Companies shouldn't have severed ties with the NRA

By Kyle Ferlita
On March 7, 2018

Photo courtesy of Spotter Johnsen, Wikipedia

Brand image is everything: whether it’s Burger King marketing their flame-grilled burgers, or Cadillac marketing their cars as the perfect example of luxury, brands are constantly providing people with a reason to buy their products.

In recent news, a variety of companies have been cutting ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. This corporate controversy has spread like wildfire to news programs and internet forums alike.

Twelve companies ranging from banks to rental car companies are eliminating benefits given to NRA members. The NRA called this “a shameful display of political and civic cowardice.” The subsequent article published on the NRA website also highlighted the fact that these companies were punishing the law-abiding NRA members who support the causes for additional security in public schools and addressing the mental health system.

While the NRA currently has five million members, the article states that roughly 120 million Americans legally own firearms, which is roughly 1 in every 3 Americans. The article concludes with a statement addressing gun owners, asking that they “Stand with us. Together, we are freedom’s last, best chance.”

Funny, the other side says the same thing when they’re talking about basic human rights and fair treatment, and they get called snowflakes. A lot can be said about groups rallying to accomplish a goal, but I’d hardly call MetLife ending a discount program for NRA members an attack on the freedoms of the American people, if anything, I’d call it equality.

I think we, as the diverse nation that we are, are losing sight of the real goal, ensuring that events like Parkland, and Orlando, and Las Vegas do not happen again. How do these corporations tie into all of this?

The answer is simple: guns are the hottest topic in the media at the present moment, so it shouldn’t come as much of a shock that companies want to discuss the topic. In 2016, a large number of companies launched ad campaigns involving same-sex couples to show their support for the same-sex marriage ruling by the Supreme Court.

The 2017 Super Bowl was filled with ads involving community following the 2016 election. This is no different. Businesses are quick to jump on bandwagons like this because, it can make them a quick buck off of the populous.

While I will say that it is totally okay for businesses to align themselves with whatever organizations that they choose to, citizens should also be aware of the fact that businesses want one thing above all else, your money.

I would say that these companies severing ties with the NRA is a step in a direction that no one wants to be headed in. All this accomplished is alienating a group of individuals who have a passion. This isn’t the time to hate on one another, but to come together, and create a better solution to solving the problem at hand.

Corporate America is a force unlike any other, and it may be the very obstacle that stands in the way of the citizens of this nation living in a better, safer community.

 

kferlita@ramapo.edu

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