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
NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

News  

Friday, August 30, 2019

NASCAR Takes a Hard Left

After decades of NASCAR drivers literally turning left for hours every race day (road course races excluded, of course), the governing body appears to be taking a figurative left turn, politically. K-Var, a retailer in outdoor and ...

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Declares NRA a “Domestic Terrorist Organization”

News  

Sunday, September 8, 2019

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Declares NRA a “Domestic Terrorist Organization”

On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution, “declaring that the National Rifle Association is a domestic terrorist organization and urging other cities, states, and the federal government to do the same.”The resolution was ...

California: Anti-Gun Bills Sent to Governor

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

California: Anti-Gun Bills Sent to Governor

Earlier this week, the California Legislature cast final votes on AB 12, AB 61, AB 879, AB 1254, AB 1297, and AB 1669, which will now move to Governor Newsom's desk for his consideration.  

“Pro-gun” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Turns on Second Amendment Supporters, Sides With Anti-Gun Lobby

News  

Sunday, September 8, 2019

“Pro-gun” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Turns on Second Amendment Supporters, Sides With Anti-Gun Lobby

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick uses his political website to claim he is “leading the fight for life and liberty in Texas, including … standing up for the Second Amendment.” He also proudly notes his prior NRA endorsement. But ...

News  

Friday, September 13, 2019

NRA Statement on Texas Governor's Safety Action Report

The National Rifle Association released the following statement on Friday regarding Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Texas Safety Action Report:   

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Florida Alert! Are You Ready For Gun Registration?

A Constitutional Amendment calling for an "assault weapons" ban is being proposed for the ballot in 2020.  The definition of "assault weapon," in the amendment, includes ALL semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.  If the amendment goes on the ballot ...

California Mayor to Tax Law-abiding Gun Owners for the Actions of Criminals

News  

Friday, August 30, 2019

California Mayor to Tax Law-abiding Gun Owners for the Actions of Criminals

This week, San Jose, Calif. Mayor Sam Liccardo took to the pages of the Washington Post to tout a plan to require law-abiding gun owners in his city to purchase firearms insurance. Under the Liccardo proposal, firearms owners ...

Groovy: Former NY Times Editor Wants to Return to 1960 Gun Laws

News  

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Groovy: Former NY Times Editor Wants to Return to 1960 Gun Laws

Proving once again that ignorance is no bar to publication in the U.S. legacy press, former executive editor of the New York Times Howell Raines has offered his inane take on the current gun control ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Marching Toward Gun Confiscation: Prohibition Advocates Released Unhinged Gun Control Plan

News  

Monday, August 26, 2019

Marching Toward Gun Confiscation: Prohibition Advocates Released Unhinged Gun Control Plan

This week, March for Our Lives – the gun control group that arose in the wake of the criminal mass attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. – released a lengthy plan ...

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.