#BoycottNRA forces companies to pick sides

Kali Ray, Reporter

After the shooting in Parkland, Fla., people once again took to Twitter to speak out against the National Rifle Association (NRA) using the hashtag #BoycottNRA, and they should continue to do so.

The hashtag first appeared in 2012 in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and six adults were gunned down.

Despite the tragedy, the hashtag failed to get the traction it deserved.

It has been used in relation to other shootings since, such as the Las Vegas shooting, but continued to die out before getting much attention.

After the recent shooting, the hashtag has been trending as activists called on companies to cut ties with the association. And it actually worked.

By Feb. 24, at least 13 major companies had cut ties with the company in response to the hashtag.

That number has continued to grow; it was at nearly two dozen in the beginning of March.

Companies such as Delta Airlines, United Airlines, First National Bank of Omaha, MetLife Inc., Best Western and many others were on the list.

Other companies, such as Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, that don’t have contracts with the NRA still took action.

Walmart will no longer sell firearms or ammunition to those under the age of 21 (a common demand within the movement) and had actually stopped selling AR-15’s and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015.

Dick’s banned the sale of all guns to those under the age of 21 at their stores and immediately stopped selling assault styles rifles.

In addition, Dick’s CEO took political action, challenging the NRA with demands for stricter gun laws.

These are steps in the right direction.

People under the age of 21 do not need access to guns.

People under the age of 21 aren’t allowed alcohol, one of the reasons being their own and others’ safety.

It makes sense not to allow them access to weapons that would aid them in hurting themselves and others.

While using firearms for self defense is reasonable, no citizen needs an assault rifle.

Some companies, such as FedEx, said while they disagreed with the NRA, they would not end their contract with the association.

Companies have the right to respond to the public’s desires and only support associations that align with their morals and/or politics.

In this day and age, it is impossible for companies to be apolitical as they have in the past. Inaction is seen as support, so companies have to choose a side.

By choosing to do nothing, FedEx will still appear to support the NRA.

Streaming service giants, such as Amazon, Apples, and YouTube, have yet to respond to public push, but they should.

Companies should not support the NRA because of its refusal to consider any sort of gun reform the United States so desperately needs.