Delta Cut Ties With the NRA But Says It’s Not Political
Delta Air Lines tweeted on Saturday that it was cutting ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA). The airline announced that it would no longer offer discounted fares for those traveling to the NRA’s 2018 annual meeting and asked that the organization remove Delta’s information from its website.
Those in favor of gun control applauded the airline, however the airline shied away from branding the move as political. Later that same day, Delta said that it remains neutral “in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings.”
“Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business,” the airline said in a statement. “Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment.”
On the same day, conservative politicians in Georgia urged state lawmakers to vote against the Atlanta-based airline’s request for a tax break on fuel.
“If Delta is so flush that they don’t need NRA members hard-earned travel dollars, it can certainly do without the $40 million tax break they are asking Georgia taxpayers for,” former state senator Rick Jeffares said, Politically Georgia reported. The tax break proposal passed in the Georgia House last week and is pending a Senate vote.
The airline also said that it “supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation,” pointing to an incident last year when Delta pulled funding from a New York City production of “Julius Caesar” wherein the titular character was modeled after Donald Trump. However, Delta also funds the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest civil rights organization working to promote LGBTQ equality.
United Airlines also announced over the weekend that it was cutting ties with the NRA, and rental car companies Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis Budget announced an end to their NRA discount programs. None of those companies have said that the decision to cut ties was politically neutral.
The effects of the political debate on gun control following the Parkland school shooting, in which 14 students and 3 school employees were shot and killed, have been far-reaching.
Parkland survivor David Hogg is calling for students to avoid spending spring break in Florida “unless gun legislation is passed,” Orlando Weekly reported.