We’ve covered anti-gunners’ efforts to go after “ghost guns” and other lawful commerce in any way they can. Most recently, they’re pressuring shippers like UPS and Fedex to only ship serialized frames, and take other anti-gun actions that go a lot further.
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) August 18, 2022
Now, we’re seeing that FedEx is falling on hard times, with their stock tumbling last week (UPS stock took a hit, too). This obviously wasn’t caused by their newly restrictive “ghost gun” policies, as that revenue is a tiny fraction of a rounding error to a company like FedEx. But it does signal a tightening economy and possibly a further downturn that could put all kinds of businesses in a difficult position.
This situation leads to another question that relates to the big shipping companies’ newly intensified anti-gun policies as well as other anti-gun policies. Is being picky about your customers and doing things that could alienate a good portion of them something these megacorps — or any going concern — can afford to keep doing?
I don’t know about TTAG’s readers, but from my own experience, I’ve found that during hard times, you can’t really afford to be picky about your work. You certainly can’t afford to shaft customers for political reasons just to please vocal interest groups. Even giants like UPS and FedEx can’t afford to alienate even a tenth of their customer bases if they want to survive a recession.
Banning the shipment of “ghost gun” parts or their predecessor components in whatever percentage of completion they’re in would seem to be part of a bigger story of “go woke, go broke” strategy. They might only be picking on a few of their customers, and the products they’re restricting aren’t a big segment of their business. But when their policy shifts stir up a stink that alienates a bigger portion of the customer base, it can get expensive.
The ironic thing about this situation and this question is that it shows that Democrats can undercut themselves in their zeal to restrict gun rights in any venue they can attack. Democrat monetary policies; government (over)spending, hyper regulation, and loose economic policies weaken the economy. When the public corporations who favor and support them find themselves in a tight spot as a result, and have to choose between going woke and going broke, they have a fiduciary duty to ditch the wokeness.
Are they willing to endanger their bottom lines over an esoteric gun controversy?
To be fair, hard times can also have a similar effect on the other sides’ efforts to get private entities to change policies. Just as with the Dems’ policies, anything that could alienate customers in a down economy, including respecting gun rights, is a luxury fewer companies can afford.
This is something pro-gun people need to keep in mind. If you can ask for pro-gun policy changes while not putting a company in a tight spot, you’ll have a lot more luck than you would asking them to take a controversial public stance or action.
Getting retailers to quietly take down “no guns” signs in order to keep your business can be an easy one for them. Asking them to write a press release or post on social media about their decision to take the sign down…not so much.
We need to be smarter than the anti-gun movement if we want to succeed against them, but fortunately, that’s a pretty low bar.