Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

At the National Retail Federation’s 2018 convention in New York City, Levi Strauss & Co. Brand President James Curleigh told those assembled that the multinational pants manufacturer intends to be the “most relevant lifestyle brand.” Evidently, part of creating that “lifestyle” includes foisting a doctrinaire set of political beliefs onto its employees and customers.

Last Fall, NRA-ILA informed gun owners that Levi’s (also the maker of Dockers) had declared that it would openly advocate for restricting the right to keep and bear arms. CEO Chip Bergh announced that the company had joined the business wing of billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun control conglomerate, Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety. Further, the company donated $1 million to gun control groups, including Everytown and Giffords. The company’s recent anti-gun advocacy efforts were in line with the firm’s support for a gun control effort in the 1990s that called for “licensing and registration of guns” and a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

Continuing on its gun control crusade, on May 9 the company used its “Unzipped” blog to publish an interview and hagiography of Everytown press agent Shannon Watts. According to the post, Watts had visited the pants manufacturer’s San Francisco headquarters to speak to the company’s employees.

In the blog item, Levi’s does its best to advance the folksy persona Watts has perpetuated of a political neophyte who was spurred to action following the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn. The first paragraph of the piece noted,

Before she became the face of one of the nation’s largest grassroots movements to combat gun violence, Shannon Watts had never stepped foot into a statehouse or shown up for a rally.

In the interview portion, the Levi’s employee asked Watts,

What advice do you have for those who want to make an impact on an issue that is important to them, yet aren’t sure how their sole voice can make a difference?

Watts responded,

I think I am living proof that someone who has no experience as an activist can make a difference – I was just a really angry mom of five living in Indiana when I got off the sidelines…

The mislabeling of Bloomberg’s “top—down bureaucracy” as a “grassroots movement” aside, the claim that Watts had never stepped foot in a statehouse prior to 2013 is especially curious. As NRA and others have pointed out, in the mid-1990s Watts was a public relations staffer to Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan. Watts’s Linkedin page listed that from 1993-1998 she had been a “Public Affairs Officer” who “Worked for the administration of Governor Mel Carnahan, the Missouri House of Representatives, and the Missouri Department of Economic Development.”

Is it likely that a person who held such positions never set foot in the Missouri State Capitol? It is certainly inaccurate to portray a person who worked as a public affairs officer for a governor as a political novice. The Levi’s piece also conspicuously failed to mention how Watts’s days as a public relations employee for corporations such as General Electric, Bayer, and Monsanto might have helped prepare Watts to sell Bloomberg’s gun control agenda to ill-informed segments of the public.

The perpetual retelling of the dishonest Watts biography is strong evidence that gun control backers see political advantage in portraying the gun controller as a guileless amateur rather than a calculating public relations professional. Unlike the news outlets that perpetuate the Watts origin myth, Levi’s is under no professional obligation to get the facts right. Still, after the thorough debunking of the Watts fable by the Washington Post, one might have expected the truth to prevail.

Levi’s modern efforts to create a “lifestyle” brand appear at odds with earlier iterations of the company ethos, which stressed a rugged individualism. A former Levi’s slogan read: “Original jeans. Original people.” There’s nothing individualist or original about conforming to the political edicts of a multinational corporation in league with a septuagenarian billionaire financier and his public relations frontwoman.

TRENDING NOW
Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

News  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

As an incorporated provision of the United States Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is the supreme law of the land, applying to all U.S. jurisdictions and to the actions of federal, state, and local ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

On Jan. 23, the Trump administration published rules that will be a boon to the United States firearms industry and all who utilize its products. The new regulations will become effective March 9, 2020.

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

In the days leading up to the annual lobby day in Richmond, Va.—where thousands of Virginians traditionally lobby their legislators on numerous issues – an unprecedented number of supporters of the Second Amendment were expected ...

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

Despite the peaceful, orderly, and diverse gun rights protest that attracted tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners to the state capitol, Virginia’s Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly has continued to push forward a radical anti-gun agenda.

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

On January 23rd, the Washington Senate Law & Justice Committee approved three anti-gun bills, among them Senate Bill 6077 to ban most standard capacity magazines. These bills are now headed to the Rules Committee awaiting being pulled ...

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Today, January 22nd, legislation was introduced in the Alabama Legislature to create a new lifetime carry permit for state residents.

West Virginia: School Calendar Bill Could Affect Youth Hunting Opportunities

Monday, January 27, 2020

West Virginia: School Calendar Bill Could Affect Youth Hunting Opportunities

Most West Virginia public school systems close for the opening week of deer hunting season for the benefit of students, staff, and their families to enjoy their hunting heritage. House Bill 2433 will impose a one-size-fits-all calendar ...

“Journalist” Can’t Decide: Slumping Gun Sales or Best Year Ever?

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

“Journalist” Can’t Decide: Slumping Gun Sales or Best Year Ever?

On the eve of the annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Associated Press reporter Lisa Marie Pane wrote an article titled, “Gun industry gathers amid slumping sales, rising tensions.” But it ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.