Genelle Levy
April 18, 2018 10:42 am
Larry French/Stringer/Getty Images

Parkland student and gun reform activist David Hogg is not backing down from his mission of keeping all students safe in the United States safe. In a series of tweets on April 17th, Hogg called for a boycott of two of the world’s largest investment companies, BlackRock Inc. and The Vanguard Group, for their holdings in gun manufacturers

“Black Rock and Vanguard are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers; if you use them, feel free to let them know,” Hogg tweeted with the hashtags #BoycottVanguard and #BoycottBlackRock.

This isn’t the first time Hogg has used his powerful social media presence to make change. In March, he led a boycott against conservative Fox TV commentator Laura Ingraham, who mocked him on Twitter for his college admission rejections. Ingraham later apologized, but the criticism cost her sponsors. Hogg has also called for boycotts on other NRA-sponsored brands such as Hertz and FedEx.

BlackRock and Vanguard are the biggest owners of publicly-traded firearm manufacturers, including Sturm, Ruger & Co and American Outdoor Brands. While BlackRock did not respond directly to Hogg’s tweets, the company has offered a new fund for investors who don’t wish to invest in gun manufacturer stocks. In March, BlackRock removed retail stores that sell guns from some of its publicly traded funds, and the company also plans to speak with gun manufacturers about their business.

A Vanguard spokesperson told CNN that most of their funds “do not have exposure to gun manufacturers” and that 359 of its 388 funds do not include Sturm Ruger, American Outdoor Brands, or Vista Outdoor. They’re also presenting investors with the option of investing in a social fund that excludes gun manufacturers.

Here’s hoping that companies and individuals alike can reach decisions that prioritize citizens’ and students’ safety. In the meantime, we’re sending our thanks to David Hogg for continuing this critical conversation.

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