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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Confronting Comcast on gun issues

This article shared 196 times since Wed Aug 3, 2016
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Dear Editor:

Fed up with hearing about gun shootings, me and my friend David D'Silva sat down over a beer recently and thought about how we could take action to stem gun violence on our own.

After looking at the roll call of specific senators who voted against gun measure votes this year, then scanning their top campaign contributions, we uncovered that Comcast had given nearly $1 million to senators who voted no on background checks and straw purchasing of guns BUT ALSO decided to give $1 million to the Pulse Orlando fund for victims of the massacre last month. David and I decided to pen a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts asking him to explain to us as customers what the company's true position is on gun violence in the United States.

Given the utter lack of progress on this issue at the federal level, we've gotta start looking at where our consumer dollars are going and demanding answers when companies act irresponsibly with our money. Then we have to shine a big light on what they've done and what their response is. If you use Comcast and also would like an explanation, please print the letter below and mail it to CEO Brian Roberts.

Comcast Corporation

Comcast Center

1701 JFK Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19103

July 25, 2016

Brian L. Roberts


Comcast Corporation

Dear Mr. Roberts:

I am writing to you today to seek clarification and comment on seemingly contradictory actions taken by Comcast, NBCUniversal and its related political action committee.

As I'm sure you are aware, in June, NBCUniversal ( and its parent, Comcast ) made a generous, $1M donation to the OneOrlando Fund, which sought to provide financial support to those families devastated by the terrible events that took place at the Pulse Nightclub a few days earlier. CEO Steve Burke commented, NBCUniversal had "given a lot of thought to what we could do as a company to honor and support the victims and acknowledge this profound loss." Burke also added that this donation was "to support non-profits that are providing services to the victims and families, as well as working with the LGBTQ, Hispanic and other affected communities." ( Variety, June 16, 2016 )

Additionally, as I'm sure you are aware, a few days later Congress also decided to address the issue of gun violence and attempted to pass four separate pieces of gun control legislation. Unfortunately, none of them succeeded in passing—a disappointing conclusion to those, like me, who believe our nation's lack of gun control significantly undermines safety in our cities, schools, and communities.

Highlighting one of the specific pieces of legislation, let us look more closely at Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy's bill that would expand FBI background checks for gun purchases. A sensible requirement that has the support of up to 90 percent of the U.S. population in some polls. Ultimately, 56 senators voted against this—the vast majority being Republicans.

At this point, you are likely wondering where does Comcast come into play in this.

When we take the list of those 56 senators and compare it to the list of donations made by the Comcast & NBCUniversal PAC, we see that Comcast has made significant contributions to those same senators who handcuff the country from preventing tragedies like the one in Orlando. Just looking at the most recent election cycle, we see $780,500 in donations—very nearly the same level of support given to "nonprofits providing services...and other affected communities."

At this point, I must ask how Comcast and NBCUniversal can truly "honor and support the victims and acknowledge this profound loss" while simultaneously supporting the very people who make sure true progress cannot be achieved? The true way to honor and support the victims is to make sure these events do not happen again. To that goal your continued support of these senators renders your actions hypocritical at best and actively destructive at worst.

A number of potential responses are likely already forming, or had been formed long before receiving this letter. You may state that the Comcast NBCUniversal PAC is a separate entity, operating independently of the larger Comcast Corporation. You may state that the support of these senators is not commentary on Comcast's support ( or lack thereof ) for gun control —that you support these senators because of other issues that are relevant to Comcast, like telecommunications.

Those types of responses may have been valid in the past, for issues that are less significant to American society, but no longer hold muster today, for this issue. You will hear from more people like me, many of whom are your customers, on this hypocritical stance Comcast has taken. Based on your response, we will consider our next steps in advocating for gun control.


First Name, Last Name

Your Home Address

City, State, Zip


Contributions by senator:

—Lamar Alexander: $20,000

—Kelly Ayotte: $28,500

—John Barrasso: $30,000

—John Boozman: $11,500

—Roy Blunt: $35,000

—Shelley Moore Capito: $14,000

—Dan Coats: $8,500

—Thad Cochran: $15,000

—Susan Collins: $13,500

—John Cornyn: $40,000

—Mike Enzi: $10,000

—Deb Fischer: $14,500

—Cory Gardner: $23,000

—Lindsey Graham: $22,500

—Chuck Grassley: $10,000

—Orrin Hatch: $30,000

—Heidi Heitkamp: $5,000

—Dean Heller: $28,500

—John Hoeven: $9,500

—James Inhofe: $10,000

—Johnny Isakson: $22,500

—James Lankford: $13,000

—Mike Lee: $10,500

—Joe Manchin: $27,500

—Mitch McConnell: $40,000

—Jerry Moran: $25,000

—Lisa Murkowski: $19,500

—David Perdue: $10,000

—James Risch: $10,000

—Pat Roberts: $17,500

—Mike Rounds: $10,000

—Tim Scott: $34,500

—Jeff Sessions: $13,000

—Jon Tester: $35,000

—John Thune: $32,500

—Thom Tillis: $15,000

—Pat Toomey: $38,500

—Roger Wicker: $27,500


Mike Simmons and David D'Silva

This article shared 196 times since Wed Aug 3, 2016
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