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TOMS founder donates $5 million to gun control because wife fears taking their son to school

Odette Odendaal
Nov 22, 2018
06:15 A.M.

A recent conversation between the founder of Toms Shoes, Blake Mycoskie and his wife lead to a substantial donation towards ending gun violence following the aftermath of the Thousand Oaks mass shooting in California.

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The shoe company, Toms that donates a pair of shoes to children in need for every pair purchased, announced a $5 million donation to groups involved in taking action against gun violence and calling for stricter gun laws.

While making an appearance on the ‘Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ on Monday, Blake shared the news of the largest corporate gift given to date for the cause of ending gun violence.

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Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.

Source: YouTube/ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Source: YouTube/ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

He spoke with Fallon about the motivation behind the donation that stemmed from the mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California on November 7 and

:

“My wife called me, and she was scared, and she said, ‘I'm not taking our son to school today. This happened two weeks ago in a synagogue, and a yoga studio and someone has to do something about it’”

Blake’s wife referred to the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on October 27 where 11 people died, and the man that walked into a yoga studio in Tallahassee on November 2 and shot two women before he shot himself.

Source: YouTube/ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Source: YouTube/ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

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The Toms shoe founder went on to say that after he spoke to his wife he

to himself:

“You know what? Dammit, we're going to do something about it.”

Blake’s donation of $5 million will get shared among several organizations including Moms Demand Action, March For Our Lives, Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety and others. He has high praises for these groups as he states:

“They are the most amazing organizations who are working hard on the ground every day to end gun violence.”

Source: YouTube/ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Source: YouTube/ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

The Toms website features an online signup to have a physical postcard sent to their representatives in Congress demanding legislation changes and urge representatives to pass universal background checks on prospective gun owners.

A trip to South America motivated the startup of his shoe brand in 2006 as he noticed that many children did not have shoes. The business model revolves around giving a new pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair of shoes they sell.

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The company sells canvas slip-on shoes commonly worn in Argentina and have so far handed out 86 million pairs of shoes to children in need.

When the retired marine, Ian Long walked into the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks and opened up gunfire that killed 12 people before turning the gun on himself, it shook the nation. The recent rise in mass killings are disturbing, and people demand solutions.

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What makes the Thousand Oaks shooting stand out, is the fact that it highlights another issue. The 28-year-old allegedly had PTSD that went undiagnosed after numerous deployments, but it got overlooked and went untreated, leading to his breakdown and the eventual tragic incident.

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According to Ventura County Sheriff, Geoff Dean, Ian Long used a legally purchased .45 caliber Glock during the shooting. Retired marine Ian Long was not the first retired military member who allegedly had PTSD to unleash a hail of gunfire on innocent victims, and if something does not get done, it won't be the last.

Not all mass shooting are caused by ex-military personnel with PTSD, but the common factor is guns. Claims of Ian suffering from PTSD have been denied by some, but irrespective whether he did suffer from it or not is somewhat beside the point.

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He had a legally owned weapon and was known to be unhinged, quick to anger and somewhat mentally unstable — not a good combination.

Changes in legislation and laws about gun ownership can help in the prevention of weapons falling into the wrong hands and ending innocent lives in the process. Blake Mycoskie hopes that his donation will help make that happen.

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