The National Rifle Association has swung back at companies severing their partnerships with the gun-rights advocacy group under the threat of boycott, accusing them of “political and civil cowardice.”
In a Saturday statement, the NRA said its 5 million members would not be deterred after a string of businesses, including Symantec, MetLife, Hertz, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, TrueCar, and airlines Delta and United announced they no longer will offer discounts for NRA members, as the boycott campaign gained steam after the Valentine’s Day shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
“The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement,” said the NRA statement.
“Despite that, some corporations have decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice,” the statement said.
Calls for an NRA boycott, egged on by activist groups, launched in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 students and adults.
“The #BoycottNRA movement is working,” tweeted the Women’s March. “It shows, yet again, that activism works. To everyone reading this: Keep calling on corporations to cut their ties with the NRA. Our collective voice will win.”
In response, the NRA accused the companies of trying to “punish our members who are doctors, farmers, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, nurses, shop owners and school teachers that live in every American community.”
“Let it be absolutely clear,” said the NRA. “The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”
Supporters came to the NRA’s defense by sharing photos of their membership confirmations.
“Just signed up now. Not going to be bullied when it comes to the right of self-defense,” tweeted BizPac chief editor Kyle Becker.
Gun-control advocates on the left have charged NRA officials with having “blood on their hands” following the Parkland shooting, while on the right, critics have pointed to the absence of action by the FBI and by sheriff’s deputies at the scene.
CNN came under fire Friday after student survivor David Hogg called NRA members “child murderers,” and host Alisyn Camerota did nothing to challenge his assertion.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called the corporations “cowardly,” while conservative actor James Woods said he would rethink his patronage of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Robert Kuykendall, spokesman for the conservative corporate watchdog 2ndVote, accused the companies of “caving to the left’s misinformation campaign rather than addressing actual solutions that would prevent these heinous acts.”
“Over 5 million NRA members and 2ndVote followers will now be looking for better alternatives when it comes to their next car rental,” Mr. Kuykendall said.