CEOs urge Senate to enforce gun regulation

Photo courtesy of Offspring 18 87, Wikipedia

CEOs from 145 U.S. companies sent a letter on Sept. 12 to Senate urging them to expand background checks and enforce stronger “red flag” laws. Sponsors included the CEOs of Uber, Reddit, Levi Strauss & Co. and Airbnb. 

The signatories point to the shootings of El Paso, West Texas and Dayton, OH, as well as the statistic that daily, 100 Americans are shot and killed, with hundreds more wounded. 

“As leaders of some of America’s most respected companies and those with significant business interests in the United States, we are writing to you because we have a responsibility and obligation to stand up for the safety of our employees, customers and all Americans in the communities we serve across the country,” the letter states.

The letter continues, “Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety.”

In February, the House approved two pieces of legislation, one that would give the FBI more time to complete background checks on gun purchasers, NPR reported, the other would extend the checks of private firearms sales. 

“I’m glad that 145 CEOs wrote a letter to enact gun reform. Truly, I am,” 2020 Senate candidate Trish Zornio (D – CO), tweeted. “But I hate that the voices of 145 rich people (mostly straight white men) likely means more to Congress than the millions of Americans who have spoken for years. We need money out of politics now!”

This is an impressive and necessary endeavor for these 145 CEOs to undertake, as those with voices should speak up to elevate the issues that are important to them. However, as Zornio points out, the Senates should be listening to the voters, the millions of Americans who have been protesting for years in order to see gun reform and take action based on that, not only the rich and powerful. 

Companies already have the power to donate to candidates across the political field, giving them the power to shape the American political system. It’s not ethical and it begs the question, if we allow this to happen, what else could? 

It is important for people to speak out. But they should do so as individuals, not because they have the power and influence of a company behind them. 

Our government has an inherent responsibility to protect its citizens, to listen to its citizens, whether they are voting or protesting for change. The letter, however imperfect, states it best, “These proposals are common-sense, bipartisan and widely supported by the American public. It is time for the Senate to take action.”