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After the Marches & Walkouts, Now What?

Encouraging voter registration and voting in the mid-term election has been a popular and appropriate call to action since the Parkland shooting.

Making sure, through our votes, that our government officials are accurately representing our interests is absolutely essential. Especially when 91% of American voters favor requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers, and our Federal congressional leaders defiantly refuse to bring a bill to the floor to allow debate or to create a voting record. They are avoiding accountability by abdicating their responsibility.

When our representatives’ constituents favor a position by a 10 to 1 margin, and they won’t even consider legislation, we have to ask ourselves, “Who are our representatives representing?”

In addition to holding our representatives accountable – which we absolutely must do – let’s also consider how we can leverage the primary driver of our society – money.

The #LeaveBloodMoneyBanks campaign was created to answer the following questions:

  • How can we effectively channel the energy of the people who care?
  • What can we do right now that will create tangible results?
  • What can we create that can expand virally online?
  • How can we leverage our economic power?

Owning Our Economic Power

While we await the results of the mid-term election, praying that we’ll soon have representatives that are committed to representing us, we can hold the gun industry accountable that refuses to proactively and responsibly address the public safety concerns surrounding the sale of their products.

Having limited economic leverage with the gun companies directly, we can certainly hold the banks responsible that provide the financing that allows these companies to thrive, washing our money in the blood of our children, turning our financial institutions into Blood Money Banks.


It’s time for us to be responsible for how our money is being used, and #LeaveBloodMoneyBanks

The March for Our Lives in Parkland, Florida.  Photo taken by the creator of #LeaveBloodMoneyBanks.

Leverage our Power to Reward and Punish

All behavior is based on reward and punishment. Since business is a profit-driven enterprise, behaviors that are rewarded with profit are repeated and expanded through additional investment, and behaviors that are punished with losses are not repeated and do not receive additional investments. 

Ultimately, we as individual consumers, and when we collectively band together through investment funds, institutional investments, and coordinated mass actions, are the the ones that control which business and investment behavior is rewarded and which is punished. 

The more we can organize and coordinate our individual purchasing choices, as well as our collective investment actions, the more we can wield and leverage our power to reward and punish, and therefore influence business and investment behavior.

#LeaveBloodMoneyBanks is a coordinated campaign to do just that.

Raising the Cost for the Banks

No one has forced these banks to invest in and finance companies that produce and distribute the weapons that have been wreaking havoc on our society. They have willingly done so in the pursuit of profits.

It is a sad commentary that the cost of the lives lost has not been sufficient to change these banks’ business practices.

There is also a social and brand reputation cost for their gun industry support.

Up until now, the cumulative costs have not been sufficiently high to overcome the financial institutions’ desires to pursue financial gains.

We are determined, through our social and traditional media campaign, to increase the social cost sufficiently that no financial institution feels the financial return is worth the social, public relations, and reputation cost we are attaching to their blood money business practices.

The March for Our Lives in Parkland, Florida.  Photo taken by the creator of #LeaveBloodMoneyBanks.

Being True to Ourselves

This campaign challenges all of us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are helping to finance this violence by giving our money to these blood money banks?

We have the opportunity, and the obligation, if we want to remain true to our principles, to ensure to the best of our ability that we are not providing patronage and financial support to businesses whose operations and business practices are counter to our own principles and values.

The campaign shines a spotlight on the banks’ role in gun safety, and encourages all of us to hold our banks accountable.

If our bank will not adopt their own version of Everytown for Gun Safety’s recently released Firearm Manufacturer & Seller Gun Safety Codes of Conduct, then we must be committed to our principles and leave our blood money bank.

Following Citi’s Lead

What we are asking for is not without precedent.

Citi, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, proactively announced on March 22nd, 2018 its own U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy:

“…Under this new policy, we will require new retail sector clients or partners to adhere to these best practices: (1) they don’t sell firearms to someone who hasn’t passed a background check, (2) they restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age, and (3) they don’t sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label…”

Citi has taken the lead in showing that it is completely viable, and reasonable to expect that global banks of this nature can and should institute Gun Safety policies.

They have also provided a destination for those of us leaving our blood money banks.  As we punish the blood money banks, Citi is a bank whose Gun Safety leadership we can reinforce and reward with our business.

Shining a Spotlight on the Banks

We’re shining a spotlight on the banks, exposing the banks with blood on their hands, and giving them an opportunity to make a fresh start.

The banks can use this seminal moment to make strong statements announcing their new policies regarding gun industry investments, financing policies, and business practices, or they can use the spotlight to defend their out-of-touch profit-chasing practices.

This is their chance to declare where they stand, and then it’s our obligation to #LeaveBloodMoneyBanks.

The March for Our Lives in Parkland, Florida.  Photo taken by the creator of #LeaveBloodMoneyBanks.

Gun Purchasers Forced to Fund Gun Safety Opposition

A fundamental challenge to gun safety in our society is that there is currently no market-driven economic engine that drives and expands gun safety.

The way the gun industry is currently constituted, the gun manufacturers support the gun lobby that opposes any legislation, like universal background checks, or voluntary corporate sales policies, like Dick’s Sporting Goods instituted, that have the potential to curtail gun sales in any way.

If there was ever any doubt about who the gun lobby represents, it disappears in the face of a March, 2018 poll showing that 69% of NRA members expressed support for comprehensive background checks, and yet the NRA continually reaffirms its strong opposition to such safety measures.

There are not any gun companies that consumers can choose to purchase a gun from where a portion of their gun purchase will go to support gun safety initiatives. A gunmaker once tried to reform itself. The NRA nearly destroyed it.

That means that the 97% of gun owners that support background checks, are actually funding, through every gun purchase, active lobbying against what they want.

Without a choice, every gun purchaser is, by default, supporting opposition to gun safety, whether they like it or not.

Creating a Consumer Alternative

The only way to have a market-driven solution for gun safety is for consumers to have an option to purchase guns from a gun company that supports gun safety.  That way, the consumer can make a purchasing decision to have each of their gun purchases support safety, as opposed to obstructing it.

The impending sale of the Remington family of 13 gun companies is the perfect opportunity for a significant portion of the domestic gun market to pivot from a long history of not taking any responsibility for the pain and suffering that their products have inflicted on our society, to a future of responsible gun manufacturing and distribution.

It’s up to us to exert every influence and leverage we have available to encourage the Remington bank creditors/owners to acknowledge the costs of the profits they have sought within the gun industry at the expense of the wellbeing of our society, and take a significant step towards righting those wrongs by establishing a Firearm Manufacturer & Seller Gun Safety Code of Conduct that will constitute contractual conditions for the sale of the Remington Outdoor Company.

This would instantly establish a consumer alternative in the marketplace, fundamentally shifting the nature of the gun industry, allowing market forces to accelerate the evolution of our society towards a future in which guns are inextricably linked with gun safety.

Creating a Vision of What We Want

It’s not enough to say what we don’t want.

It’s not enough to say what legislation we want.

We have to provide a compelling vision and a path for companies, politicians, and leaders to follow out of self-interest to get them where we want them to be. Otherwise, how can we expect them to get there?

Let’s describe what the gun industry will look like when the gun extremists no longer have our government officials on a string, and what the majority of Americans and gun owners want – both 2nd Amendment rights protected AND safety associated with all gun ownership – is the norm for our society.

We call this middle-ground, #Guns+Safety.


#Guns+Safety represents the vast majority of Americans that neither seek to abolish the 2nd Amendment, nor seek to obstruct laws that would prevent people restricted due to criminal, mental, or domestic abuse history from having guns.

#Guns+Safety is the middle ground where the vast majority of Americans agree about guns, in spite of the concerted efforts of special interest groups to obscure the overwhelming agreement shared by Americans regarding guns.

The vast majority of Americans support 2nd Amendment protections, while simultaneously ensuring that safety is inextricably tied to gun ownership and use.

We’re asking the creditors that now own, and will soon sell, the Remington Outdoor Company to ensure that the Remington Outdoor Company emerges from the ashes of bankruptcy as an industry leader, strongly reconstituting itself around a commitment to #Guns+Safety.

The March for Our Lives in Parkland, Florida.  Photo taken by the creator of #LeaveBloodMoneyBanks.

A Market-Driven Solution for Gun Safety

Having a gun consumer alternative rooted in #Guns+Safety creates an economic cycle where each gun that is sold contributes to the safety of all Americans, through support of an organized #Guns+Safety lobby, as an alternative to the existing “gun rights” lobby which is devoted to gun sales at all costs, shamefully at the expense of public safety.

It’s easy to imagine where, over time, as consumers have a choice when they buy a gun to either couple that choice with gun safety or not, that many consumers will choose the #Guns+Safety alternative.

Through successful business management, marketing, public relations, etc. is it easy to imagine where this currently contrarian approach could gain more and more of the lucrative gun market, eventually spawning additional companies entering the market under the same principles.  In such an expanding market, more and more currently entrenched companies would feel the market forces, and could eventually see it in their best interest to transition to a #Guns+Safety approach.

Over time, this logical, and almost obvious approach, given the overwhelming public support for coupling safety with guns, can and likely will become the norm for our society, as the businesses in this space eventually reflect the consumer values in this space.

In this light, it’s amazing to see how successfully the existing gun companies have maintained and sustained such an untenable position regarding the safe ownership of their products for so long.

We Can’t Miss this Opportunity to Transform the Gun Industry Now

Without taking advantage of the Remington Outdoor Company’s bankruptcy to take a foothold in creating a #Guns+Safety alternative in the gun marketplace right now, given the entrenchment of the existing gun companies, and the likely prohibitively speculative nature of creating such a company from scratch, it’s difficult to imagine how and when such a similar opportunity would present itself anytime in the foreseeable future.

It is paramount that we, as a society, recognize the unique and fortuitous opportunity that is presenting itself to us, and we devote the appropriate time and energy to supporting this effort, spreading the word, and doing everything we can to hold these banks accountable, pressuring them to choose a #Guns+Safety future for our society.

If we want to maximize our progress on gun safety in the shortest amount of time, there’s nothing we could do right now that could have a bigger impact than to rally the necessary public and media pressure required to get Remington’s creditors/owners to agree to establish Gun Safety Codes of Conduct as preconditions for the sale of the Remington Outdoor Company.

Family members of murdered student, Peter Wang, hold his picture at the March for Our Lives in Parkland, Florida.  Photo taken by the creator of #LeaveBloodMoneyBanks.

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