Say what you will about Parkland survivor David Hogg, but he apparently gets results. Corporate America is scared stiff when it comes to getting on this kid’s naughty list, and the companies that find themselves on the receiving end of his social media campaigns go to any lengths necessary to pacify his absurd demands. This time around, the company in question is Publix Supermarkets, the top grocer in the southeast, with stores dotting the landscape from Florida to Georgia and beyond.
No, Publix was not selling AR-15s in the produce department, but they were supporting Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam (for reasons we’re quite sure had little or nothing to do with Putnam’s views on guns).
Because Putnam has referred to himself as a “proud NRA sellout” in his campaign for Florida’s soon-to-be-open governor’s seat, Hogg and the rest of his anti-gun squad decided that Publix needed to pay a dear price for its political allegiances. Hogg and other students from Stoneman Douglas High School arrived at two of the chain’s supermarkets on Friday to participate in a “die in,” where they laid on the floor and shouted stuff like “USA, not NRA” as customers tried to navigate around them.
“A lot of people don’t support who Publix is supporting,” said a 15-year old sophomore student named Haylee Shepherd, who we’re sure has a comprehensive grasp on the complexities of politics and Publix’s support for Putnam. “It’s going to reflect on them as a brand and people shopping there.”
Honestly, we would have found it refreshing and appropriate if Publix had kicked these students out of their stores, banned them for life, and continued supporting whatever political candidates they want. And how would that have really hurt their business? Publix has a near-monopoly on the supermarket sector in the southeast, so it’s absurd to think that any Parkland-inspired boycott would actually make any difference to their bottom line. But unfortunately, these companies are scared to death of actually standing up to these anti-gun bullying groups. And so, basically at will, these people can bend corporations to their whim when it comes to the Second Amendment.
In a statement on Friday, Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous announced that the kids had won – 10 minutes of protest were all that it took for the company to stop donating to Putnam’s campaign.
Of course, it will continue to be the case that none of these school shootings were carried out by NRA members or even activist supporters of the Second Amendment. And it will continue to be the case that, even if we were to give in to every one of the Parkland students’ demands in the legislative realm, these shootings will continue to unfold, unabated. Because what they want has nothing at all to do with what is actually happening.
It shouldn’t be controversial to support the Constitution or to support candidates who believe in the Second Amendment. Alas, that’s where we are now.