“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable. There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence.” This quote comes from a letter written and signed by 145 CEOs of U.S. companies this week, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Levi Strauss, Reddit, Twitter, and Uber. In the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows Americans are in agreement with corporate leaders and favor bipartisan support of increased background checks and mental health screening.
This is a big step in corporate America where money often speaks louder than words. This is not the first corporate stand against gun violence. Dicks Sporting Goods made the decision to stop assault-style weapons sales and raise its gun purchase age to 21 years old. Walmart too plans to reduce gun sales in its stores and has asked customers to not open carry in stores, even in states where it is allowed.
Corporate voices carry lobbying and campaign finance power, and this letter is a powerful message about where America’s business leaders stand on the issue of gun violence. Even if it does not spur legislative action, the letter is a strong message to the nation’s leaders and calls attention to the ongoing issue of lack of gun control in the United States.