Edelman will be the pro-bono communications firm for the Gun Safety Alliance’s all-important mission to reduce gun deaths by 50 percent by 2029. The Gun Safety Alliance aims to enlist business as a key partner in pushing for gun safety. Among the companies that have made steps to support gun safety are Hertz, Avis, Budget, Lyft, Delta, L.L.Bean, Kroger, DICK’S Sporting Goods and others. The group will also draw together multiple nonprofits around a common, life-saving agenda.

The events of the past weekend have prompted me and my firm to make this commitment. These violent acts and the continued daily gun violence in communities across this nation wholly undermine the promise of America: the derivation of inalienable rights including the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These values are not in conflict with responsible gun ownership.

I believe that it is good business for companies to join the Alliance. Note the results of our 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, which showed that 76 percent of respondents want CEOs to speak out and lead on issues of the day and not wait for government. Eighty percent of U.S. employees trust their employers, because trust has become local. At the same time, two-thirds of customers say that they expect brands to stand up for them, a form of brand democracy.

For far too long government has failed to address the gun violence epidemic in this country.

Now is the time for the private sector to take a stand and fill that leadership void.

Richard Edelman is president and CEO.