PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you are not a member of the National Rifle Association, you may be surprised to learn that NRA members get special discounts from well-known companies.
But under pressure on social media, that’s changing.
“Hashtag activism is something we’re seeing a lot of,” says Prof. Paige Beal of Point Park University.
Under the hashtag #BoycottNRA, social media is now calling out companies that offer special benefits to NRA members.
“What [was] relatively invisible up until this point in time is now visible,” Beal said.
A quick look at the NRA website confirms all kinds of special deals from car rentals to moving companies to insurance to home security systems to travel and even to wine.
But that’s changing, says Beal.
“They’re being called out for this association that nobody really knew about before,” she said, “and so the only way for them to stop that is to stop the actual association.”
Dropping their affiliation with the NRA are rental car agencies Alamo, Enterprise, National, and Hertz, along with Symantec, MetLife, and the First National Bank of Omaha that was the official credit card of the NRA.
“They don’t want to have their logo adjacent to the NRA logo,” says Beal.
So why are so many businesses disassociating themselves from the National Rifle Association?
Well, it’s probably not about politics. It’s more about money.
These businesses don’t want to offend the non-NRA members who they want to keep as customers.
“When it gets called out on Twitter or Facebook it becomes visible, so your affiliation then is underscored, so their question is, are we hurt by this affiliation?” Beal said.
Beal says even if companies think they are and drop the NRA, it won’t really hurt the NRA.
“I don’t see that it would actually have an impact on NRA membership in general because they have such a core consumer with such strong beliefs,” she said.