Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg calls for boycott of investment firms with stakes in gun makers
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for March For Our Lives(PARKLAND, Fla.) — David Hogg, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who has become a nationally-known anti-gun violence advocate in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the school, has urged his more than 750,000 social media followers to boycott a pair of investment firms with indirect stakes in gun companies.
Hogg announced the boycott on Twitter, where he has established an influential activist presence following the Parkland, Florida, shooting that killed 17 people.
“Blackrock and Vanguard Group are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers,” Hogg tweeted. “If you use them, feel free to let them know.”
The tweet has received nearly 4,000 retweets.
Blackrock, a major hedge fund that indirectly owns shares in gun makers, had said in a previous statement following the Parkland shooting that it “will be engaging with weapons manufacturers and distributors to understand their response to recent events,” and offers packages that allowed investors “to exclude from their portfolios weapons manufacturers or other companies that don’t align with their values.”
The Vanguard Group offers a choice of investment packages excluding gun manufacturers, the fund said in a statement to ABC News.
“Vanguard is also meeting with the leaders of gun manufacturers and distributors,” the fund said. “We want to know how they will mitigate the risks that their products pose and how they plan to help prevent such tragedies from happening again. We believe that boards and managements of gun manufacturers should disclose and reduce the risks associated with gun violence and the ongoing national debate on gun safety and control.”
Hogg has previously proven effective at leveraging his growing social media presence to pressure major corporations into action. Two weeks ago, he launched a boycott of advertisers on Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show after comments she made mocking his college rejections.
The boycott campaign, conducted largely on Twitter, led Ingraham to lose a large swath of her advertisers — many of which announced the decision by responding to Hogg’s tweet. Ingraham took a week off from the show amid the backlash, before returning to condemn the efforts against her.
It’s one of several of Hogg’s activist efforts, in which he’s been joined by other vocal Parkland students. The students spearheaded last month’s nationwide protest against gun violence called the March for Our Lives, publicized town halls to pressure lawmakers over gun control reforms, and are working toward a national school walkout on Friday, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
However, in the 24 hours since Hogg pushed the boycott, it has thus far generated significantly less interest than his efforts following Ingraham’s comment. #BoycottBlackrock and #BoycottVanguard have only been tweeted about 1,300 times, per the online data service Spredfast, a number that indicates muted interest.
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