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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 24190

Reported Deaths: 1036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8181606
Ramsey2863122
Stearns201413
Nobles15125
Anoka136370
Dakota126354
Washington61731
Olmsted60810
Kandiyohi4901
Rice4522
Clay42426
Scott4082
Todd3130
Wright3051
Mower3031
Sherburne2372
Carver2062
Benton1753
Steele1590
Blue Earth1380
Martin1295
St. Louis11814
Freeborn1150
Pine890
Nicollet8610
Unassigned8610
Winona7915
Carlton730
Watonwan710
Cottonwood700
Crow Wing682
Goodhue663
Otter Tail640
Chisago611
Polk612
Itasca5410
Dodge520
Chippewa491
Lyon490
Morrison450
Meeker450
Le Sueur441
Douglas410
Becker390
Jackson390
Murray390
McLeod340
Isanti320
Waseca260
Rock220
Mille Lacs191
Faribault180
Swift180
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Pennington170
Sibley160
Brown152
Beltrami140
Cass132
Norman130
Pipestone120
Kanabec111
Wilkin113
Marshall100
Pope90
Wadena90
Aitkin80
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Mahnomen61
Lincoln50
Renville50
Big Stone40
Grant40
Red Lake40
Redwood40
Clearwater30
Hubbard30
Traverse30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Houston20
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19217

Reported Deaths: 531
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4160125
Woodbury274034
Black Hawk173944
Linn94976
Dallas89220
Marshall89216
Buena Vista7350
Johnson6149
Wapello5589
Muscatine55641
Crawford5142
Tama40227
Scott35810
Dubuque34518
Louisa34311
Jasper26116
Pottawattamie2578
Sioux2190
Washington1888
Wright1670
Plymouth1292
Warren1260
Allamakee1204
Story1091
Mahaska9310
Poweshiek908
Henry711
Bremer696
Des Moines621
Clinton611
Boone610
Taylor540
Clarke530
Guthrie503
Cedar461
Benton411
Webster391
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones360
Hamilton350
Clayton343
Iowa330
Buchanan330
Osceola330
Marion320
Cerro Gordo281
Cherokee280
Madison282
Fayette270
Lee250
Winneshiek240
Monona240
Jefferson230
Harrison220
Davis210
Lyon210
Dickinson200
Grundy200
Mills190
Floyd191
Sac180
Humboldt170
Lucas170
Hardin160
Hancock160
Delaware150
Keokuk150
Clay150
Appanoose153
Butler151
Emmet140
Ida140
Page130
Greene130
Franklin130
Cass120
Howard120
Audubon121
Jackson120
Winnebago110
Pocahontas110
Chickasaw100
Carroll90
Van Buren90
Adair90
Kossuth90
Union70
Adams70
Montgomery70
Palo Alto60
Unassigned60
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Ringgold40
Worth30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Rochester
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Mason City
Scattered Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 71°
Albert Lea
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 72°
Austin
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Sunnier skies for the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Rochester People's Rally

Image

Religious leaders call for justice for George Floyd

Image

Rochester downtown under curfew Saturday night

Image

Sean Weather 5/30

Image

Governor Walz GivesUpdate

Image

Gov. Walz Addresses Minnesotans in Overnight Press Conference

Image

Riots, Fires continue in Minneapolis

Image

Protesters in Downtown Rochester

Image

Mower County Fair will go on as planned

Image

Minneapolis Gas Stations Shut Down

Community Events