Levi Strauss & Co. To Donate $1 Million+ To Anti-Gun Groups

(Screenshot NRA-ILA)

The president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., Chip Bergh, has announced that the iconic company, “a pioneer of the American West,” will donate more than $1 million to gun-control groups to help end “America’s gun violence epidemic,” a step the NRA denounced as a “particularly sad episode in the current surge in corporate virtue-signaling.”

In his announcement, through a commentary in Fortune magazine, CEO Bergh stated that Levi’s is “known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom.”  Nonetheless, “as business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work…. [D]oing nothing is no longer an option.”

Bergh then reveals that Levi’s has set up the Safer Tomorrow Fund to distribute more than $1 million in grants “to fuel the work of nonprofits and youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America.”

Levi’s is also partnering with leftist billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safty, Giffords, and the pending Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety. The company also is doubling its employee donation match to groups associated with the Safer Tomorrow Fund, and it will pay its workers 5 hours a month for their volunteer work, which now can include “political activism.”

Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh.  (Getty Images.)

“[W]e’re encouraging employees who are concerned about gun violence to get involved,” states Bergh.

Commenting on Bergh’s announcement, the NRA said that “it’s with some irony that Levi’s” — a symbol of American freedom — “has abandoned this rugged image to team up with a billionaire oligarch in an effort to empower the government to trample upon the fundamental rights of the American people.”

As for Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety, the NRA said this “business wing of Bloomberg’s outfit is dedicated to leveraging member companies’ ‘market footprint… employee networks, [and] public communications platforms’ to diminish Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”

(YouTube)

Also, “in a repulsive insult to the nation’s 100 million gun owners, Bergh likened Levi’s campaign to restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans to previous company efforts aimed at combatting pre-Civil Rights Era racial bigotry,” said the NRA.

“Among gun owners, Levi’s intemperate foray into the world of gun control politics has been met with the disgust it deserves,” added the NRA. “However, it shouldn’t be met with surprise. Since the late 1990s, Levi’s has used its name and resources to attack gun rights. In 1999, the company gave $100,000 to gun control group PAX, followed by a $250,000 donation in 2000 and another $100,000 in 2001.

“The PAX Youth Petition endorsed a variety of severe gun control measures that have repeatedly been rejected by the American public through their elected representatives.”

In conclusion, the NRA said, “Given the majority of Levi’s 165-year history, Bergh’s decision to use a formerly quintessential American company to attack a quintessential American right is a particularly sad episode in the current surge in corporate virtue-signaling. We can only assume that Levi’s accountants have determined that resulting skinny jeans sales will be enough to offset the permanent damage to their once-cherished brand.”

Levi Strauss Doubles Down on Anti-Second Amendment Virture Signaling

Chip Bergh CEO Levi Strauss
by Dean Weingarten

Levi Strauss & Co. CEO and president Chip Bergh has jumped into the debate over the Second Amendment and American rights to self defense with both feet. He has come down on the side of those who want population disarmament.

In 2016, Levi Strauss asked gun owners not to bring guns to their stores. They claimed they were not against gun owners, they just did not like people exercising the Second Amendment in their stores. From splinternews.com:

Citing a recent incident in which a customer was injured after the gun they were carrying was accidentally fired in a Levi’s store, Bergh concluded that, “while we understand the heartfelt and strongly-held opinions on both sides of the gun debate, it is with the safety and security of our employees and customers in mind that we respectfully ask people not to bring firearms into our stores, offices or facilities, even in states where it’s permitted by law.”

Now, in concert with the Democrat party ramp-up supporting gun control for the 2018 midterms, Bergh has announced full support for political groups pushing for more and more restrictions on the exercise of Second Amendment rights. In concert with the Progressive left, he uses the re-branded term of “gun safety”, as “gun control” has become used up and toxic. Some policies, different label. From fortune.com:

https://d97yz4wvpgciz.cloudfront.net/remote.axd?https://d3uwh8jpzww49g.cloudfront.net/sharedmedia/1510283/sept-7-levi-jeans-article.jpg?preset=article

Image via nraila.org

 

So today, on top of our previous actions, Levi Strauss & Co. is lending its support for gun violence prevention in three new areas.

First, we have established the Safer Tomorrow Fund, which will direct more than $1 million in philanthropic grants from Levi Strauss & Co. over the next four years to fuel the work of nonprofits and youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America.

Second, I’m proud to announce that Levi Strauss & Co. is partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety and executives including Michael Bloomberg to form Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety, a coalition of business leaders who believe, as we do, that business has a critical role to play in and a moral obligation to do something about the gun violence epidemic in this country. I encourage every CEO and business leader reading this to consider the impact we could make if we stood together alongside the broad coalition of concerned parents, youth, elders, veterans, and community and faith leaders who are committed to shaping a safer path forward.

As is typical with those pushing more restrictions on the ownership and use of guns, words and facts are carefully changed in Orwellian ways. Take this phrase from Bergh’s interview:  “On an average day, 96 Americans are killed by guns.
 
That is factually false. people are not killed *by* guns. People are killed with guns. To say that people are killed *by* guns is to impart cognition and volition to the gun from the person.

About 2/3 of the people who are killed with guns, kill themselves, with their own gun. Most are older white men, to use the identity standards of the left.


None of the current restrictions on gun ownership or use of guns proposed by the political left would make any significant reduction in those suicides. 

It is a bad idea for a company to insert itself into a contentious political question. They are bound to offend a large group of potential customers.

But progressive businessmen often put the political agenda ahead of profits and the well being of their stockholders.

It seldom works out well. There are many manufacturers of clothes on the market. It isn’t hard for the 100 million gun owners in the United States to chose a different brand. Leftist virtue signaling has consequences.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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