David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has become the face of the gun control movement in the wake of the massacre at his school on Feb. 14.
Hogg is now using his new-found media fame to mount a targeted anti-gun boycott against the financial backers of one of the most popular firearms manufacturers in America — Smith & Wesson — according to The Washington Times.
In a series of tweets posted Tuesday afternoon, Hogg directed his 765,000 Twitter followers to boycott and sever all ties with a number of high-profile investment groups, specifically Blackrock and the Vanguard Group.
Hogg tweeted, “.@blackrock and @Vanguard_Group are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers; if you use them, feel free to let them know. Thanks.”
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) April 17, 2018
Both Blackrock and Vanguard manage mutual funds that spread investors’ money to a variety of stocks, and both hold significant shares in the American Outdoor Brands Corporation, the parent company of Smith & Wesson.
According to the New York Post, Blackrock is the second-largest investor in the American Outdoor Brands as well as Vista Outdoors — another parent company that oversees some gun and ammunition manufacturers — and is the single largest institutional-investor of gun manufacturer Sturm Ruger.
Vanguard is the second largest investor in Sturm Ruger and the third largest for both American Outdoor Brands and Vista Outdoors.
Both of the firms have been under pressure from anti-gun rights advocates to divest from the firearms industry for some time, and both have taken steps to placate the vociferous anti-gun crowd by offering funds which specifically don’t include any investments in that industry.
While some executives and investors may be concerned about becoming the target of a boycott, others may be thrilled, given the outcome of the last two major boycott efforts launched by Hogg.
In late March, Hogg launched a boycott against advertisers on Fox News host Laura Ingraham‘s program after she had criticized Hogg in a tweet. According to Newsbusters, that boycott effort appears to have backfired spectacularly.
Though Ingraham lost some of her sponsors, she did not suffer for lack of viewers. In fact, her ratings surged by 20 percent in the weeks after Hogg vindictively targeted her.
Prior to that, Hogg led the charge in demanding a boycott against the National Rifle Association, as he and other anti-gun advocates ludicrously held the organization responsible for the deadly mass shooting that took place in Parkland.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, the NRA saw a spike in new members in the weeks following the targeted campaign against them — as did other gun rights advocacy organizations — though the group declined to specify how many new members they received.
Searches on Google’s search engine for “NRA membership” rose by nearly 4,900 percent in the week following the massacre, and there was plenty of anecdotal evidence on social media as thousands of Facebook and Twitter users posted that they had joined or renewed their memberships with the NRA.
If this latest boycott effort by Hogg is anything like his first two efforts, the targeted firms should see an increase in investments and fund contributions, and may even consider expanding their holdings in the firearms industry to boot.
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