There once was a day when a pair of jeans just felt good to put on. There was no pretense. No drama. Just a good fit for hard work or a casual day. It’s almost quaint when the trouser label just meant comfort and not a political antigun agenda.
Levi Strauss & Co. reminded the world that they’re not just a clothing company. They’re the fashion of woke gun control. The company that was once proudly American now pitches itself as a global corporation that clings to a “sustainability strategy” that focuses on climate, consumption, and community. That’s according to the corporation’s first annual sustainability report to shareholders of how the company incorporates environmental, social and governance initiatives. That includes being in the pockets of gun control groups.
Deep in Levi Strauss’s Sustainability Report is the corporation’s confirmation that it’s not just making clothing to cover shoulders. They’re also repeating gun control’s half-truths to cover for them. On Page 181 of the report, the corporation blames the eruption of criminal violence on lawful gun ownership, noting that it disproportionally targets communities of color.
“LS&Co. has pledged ongoing support for gun violence prevention by rallying the business community on the issue, advocating for gun safety measures and providing philanthropic support to organizations on the frontlines of the epidemic,” the report states. “In 2018, we established the Safer Tomorrow Fund to support nonprofits working to address gun violence in the U.S.”
It’s interesting that Levi Strauss took a stand on so-called “gun violence” and not criminal violence, since that is where the actual problem lies. Their American headquarters is in San Francisco, where lawlessness is rampant.
Homicides were up at the mid-year mark, as was criminal misuse of firearms. So too were car break-ins, burglaries and auto-thefts. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was blasted by residents for failing to prosecute crimes from shoplifting to hate crimes. Boudin’s been blamed by city residents for “emptying out jails and prisons, and removing bail.”
Boudin’s latest proposal is a “cash for criminals” pilot program to pay criminals $300 a month to not shoot people. Anywhere other than San Francisco, that’s called extortion. It sounds outrageous, but this is the same city that’s investing in trash cans that cost $12,000 a piece instead of policing.
Levi Strauss is buying into the same hoodwinking gun control to solve criminal misuse of firearms. Instead of addressing the problems of policing, they’re lining the pockets of those who want to take away gun rights. They’re so invested, the corporation’s CEO Chip Bergh personally lobbied Congress to enact a radical universal background check bill that has a tucked-away mass gun registration requirement.
“Our advocacy work also includes reaching out to elected officials to pass common-sense gun safety legislation,” reads Levi Strauss’s Sustainability Report. “For instance, in 2019 Chip Bergh joined with other CEOs to send a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives supporting the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which went on to pass the House. LS&Co. also led a CEO letter to the U.S. Senate calling for passage of background checks and red flag laws following several tragic mass shootings.”
Those paying attention will note that the woke gun control antics of Levi Strauss, which also owns Dockers, Signature by Levi Strauss and Denizen Brands, embraced gun control in 2016 as a corporate issue. That was the year the corporation asked customers to no longer bring guns into their stores. Those would include law-abiding gun owners who had to undergo a background check to first lawfully purchase their firearm and additional background checks to obtain a concealed carry permit.
In 2018, the clothing corporation announced a partnership with antigun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety gun control juggernaut. The corporation established the Safer Tomorrow Fund, which funds activists and nonprofits on “gun violence” issues.
Bergh wrote in Fortune at the time that he wasn’t anti-Second Amendment, but when the corporation donates millions of dollars to groups like Everytown that want to ban entire classes of firearms and deny Americans their Second Amendment rights instead of advocating for holding criminals accountable, it’s hard to say it’s not trying to chip away at gun rights.
Since then, they’ve partnered with other groups, including Giffords’ Impact Network, to pass what it calls “meaningful gun safety legislation.” Yet, Levi Strauss was nowhere to be found when the firearm industry pushed the FIX NICS Act to get signed into law. That’s the law that provides states with the resources and compels federal agencies to submit all disqualifying adjudicated mental health and criminal records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Giffords, Everytown, Bloomberg and Levi Strauss aren’t interested in the hard work of holding criminals accountable for their horrific crimes. Instead, they cover up the real problems with thin fabric and misdirect attention to those who have nothing to do with it. Levi Strauss’s sustainability efforts aren’t solving the problems of runaway crime. It’s a cheap knock off they’re selling to woke customers.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.