Transcript for TOMS pledges $5 million to ending gun violence
Moving on that and today we are close out this week hear the briefing room this holiday week shorter holiday week with a look at some of the issues that we track throughout this campaign one of those being. The effort to combat gun violence in this country we saw a lot of movement an animated. The campaign that's when he T mid term campaign. And now there is a surprising new development with the entry. Of one of America's popular companies times shoes and accessories is is getting into this. This campaign are joining the campaign we are joined now. By tons founder. But Blake might cost see might cost excuse me Tom it Blake. My cost he is it is taking Thompson to politics if you will and has recorded now the largest public corporate donation. And gun violence in American history. Blake thinks so much for joining us you are tossing and five million dollars to this effort tell us why you do and that. Cracked but first I can I'll I'll correct because I don't think this is political issue. When 90% of Americans are in favor of universal background checks. I truly believe or doing something that is more focus on human issue than a pilot never political and. There and why did you Blake what was it about this issue. Taking a pot setting that aside the politics. That sort of very compelled you to get into this arena you Tom's of sheriff says is famous for helping. Provide shoes all around the world 85 million pairs of shoes and unbelievable numbers shoes many of them for children. But why why did taken your company in your your public outreach in this direction. Shares so unfortunately about two weeks ago we had the shootings in Thousand Oaks which is about twenty minutes from my house. And my wife call mean she said look like I'm. I'm not gonna take our son to school today. I'm scared there is a shooting in the synagogue. Just two weeks ago. And she says someone has to do something about it and I thought it out everything we've done in twelve years that Toms and why customers have. And support us this much they support us as we. Try to create a better tomorrow and we stand for things that are important. So I decided this is the time to beacons on the sidelines anymore this is gotten so bad that we need to take a bold action and that's why. We pledged five million dollars rouge is the largest corporate gift in gun violence in the history of our country. And we totally transformed our business. To help customers could actually go online and make a difference or technology on Tom's dot com where they can isn't a postcards the representative. Urging them to pass universal background checks which 90% of Americans are in favor. You know one of the groups that could benefit from your gifts Blake is. Many of them that many and in the new town group for example the kids the Parkland kids in their organization. I have been out there pushing and you're backing them as well we're also joined by Wynn chairman Osce the national youth walk out organizers she was behind. That huge effort inspiring effort we saw earlier in the year with all those high school students walking out in support of efforts and gun violence winter thank you so much for joining us I'm gonna get this year reaction to what Tom's is done here and in do you think that contributions like theirs. We'll make a difference. Totally acting it's so amazing one to see. Tom's as a corporation in the business really that into this base of gun violence and give money but also the idea of the post's top cart action on their website allows people like me you're not even at age to vote to participate have a voice and making sure that elected officials are listening to us and hopefully we will pass comprehensive background check. And I want to ask you about that issue since this is specifically to both the view Blake here postcard campaign talked about has zeroed in on universal background checks is being. The issue to push for winter you just mentioned it is well being very important. Majorities of Americans in our point supported. How did you zero in on on on that particular issue NG USC. Any. Prospecting congress this year how optimistic are you that they'll actually do something in just come January. Sure yeah I'm very optimistic we focused on this issue one because 90% of Americans are for it and so we really felt there was a human issue not a political and the second is we want to have a victory here we believe this what is critical. Universal background checks will keep felons from getting guns. Domestic abusers and people have a mental health track record. I don't think anyone in our country winds that any of those groups to have guns. And we knew that if people spoke loud enough this is going to be on the house in January we know that for sure and we believe that. A lot of postcards are a lot of representatives who make a difference since we launched this campaign last night on Jimmy Fallon there's been over 90000 Americans they've gone to our website Tom's dot com. And use the technology to send a postcard. 90000 postcards are on their way right now. As we speak. To the members representatives and so we hope that in many many more is gonna get the attention and let people know they 90% of Americans is. Is speaking to you and you represented us and we need this law. Past. And Blake is there is there any concern on your part as the founder of this company is very popular. Among young people of all political persuasions that your involvement on this issue were regardless of whether you see it politically connected. Is is risky in any way from for free you from a business perspective. Sure I mean you know I mean I need to say there's no risk but you know we have an uninteresting. In very diverse audience that I think the reason why customer support us is because. We've committed our whole business to creating a better tomorrow we've given 86 million she used to children around the world. And I believe that's why our customers show up that's why they aware of the issues they are back to their values and so whether Republican or Democrat I think the you can have a lot of shared guy isn't. I believe Thomas represents and that's why we have you call on a customers on both sides. And winter before we let you go. Bring us give us a window into your world in the it didn't see the new political world 2019 you know we know your group has been very active through the mid term campaign but what's next for you guys in the movement you built. Where do you for cease spending your energies going forward. I think while one with some money that's being given out to the cold where. Organizations that they are going to be really pushing the work on the ground whether that's. Resources and urban communities that's focused on. And it's it's aggravation or just resurgence on the weapons even going on is gonna continue going on but now we're hoping to see a shift and corporate social responsibility and other corporations and brands also take part in standing for some. All right went from an Osce Blake my koskie thank you so much to both of you for your efforts and for being here and the briefing room we appreciate it very much here Felicia. Aren't these guys. Pretty inspiring to see then get in and and I do think for plate there's there is a bit of a political risk their you don't see a lot of companies go to hotel in this environment when the NRA. Can swoop in and and and knock it down. Yeah and he's right about it being 88 majority issue but it is not a majority political issue or voting issue and off and it is still wrapped up very much wrapped up. In the data they politics and that's where I think there could be pullback but he's right. The new democratic majorities likely take this on early in January and certainly the young people behind this movement ever since department's shooting him dead and so inspiring to march as well that energy will continue we'll track it. Right here in the briefing or.
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