Anti-gun advocate pushes economic boycott of pro-gun states

  • 10 October 2017
  • NormanL
Anti-gun advocate pushes economic boycott of pro-gun states

As we have often noted, the anti-Second Amendment forces are a determined lot, who are constantly looking for new ways and fresh methods to erase gun rights from American law. This proposal, from Jonathan Alter, however, takes us to stunning new heights of audacity:

...there’s reason for hope in states that are hungry to keep and attract business, which means every state in the union. Gun safety advocates should take heart from the backlash against bathroom bills and other anti-gay laws in red states. The institutions that stood up in those fights — from Apple to the NCAA — offer a path forward.

Corporations have a moral and fiduciary duty to enhance the safety of their workplaces and other venues they use. When mass shootings were rare, they weren’t as much of a concern. Now that they’re a common occurrence, the calculus for locating businesses, conventions, sporting events and concerts must change. Companies cannot fully guarantee the safety of their employees and customers anywhere, but risks are clearly greater in “gun lax” states.

Those states should now be faced with a choice: They can have assault weapons and gun show loopholes. Or they can have good jobs and events from responsible corporations. But they can’t have both.

In other words, gut gun rights in your state, or corporations will take their jobs elsewhere. But do American corporations, which have to sell goods in the public marketplace, really want to get behind an effort to deny the Second Amendment rights of their customers? Alter thinks so, if more people take up the boycott banner:

Will major businesses step up on guns? It depends in part on how hard their employees, customers and shareholders push executives. But with more gun-toting nuts on the way, it’s important that all companies make a hard assessment of what legislation they need to protect their workers and other stakeholders from bodily harm.

Insurance considerations might also be relevant. Premiums for concerts and sports events within rifle range of tall buildings should logically go higher in gun-lax states that allow the sale of easily modified semiautomatic weapons that can spray bullets on crowds. If premiums rose, they would represent another cost that would dampen business and thus help advance common-sense gun safety legislation.

To be sure, there are some companies that would have no qualms about pushing for anti-Second Amendment legislation state-by-state. But as Alter admits, such a push would also have to have buy-in from employees and shareholders -- and we suspect a lot of them are law-abiding gun owners.

Be on the watch for this -- and remember that boycots can go both ways. A company that wants to take away gun rights where you live would effectively be telling you it doesn't want your business. Gun rights supporters would very likely decide their purchases, and investments, are better made elsewhere.