When companies act like governments

Illustration of a circle of columns with the center column replaced by a skyscraper
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In a flurry of big decisions, major companies are refusing to work with gun sellers, states that restrict abortion rights, and places that propose anti-LGBTQ bills — throwing their weight around to shift public policy.

Driving the news: Throughout the history of capitalism, wealthy and powerful companies have effectively acted like governments. But now, as these corporate giants get bigger and richer than ever, they are fundamentally changing the calculus of power in the U.S.

What we know so far: 12 dead in Virginia Beach shooting

People gather outside of the Strawbridge Regal Cinemas for prayer vigil after a shooter opened fire at the nearby Virginia Beach Municipal Center, in Virginia, United States on June 01, 2019.
A makeshift memorial for the Virginia Beach Municipal Center shooting victims. Photo: Crystal Huffman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A shooter opened fire on Friday just after 4 p.m. EST at Virginia Beach Municipal Center, killing 12 people. Police fatally shot the suspect, according to officials, in the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. so far in 2019.

The latest: Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera identified the suspect Saturday as DeWayne Craddock, who worked for 15 years as an engineer in the city’s utilities department, per AP. Officials say Craddock submitted his resignation hours before the shooting. Virginia Beach city manager Dave Hansen said 11 of the 12 people who died were city employees.