The National Rifle Association has struck back after multiple corporate sponsors cut ties with the gun rights organization following the mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead.
As The Western Journal reported, over a dozen companies have ended their partnerships with the NRA due to pressure from liberal gun control activists.
Delta Airlines, MetLife, United Airlines, Hertz and First National Bank are among the companies that have ended discounts programs, NRA-related credit cards or any other program that might have supported the group.
But in a Saturday statement, the group defended itself, noting that NRA membership is being punished “in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice,” while also pointing out multiple institutional failures that allowed the suspected gunman to perpetrate the shooting.
“The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement,” the NRA’s statement read.
“Despite that, some corporations have decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice,” the statement added. “In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve.”
Despite the loss of partnerships, the NRA said it is confident its members won’t be deterred from taking advantage of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
“Let it be absolutely clear,” the group said. “The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”
The NRA has been the subject of intense criticism in the wake of the Florida shooting, as gun control advocates have blamed the group’s campaign donations on politicians’ supposed inaction regarding this issue.
But the group, which represents close to 5 million Americans, has refused to cave in the face of this backlash, and even offered to help keep schools safe following the Florida mass shooting.
Speaking Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre said his organization will offer free help to campuses who want to boost their armed security.
Despite calls for stricter gun laws, he thinks better protection, not more firearm regulations, is the answer.
“Our banks, our airports, our NBA games, our NFL games, our office buildings, our movie stars, our politicians — they’re all more protected than our children at school. Does that make any sense to anybody?” he said, according to The Washington Times.
LaPierre also emphasized the need to “harden” America’s schools.
“Evil walks among us, and God help us if we don’t harden our schools and protect our kids,” he said, as reported by LifeZette.
“In every community in America … they all must come together to implement the very best strategy to harden their schools, including effective, trained, armed security that will absolutely protect every innocent child in this country,” LaPierre added.
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