This week, the courageous and articulate students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida returned to class. They are now much different young people than they were only two weeks ago. Their outrage continues. Their advocacy for changes in gun laws continues. Yet, they also seek a return to normalcy, to be teenagers, once again.
But, what their activism has brought about in the two weeks since violence struck their school and forever changed their lives, is nothing short of remarkable.
Cardinal Cupich of Chicago yesterday said, “the nation’s young people are “shaming the adult world into action” on gun violence. Their voices are a wake-up call that should have been heard years ago.”
“The time for words is over, our children are telling us. What is now required is action. It is now up to those we elect to serve the common good to act to stop the rampant gun violence that has turned our schools, churches, theatres and streets into places of slaughter.”
“Our elected officials…must begin the process of walking away from the moral compromises that doom our society to inaction,” he said. ~ excerpts from National Catholic Reporter
Making an Impact on Corporations
Yesterday, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc., one of the largest retailers of its kind in the United States, is taking new steps to curtail the sale of firearms, including ending assault-style rifles and banning the sale of guns to people younger than 21, the company announced.
“Based on what’s happened and looking at those kids and those parents, it move us all unimaginably,” company Chairman and CEO Edward Stack said yesterday on “Good Morning America,” referring to the shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“To think about the loss and the grief that those kids and those parents had, we said, ‘We need to do something,’” Stack, whose father, Dick, started the business 70 years ago, explained. “And we’re taking these guns out of all our stores permanently.”
When asked whether there is a chance the company will reverse its position on the newly announced ban, Stack replied, “Never. We’ve just decided that based on what’s happened with these guns, we don’t want to be a part of this story and we’ve eliminated these guns permanently.”
Prepared for the Backlash
In addition to the steps Dick’s has taken to improve gun safety and mitigate the harm associated with gun products, more than a dozen companies, ranging from hotel operators to insurance providers, have announced plans to stop offering discounts and cost-saving programs for members of the NRA in light of the Florida shooting.
Students who survived the attack are lobbying for tougher gun laws, and many have demanded companies stop doing business with the NRA.
Discussing the possible repercussions for Dick’s, Stack pointed to the courage of those students, many of whom are responsible for mobilizing and organizing gun control rallies, marches and social media-inspired boycotts.
“When we take a look at what those kids and the parents and the heroes in the school, what they did, our view was if the kids can be brave enough to organize like this, we can be brave enough to take these [assault style weapons] out of here, he said of the guns. “Not everyone will be happy [with our corporate decision].”
~ ABC News
Corporations Pulling Their Ties to the NRA
As of today, the following corporations have altered their business practices and/or corporate relationship or business practices with the National Rifle Association (NRS) as a result
of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting.
Alamo-Enterprise-National Car Rental Group – ending discount programs for NRA members
Allied Van Lines – discontinued their affiliation with NRA.
AVIS – Budget Car Rental Group – ending discount programs for NRA members
Chubb Insurance – discontinuing NRA special programs
Delta Airlines – no more discounted travel for NRA members. Asked for their name to be removed from the NRA website.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. – will no longer sell assault rifles/ raised age for gun buyers to 21
First National Bank of Omaha – discontinued special rates and discounts for NRA members
Met Life Insurance – ending discount program for NRA members
North American Van Lines – no longer will have an affiliation with NRA.
Simply-Safe – discontinuing their existing relationship with the NRA.
Starkey Hearing Technologies – ending discount rates for NRA members
Symantec Cyber Security – ending discounts for NRA members
True Car – ending its car buying service relationship with NRA members
United Airlines – no more discounted travel rates for NRA members
Walmart – will no longer sell assault rifles/raised age for gun buyers to 21