Proud as we have often been of being home base to FedEx, a company notable for its leadership in business affairs and consumer needs, we now confess to being embarrassed by the company's refusal, in the wake of the latest gun massacre, to consider ending the favorable discounts it offers members of the National Rifle Association.
Even Donald Trump has addressed the point. The president, speaking to the nation's governors on Monday, advised them to remember that, for all the "great people" who make up the NRA, it might be neceseary "to fight 'em" on gun-control issues. As a statement indicating intentionality, of course, that one is right up there with his quickly withdrawn pledge to a bipartisan group of Senators back in January that he would support whatever pro-Dreamer immigration bill they might come up with — hopefully an honest-to-God "bill of love."
On matters relating to promises of action, Trump has a tendency, in Jonathan Swift's phrase, to "say the thing that is not." A somewhat surreal version of that came this week when the president, in the course of vilifying a security officer's apparent inaction at the site of the Parkland High School slaughter, swore that had he been on the scene, he himself, armed or unarmed, would have rushed into the school building to confront the crazed shooter.
Right. Nothing quite so heroic is required, of course. All that Trump needs to do is follow through on his vow to contradict Wayne LaPierre and the NRA gun lobby by actually pushing for some of the serious legislative measures he has championed in his verbal bravado — a raised age limit for firearms purchase, a ban on bump stocks, stiffer and more universal background checks, etc.
The task incumbent on FedEx is even less demanding. All the giant shipping corporation needs to do is follow the example of Hertz, Delta, Symantec, MertLife, United Airlines, and a growing number of other large companies that have ended their discount offers for NRA members in the past week or so. Surely the powers-that-be at FedEx, now threatened with an organized national boycott, realize that the small profit margin forsworn by ending its NRA discounts could easily be absorbed, and that the moral example of taking a stand against gun fetishism would likely translate into a bounty of new-customer approval from the population at large.
Instead, FedEx has vowed to continue with its program for NRA members on the disingenuous grounds that it "does not or will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views."
Nobody has asked FedEx to deny service to anyone or to suppress anybody's views or to practice any form of customer discrimination. It is a matter, rather, of putting the NRA on notice for its decades-long policy of undermining any and all common-sense gun reforms.
And, as far as the politics of the matter, it is clearly the NRA itself, not those who resist it, which maintains a political stranglehold on the nation and its lawmakers. In this hour of decision, FedEx absolutely, positively should take a stand.