It turns out that quite a few companies offer discounts and other perks to National Rifle Association members. But after the murder of 17 students and adults at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, more than a dozen of those companies have reconsidered the costs and benefits of supporting an organization widely seen as the biggest barrier to enacting popular laws on gun ownership. Airlines like Delta and United, rental car companies Enterprise, National, Hertz, Avis, Budget, and Alamo, and other companies — First National Bank of Omaha, Symantec, and MetLIfe, for example — have decided to make NRA members pay full price. FedEx went in the opposite direction.
After posting its statement Monday, FedEx was thrashed on social media, especially for saying it "does not and will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views."
Delta got blowback in the opposite direction, with prominent conservatives in the Georgia government threatening to sink a $50 million tax break unless the airline re-instated discounts for NRA members flying to their annual convention in May. Among those threatening to scuttle the agreement was Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R), who presides over the state Senate. "Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back," he tweeted.
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State and local governments, who want good jobs and tax revenue, may have more to lose than corporations in this fight, Boston College sociologist Charles Derber tells USA Today. "The corporations [breaking ties with the NRA] are not taking a large risk by engaging in this. They're incurring greater risk if they don't try to ally themselves with this strong population majority and the emotionally compelling voice of these young people."
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