Amid the blowback that followed Delta’s decision to cut ties with the NRA the company’s CEO stressed that the airline is “not taking sides” in gun control debate.
Delta was one of over 12 companies that ended their relationships with the NRA in response to an anti-NRA campaign conducted after Nikolas Cruz passed a background check, acquired a rifle, and used it to kill 17 people in a gun-free school zone.
The Atlanta Constitution-Journal reports that Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, “Our people and our customers have a wide range of views on how to increase safety in our schools and public places, and we are not taking sides. Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate.”
But Delta found itself near the center of the debate when Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) tweeted that he would stop tax cut legislation benefiting Delta unless the airline reversed its decision to sever ties with the NRA:
I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.
— Casey Cagle (@CaseyCagle) February 26, 2018
Delta’s Bastian sent a memo to company employees that the intent was not to take sides. Bastian wrote:
While Delta’s intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course. Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale. We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature.
On March 1, Georgia lawmakers voted to do away with the tax cut that would have benefited Delta.
Bastian responded to the rescinded tax cut by stressing that Delta supports the Second Amendment.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.