The National Rifle Association (NRA) donated $30 million to the Trump presidential campaign in 2016. It was dark money, fed through the nonprofit arm of the organization, meaning the source will remain unknown. Since then, there has been shooting after shooting in the country. As they have occurred, a quiet revolution has been taking place against the NRA.
After a lone shooter shot and killed 17 students and staff at a Florida high school, companies began dropping their special deals with the organization. Some of those included United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Enterprise car rentals. FedEx still hung on with the gun rights lobbyist. FedEx agreed that the public should not have assault rifles, but felt leaving the NRA would be “discriminating.”
One day after a man using an assault rifle gunned down 11 people as they worshipped in their Pittsburgh synagogue, FedEx ended its discount program for business owners with a membership in the National Rifle Association. The shooting occurred at the Tree of Life synagogue, and an additional six people were wounded, including four police officers.
FedEx is a “$56 billion logistics company,” according to Reuters. The corporation said that it ended the business arrangement, not due to the last mass shooting. Instead, it claimed that the NRA did not generate enough business to warrant a special deal. Apparently, FedEx has planned to shift dozens of other organizations into new pricing programs, too.
That meant the NRA has dropped from the predominant place it once held. Perhaps, it has lost its grip on the corporate world. For example, it nearly bankrupted gunmaker Smith & Wesson in 2000 by branding the company a “sellout,” when it backed stronger gun controls. The NRA organized a member boycott, and that led to the company’s chief executive leaving.
News broke about a Russian spy who infiltrated the organization, which may have led to some of NRA’s decline. The young, attractive red-headed woman featured predominantly in many NRA events. She conned it into believing that there could actually be a Russian branch of the organization. Unfortunately for the NRA, Russian citizens do not have the freedom to own firearms that the U.S. citizens do.
Maria Butina, 29, was that spy. Right now, she is sitting in a jail cell outside of Washington, D.C. The federal government considered her such a flight risk that they did not let her leave once she was in custody, not even to sit in a Russian Embassy car. Moscow intelligence gave her an allowance while she was in the U.S.
She also began a relationship with a member of the NRA, which lasted five years. Butina went to university while she was here and indicated to friends that she did not really want to be with him, but she had no choice.
Strong 2nd Amendment people tend to be very patriotic. It stands to reason that they would not want to continue a relationship with an organization so deeply tied to Moscow.
Firearms could be made safer with new technology, yet, the NRA has resisted those in addition to other protective measures, such as additional transparent federal data on firearm accidents. Earlier this year, several corporations agreed to stop selling assault rifles: Kroger, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Walmart.
Customer and investor views have begun to change. That has allowed corporations to be less political and more financially-based.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.