TOMS shoes gun control
Courtesy TOMS

By Joe Bartozzi

TOMS Shoes is getting a lesson in Business 101. The anti-gun corporate virtue signaling they have been deeply entrenched in doesn’t pay the bills.

According to recent news, the Los Angeles-based company’s creditors are taking over TOMS in exchange for restructuring its debt. In a letter to employees, TOMS CEO, Jim Alling apparently shared the news that the deal will help the company deal with a $300 million loan due next year and will mean a new $35 million investment in the company from the new owners.

Two Left Feet

Last year at this time, TOMS was making news for its new gun control campaign, centered on getting Congress to approve flawed Universal Background Check legislation.

In addition to direct lobbying, the campaign also involved a $5 million corporate contribution to gun control advocacy groups, a cross-country tour culminating in a rally and efforts to promote grassroots lobbying among customers.

One year later, we know that enough members of Congress were brave enough to reject the emotionally-charged legislation, which would have had no effect on criminal misuse of firearms.

TOMS campaign failed. Customers didn’t run out to buy TOMS products in response to their corporate support for gun control. Unfortunately for TOMS, the business is now struggling.

It’s easy to see why any company, especially one based on social activism like TOMS, would want to weigh in on issues in our country and be seen as a virtuous member of society. The firearms and ammunition industry shares the goal reducing the criminal misuse of firearms, and has created a number of programs over the years to help address unauthorized access to firearms and to promote safe handling and storage practices.

A Mile in Our Shoes

(AP Photo/Tomsshoe.com,HO)

The firearms and ammunition industry prides itself on high rates of safety and regulatory compliance. Our voluntary programs, often in partnership with state and federal government agencies, help to curtail the actual problem of guns getting into the wrong hands. We work to make sure states are submitting all prohibiting records to NICS.

We provide millions of free gun locks and educational materials in all states. We train firearms retailers to spot straw purchasers, to comply with all laws, to use discretion when making transactions, and in how to keep their inventory secure. We work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help address the tragedy of suicides in our country.

In short, we know it’s time for Real Solutions. Safer Communities.SM to help continue the trend of reducing both violence and firearms accidents in our country. The firearms industry welcomes other companies in whatever industry to join us in our efforts.

So, instead of lobbying for ineffective, irrational gun control policies, perhaps TOMS management should focus on selling shoes.

 

Joe Bartozzi is the president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. 

89 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t this the same company that hurt hard working African entrepreneurs by sending over free shoes? It’s hard to compete with free.

  2. frumpy ass insubstantial cloth weenie slippers. my kid did these for awhile. now he wants van’s and he made the mistake of sending his maw a pic of the discontinued disney nightmare before christmas versions. she wanted a couple different styles, price gouging cost me some.
    but they happy.
    i need a hillary mag.

      • you saw jr.’s prison pmag, no? the only tolerable way to view “it’s” visage involves superimposed vertical bars.

      • Hilary wants mandatory vaccines…and probably at gunpoint….just like you. You have more in common with her than you have the balls to admit.

  3. You can’t get a better “grey man” clothing line than a t-shirt that says “End Gun Violence Together” from TOMS. But for $28, nahhhh, no sense supporting their regressive cause.

      • I agree. Violence is violence. Murder is murder. Dead is dead.

        The chowderheaded management at TOMS seem to be misguided in this topic, though.

        • You got it all wrong. Only gun violence matters. Even suicide matters as a violence – if gun was used. Any other way, it’s all right.
          Only that which helps us to achieve the second to main goal (public disarmament) matters. Next step, the main goal – socialism. But first we need to disarm those stubborn conservatives, they will not stand still for it if they are still able to actually do something against it.
          Sincerely,
          Your leftist

        • Socialism just costs too much, unless you have control of all the guns, so you can kill off any crowds forming at the Free Stuff Distribution Center, which keeps costs down.

      • Vic, WTF is it with women and those nasty-ass dirty house slippers they like to wear at the grocery store?

        Yeeeech!

    • No idea if these were Tom’s or something else, but one of my women students and I were laughing about “dad shoes” one day, and she pulled up a pic of a contemporary, cool kind of shoe. I was like, “yeah, but that’s a women’s shoe.”

      Turns out: no, it wasn’t.

      Sigh.

  4. I am sick of reading this anti gun garbage. That is the NSSF shit. You are anti gun. Stop pretending you support rights. You support privileges.

    • | That is the NSSF shit. You are anti gun.
      | Stop pretending you support rights. You
      | support privileges.

      Well said. As Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy said, “The enemy of my enemy… is also my enemy.” The NSSF is, at best, a true neutral in this fight, not a friend of gun owners and 2A advocates.

      • Your enemy’s enemy is necessarily also your enemy? How do you figure? The enemy of your enemy is, to you, your enemy’s enemy. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • Unlike the NRA, the NSSA never pretended to be a human rights organization. It is a industry lobbying group (the very thing the media accuse the NRA of being), so they do what they consider best for the gun industry.

      • Exactly. While I may disagree with, and fight hard against, some of the crap they support at least they’re honest. They’ve never claimed to be anything but an industry lobbying group. I’ll take the NSSF over the traitorous pieces of shit at the NRA any day of the week

  5. So, aside from a household slipper, for what purpose would I wear that shoe? Hiking? No. Exercise? No. Office? No. Shooting? No. Hanging out at the bar? Not any bar I go to. Going out for a double mocha frappuccino with whipped cream and a rolled-up cookie. Definately. So, Tom’s footwear seems highly specialized.

  6. Know I’m preaching to the choir on this point, but I really really hate the term “gun violence.”

    There is simply violence, perpetrated by violent people. There’s no need for a modifier because it doesn’t matter one fracking bit if they use a gun, or a knife, or a pressure cooker.

    • On their website

      “Gun deaths in the US today are suicides; it’s a national problem that the firearms industry is addressing at the local level with retailers and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.”

      Better they use rope?

      “The increase in the number of disqualifying records submitted to the background check system since NSSF launched FixNICS in 2013.”

      Their website is like Mom’s demand action lite.

      • And no mention of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries which have the highest suicide rates and almost exclusively don’t use firearms?

        • @Biatec
          Suicide, relatively speaking is really not a huge problem in these USA. Still, it comprises about two thirds of the “gunviolence” deaths.
          It shows that the real gun murders are even smaller problem (about 1/3 of already not significant number).

          Since we can’t stop gun grabbers in media from blowing up the “gunviolence” numbers by counting suicides, maybe our gun organizations should start a new awareness program to lower the “gunviolence” numbers. Let’s call it “Jump, don’t shoot”. If we can convince gun owners at the end of their mortal coil to jump off tall buildings, under trains and trucks and off the chair with some sturdy neckwear, instead of shooting themselves, we could cut up to two thirds off the dreaded “gunviolence” deaths!
          /s

  7. “They” SAY boycots don’t work. Well, maybe “NO” and maybe “YES”. In our circle’s case, we reserved spots on our NO GO list for both Dick’s and Toms as well as numerous others that chose to turn BLUE (loved visiting the west coast once upon a time; NO more). So, if all 2nd Amendment, freedom & liberty minded supporters would dedicate time & effort to constantly educate their friends & neighbors on the likes of Toms as well as make the commitment to never patronize the likes of Toms, the bankruptcy courts would be guaranteed on-going support. (pretty sure these courts would appreciate our looking after their welfare).

  8. Funny , a shoe company that purports to know about guns , most obviously know’s nothing about foot fashion. Those are god awful ugly shoes , slippers whatever they are. figure out shoes before starting a gun grabbing scheme .

  9. Ministers of grace defend us

    Religious leaders have been trying to end or at least curb gun violence for a thousand years. Swords and knives for several thousand years before that. People are still killing each other. Likely always will.

    Truthfully though, we probably live in the least bloody time period in human history. People should study up on what the Roman’s did along before guns came on the world stage. We aren’t even engaged in world war like previous generations were.

    • Guns didn’t show up until around the 13th or 14th century and were not popularly available for a number of centuries after that. Nobody’s been working on gun violence “for a thousand years.” Just thought I’d throw that in.

  10. Get woke go broke…my son wears some weird looking slippers that bear a passing resemblance to these turds😃

  11. How can a corporation promote “grassroots lobbying”? That’s the definition astro-turf. Goes hand in hand with paid protesters.

    • Tom’s is not a publicly traded company, so their leadership can whatever it likes (within certain constraints). It burns me when publicly traded companies decide to risk shareholder value by taking sides in SJW controversy. That being said, Dick’s shares are careening toward all -time highs. I hate it. I will not invest in them.

    • Agree. None of us on this site were the target audience for shoes that seem designed for those whose diet consists primarily of of soy-based fake meat.

      Yeah…I went there.
      I am ashamed.

      • Life Savor,

        There used to be a TOMS warehouse near my employer. You would shake your head in embarrassment at the caliber (see what I did there?) of patrons who frequented the place to buy from their outlet. As some sort of advertising ploy, their carry bags were clear, so everyone could see the shoes as the customers walked back to the bus stop. Absolutely ugliest shoes anyone could imagine.

        The warehouse closed up as the company consolidated. News article claimed it was due to lack of profitability. No kidding…none of us would take the shoes if you gave them for free.

        • Haz,

          “…caliber…” keeping it all about guns! Nice!

          My guess, the niche to which Tom’s was marketing was too small and not earning enough (writing for Buzzfeed) to load up on Tom’s products and give the company much trajectory.

    • Yeah, I’d love for POTG to be able to take credit for Toms’ downfall, but if that’s the kind of stuff they sell it was only a matter of time. I wouldn’t give that ugly ass thing to the dog to chew on.

  12. Its not only the gin control stance. The fate of all companies who market on virtue signalling is rather than be a quality product people recognize they become this mixed pile of cause vomit and the public is quite fickle with their causes. Anyone who really identifies with a cause will just give to that cause and go buy better, real shoes that aren’t $60 slippers.

    Id hate to cheer business failures but all these virtue signalling businesses are built on a shaky foundation and very few if any will survive for any length of time.

  13. If you have a Chinatown in your city, there is a store with barrels of black shoes that are very similar to Tom’s shoes, the shoes that the people of China wear(and are featured on all Kung Fu movies) Save your money.

  14. I totally agree with Toms.

    End gun violence!

    of course, my solution would be to arm more people so that the gun violence crowd finds that their career path is unhealthy, but thats just me I guess.

    • Kyle such a solution would put thousands of (government) employees out of work. How could you support getting rid of (taxpayer funded) jobs that (barely) address the problem you allude to. Just what kind of radical (freedom loving) activist are you?

  15. There was a software company called Baan that was the equal of oracle apps and sap at the time, and they chose to “invest” their profits in “do goodism” rather than itself (marketing and R&d).

    Companies do not exist to employ people or to be charitable in any social or political causes.

    They exist to make profit.

    If the shareholders can better decide where to donate the profits (as dividends).

    When a representative is elected, they are to vote for the wishes of their constituents. Not determine what’s “best” for their well being.

    Like modern Dems, companies that are social justice or whatever with shareholder profits seem determined to usurp SH wishes- by denying the SH the profit to do what they in turn would do with it.

    Baan went broke

  16. Since we are just making shit-statistics up apparently ….

    “98% of America want’ TOMS to go out of business”.

  17. I’d like to hope Walmart and Chik-fil-A come under some of the same scrutiny due to their recent virtue-signaling. Businesses should sell their wares, if what they are making does not appeal to the general public they can just stop beating a dead horse with it. Virtu-signaling in either direction can eventually have its pitfalls- Chik-fil-A is Exhibit a in that regard.

  18. Tom’s shoes look like something a raggedy-ass San Fran Sicko homeless bum would be wearing.

    Maybe if they spent less money virtue signaling and more on making good shoes, they wouldn’t be in bankruptcy.

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