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Shannon Watts on how to ‘fight like a mother’ and the power of ‘losing forward’

Today, the nonpartisan Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is the nation’s largest grassroots organization, with more than five million members. “I always felt, from the very beginning, that moms were the yin to the gun lobby’s yang,” she says. “The gun lobby preys on the fear of a very vocal minority that their guns will be taken away. But there are 80 million moms in this country, and they’re afraid their children will be taken away. I really felt that that was emotion that would be the most effective counter to the gun lobby.

Inside Levi’s stand against gun violence

At the company’s “community day” at its San Francisco headquarters in May, before employees headed out to volunteer with local organizations, Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action–one of the gun-control organizations that Levi Strauss is supporting–spoke to a crowd of hundreds of workers. Watts told Fast Company that she’s seen a large shift in how willing companies are to step forward about guns. “When I started this work, and that was the day after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, there were no companies that wanted to get involved in this issue,” she says. The organization had to fight to get companies like Target to ask customers not to carry firearms into stores. (Like Levi’s, Target employees don’t actively enforce this request.)

NRA board member Allen West calls for CEO Wayne LaPierre's removal

North announced earlier in May that he would not run for re-election after multiple news outlets published prominent articles detailing alleged financial mismanagement by top officials at the organization. Shannon Watts, an activist who founded Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, said the gun control organization Everytown For Gun Safety had filed its own complained to the IRS over the NRA's tax-exempt status. Additionally, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., a 2020 presidential candidate, said he also plans to call on the IRS to investigate the NRA's alleged misconduct.

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