Gun control proponents are cheering what they are portraying as another victory in their war against the National Rifle Association. In an exclusive Monday, Reuters announced that FedEx, in "a quiet reversal," has officially dropped its snail mail deal with the NRA.
Reuters Breakingviews initially frames the decision as FedEx finally caving to pressure from the gun control lobby eight months after the Parkland shooting:
Mass shootings happen in an instant and grab headlines. A business and investment shift away from the firearms industry is happening more subtly. FedEx, the U.S. shipping group, is ending a program that offers discounts for business members of the National Rifle Association, the company confirmed to Breakingviews.
It’s a quiet reversal: eight months ago, FedEx stood by the gun-rights lobby group as other companies scrapped deals. They were reacting to the NRA’s stance after 17 students and staff members were murdered at a Florida high school by a former student. Companies including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and car-rental firm Enterprise swiftly ended member discounts. At the time, FedEx said that while assault rifles of the kind used in most American mass shootings shouldn’t be in civilian hands, it did not believe in “discriminating” between organizations it works with.
Reuters also attempts to connect the big "reversal" to the anti-Semitic mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue Saturday, noting, "The change of tack comes just days after a gunman killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue."
But, as pointed out by Hot Air, buried in the middle of a paragraph in the middle of the piece, Reuters acknowledges that FedEx underscored that its decision to end the deal had nothing whatsoever to do with any mass shootings and everything to do with good business. It has been in the works for a while now, and NRA members aren't the only ones that will no longer enjoy the discount program:
The $56 billion logistics company says the closure of its NRA discount program from Nov. 4 has no connection to that incident or any other shooting. Rather, the NRA just didn’t bring in enough business to merit its own deal. It’s among dozens of organizations FedEx plans to move to new pricing programs, and the company has been notifying customers since early October.
After admitting the real rationale for ending the program, which clearly isn't what gun control activists might've hoped for, Reuters insists it is "still significant – perhaps more so than largely political gestures." The reason: "It suggests the NRA no longer has the economic clout to inspire fear in the corporate world."
The only problem with that take is that the NRA's membership appears to have actually increased since the Parkland shooting, as reported by The Washington Post in September.
The Reuters piece ends by championing companies like Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods and Kroger's for bending to the gun control lobby, describing them as becoming "less timid," and stating that their sales haven't suffered as a result of their political moves.