Following gunman Nikolas Cruz’s killing spree at Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, the U.S. appears to be approaching a watershed moment. Teen survivors are demanding action and going toe-to-toe with the NRA spokesperson. Through their emphatic appeals, they’re cutting through rhetoric and may bring measurable gun control results. Hence why it’s worth watching when a teen shooting survivor suggests renaming the AR-15 after Marco Rubio because they’re both “so easy to buy.” Advertisers are listening, and that presents a major problem for the NRA and Congress.
The symbiotic relationship between the gun lobby and politicians is easy to explain. Politicians play to their own voting bases while accepting the NRA’s money to fuel their campaigns. In return, they shut down gun-control efforts in the name of the Second Amendment. The list of those who receive millions of dollars in campaign contributions receives attention with every mass shooting, but these legislators are now being “shamed” by teens over “blood money.”
The gun lobby’s cohesive message has ensured its survival until now, but sponsors are deciding that it’s a bad look to support the pro-gun agenda. Here’s the damage so far:
The NRA-Branded Personal Visa Card: The First National Bank of Omaha announced that it will not renew the NRA’s credit card deal, which delivered an unspecified kickback to the gun lobby for every transaction. A spokesperson declared that “customer feedback” led to the decision following this demand from Nebraskans Against Gun Violence:
“If you decide to continue offering benefits to NRA members, we intend to organize a public protest of your bank and have already secured the commitments of several of your customers to cancel their accounts because they do not want to support a bank that actively promotes the single largest obstacle to the reduction of gun deaths in the U.S.”
Enterprise Holdings: One of the world’s biggest car-rental conglomerates — which encompasses Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent a Car, and National Car Rental — has chosen to end a discount program for NRA members. The loss of this partnership will see the promotion end on March 26, and Enterprise didn’t make any secret of why this decision happened during a Twitter reply over the #BoycottNRA hashtag.
Symantec: The Semantic Corp joined the list while shutting down a program that offers NRA discounts for their LifeLock identity theft service. The company tweeted a simple acknowledgement.
Symantic takes anti-virus and spyware software maker Norton with them, and Florida shooting survivor David Hogg has expressed gratitude.