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Columns

Publix, I Cast My Vote Against Guns with My Pen and My Purse

May 25, 2018 - 7:15pm

In the mid-fifties, my father-in-law, Harry Rich, a floor-covering retailer, made a pact with George Jenkins, the founder and CEO of Publix. The men decided to join forces to oppose a nascent trend in the retail industry: remaining open for business on Sunday. Their reason was simple; they believed their employees deserved to spend more time with their families, and they were happy to forgo profits for principle.

They even used this moral stand as a selling point to customers.Their advertising was often boldly emblazoned with “Closed on Sunday.” Each man fought this uphill battle for several years, to the detriment of their companies' bottom lines. To these men, ethics and values were valuable forms of currency, too.

Fast forward to the present day. The decisions coming out of Lakeland stand in stark contrast to those of the past. Over the last three years, Publix has given $670,000 to a Florida gubernatorial candidate who has aggressively pushed to increase the number of guns on college campuses and believes open-carry of firearms in public places is a fantastic idea. In fact, by his own admission, he is a “proud NRA sellout.”

Publix is predictably claiming it is merely supporting a “hometown” candidate and not the NRA as an entity. The two are one and the same when the candidate’s stances on guns are examined.

Good corporate governance involves balancing the interests of a company's shareholders with those of the larger community it seeks to serve. By eagerly backing a candidate who gleefully supports the agenda of the NRA, this balance comes into question.

The practices by which a corporation is directed and controlled must play a part in our decision, as customers, to patronize it. I’ve been a loyal Publix shopper for over 50 years, but they’ve turned a blind eye to the threat gun violence poses to our children, families, and communities. I can no longer shop at an establishment that purports to be a responsible community steward, while at the same time advancing the agenda of the NRA.

As Americans, we are lucky enough to be able to cast votes with both our pens and our wallets. Going forward, I plan to use the power of my purse to show Publix my disapproval of their political contributions.

Considering the loss of life our country suffers daily from gun violence, staunch opposition to even the most reasonable of gun restrictions is plainly a bad ethical practice. Publix may learn the hard way that it’s also a bad business practice.

In response to protests by consumers, students, and employees, Publix has already announced a suspension of political contributions. I hope this is the first step in reevaluating their contribution policies.

Publix should look at the example set by the courageous students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who understand that we need sensible gun laws and responsible adults in office to enact them.

Nan Rich is a Broward County Commissioner. She served as a Democratic member of the Florida Senate from 2004 to 2012. She was Senate minority leader from 2010 to 2012, until she was term-limited in 2012.

Comments

I was "BORN FREE" and I choose to "LIVE FREE". Ever read the constitution lady? how about the Amendments. These documents are the Best government in the WORLD - only SOCIALISTS want to give everything away, and Ignore our fundamental LAWS. The Founding Fathers had a lot more "smarts" when it comes to freedom that You can imagine = I suggest you shop (and LIVE) in any other country of your choice. America is NOT a Democracy... it IS a REPUBLIC!

as they say, put your money where your mouth is... Looks like Publix might have instead put their foot in theirs....lol

Right on, Nan! And the power of the boycott is the only way Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents will get heard in this one-party-rule state. (And ... Adam Putnam is an extremist nutcase ... like so many others unfortunately involved in the so-called 'political leadership' of this state.) All those looking for a 'better way' should start voting with their dollars.

Political hack

So let me get this straight.... the same people going on an on about death by guns, are the same ones that raise their hands and voices oh so proudly and loudly defending abortion. So death by gun is bad and therefore they try to destroy anyone that supports guns and the 2nd, but death by some baby killer in scrubs is acceptable, and worth fighting for. May I add these are the same people that oppose the death penalty for perpetrators of vicious acts of violence, that perhaps only an armed person would be able to defend themselves against. In their pursuit of perception of taking the higher moral ground, the level of hypocrisy they reveal is actually comical. I hope more folks can see right through you all!!!!! Maybe one day it will make sense, then again NOT!!!! Maybe we should start boycotting businesses that support planned parenthood and their murderous ways, believe me that is blood money on your hands that I bet you are only too eager to accept! So, if you would like to expose the world of political contributions being made, I would only be too happy to expose contributions being made to all you liberals too!!! I'm sure you've got some good ones in your war chest Ms. Nan!

And the hypocrisy of being anti-abortion but pro-death-penalty is not, as you put it, "comical"?

I completely stand with you, Nan!

This is how the liberal progressives create an issue totally avoiding the underlying issue. Demonizing the NRA or Publix as if there was a direct connection between them and the slaughter of teens by a mental unstable problem kid no one paid attention to despite all the red flags. It's mental illness and the failure of mental health 'professionals' who do not wish to 'out' those under their care for fear it would stigmatize someone. There's a reason our Forefathers sought to incorporate the 2nd Amendment and the Electoral College in our Constitution to thwart those who wish to undermine our freedoms. Shame!

I never shopped Publix much, a bit out of my way. I will now!

Another pseudo American who has NO idea why the 2nd Amendment is important. Another in a long line of people pushing their garbage message of "sensible gun control". There is NOTHING sensible about gun control. She took an oath when she assumed her office and she is violating it. Why would anyone pay attention to a person who is an oath breaker?

The leadership in Broward County leaves a lot to be desired. There doesn't seem to be a bit of common sense from the Sheriffs' office to the County Commissioners. It's the same old Democratic talking points. Punish the law abiding. Consider where the gun violence is taking place and you'll find it's in Gun Free Zones and Democratic controlled cities. Chicago and Baltimore are great examples.

I am running for FL Senate District 26. I would like to stand with Nan Rich as she has so clearly articulated my position on this issue. Individual rights do not override the community’s need for safety and security. We need legislators and a governor in Florida that will put the needs of our community ahead of a select group of organizations and people that think they can hold us hostage to guns, money and power.

PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ONE, Folks..! "Catherine Price" makes "noises" just like the "Momism" petty, caVing, "momist" politicians we're trying to eliminate..!

like you would know anything about "momism" dumbo. Your from NY, and don't speak for "we" Floridians... Take your fat can back to NY and get a job SOB...

Thank you Nan,, I have always enjoyed Publix's, and am glad they have responded I support the 2nd , and gun ownership.. BUT I totally oppose the NRA and their tactics in the last many years..

Thank heaven for term limits.

Cards on the table folks. I am a registered Republican. I am not a member of the NRA, nor do I own a gun, but I do believe this was addressed by our forefathers in the constitution. If you want to protest my right to bear arms, protest that in Washington and should you seriously want change, go and meet with your congressional representative. Do you know who yours is? About twenty years ago Walmart spent zero dollars on lobbying, but that has drastically changed. Research that. Why? They have bulldozed their way into areas the environmentalists and local communities have fought to keep out. The issue today is Walmart and Publix have been at odds not only for your grocery dollar, but in Tallahassee, as well. Walmart wants to put liquor inside their stores. Publix does not. Research that issue. But, I can tell you Walmart nearly got the current laws changed last year. I think backing a homegrown candidate makes sense for Publix just in case they need a veto by the governor. Go check where Walmart is spending their political contributions, too. Be fair.

Nan! Why don't you write about all the mistakes the corrupt government workers made to allow the horrific school shooting to happen in the first place. Another bad kid left to prey on a group of kids that you should have protected in the first place. Elected officials once again are not held accountable for their actions. They sat on money that should have been spent for security a long time ago. By the way, I will support Publix unless they cave to the violent liberals that I see making threats and bullying people all the time. To bad young people are being used for an agenda to disarm all Common Americans that want to protect themselves while you have security around you or live behind a wall with a secure gate. Law enforcement is there to draw the chalk line after the murder has already happen because they were not seconds away when needed. I respect Law Enforcement but I myself understand the limits that they have and that is why the Second Amendment is so important to people who believe in the Constitution.

The schools should be spending money on academics and maybe sports and the arts, not excessive security! This is America, man, land of the free! No one needs assault weapons that can kill 15 children in 30 seconds! The 2nd amendment was not referring to this kind of weaponry, they weee referring to muskets which took minutes to load and didn’t even shoot that well! I support the second amendment for normal hunting and pistols for men’s and especially women’s protection. We did not have this nonsense when I was growing up and we don’t need to have it now! Many of these people care more for their guns than human lives! It’s shocking!

The second amendment is there to assure that the other amendments are protected.

It's because of the far left and the laws they created that we have the issue of shootings to the degree that we do. I find it amazing that the liberal logic is nothing more than a twisted narrative and sounds like Hitler. I pray Florida stays "red" and continues to fight for "we, the people".

You have convinced me to shop at Publix twice a week now rather than the usual once! Well done!

Nan you are the poster child of what is WRONG with our country. Period. Broward county says it ALL!

Dear Nan, It's hard to tell from your solo boycott of Publix is rooted in latent anger against Publix being open on Sundays, a distaste for the NRA or just an appeal for political relevancy. First, no one "gleefully" gives his or her own money to anything other than a charity. Maybe you are confusing it with politicians, like some former Florida Senators, who give gleefully away other people's money for votes. Corporation gives money to candidates for many reasons. Most often the donations are for reasons far less altruistic than helping an organization that is trying to keep young college girls from being disarmed and defenseless while away at college. I have daughters who will soon be going off to college. I do not want their lives ruined or ended for your political gain. Anyway, what are you compiling about? If the donations Publix gave went to Governor Scott, you can rest easy; he just signed a bill disarming all the 18-21 year olds in Florida who will no longer be able to defend themselves. Being from County Commissioner in Broward county, I guess we should all understand why you praise the "the courageous students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School " If your Appeal to False Authority gets you votes, you will do it. However, we should reserve the word "hero" for students at the school, like Colton Haab, who put themselves in harm's way to save dozens of his fellow students. So go ahead with your boycott of Publix, vote with your feet, and better yet vote with your airline ticket. Venezuela passed all the gun laws that you want in Florida.

I never shopped at Publix because they closed on Sunday.

No they are not

I never shopped at Publix because they closed on Sunday.

Ironic that Publix is open Sunday but Nan’s father used to advertise in a self righteous voice over “Harry Rich is closed on Sunday”

Life precedes Liberty..... & finally the Pursuit of Happiness

"Nan-ny", you get my goat. I always shop at "Winn-Dixie"; but you've convinced myself and my family to go a few more miles to shop at "Publix" simply because they support the "National Rifle Association" and thereby our 2nd Amendment, as well as "Opie" Putnam... ( YOU Lady, are just one more pandering politician willing to "sell her soul" for votes.... You DO know what a "panderer" IS,..don't you ???)

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