Why Are Corporations Silent on Gun Violence? Get Ready for Our New Campaign

January 15, 2016

Light a cigarette in any US business and you will be asked to put it out and possibly leave. Since secondhand smoke, SHS, (also known as “involuntary smoking”) was exposed as having no safe level and being linked to cancers of the larynx, pharynx, brain, bladder, rectum, stomach, breast and liver, you can smoke exactly nowhere.


Yet stride into the same businesses with a lethal weapon and many companies will say they “defer to local laws” pretending they do not know that a business can always override local laws and protect customers and employees by banning guns.


“Accidents” from gun carriers like the toddler who killed his mother at an Idaho Walmart and the four guests shot during a Waldorf-Astoria wedding last year are foreseeable and happen all the time. Yet corporations refuse to take a stand saying there are “strong emotions on both sides.” Yes injury and death tend to produce “strong emotions”–which is why SHS is banned.


Visit the headquarters of top US corporations or attend their board meetings and you will encounter metal detectors, guards and probably building floors that can only be accessed with elevator codes and security measures. You can’t have the CEO of Exxon shot in the head! Even NRA conventions ban loaded guns for “insurance” reasons as does the gleaming new Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago according to a sign posted last year. Why would insurers do that? Anybody?


There is no question the majority of the nation agrees with insurers and does not want to dine or shop next to gun carriers because of accidents, arguments and cop wannabe vigilantes. Major chains like Panera Bread, Sonic, Chili’s, Chipotle, Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Target, Whole Foods, Peet’s, Ikea, Disneyland, California Pizza Kitchen, Buffalo Wild Wings and the AMC and Cinemark theaters have adopted “no guns” policies or gun bans for this reason.


Gun advocates have threatened boycotts but their numbers are pathetic. When NRA leader Wayne LaPierre threatened a boycott of ConocoPhillips over its gun policies, the energy giant didn’t even notice. By contrast, a boycott of H&R Block by gun safety oriented customers when it inked a partnership with the NRA was swiftly successful in 2002.


Because corporations hold the nation’s purse strings they effect swift social, economic and legal change. Within weeks of Microsoft’s pro-marriage equality stand, hundreds of other companies followed suit. Indiana reversed its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (allowing discrimination based on religion) within days of Apple, American Airlines, the NCAA college sports league and others threatening to pull their convention business. The NFL reversed its tolerance of players’ domestic violence charges within days of hearing from sponsors like Anheuser-Busch and the Radisson hotel chain.


This month, NGVAC is launching a new, aggressive campaign to force corporations to take a stand against violence and get “off the sidelines.” US corporations know gun dangers or they would not ban them in their headquarters and boardrooms. Why should customers and employees not similarly be protected? Our new campaign will disallow corporations their cop-out of “following local laws” and force them to take a stand against gun violence. Stay tuned




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