Legendary rapper Snoop Dogg has teamed with a group of athletes and entertainers to encourage investment firms to pull their money from gun companies in an effort to “open a new front in the war against America’s epidemic of gun violence.”
Dubbed “Unload your 401K,” the group of celebrities, including rapper Aloe Blacc and Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes, aims to shame investment firms into divesting from companies such as Sturm Ruger & Co., Smith & Wesson and Olin Corp. The campaign is supported by the Campaign to Unload, which was founded by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"How I've been affected by gun violence over the years is through deaths of friends and family members and associates," says Snoop Dogg in an Unload Your 401K public service announcement.
The campaign’s web site quotes figures that indicate “20 kids per day” are admitted to hospitals with gunshot wounds and that almost $2 billion retirement fund dollars are invested in just three firearms companies.
"Every American is at risk of gun violence, but we all can also be part of the solution," tech leader Ron Conway said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. "I am reaching out to my entire network to encourage companies of every size to divest their retirement portfolios from the gun industry."
National crime statistics show that most “children” who are victims of gun-related crime are between the ages of 15 and 19 and most of those involve gangs. Gun-related homicide, injury and accidents involving firearms have been on a downward trend for nearly a decade, Justice Department statistics show.
The Campaign to Unload says it has been successful in pressuring 10 hedge funds to divest $175 million from gun companies “that manufacture assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.”
"There is a straight line from gun industry investment to gun industry profits to funding of the NRA," Jennifer Fiore, executive director of Campaign to Unload, told Rolling Stone. "Half the value of these companies comes from mutual funds and most of the 'investors' in these funds have no idea they are inadvertently part of the problem. Now they can be part of the solution."