In just under ten days, TOMS shoe company has helped over 600,000 U.S. citizens send postcards to their elected officials calling for universal background checks for gun purchases. Americans have gone to TOMS website and filled out a form that sends a postcard to their elected officials asking them to support gun legislation that the 12-year old company says 90% of citizens support.
The #EndGunViolenceTogether campaign was launched on Nov. 19 following the tragic shooting at the Borderline Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. and has already garnered support from country music stars who understand that they and their fans are directly impacted by the lack of legislation.
Country superstar Dierks Bentley took to Twitter to announce his support of the campaign on Nov. 27, stating “proud of my friend @blakemycoskie and @toms for jumping into the discussion on how we can work together to #endgunviolence. he has a gift for bringing people together and im happy to see him applying it to this cause.”
Two days later, Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard also took to social media with a short video asking his fans to support the cause.
“Please hear my heart,” Hubbard’s Instagram post reads. “This is not a political post, but a post about the betterment of humanity. It’s time we start the uncomfortable conversations to make change in our country. It starts with us.”
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Please hear my heart. This is not a political post, but a post about the betterment of humanity. Its time we start the uncomfortable conversations to make a change in our country. It starts with us. Let’s #EndGunViolenceTogether. Go to TOMS.com to send your Representatives a postcard demanding they take action on what more than 90% of Americans agree on: universal background checks. I’m proud to partner with @TOMS to #endgunviolencetogether
“I just saw a statistic that said there were 307 mass shootings in the last 311 days in our country, which is terrifying and devastating,” says Hubbard in the video. “I think we can all come together and all agree that something has to change. It’s unacceptable — we shouldn’t have to walk out of the house and live in fear anymore.”
Hubbard, who refers to himself as a “proud gun owner” adds that his gun ownership is a right he takes very seriously and he knows his fans do to. He encourages fans to visit TOMS’ website to send out the postcards and begin to demand change.
“This is an easy thing we can all do,” said Hubbard.
Hubbard’s partnership with the campaign follows TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie’s appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week. Mycoskie gets emotional recalling his wife telling him she wasn’t going to take their young son to school the day after the Borderline shooting out of fear of gun violence. Mycoskie decided he wanted to take action and decided to start the campaign in addition to donating $5 million to gun violence prevention organizations. The money will benefit Everytown For Gun Safety, Live Free, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, March For Our Lives, Moms Demand Action, and Black & Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium who all address gun violence through various tactics, including programming in communities of color, mental health, research and policy, suicide prevention and more.
“As I watched the horrific shootings in Thousand Oaks, just a few miles from TOMS’ headquarters and my home, I was overcome with immense fear for my own children and an understanding that parents across America — especially in communities of color — have been living with that same fear and loss for far too long,” Mycoskie said in a press release.
He added: “We’ve been inspired by the organizations who have led this movement and by the students who have shown us unimaginable bravery and tenacity. We are ready to do our part and are asking all of our supporters to join us.”
Actor Josh Duhamel, singer Joe Jonas and radio & television host Ryan Seacrest have also partnered with the campaign. Head to TOMS.com for more information on the End Gun Violence Together campaign and to send out a postcard.