With the topic of guns in the US being as divisive of an issue as ever, we’re at a point where some companies are finally taking a stand on the NRA. A couple of days ago I wrote about how Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, and National pulled their discounts for NRA members. It’s tough to say whether they were actually taking a stand here, or just trying to remain neutral on this divisive topic.
We have notified the NRA that we are ending the NRA’s rental car discount program with Hertz.
— Hertz (@Hertz) February 23, 2018
The problem for companies is that they think they’re staying neutral by withdrawing support, though in reality by taking away something that they used to offer they’re taking a stand, whether they intend to or not.
As you might expect, there’s a lot of pressure on social media from some, demanding that companies that associate with the NRA pull their support. Conversely, there are plenty of NRA supporters threatening to boycott companies that pull their support for the NRA. If we’re being honest, the reality is that very little of this protesting of companies on either side lasts very long, especially when you see a situation where virtually all companies make a decision like this. Will NRA supporters suddenly stop renting cars, and will those opposed to the NRA start renting cars just to support companies for their decisions? It’s unlikely.
The travel industry taking some sort of a stand on the NRA isn’t limited to car rental companies — both Delta and United have pulled discounts for those traveling to NRA conferences. They used to offer these discounts, presumably not because they were strong supporters of the NRA, but rather because this was a decision that they hoped got them volume business, and they didn’t think doing so would be controversial.
Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.
— Delta (@Delta) February 24, 2018
With two airlines having withdrawn support for the NRA, it has led to similar strong feelings on both sides. Most companies have simply stated that they’re withdrawing support for the NRA, but haven’t issued detailed statements sharing their feelings. Not Delta, though. Delta has issued the following statement regarding their decision, which is surprising, in a way:
Delta is reaching out to the National Rifle Association to let it know that the airline will be ending its contract for discounted fares for travel to the association’s annual meeting through Delta’s group travel program. The company will request that the NRA remove Delta’s information from its meeting website.
Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings. Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment.
This is not the first time Delta has withdrawn support over a politically and emotionally charged issue. Last year, Delta withdrew its sponsorship of a theater that staged a graphic interpretation of “Julius Caesar” depicting the assassination of President Trump. Delta supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation.
Delta is saying that they have a neutral stance in the national debate over gun control, and that they support the 2nd Amendment. The reason that I find the decision to publish this interesting is because I think they’re only going to annoy both sides with a statement like this. On one side of the debate you have people saying this:
Delta is officially neutral on the issue that it is ok to murder kids in schools.
— Ron Williams (@sonicdeath) February 25, 2018
And on the other side you have people saying this:
— Jeff McCormack (@jeffmc_cormack) February 25, 2018
Overall I think those against the NRA are going to be most put off by this statement. To me there’s a difference between staying out of something and saying that you have a neutral stance on a topic. Then again, when companies withdraw support in order to stay neutral, they’re ultimately hurting the organization in question, so I guess the end result is a positive for those opposed to the NRA.
What do you make of Delta’s statement on this matter?