Faculty and students at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School preparing to hear Visa CEO Charles W. Scharf speak at their graduation ceremony on Wednesday should be aware of his company's unsavory partnership with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Credit card giant Visa's affiliate program helps organizations market financial products to their members. Purchases made with the NRA Visa Card, however, also fund "legislative action in support of … Second Amendment rights." In practice, this means Visa is helping to pay for lobbying against common-sense policies like background checks on gun buyers and for dangerous legislation that would force colleges and universities to allow gun on campus against their will.
And we're not talking about chump change here. More than $20 million has been raised through the card to date (funding a variety of NRA departments and programs). More than 5,500 people have signed a petition at csgv.org calling on Visa to terminate this relationship immediately.
On its website, Visa talks about corporate responsibility and "the importance of supporting the local communities and neighborhoods in which we all live and work." The NRA Visa Card is undermining this goal by funding lobbyists who are making our streets more dangerous.
Ladd Everitt, Washington
The writer is director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
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