||| Elaine Thompson |||
A nun in Wall Street is working with an unlikely ally, an investment firm that has stakes in three different gun makers. Sister Judith Byron is the director and coordinator of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment. She says that her firm and the investment fund BlackRock.
Since the Parkland shooting, gun manufacturers have been under pressure to reduce the risks of gun violence. Byron's group consists of religious communities and health care systems that invested in firearms makers a decade ago and has been working on gun safety for years.
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She says some larger investors have similar views such as the largest public pension fund in the U.S., CalPERS, who recently refused to sell its investments to companies that sell assault rifles. CalPERS said that by remaining an investor, it's been able to get those companies to make positive changes.
Byron's group of nuns doesn't tote props or signs and disrupt board meetings but she sometimes works alongside those who do. It's not clear what their goals are for assault rifles, they seem to think they are evil or they somehow how the right to tell another person they can't sell firearms.
Erik Gordon, a professor at the Universtiy of Michigan's Ross School of Business said the anti-gun activism is a response to pressure. "BlackRock didn't wake up one morning and say, 'We are going to take a different approach to investing, it's the right thing to do,'" he said. "It's a reaction to the activists," Gordon said.
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These same firms such as BlackRock, State Street, and mutual fund company Vanguard still say their top priority is making money, but distancing themselves from the working Americans who believe in their right to defend themselves is not going to help them in the long run. The people who they are pandering to are not the people who will be loyal supporters and lifetime clients.
While Nun Byron's "activism" may seem like a good thing, it is actually counter to the freedoms that make this country great. It is always easy to bow to pressure, it's not easy to stand up for the American values that make this country great in the face of a vocal liberal ideology that permeates our schools.
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