Dozens Of Companies Cut Ties With The NRA
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
The NRA is feeling some financial consequences after the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. As NPR's Amy Held reports, more than a dozen companies have said they are now cutting ties with the National Rifle Association.
AMY HELD, BYLINE: First National Bank of Omaha got the ball rolling on Thursday. A Twitter user demanded the bank end its relationship with the NRA, and the bank responded, saying customer feedback had moved it to not renew its NRA Visa card contract. Then more major national brands hopped onboard - rental car companies Enterprise and Hertz, airlines Delta and United, and insurance company MetLife all said they would no longer offer discounts to NRA members.
SHANNON WATTS: This is the first time we have seen companies publicly turn against the NRA in such a rapid amount of time and in such a huge amount of numbers.
HELD: Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, has been among those turning up the Twitter heat on companies. She says going after their bottom line is a powerful tool.
WATTS: That's capitalism. You can show companies you want them to reject a toxic, dangerous, deadly organization.
HELD: Of course, while many social media users applauded the companies for severing NRA ties, supporters of the group said they would in turn be boycotting the companies. Professor Maurice Schweitzer of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School focuses on emotions and decision making. He says we're in a moment of raw trauma that won't last. We've seen other mass shootings that have spurred campaigns and boycotts in the past and yet, he says, something has changed in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting.
MAURICE SCHWEITZER: There are more people that are activated and agitated and upset about the NRA's influence.
HELD: In a statement, the NRA called the company's moves a shameful display of political and civic cowardice that will not scare nor distract a single NRA member. Amy Held, NPR News.
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