Corporate virtue signaling seems to be all the rage these days.
On issues concerning gun policy, mass shootings provide corporations a golden opportunity to show their “woke” credentials and score brownie points with leftist activists.
After a series of mass shootings during the last month, Kroger decided to ban open carry in its stores that are located in states that allow open carry. The only individuals allowed to open carry at Kroger stores are authorized law enforcement. Kroger’s announcement echoes similar measures that Walmart implemented after a recent shooting in Midland, Texas.
Both Kroger and Walmart have called for the federal government to strengthen its background check system and pass more gun control policies in order to curb gun violence. Indeed, Kroger’s decision is that of a private actor. As a business, they have every right to construct whatever policies they see fit. But as freedom-loving consumers, we also have the right to criticize business practices that are rooted in political outrage.
It should be noted that there’s a much larger, related corporate dynamic taking place in America that is reflective of an overly-politicized culture. The political Left has taken advantage of this by trying to pressure corporations into adopting these policies. It’s no secret that the administrative state is massive in the United States. Because of how extensive government has become and how politicized the general culture is, many private institutions try to stay in the good graces of activists and politicians by crafting their own politically correct policies.
Unfortunately, for the power-hungry politicians and their activist shock troops, some of these corporate policies do not go far enough. In many ways, these corporations are only emboldening statist politicians and making them demand even more punitive measures. What can be done to combat this?
As consumers, we can still vote with our dollars and decide to not shop at establishments that hop on anti-freedom political bandwagons. In fact, liberty-loving individuals can keep these companies in check not only through our wallets but also through shareholder pressure.
For example, Amazon shareholders previously rejected various employee-led proposals that contained plans to confront the issue of climate change. In the same vein, Google shareholders voted against a plan to tie executive compensation to diversity goals.
These cases indicate that there are ways to challenge corporations who try to get overly political. It’s also another sign that liberty lovers should focus more time on business endeavors rather than fanatically obsess over electoral politics.
Our dollars and financial decisions often go a long way toward impacting the world around us than mindlessly casting ballots every four years.