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  • Over the weekend,

  • more than 15 big American companies cut ties with the national rifle association.

  • This is the big gun lobby group that has long been seen as the absolute obstacle to any kind of meaningful gun control in America.

  • The companies' decided that they no longer want to offer discounts or affiliated credit cards to NRA members,

  • which is a big shift, and it reflects the huge consumer pressure that they're feeling through social media.

  • Most of these decisions to cut ties by say Hertz and Delta Airlines are largely symbolic.

  • So they are certainly not changing anything about the way guns are sold in America.

  • But they may be changing perception about whether the NRA is an unstoppable force.

  • The big ways you could deal with the huge influx of guns in the US are two:

  • One is by going after the gun manufactures, but they're pretty small companies, and it's relatively hard to go after them.

  • The more obvious way is by making it harder or less attractive for retailers and payment processors to participate in gun sales.

  • Right now, Paypal does not allow you to buy firearms through their website.

  • In theory, the big banks and VISA and Mastercard could do the same thing,

  • and that would make it much harder for someone who wants to run to the store and pick up a bunch of guns.

  • Similarly, if big retailers, such as Cabela's, the big sports equipment store, decided to stop stocking semi-automatics.

  • Again it would be much harder for people to get them, and it might slow down the flood of violence that we've been experiencing.

  • What really needs to happen if the US is to address its gun violence problem is probably a change in the law.

  • Making it harder for people to buy guns, making some guns less available.

  • And so far the NRA has been an unstoppable political force.

  • The question will be:

  • the fact that these companies are now getting involved,

  • and in social media pressure in the wake of the parkland shooting, is putting the weight on the other side,

  • whether that would finally lead to the kinds of law changes that the US probably needs?

Over the weekend,

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