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Hogg Calling For Boycott of Mutual Fund Companies Invested in Gun Manufacturer Stocks

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Gun control activist David Hogg is calling for another boycott. This time it involves at least 15 financial firms because of their investments in gun manufacturers.

Hogg, 18, is a student who survived the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and then morphed into a gun control activist backed by Media Matters and Think Progress. He is using his Twitter platform to push for the boycott of 15 financial firms, specifically the Vanguard Group and BlackRock.

Hogg tweeted, “@blackrock and @Vanguard_Group are two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers; if you use them, feel free to let them know. Thanks ?.” Hogg then tweeted, “#BoycottVanguard #BoycottBlackrock.” He is doing his best to get those hashtags trending. After that, he tweeted out a list of 15 financial firms, instructing his followers to “feel free to tag these companies.” While the tweet does not say which gun manufacturers the financial institutions have investments in or a source for the data, the screenshots appear to show the number of shares the firms have in the gun manufacturers.

Hogg rallied for advertisers to boycott Laura Ingraham on Fox News for tweeting out sarcasm over him being turned down by a number of high-profile colleges. She apologized and Hogg would not accept it. 27 advertisers wound up primarily shifting to other content on Fox News. A number of advertisers, such as MyPillow, refused to withdraw advertising and saw their businesses boom. Ace Hardware has apologized and returned to Ingraham’s show. Other advertisers are sure to follow suit. Ingraham’s ratings have risen 20 percent since the boycott. After that failure, Hogg announced he was going to call for other boycotts. That now appears to be these financial firms.

CNBC reported that BlackRock and Vanguard, giant managers of exchange traded funds and other investments, are the biggest owners of publicly traded firearms makers like Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands.

American Outdoor Brands Corporation is the parent company of Smith & Wesson, a 166 year-old gun manufacturer whose weapons were used in the Civil War. Their top five capital investors include BlackRock and the Vanguard Group. That is why Hogg is targeting them. The VanGuard group specifically owns 53,644,397 shares in Twitter, while BlackRock owns 31,704,130 shares. This makes them the top institutional holders of Twitter shares. VanGuard is also the top holder of Twitter mutual funds. Using Hogg’s logic, he should boycott the social platform he’s using to call for boycotts. He’ll never do it, but it is ironic. Fellow Stoneman Douglas survivor Kyle Kashuv educated his uninformed peer about this factoid on Twitter.

BlackRock and VanGuard are two of the world’s largest investment management companies. The reason they own shares in AOBC is because the company is listed in practically every major stock market index. And to be a successful investment firm, you must invest in the top indexes. These are “passive” investments, meaning “[t]here isn’t a manager making a conscious decision to buy the gun makers for these funds; they are invested in the stocks because these companies are in the appropriate index mimicking a part of the U.S. economy,” as noted by CNBC.

Earlier this month BlackRock launched “two new exchange-traded funds and new index-tracking products for pensions and 401(k) plans that exclude stocks of gunmakers and large gun retailers,” according to Yahoo News. The investment firm basically already caved to pressure from the left over this, but Hogg chose to target it anyway. VanGuard likewise offers a special fund that excludes gun manufacturers. And in a statement to CNN, the investment firm further confirmed that of its 388 funds, only 29 include investments in gun manufacturers.

It is not clear whether Hogg coordinated his latest boycott with any other organizations, but his tweets came hours after the American Federation of Teachers union, which has donated over $860,000 to Democratic members of Congress during the 2018 election cycle, sent out a press release calling for investors to hold gun manufacturers accountable for “risks to society.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have launched similar campaigns. Emanuel wants to punish banks that continue unfettered business with gun makers and sellers by refusing city contracts to said banks. AFT is calling on school pension fund managers to divest of any holdings in manufacturers of “assault weapons.”

This boycott by Hogg is already backfiring and is a magnificent failure. He’s great for gun sales and investments though.

SOURCES: The Washington Free Beacon, TheBlaze, Breitbart, DownTrend.com, Chicks on the Right, The Right Scoop

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