Gun control advocates in the United States haven’t had much success lobbying politicians in Congress to introduce restrictions on the sale of firearms. But after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida they have found an alternative to simply asking politicians to pass a law. They are targeting businesses that are affiliated with the NRA and help facilitate gun sales.
Many companies have already capitulated to the gun control advocates demands in the latest act of corporate virtue signalling. So far over a dozen companies including Avis, and Best Western are no longer offering discounts, free trials or insurance to NRA members. There is also a push for credit card companies to longer facilitate firearm sales. PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay already do not allow firearms to be purchased via their platform.
Gun control activism has intensified following the Parkland shooting using alleged survivors David Hogg and Emma González as their spokespeople in the US mainstream media. They and other students at the school founded the gun control group Never Again MSD which has had success in having a series of gun control measures passed in the Florida state legislature.
A number of nationwide student demonstrations have been organized to advocate for gun control, so far there has been the Enough! National School Walkout on March 14 where 3,000 schools and 1 million students participated. This Saturday the March for Our Lives is planned for Washington D.C with simulations demonstrations taking place in other cities. Then there is another walkout for the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools which takes place on April 20 on the 19th anniversary of the The Columbine High School massacre.
Another target of this new student led gun control movement is censorship on the internet of what they would call firearm propaganda or promoting gun culture. Social media giants have of course been only to eager to censor views that do not fit a progressive agenda and hastily respond the latest social justice outrage.
YouTube owned by Google is full of firearm demonstration videos, reviews and instruction videos. Most of them do not even have a political agenda but are simply recreational firearm enthusiasts want to share their knowledge with others who have the same hobby. But despite gun control advocates claiming they support the Second Amendment and the right for Americans to legally own guns these banal videos are now deemed to be inspiring would be mass shooters.
As we have come to expect YouTube has updated its policies on content featuring firearms that it will prohibit content that intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales or provides instructions on the manufacturing of a firearm. A YouTube spokesperson said “We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies”.
But of course this new policy has led to a whole suite of firearms videos being completely deleted from YouTube, despite YouTube stating the policy not take affect until April. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has said “We suspect it will be interpreted to block much more content than the stated goal of firearms and certain accessory sales”. Spike’s Tactical a firearms company had its YouTube channel temporarily suspended which YouTube later claimed was a mistake.
Another social media company that has began cracking down on people who enjoy recreational shooting is dating app Bumble which is working to ban photos of guns and asking its users to report any user who is displaying themselves with a gun.
The campaign for gun control is at its core a campaign against all gun use period, they claim that don’t want to ban all guns but they would if they could get away with it. This latest gun control campaign in the aftermath of Parkland has demonstrated this with its new strategy to make it harder for anyone to purchase a legal firearm for legitimate purposes and to access information on how to use it in a legal and recreation a way.