NRA: The Pressure To Act

Sri Guttikonda ‘20

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3 months. 18 school shootings. 21 deaths. The number of deaths vary, the locations vary, but the choice of weapon remains the same: guns. With the recent Parkland shooting, the debate over gun control has reemerged stronger than ever before. Per usual, Democrats and Republicans hold their distinct views regarding this issue; however, the group that this bearing the brunt of hatred appears to be the NRA. After the young teen survivors of the Parkland shooting have taken it upon themselves to vocalize their concerns and distress, to companies, news outlets and organizations such as the NRA,pressuring them to act and make reforms. Despite backlash, the NRA remains loyal to its current policies regarding gun control, however, associative companies made different decisions.

The huge social media storm that called out companies to sever ties with the NRA prompted immediate action as The First National Bank of Omaha, the first business to respond, claims“[their] customer feedback had moved it to not renew its NRA Visa card contract,” which offers special benefits and discounts to those affiliated with the NRA[1]. NRA discounts includes but is not limited to The First National Bank of Omaha, numerous other special reducations exist in companies like Fedex, United Airlines and even in MetLife.[3] Dhristi Raval ‘20 exclaims, “they have almost created this exclusive club or their own ‘political party.’” [The NRA] boast hundreds of members who share the same opinion. Not to mention, their views exert a certain sense of dominance and control in society because of their enormity. This also appears to be the reason they are able to refuse reforms and stick by their opinion.

Although, many companies did not share the same luck and were facing the extreme repercussions in the form of dropping sales and customers and were forced to take action. Aware of the severity of the issue and concerned about their recent economic downfalls, companies turned on the NRA faster than ever before and in the largest quantities ever seen [1]. However numerous still face the question as to whether they should remain loyal to the NRA or risk losing their customers. Specifically exemplified in an issue with Delta, who tried to stay neutral and not give discounts, only to receive threats from Florida Governor and NRA supporter, Rick Scott.  He proceed to threaten to kill all bills helping lower costs that will impact Delta. When asked about her opinion, Ashna Gupta ‘21 believes that “the NRA has been on thin ice for a while now, the people have been asking for stricter gun laws and calling for change, but have gotten no response, [people] realized that the only other way to get to the NRA is through these companies. Companies not only realize the value of their customers, but also their right to give them a voice. So now, the NRA is going to have to listen to the public or face the repercussions for a long time.”

Ashna Gupta brings a up a valid point, The First National Bank of Omaha may have been the first, however it is certainly not the last company to act for the public. Recently the businesses appear to be more active and aware than the government itself [2]. Especially in the case of the Parkland shooting, students and teens have been able to garner worldwide attention through these actions and will continue to do so until they get the change they deserve.

 

[1]https://www.npr.org/2018/02/26/588776308/dozens-of-companies-cut-ties-with-the-nra

[2]http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/25/news/companies/boycott-nra-companies/index.html

[3]https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/02/26/nra-companies-parkland-school-shooting/372271002/

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NRA: The Pressure To Act