Has the NRA finally met its match?
Countless politicians have tried to stand up to the gun lobby and failed, but it seems a bunch of high-school kids might actually get the job done. Businesses are cutting ties with the gun lobby, and even Donald Trump has proposed some modest gun reform. Also, will Hollywood set its sights on the NRA this Sunday at the Oscars?
Let’s take a look at the odds!
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Enterprise, First National Bank of Omaha, Hertz, MetLife, Symantec, Delta, United — the list goes on! Businesses that once offered NRA members discounts and deals are now pulling out left, right, and center.
The NRA hit back at these companies, tweeting: “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.”
But under growing public pressure, more and more businesses are severing their ties with the organization. There’s now only one major company still offering NRA member discounts: FedEx. The company stated their position on gun control, which is at odds with the NRA, but they firmly stated that they will not (and cannot) discriminate against NRA members.
— FedEx (@FedEx) February 26, 2018
By now, most businesses will have already decided on their position on the matter. So it’s unlikely we’ll see many more companies dropping their NRA member discounts. However, one company to consider is Vinesse Wines. They’ve already suspended sales of NRA-branded collections on their website, and seem to be seriously considering removing their NRA member discounts altogether.
Car rental and airline companies have taken a stand. Are tech companies next?
There have been calls for streaming platforms to stop hosting NRATV, the NRA’s online video channel. Hashtags like #DumpNRATV have gained traction, but so far it’s been to little effect. Roku announced that they will not drop the channel, while the other platforms have remained silent. Apple and Amazon may cut out NRATV if there’s enough pressure, but it seems unlikely.
It’s no secret that the NRA is a big player when it comes to political donations. John McCain has received over $7 million of support throughout his political career, and Marco Rubio has been floated to the tune of $3 million. Eight lawmakers have received contributions of over $1 million from the NRA.
Among the 535 current members of Congress, 307 have received at least some kind of financial backing from the NRA. Those politicians, however, are almost all Republicans. Only six Congressional Republicans did not receive NRA support, while only 24 Democrats received any kind of backing.
It’s unlikely that many Democrats will refuse NRA donations because so few are receiving any in the first place. And it would be political suicide for a Republican to alienate the NRA and its millions of loyal members.
Here’s my record — and I’m damn proud of it:
Lifetime NRA rating: F
Donations from NRA: $0
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 27, 2018
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Jimmy Kimmel is back to host the Oscars this Sunday (March 4th), and the late-night host is a well-known advocate of gun control. It’s up to him whether he brings up mass shootings and the NRA as host of the Oscars. Last year, he brushed on politics during his monologue but opted for a light-hearted approach.
If Kimmel doesn’t denounce the NRA, someone else will. The student-led movement in the wake of the Parkland shooting is impossible to ignore, and the NRA is the largest obstacle standing in their way. Many celebrities have gotten behind the movement, and a few of them have nominations.
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This is really a toss-up between #MeToo and #NeverAgain. The #TimesUp hashtag stems from the #MeToo movement, and the NRA boycott was inspired by #NeverAgain. While #MeToo is directly linked to Hollywood and a lot still needs to be done, #NeverAgain has also inspired an unprecedented call for change.
Donald Trump has paved the way for celebrities with zero political experience to become president. It’s unlikely that we’ll see any announcements this Sunday, though. It’s just way too soon for anyone to announce a run. Anyone eyeing the White House is staying very quiet at the moment.
John Oliver recently discovered that there’s nothing barring a non-citizen from becoming prime minister of Italy. So, with that new piece of information, the comedian is doing the only sensible thing: he’s running!
Well, kinda. He toyed with the idea on a recent episode of his show. “My candidacy for prime minister may be a complete and total farce,” he said. “Incredibly, I am far from your worst option.”
The election is this Sunday, though. So Oliver and his team need to hustle if they want to get the paperwork in on time.
When Oliver says “I am far from your worst option,” he means it!
Silvio Berlusconi, the clown of world politics before Trump arrived on the scene, has lept back into the limelight and a candidate with links to the fascist movement is also in the running. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if a handful of people wrote in “John Oliver” as a form of protest.
Let’s be honest, it’ll probably the US again in 2020. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Oprah Winfrey will run on a combined ticket, only to be defeated by Steve Buscemi. I can feel it.
Or perhaps Manny Pacquiao will finally hang up the gloves and take his political career seriously. If he runs for President, he’d have a real shot. Then there’s Brazil, who would declare Neymar their emperor if he’s able to hand them a World Cup this year. We live in ridiculous times…
Photo credit: joshlopezphoto (Flickr) CC License
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