gun

The NRA Loses Symantec Business For Members – Who Will Be Next?

Symantec
Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar

This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

There has been a lot of media coverage about the NRA over the last week and a half.  Mostly because they seem to be the driving force behind politicians not supporting some kind of gun control, or gun reform.  Or however you phrase it, but the fact remains – a lot of politicians do not want to support a bill that would encourage gun control.  Why?  Well, it’s not good for the politicians themselves.  After all, the NRA supports their campaigns when they’re looking to get re-elected.  If they decided to speak out against guns, where would they get that money from?  What’s happening now, though, is incredibly interesting.  There are corporations themselves that are taking a stand on this issue.

Symantec, one of the country’s largest security software companies, has ended its partnership with the National Rifle Association.  Symantec is just one of many companies who have severed ties with the NRA following the backlash stemming from last week’s school shooting in Parkland Florida.  In that incident, 14 students and 3 staff members were killed.  Which is completely unacceptable, so I say – good move Symantec.  Symantec had previously offered a variety of discounts to NRA members who purchased its Norton antivirus software.

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This is all incredibly interesting, in my opinion.  Private organizations are more than welcome to offer discounts or certain offers to any group that they want.  That’s the beauty of being a private company.  You can basically do whatever you want.  But why this is interesting to me has to do with the direction that we’re moving with some of these tech giants.  Some people are suggesting that it won’t be politicians that run the world in the not so distant future, but technology companies – like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.  And that’s kind of what is being said.  Sure, Symantec isn’t a Facebook equivalent, but they see the need to separate themselves from this kind of bad press.  And they’re not the only ones.  First National Bank, Enterprise Holdings, and LifeLock (who is owned by Symantec) are all cutting ties from the advocacy group.

But it doesn’t stop there – Twitter and Facebook are putting pressure on other companies to distance themselves from the NRA.  In my opinion, this is where it’s going to get real.  There is a hashtag on Twitter right now that is gaining some traction.  #BoycottNRA is being aimed at companies that offer special discounts to NRA Members.  Fed-Ex currently offers a 26% discount to business class members of the NRA.  But for how much longer?  This is all being driven by customer feedback.  First National Bank received so much customer feedback on this issue, they decided to pull the plug on their offer.

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But I haven’t talked about what this will mean for NRA members.  According to Matt Schulz, a senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com told CNBC that NRA members are famously loyal.  But, he also notes, that banks are in the business of managing risks, and they see this as a risk they’re willing to take.  The risk being – alienating NRA members, rather than showing support for the senseless acts of violence that they support.

This isn’t to say that all business will stop working with the NRA.  There are likely a lot of companies out there who will continue.  And that’s their right.  But there are a lot of large organizations that should distance themselves because if they don’t, they’re going to lose a lot of other customers who are tired of the senseless shootings.  I think that large organizations – like Facebook and Twitter are going to start putting more pressure out there to raise awareness around these social justice issues.