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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/13/13

Corporate America is Stronger Than the NRA. Why Doesn't It Force Guns Laws?

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 It's no secret that corporations ban guns in their executive offices and boardrooms. Companies don't have to be told the risks of an enraged shooter or accident to their CEO and corporate staff. Even the NRA bans visitors with guns at its headquarters despite being in a "conceal and carry" state and having a firing range on site, according to published reports. "They might be worried about deranged antis trying to kill them," or lack the proper "insurance," say NRA defenders online, citing the same reasons the organizations they blast for "gun free zones" use. Who can say hypocrite?


And there is more hypocrisy. The same corporations that protect their highest paid staff often don't protect employees and customers from the same risks. Starbucks, for example refuses to ban guns from its coffee shops, saying it is deferring to "local laws,"--the same "local laws" most corporations, including the NRA, override in banning weapons in their headquarters. Nor does Starbucks even post signs warning customers they are entering an armed zone with in which lethal weapon are welcomed.

 It is easy to see why Starbucks won't stand up to gun rights bullies and tries to please both sides of the street. When ConocoPhillips, an Oklahoma employer with 3,000 workers, blocked the NRA's bring-your-gun-to-work efforts in 2005, Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, went ballistic. "ConocoPhillips went to federal court to attack your freedom," he thundered. "We're going to make ConocoPhillips the example of what happens when a corporation takes away your Second Amendment rights. If you are a corporation that's anti-gun, anti-gun owner, or anti-Second Amendment, we will spare no effort or expense to work against you, to protect the rights of your law-abiding employees."

But it's also easy to see that the NRA is a paper tiger whose economic threats are a joke. With less than 5 million members, only one million of which are extremists, the ConocoPhillips "boycott" was all hat and no horse. No one even noticed. By contrast, a boycott of H&R Block when it inked a partnership with NRA was swiftly successful in 2002 because 90 percent of the country wants the NRA pro-gun agenda to stop.

Why is business sector bullied?
Why is business sector bullied?
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Why is business sector bullied? by Martha Rosenberg

 Other corporations have also stood up to the NRA. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Walt Disney World, the Florida Retail Federation and Harris Corp. all protested its gratuitous, bring-your-gun-to-work law in Florida in 2007. Workplace weapons threaten employee safety and undermine a business's employment terms with its own workers, they said . There are 500 workplace homicides a year, according to Bloomberg News.


It's time to support corporations who protect their employees and customers from the NRA's pro-gun agenda and punish those who don't. Congress refused to pass background checks, assault weapon and high capacity magazine bans or make gun trafficking a felony after Tucson, Aurora and Newtown. Corporate America could do so in weeks, especially if its customers tell it to.   END   Make the TELL AND COMPEL pledge .



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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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