stopped selling equipment brands such as Bolle, Bushnell, Camel Bak, Camp Chef, and Jimmy Styks because they are made by Vista Outdoors, a Utah-based firearm manufacturer. Another outdoor equipment retailer, REI also chose to boycott products made by Vista Outdoors.
Several transportation and hospitality corporations ended their N.R.A. member discount programs. They include: Delta Airlines; United Airlines; Enterprise Holdings (Alamo, Enterprise, National); Hertz; Avis; and Budget. Best Western and Wyndham hotels. Stopped offering N.R.A. discounts. Sirva Corporation which owns Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines ended N.R.A. member discounts. Additionally, FED EX publicly criticized UPS for continuing to ship items purchased from the N.R.A. Store and stated its opposition to the sale of “assault rifles” to civilians.
The following computer associated corporations ended N.R.A. discounts: True Car vehicle buying service; SimpliSafe digital premises protection; Teledoctele Medicare service; Personify Group Technologies; Paramount Rx prescription drug discount; and Symantec (Norton) computer anti-virus protection.
A more serious threat for the N.R.A. and firearm owners are the actions taken by some banks and credit card issuers. They control access to credit and financial services for the N.R.A. and firearm-related businesses. First National Bank of Omaha, the nation’s largest privately held bank, has stopped offering the N.R.A. Visa card. Republic Bank has ended the N.R.A. Visa Prepaid Card (debit card). Other banks which have taken steps to use their financial power to control and weaken the firearms industry are J. P. Morgan Chase, Citibank, Amalgamated Bank, and Bank of America. Citi Group announced that it will drop any retailer selling high-capacity magazines or bump stocks. It requires its retailers to do background checks and to raise the firearm purchase age to twenty-one. It hinted at future restrictions requiring manufacturers to stop making certain types of weapons and to deny certain retailers shipments of their firearms. The Amalgamated Bank requires that its retail clients not sell any weapons or ammunition. Bank of America stopped doing business with any firearms manufacturer that makes or sells “military style” weapons for civilian use.
According to Statistica, The Statistic Portal, about forty-three percent of U.S. homes own at least one firearm. That could translate into over 100,000,000 firearm owners. We should all learn from the Progressive Liberals. Even a handful of calls and emails have an impact on corporate America. We should “push back” against the misguided bullying actions of these businesses. Together we should also use our “collective” spending power to reward supporters of Second Amendment rights and boycott those which help to weaken and destroy those rights!