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
NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

News  

Friday, April 9, 2021

NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

During a press conference on Thursday, President Biden announced that he would once again be targeting law-abiding gun owners by ordering ATF to develop two new restrictive regulations. Aiming to accessorize the Department of Justice’s ...

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.

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

At Biden's recent Rose Garden ceremony, where he announced his latest assault on the Second Amendment, he lied a number of times, and garbled the name of the federal agency tasked with enforcing federal gun ...

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference to unveil yet another gun control package in the Garden State.  

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

Rahm Emanuel, recently the mayor of Chicago and who has previously served as a member of the Clinton Administration and as President Obama’s White House chief of staff, proposed a few curious gun control ideas ...

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Friday, April 16, 2021

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Early Thursday evening, on a 84-56 vote, the Texas House gave initial approval to House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), an NRA-backed permitless carry proposal that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To ...

Texas: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pass Permitless Carry this Session

Monday, April 12, 2021

Texas: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pass Permitless Carry this Session

House Bill 1911, by Rep. James White (R-Woodville), and House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), NRA-backed permitless carry proposals that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To Carry (LTC), have been reported ...

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, April 9, 2021

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the House voted to pass House Bill 3096 on third reading. It has been sent to the Senate for further consideration.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

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.

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.