Westneat: Meet the Seattle nun who infiltrated a gun company

Westneat: Meet the Seattle nun who infiltrated a gun company

Danny Westneat is a columnist for the Seattle Times. You’re the first nun I’ve met who has infiltrated a gun company, I tell Sister Judy Byron. “Oh, you might be surprised,” she laughs. It is a surprising story. Last week, Sister Judy, who lives in a convent in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood, helped orchestrate what is believed to be the first activist-led shareholder revolt at an American gun manufacturer. The size of the nuns’ win appeared to startle the gun industry. It also came as a welcome shock to the gun-control movement, which was long accustomed to being ignored by the big businesses at the center of the gun debate. “This is our biggest win, by far, in 20 years of pushing corporations for social change,” Byron said Tuesday. “When they announced it, I couldn’t believe it. I about fell out of my chair.” It all started back with the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook school, in the winter of 2012. Byron and her Adrian Dominican order of nuns were reeling from the massacre of 20 children. But in the years after, that horror changed to a lingering dread — that we weren’t going to do a thing about it. “I thought: If this doesn’t bring us to our knees, nothing will,” said Byron, a former teacher and principal at Seattle-area Catholic schools. So they hit on an idea. The nuns started buying stock in the two publicly traded U.S. gun manufacturers — Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands […]

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