Businesses Belong in the Gun Safety Fight
Customers and Employees Want Executives to Support Gun Safety
Business leaders have a unique opportunity to demonstrate their values, inspire employee pride, and use their platforms to change the conversation.
Earlier this month we launched the Giffords Impact Network, a partnership between Giffords and major American companies to leverage corporate brand power and resources in the fight against gun violence. Founding Impact Network companies, which include Amalgamated Bank, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kenneth Cole, Levi Strauss & Co., Lyft, Mesirow Financial, Northwell Health, Postmates, and TOMS, have committed nearly a million dollars to gun violence prevention efforts.
The annual cost of gun violence in America
Researchers estimate that gun violence costs the American economy at least $229 billion every year, including $8.6 billion in direct expenses.
Mark Follman, Julia Lurie, Jaeah Lee, and James West, “The True Cost of Gun Violence in America,” Mother Jones, April 15, 2015, https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america/.
In 2020, 41,000 people were killed by guns, with Black and Brown communities disproportionately impacted. Gun violence also deals a tremendous financial blow to the American economy, costing at least $229 billion annually, including $8.6 billion in direct expenses. Americans are looking not just to the government but also to the private sector to help solve this deadly epidemic.
Last week, we celebrated the launch of the Giffords Impact Network with a virtual event, “How Business Can Lead on Gun Safety,” in partnership with Fortune. The event, moderated by Fortune CEO Alan Murray, featured Barack Obama Foundation President Valerie Jarrett, President and CEO of Mesirow Wealth Management Melissa Bean, CEO of Northwell Health Michael Dowling, and Kenneth Cole Founder Kenneth Cole.
The panelists discussed the value of approaching gun safety advocacy through a public health lens and underscored the pressing need to invite more business leaders to the table to lead on this issue. As Michael Dowling said, “it’s about who we want to be as Americans, and the future we want to create for ourselves.”
TAKE A STAND
Americans are committed to fighting gun violence, and they expect the companies they support to make the same commitment to justice and public safety. To join Giffords as a corporate partner, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.Partner with US
GETTING OFF THE SIDELINES
Saving lives from gun violence isn’t only the responsibility of politicians or private citizens—more and more, the private sector is showing the courage to fight for a safer future. New research shows that customers want companies to take clear, decisive action on the social issues that matter to everyday Americans.
Coming after a year that saw more Americans die from gun violence than any previous year on record—a spike directly attributable to COVID-19 lockdowns, which led to surges in gun purchases and increased financial insecurity—the conversation took place during a critical moment in the fight to save lives. As Gabby said herself at Wednesday’s event, “we are at a crossroads. We can let the shooting continue or we can act.”
The companies that participated in this important conversation and all of the organizations that have signed on to join the Giffords Impact Network have chosen to act, and the fight for gun safety is stronger for it.
Polling conducted by Global Strategy Group on behalf of Giffords shows that since the onset of COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd, Americans overwhelmingly believe companies have the power and responsibility to influence social change—especially on gun safety. Nearly 85% of Americans believe businesses have a responsibility to make their communities safer, and 7 in 10 say they would be more favorable to a company who partnered with gun violence prevention organizations to raise awareness.
The Giffords Impact Network will bring more companies into the gun safety movement and build out another front in the fight to save lives. Like Giffords has done with gun owners, veterans, and public health practitioners, harnessing the power of corporate brands to activate their consumers and engage their employees will help us achieve lasting progress on the issue.
TEN YEARS LATER
It’s been a decade since the shooting that nearly took Gabby’s life. We’re marking this milestone by sharing stories and taking action.Read More