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.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 91°
Florence
Clear
92° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 95°
Fayetteville
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Decatur
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Scottsboro
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 96°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12743242
Mobile9565206
Montgomery6521148
Madison525030
Tuscaloosa410371
Unassigned347461
Baldwin344323
Shelby320133
Marshall309034
Lee262844
Morgan233017
Etowah207530
DeKalb177113
Calhoun170413
Elmore169438
Walker150264
Houston136412
Russell13422
Dallas131123
St. Clair131016
Limestone128413
Franklin125820
Cullman120112
Colbert115613
Lauderdale113917
Autauga106521
Escambia105416
Talladega98613
Jackson9454
Tallapoosa84979
Chambers83538
Dale82323
Blount7743
Chilton7676
Butler75935
Coffee7475
Covington72620
Pike6907
Barbour5695
Lowndes56724
Marion56724
Marengo54614
Clarke4969
Hale46726
Bullock45411
Winston44411
Perry4364
Wilcox41810
Bibb4164
Monroe4154
Randolph39410
Pickens3849
Conecuh38210
Sumter36218
Lawrence3441
Macon33213
Washington32712
Crenshaw3133
Choctaw27912
Cherokee2637
Geneva2550
Henry2523
Greene25011
Clay2495
Lamar2172
Fayette1985
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 118782

Reported Deaths: 1206
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby22635302
Davidson20185212
Rutherford640453
Hamilton597052
Knox440737
Williamson344825
Sumner336573
Unassigned30809
Out of TN284216
Wilson222923
Montgomery188313
Bradley187412
Sevier18307
Putnam171717
Trousdale15826
Robertson152119
Hamblen137214
Blount124310
Washington12002
Tipton11839
Maury11787
Madison102417
Sullivan93312
Bedford90811
Hardeman87517
Macon85613
Lake7820
Loudon7183
Bledsoe6901
Fayette6708
Gibson6705
Anderson6686
Dickson6662
Dyer6197
Cheatham5737
Jefferson5523
Henderson5472
Lawrence5346
McMinn52420
Rhea5221
Obion5194
Coffee5073
Warren4984
Carter4976
Lauderdale4878
Haywood4576
Hardin4538
Cocke4502
Greene4477
Smith4464
Hawkins4357
Roane4332
Cumberland4126
Monroe4079
Weakley3974
Giles36913
McNairy3665
DeKalb3392
Franklin3134
Carroll2903
Marshall2833
Lincoln2761
White2735
Henry2660
Crockett2604
Johnson2580
Claiborne2550
Hickman2530
Campbell2391
Wayne2252
Marion2164
Chester2112
Decatur1983
Polk1953
Grainger1940
Overton1751
Unicoi1560
Union1500
Cannon1420
Benton1391
Humphreys1203
Jackson1181
Scott1180
Grundy1112
Morgan1031
Sequatchie1020
Meigs1010
Fentress880
Hancock781
Perry770
Clay740
Stewart730
Lewis711
Moore600
Houston570
Van Buren350
Pickett311

Community Events