This op-ed is courtesy of Fortune Magazine:
In November 2016, I wrote an open letter requesting that gun owners not bring firearms into our stores, offices, or facilities, even in states where it’s permitted by law. This was following an incident in one of our stores in which a customer accidentally shot and injured himself while trying on a pair of jeans. While that was bad, it could have been worse: The bullet could have killed him, another customer, or one of our employees.
In the days after I published that letter, I received threats to our stores, our business, and even on my life. It was unsettling. But these personal attacks pale in comparison to the threats that activists and survivors from Parkland, Sandy Hook, and daily incidents of gun violence face every time they speak up on this issue.
As president and CEO of a values-driven company that’s known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom, I take the responsibility of speaking up on the important issues of our day very seriously. We can’t take on every issue. But 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. While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option.
That’s why Levi Strauss & Co. is stepping up our support for gun violence prevention. You may wonder why a company that doesn’t manufacture or sell guns is wading into this issue, but for us, it’s simple. Americans shouldn’t have to live in fear of gun violence. It’s an issue that affects all of us—all generations and all walks of life.
Mr. Bergh then goes on to remind us that there is on average 96 Americans killed every single day, while hundreds more are wounded, and that our gun homicide rate is 25 times the average in other high-income countries.
After that Bergh says that his company has established the Safer Tomorrow Fund and will partner with Everytown for Gun Safety to promote gun safety and convince lawmakers to protect their constituents from gun violence.
It is a very bold move, guaranteed to elicit a significant backlash.
So I guess next we will see the conservatives setting fire to their jeans on Twitter.
I hope they do it while they are still wearing them.