The NRA's worst nightmare is here

It feels like the early days of the #MeToo movement, which caused a cultural shift regarding sexual misconduct -- but...

Posted: Feb 26, 2018 11:09 AM
Updated: Feb 26, 2018 11:09 AM

It feels like the early days of the #MeToo movement, which caused a cultural shift regarding sexual misconduct -- but this time, the problem at hand is gun violence, and the movement is called #NeverAgain. And this time, the courageous individuals leading the effort for change are teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Just a few weeks ago, these young Americans were simply living the typical teenage life. But that changed on February 14, 2018, when a 19-year-old former student carrying a weapon of war entered their school with the intent of slaughtering people -- and he did just that.

Those students who were recently on the front line of gun violence are now on the front line of pushing for laws that will save the lives of other young Americans. And clearly, many of these activists, who witnessed firsthand what an AR-15 can do to the body of a fellow teenager, view the NRA as a big part of the problem.

We saw that during CNN's Town Hall last week, when 17-year-old Cameron Kasky said, "This is about people who are for making a difference to save us, and people who are against it and prefer money," before asking the question that went viral: "So, Sen. Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future?"

The audience exploded in response, taking to their feet and filling the venue with thunderous applause -- and the look on Rubio's face was unforgettable. He knew a cultural shift was happening right before his eyes and that the politics of old regarding guns were no longer going to be tolerated. And while Rubio refused to say that he would not accept NRA donations, he did publicly break from the NRA that night on two issues.

First, Rubio agreed to support raising the minimum age at which people can buy rifles, from 18 to 21; then the Senator announced he was re-evaluating his position on regulations for gun magazines' clip size.

Since then, we have also seen Republican Gov. Rick Scott buck the NRA by agreeing to raise the age at which it's legal to by any firearm from 18 to 21.

Now the teenage activists are leading the charge to persuade corporations to end their business relationships with the NRA.

And it's working. Major corporations like Delta and United Airlines, MetLife insurance, and car rental companies like Enterprise, Avis Budget Group, and Hertz all announced an end to their partnerships with the NRA. FedEx has still refused to end its relationship with the NRA despite direct pressure from the students.

Given this cultural shift, the NRA may struggle to find many sponsors, beyond gun manufacturers, for its annual convention, slated for May in Dallas.

But, to be blunt, the NRA has no one but its leadership to blame for this turn of events. The NRA's executive vice president Wayne LaPierre has opposed expanding background checks for gun buyers, claiming that records weren't thorough enough to make expanded screening effective. However, background checks are supported by over 80% of Americans and a solid majority of NRA members. No wonder 67% of gun owners in a 2017 poll at least somewhat felt that the NRA had been "overtaken by lobbyists and the interests of gun manufacturers and lost its original purpose and mission."

This boycott movement is the right thing to do. It may just be the most effective way yet to pressure the NRA leadership to finally embrace common sense gun laws that can save American lives, from increased background checks, to limiting the size of gun magazines to 10 bullets, to banning the sale of assault-style rifles.

And LaPierre and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch made it worse this week with their tone-deaf speeches at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC.) There was LaPierre slamming those who want to talk about gun laws and irrationally claiming that Americans in favor of more gun control are truly hell-bent on eliminating "all individual freedoms." And then there was Loesch despicably declaring that "many in legacy media love mass shootings," adding, "crying white mothers are ratings gold."

If you were a corporate CEO who had a diverse customer base, would you really want to do business with an organization whose leaders are spewing those types of divisive comments? After all, while there are some five million NRA members, there are more than 300 million of the rest of us.

Until the NRA's leadership changes its attitude, corporations should sever all ties to the NRA, as the brave teen activists are advocating. It's time corporations publicly make a choice between what they value more: the NRA or the lives of our children.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845108

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161242006
Mobile741961379
Madison53291732
Shelby38328368
Baldwin38074589
Tuscaloosa36017641
Montgomery34483781
Lee25557263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22454406
Etowah20016517
Marshall18781316
Houston17729425
St. Clair16880358
Limestone16138218
Cullman16050303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14984306
Talladega14191299
DeKalb12971269
Walker12029380
Blount10715192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10161194
Coffee9415192
Colbert9341208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7255201
Russell707865
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5403130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317763
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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