Los Angeles city councilman wants city to boycott companies with NRA ties
By JIM MATTHEWS
It seems incredible that the very people who claim to be inclusive, colorblind, and gender-neutral; the politicians who want equality for all can be the same people who are willing to attack a group for a legitimate differences of opinion on policy. Isn’t that discrimination? And how is that kind of discrimination different than racism?
Well, that kind of prejudice came to a head this week when Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell introduced a proposal Wednesday asking the city’s staff to compile a list of all businesses and groups that have a formal relationship with the National Rifle Association and options the city has to boycott these people.
This is not about whether or not you believe in more gun control. This is about government officials deciding your associations and beliefs are wrong and taking action to harass and forcibly make you bend to its viewpoint or suffer consequences. This is institutionalized discrimination and government-run prejudice. No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. This is real.
Because the NRA and its members have a different viewpoint on firearms policy and how to make the public safer in public, they would be targeted within the City of Los Angeles because of their personal and political beliefs. Isn’t that what these politicians rile against when someone wants to identify themselves outside regular gender contexts. Don’t they denounce anyone who appears to have a hint of sexual or racial discrimination? Isn’t it city, county, state, and federal policy that you can’t discriminate against someone based on their personal viewpoints? So what is going on here?
In the extreme comparison, the City would be saying to a business (that bids and wins city contracts) it can’t have any NRA members, or Republicans, or blacks on their staff if they wish to continue to be eligible for that work.
How are an individual’s personal viewpoints or business associations any of the city’s business?
Oh, O’Farrell used all the right anti-gun rhetoric to rally the gun-banning camp to his side:
"It's important that we send a message as a city with an annual budget approaching $9 billion," O'Farrell was quoted in a Los Angeles Times story Thursday. "It's time to speak with one voice and call attention to the assault weapon epidemic."
This argument is all about emotion to drive arguably useless policy and discriminate against a class of people they hate – gun owners, who are mostly conservative, and mostly against more gun control.
O’Farrell then kicked off the discrimination with some arm-twisting by asking the city council to hold off on approving a Federal Express agreement with the Harbor Department to rent warehouse and office space there. The rest of the council agreed. Why? Because FedEx offers discounted shipping for NRA members (and hundreds of other groups with political viewpoints).
"We have a choice — and they have a choice," O'Farrell was quoted in the Times, saying FedEx could mimic path other private companies, such as Delta Air Lines, took to end discounts for NRA members. "They could join in this sensible movement to discourage the proliferation of guns."
What O’Farrell apparently doesn’t get is that these other companies did this without threats to their business operations from the government. They were not coerced. They did it because of their management’s political viewpoints. The public then has to option of using their products or services or not because of the political viewpoint. It wasn’t the government forcing a viewpoint and behavior on a business or consumer.
Last month, FedEx issued a statement saying it "opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians," but that did not change the fact that the NRA is one of hundreds of organizations whose members get discounts.
"FedEx has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs, or positions," it said in that statement.
Wow. The big company gets it. It doesn’t discriminate.
Increasingly, California politicians don’t get it. This week’s action is just another example of how left-leaning politicians and voters are willing to discriminate against someone with a different viewpoint.