NRA Lashes Out As Boycott List Grows

The boycott against the National Rifle Association is growing by the day, and the gun rights organization is not pleased.

On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 24, the NRA issued a pointed statement after learning that both Delta Airlines and United Airlines had joined the long list of corporations cutting ties with it following the Feb. 14 shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which claimed the lives of 17 victims.

"Let it be absolutely clear," the statement read, according to the Washington Post, "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 statement went on to say that the "BoycottNRA movement" was nothing more than an "effort to punish our members who are doctors, farmers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, nurses, shop owners and school teachers that live in every American community."

The NRA also claimed that its "law-abiding" members were blameless in the shooting deaths of the Parkland victims, most of who were students. Instead, it laid the blame for the massacre on Douglas High School's security, holes in the U.S. mental health system, and failures on the part of local and federal law enforcement officials.

Finally, the statement said that the companies joining the NRA boycott are engaged in "a shameful display of political and civic cowardice," and that they will be replaced by other corporations that appreciate "patriotism" and "Constitutional freedoms."

Man with AR-15 rifle

Earlier on Saturday, Delta and United issued statements on Twitter indicating that they are ending their flight discount programs for NRA members. The airlines join at least 15 other major companies in severing ties with the group, including hotel chains Best Western and Wyndham, rental car companies Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz, and First National Bank of Omaha, which is one of the largest private banks in the country.

The NRA has faced pressure before -- particularly after the Sandyhook tragedy, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults -- but the organization has always been able to push back against calls for tighter gun control laws. However, the public outcry after the Parkland shootings seems to be gaining traction in a way that other protests have not.

The NRA boycott has not been completely successful, though. Despite intense social media campaigns urging it to join the boycott, FedEx has yet to discontinue its 26 percent discount to NRA Business Alliance members. And media giants Amazon, Apple, AT&T, and Google have all so far refused to drop an NRA video channel from their streaming services.