The CEOs of some of America’s best known companies have sent a letter to leaders of the Senate calling on them to do something to address gun violence. Chief executives of companies like Levi Strauss, Uber and Twitter write:
“Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety.”
The New York Times adds: “The letter — which urges the Republican-controlled Senate to enact bills already introduced in the Democrat-led House of Representatives — is the most concerted effort by the business community to enter the gun debate, one of the most polarizing issues in the nation and one that was long considered off limits.“
The group is pushing for expanding background checks and so-called “red-flag” laws, which allow courts to issue orders that would keep guns out of the hands of people considered at risk of committing violence.
Big business has been reluctant to step into the political debate on guns, but the last two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton seemed to turn the tide. Polling has been strongly in favor of new gun control measures. Chip Bergh, the Chief Executive of Levi-Strauss told the Times:
“To a certain extent, these C.E.O.s are putting their businesses on the line here, given how politically charged this is.”
“Business leaders are not afraid to get engaged now,” he added. “C.E.O.s are wired to take action on things that are going to impact their business and gun violence is impacting everybody’s business now.”