Vista Outdoor
Editorial

Camelbak, Bell and Giro Caught in Assault Weapon Backlash

Words Cam McRae
Date Mar 2, 2018

On Thursday morning, Mountain Equipment Coop, one of the largest retailers of outdoor equipment in Canada, announced it is suspending orders of products produced by Vista Outdoor-owned companies (there are no plans to re-order once remaining inventory is sold). Later in the day R.E.I followed suit south of the border. Vista is a a U.S.-based group of companies that includes manufacturers of weapons and ammunition. Of particular concern to many is Savage Arms, which manufactures several AR15-style assault weapons similar to the one used in the Parkland Florida school shooting that claimed the lives of 14 students and 3 staff members. Savage has manufacturing facilities in both the U.S. and Canada. The AR15, a semi automatic civilian version of the M16, was also used in the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, Las Vegas, San Bernardino and in the movie theatre shooting in Aurora Colorado to name just a few.

Vista owns 4  brands aimed at mountain bikers; Giro, Bell, Camelbak and Blackburn. Consumers in the U.S. have been calling for boycotts of all these brands in response to this latest tragedy.

I’m a little behind on this issue. I was recently in Costa Rica standing up for Pete Roggeman at his wedding and I enjoyed a much-needed media hiatus while I was there. The shooting occurred on Feb. 14th and I flew out on the 15th in the wee hours. I read the headlines but frankly couldn’t bear hearing about another senseless tragedy, and in particular, the unwillingness of U.S. lawmakers to make any moves that could prevent this from happening in the future. Thus far the only press I've seen about this in the mountain bike world has been on Bicycle Retailer, an industry trade publication, has reported on the MEC and REI decisions.

Canadian stats

Contrary to the stereotype, Canadians aren't nicer than Americans or less violent; we just have better laws and fewer firearms. Numbers from 2010.

Here in Canada we have gun laws that most people feel are sensible; before anyone in Canada purchases a firearm they must take a safety course and apply for a license, which includes RCMP screening, background checks and reference interviews. At that point a minimum 28 day waiting period is imposed on first time applicants. Beyond that the transport and storage of firearms is restricted and controlled. If you are interested you can dig deeper here.

Despite our vast population differences, Canada and the U.S. are probably the two most similar nations in the world, and yet our gun violence numbers differ greatly. Even with our restrictive laws, Canadians own a lot of guns. There are 30 firearms for every 100 citizens versus 90 in the U.S. But after that the numbers diverge further.

There were 23 deaths from firearms per 1 million people in Canada in 2010 including suicides. In the U.S. that number was 102. The homicide rates are similarly disparate with Canada recording 5 per million in contrast to 36 in the U.S. for that same year. Despite support for sensible gun reform in the U.S. that is bipartisan, lawmakers supported by the NRA do everything in their power to resist these measures.

2012 gun violence stats

2012 numbers with suicides and accidental deaths removed. 

Sarah Latha, the woman who began the MEC petition  here in Canada stated that her goal was to affect change. It seems that she doesn’t have a larger end game, rather she feels that the co-op of which she is a member shouldn’t be purchasing and supporting brands associated with the manufacture of firearms and ammunition.

While it makes sense to try and hurt Vista in the wallet, it’s hard to imagine an outcome that will affect change. If Vista sells off Camelbak, Giro, Blackburn and Bell they will likely take a hit but Vista could then use those funds to purchase businesses that serve lower profile customers or go deeper on the firearms business. It seems unlikely that Vista will stop a making the MSR15 but if they did, other manufacturers would simply ramp production. Since Feb. 16th Vista Outdoor’s share price has fallen from 19.94 to 15.56 - a drop of 22%. While this is positive, real change can only happen through legislation and if nothing else these boycotts generate publicity and awareness for these issues that could make lawmakers take notice.  

Beyond the bold moves by REI and MEC, there is also a movement to coerce bike shops to stop carrying Vista-owned brands and to encourage consumers not to purchase them. It’s a little sad that employees of these companies, some of whom I know personally, could be negatively affected by these actions. All of them began work at Bell, Giro, Blackburn (purchased by Vista in 2016) or Camelbak (purchased by Vista in 2015) before the companies were purchased by Vista. The people I know are avid mountain bikers who are passionate about making quality products for riders - and they aren’t the type to support the NRA. While the anger many people feel about the seemingly endless mass shootings in the U.S. is absolutely understandable, this feels a little like beating up on some nice kids because they got adopted by asshole parents. At the same time, if you can avoid spending your dollars on products that support a company that produces weapons designed to kill en masse, the choice seems pretty clear.

Comments

DemonMike
-3 Fatehasaknife Meister Beau Miller Vik Banerjee IslandLife
mike  - March 2, 2018, 10:21 a.m.

While the anger many people feel about the seemingly endless mass shootings in the U.S. is absolutely understandable, this feels a little like beating up on some nice kids because they got adopted by asshole parents.

This statement says a lot , IMO this is a kneejerk reaction. All the above companies and even Vista have stated they are run as their own entity and do not share the same views or support towards the NRA.

Now if only society would have the same views towards Alcohol, Tobacco and the big Drug companies producing death in a bottle.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+3 Meister Beau Miller IslandLife
Cam McRae  - March 2, 2018, 10:43 a.m.

All that may be true mike but the sales from these four companies also help the bottom line of the parent company, and the parent company has no issue producing weapons designed for killing in large numbers. Tobacco companies have certainly taken big hits as and if you are going to open that can of worms you need to look at soft drink makers, fast food producers... the list is endless. Perhaps a difference is that you can call deaths from those industries unintentional?

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DanL
+7 NealWood Meister Cam McRae Andy Eunson Cr4w Beau Miller Todd Hellinga
stinky_dan  - March 2, 2018, 1:06 p.m.

It doesn't strike me as much a knee-jerk reaction as much as a reaction from people who see little other recourse. 

It became obvious that nothing rational will be done at a governmental level if Sandy Hook failed to mobilise things. The NRA has spokespeople who voice repellent and dissembling opinions with little thought to the survivors of these appalling tragedies whilst dogmatically (and effectively) blocking any motion to restrict access of any form. A lot of people find that to be the core issue, not necessarily the production of the firearms themselves.  

Corporate interest determines so much of public policy so people are looking at different avenues to register their views.

We could/should all look deeper into who makes what and see where we really lie on the ethical compass, but that shouldn't form the basis of a pointless ad hominem argument on this subject.

Reply

AW_REALLY
0
AW_REALLY  - March 6, 2018, 5:41 p.m.

Cam, your numbers for the US may or may not be spot on, but consider your source.  If you take  4 of the cities out of the equation then the US number drop below even Canada's  numbers.  Which 4 cities you ask?  Washington D.C, Chicago, New Orleans and New York.  Why these 4 cities?  These 4 cities have the highest murder rates in the US and these 4 cities have the strictest "gun control" laws in the US.  The facts are out there and so many f you are so offended by them that you think its ok to pick and choice what supports your opinion, lazy journalism indeed...... 

Another thing about the US is everyone has the freedom to shop and buy what they want.  If they choose to support the companies then so be it, if they don't, its their choice, but because so many of you have an endless supply of guilt for something that has absolutely no direct cause or affect on you and you feel like you need to affect change in a county that you don't even live in, is absolutely ridiculous.

Yes what happened in Florida is a tragedy, but the the local police and even the FBI admitted on the National News they dropped the ball on this one.  After several interviews with the actual shooter and tips from numerous people close to the shooter, nothing was done to stop this individual, before this happen, but everyone want to villainize the gun, the AR15.  Its the not the gun, if he had used an AK47 would everyone be so willing to affect their version of change on the US?  Would the MEC still be boycotted because their group owns a company that manufactures guns and ammo or would this even be a discussion ?      

This is a site for Mountain Bikes and related equipment and destinations for Mountain Biking. That is why I subscribe to this site not to have a gun control debate.  Yes I read the story above and I do see the correlation between the two, but REALLY ?????

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 6, 2018, 10:14 p.m.

You joined literally today. So LOL.

Beyond that you are suggesting that my statements support the boycott but for the most part I was simply reporting on the situation - or perhaps you didn't read my article? 

Mostly though it's clear that those who say that this is a bike site and that politics shouldn't be discussed here are those who disagree with the sentiments expressed. So that's pretty disingenuous.

And finally I couldn't give a flying fuck what people 'want to hear' on their mountain bike site. I'm going to write about issues I feel are important to mountain bikers whether they are popular with some readers or not. 

Now that's freedom

Reply

AW_REALLY
0
AW_REALLY  - March 8, 2018, 1:09 p.m.

Yes I did just join the other day, but have been a long time reader and watcher of this site and for that matter will continue to be in the future.  I truly look forward to the weekly updates, articles and videos. 

Yes, please feel free to write about whatever, even though our opinions may differ I do enjoy all of the great information that all of you provide.  Of course I read your article and I only joined to comment on said article, simply because of the information out there is so skewed and everyone seems to so offended by the true facts.  

FREEDOM aside for a second:  Yes the correlation is there between the two subjects and no matter the decision of the parent company no one is going to win here.  If the company bends to pressure and sells off the smaller company's we all truly loose in the end and nothing has been changed or fixed.  Then the smaller company's suffer, their employees suffer, we all suffer and to what end?  They are still making and selling guns and ammo.  If we let the SJW's (Sarah Latha) win a fight like this, then like i said, we all loose and nothing changes. 

Finally "FLYING FUCK" that's classic and i love it, it ranks right up there with "FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON"  Keep up the great work Cam and Uncle Dave and please accept my sincerest apology, if my comments in anyway offended you, that was never my intent.  This a touchy subject no matter who writes about it.

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eMcK
0
eMcK  - March 7, 2018, 7:08 p.m.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/united-states-third-murders/

If you are going to show up and dispute facts, please cite your sources. If your source is a meme, fact check it first.

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AW_REALLY
0
AW_REALLY  - March 8, 2018, 1:18 p.m.

"If your source is a meme, fact check it first."  Hilarious.....

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rockpunk
0
rockpunk  - March 7, 2018, 9:04 p.m.

Nobody actually gives a shit that it was specifically an AR. The access that people have to these types of firearms (AR or AK or M1 carbine etc etc etc) needs to be REDUCED. Period. Just make it harder for people to get them, not impossible. Baby steps man. But at least steps not wlking backwards.

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AW_REALLY
0
AW_REALLY  - March 8, 2018, 1:17 p.m.

Wow rockpunk, so what your saying is let the government have even more control over our lives and our freedoms, check your history or check out our history if your not from here and see how that has worked out in the past for the people when the government has had total control of the people.  

Yes everyone does give a shit that it was and AR,  did you not read the article above?  Why do you think these company's are boycotting in the first place.

Reply

jt
+6 NealWood Meister Beau Miller Mammal Cam McRae IslandLife
JT  - March 2, 2018, 12:19 p.m.

It's a toughie these days here in Canada's nether region. Reasonable discourse is (and arguably has been) out the window and a lot of zealots, predominantly on the right, have taken this up as a battle cry. The Constitution is a living and evolving document, but that is a lost point to many. Too many absolutist statements on both sides, and no one is willing to converse IRL without their respective affiliations' bullet points at the ready and ear plugs in place. You're witnessing the fall of a nation from up there in the US's coiffure. As for the financial protests, I think it's the right of a company to do what they feel best aligns with their interests and values. If that means pulling some product from the shelves, fine. If that means social media platforms banning/striking down fascist/white power DB's, I'm cool with that. The shop I worked at abandoned Bell/Giro/Blackburn/Camelback when they started showing up online for less than we wholesaled them. This new issue is just another small feather in a big hat to avoid supporting those brands.

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Bushpilot
+1 Cr4w
Bushpilot  - March 2, 2018, 2:17 p.m.

Quick note on the first paragraph:  The open letter from MEC CEO David Labistour indicates that MEC is "suspending any further orders" from the brands owned by Vista but that "existing inventory will remain on shelves until it has sold through."  So, they haven't really suspended the sale of products produced by Vista...MEC just isn't ordering any more of those products.

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craw
+1 NealWood
Cr4w  - March 3, 2018, 8:13 a.m.

I thought this was an artful way to handle it.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 3, 2018, 10:37 a.m.

Thanks (Johnny?). Will correct.

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Endur-Bro
0
Endur-Bro  - March 2, 2018, 9:25 p.m.

Well that answered my question to what happened to Giro and Bell after Easton and RaceFace merged...

Reply

syncro
0 Fatehasaknife mike oudiaou Mammal
Mark  - March 2, 2018, 10:57 p.m.

I'm a proponent of gun control in the form of increased background checks, stricter licensing, mandatory training, and other such measures. I'm also a proponent of unbiased discussion based on facts and reality. Misusing the word "assault rifle" as a click bait headline grabber is lazy journalism when it's well know that the AR in AR-15 doesn't stand for assault rifle. Use of that term only serves to further some of the division that exists between the pro and anti gun lobbies. It cheapens the discussion and actually drags it backwards instead of pushing it forward.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 3, 2018, 10:39 a.m.

I'm not sure if you noticed, but I corrected that yesterday. Assault weapon is the correct term. And yes - I should have done better there. Cheers.

Reply

syncro
-1 Fatehasaknife oudiaou Mammal
Mark  - March 3, 2018, 12:19 p.m.

Ahh, yes I see it now says assault weapon, but I beg to differ that assault weapon is the correct term. What criteria are you using to define an assault weapon and to call an AR-15 an assault weapon?. The AR-15 is a semi-auto rifle, no different than many rifles that have a rather benign look. From what I've seen the AR-15 mistakenly gets the assault rifle moniker is the AR in the firearm's name which stands for Armalite, the company's name, and that it has a military look. In terms of the firearm's function there is nothing really assault about it and it is not a military grade firearm that would be used in any sort of assault.

It's important to get these things right if people are to have meaningful discussion, failing to do so simply entrenches people's preconceived biases. IMHO you need to do better and correctly label the firearm.

Reply

davetolnai
+9 DCLee ZigaK Cam McRae NealWood Meister Bogey Niels rockpunk oudiaou
Dave Tolnai  - March 5, 2018, 9:05 a.m.

I get where you're coming from but I'm pretty sick of this whole "you've mis-labeled this thing and I don't like it so we just can't talk about this any longer" thing.

It's like if a hiker came up to us and said "I've got a real problem with you guys bombing down these hiking trails on your DH bikes.  You almost hit me a couple of times and I'd like to talk about changing things."  And our response was "Actually, we were on our enduro bikes.  It's really important that you get the terminology correct and until you do we can't really talk about this issue."

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syncro
0
Mark  - March 6, 2018, 8:36 a.m.

You'd have a valid point if that's what I actually said, but I didn't so you don't.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 5, 2018, 11:13 a.m.

I did some research after mislabelling it the first time. Here's what Wikipedia says: The term "assault rifle" is sometimes conflated with the term "assault weapon". According to the Associated Press Stylebook, the media should differentiate between "assault rifles," which are capable of fully automatic firing, and "assault weapons," which are semiautomatic and "not synonymous with assault rifle."

But maybe you have information they don't? Regardless - it's pretty tough to argue against an AR-15 being a rifle that is capable of massive damage - even without a bump stock.

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syncro
0
Mark  - March 6, 2018, 9:04 a.m.

Any firearm is capable of massive damage - some more than others. The way things are being defined any firearm with a detachable magazine capable of semi automatic fire would be considered an assault weapon and the firearms that aren't capable, such as bolt action rifles, would not be considered assault weapons. From that one could label most firearms as assault weapons. Cam you're right that there is some disambiguation between the term assault rifle and assault weapon, but when you read those two terms is there really any disambiguation between the two? I'd argue that most people who are anti-gun will see the same and give an equally negative connotation to both.

I'm not a linguist by any stretch of the imagination but I see a lot of the issues in these debates coming from people using incorrect labels and language in their arguments. Use of terms like assault and weapon seems to be more about instilling fear and mistrust to make "the other side" look somehow inherently morally wrong or bad.

I brought the point up because it's important to get these things right, or to at least try and not have the nuances of one's POV anger the people you're trying to communicate with. It's great when the people who hold the same POV as you sit around and cheer and rah-rah you're awesome -  I think the kids these days call that the echo chamber -  but if you actually want to engage people with the idea of changing opinion or at least planting the seed of a new idea then does it make any sense to position your argument in a manner that pushes the people you're trying to reach further away?

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 rockpunk
Cam McRae  - March 6, 2018, 10:16 p.m.

No fucking way am I calling AR-15 type guns "modern sporting rifles." That's the most bullshit term I've ever heard. Talk about marketing speak... Jesus.

rockpunk
+1 Cam McRae
rockpunk  - March 5, 2018, 12:43 p.m.

Who cares if people label it as an assault rifle or assault weapon. Bottom line is that it is a short barrelled firearm with hi-rate semi automatic fire and high capacity magazine. It is a firearm adapted from one designed for shooting and killing people. It is a great firearm for target shooting and very enjoyable to shoot. It doens't need to be banned to reduce it's use for tragic events like it has become known for. Something drastically needs to change though.

In Canada any semi-automatic center fire rifle or shotgun with a barrel shorter than 470mm (18.5") or overall length shorter than 670mm (26.4") (in a mode capable of firing, ie: folded/tele stock) is restricted. Restricted firearms (pistols included) require registration, special licensing, and special transportation and usage rules. This means they can still be owned, used, and enjoyed by avid sport shooters. These regulations  effectively reduce their availability and laxity around their handling. The owners name is also attached to the individual firearm thereby applying criminal responsibility if it falls into the wrong hands.

These laws still allows the sporting use of restricted firearms but it is illegal to have magazines with a capacity of more than 5 cartridges. Doesn't mean they aren't around but it definitely means there are a LOT less of them. Same goes for the firearms, only the truly dedicated responsible (theoretically) owners will go through the trouble of owning them. Yes there will always be illegally owned ones especially in the US, if they miraculously do get restricted there are so many out there and so many fanatical owners that it will take many decades for them to become legitimized or reduced but it has to start somewhere.

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wncmotard
0
WNCmotard  - March 6, 2018, 11:52 a.m.

Our laws are similar actually. The vast majority of civilian owned AR variants in the US are 18" or longer barrels. Anything less than an 18" barrel is considered a SBR (short barreled rifle), and requires a $200 tax stamp from the ATF, and also cannot be transported across state lines without a prior application, and approval form from said ATF.

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rockpunk
0
rockpunk  - March 7, 2018, 8:47 p.m.

You are missing the point. The point is very simple. Doesn't matter if it's an AR, a pistol, or an M1 carbine. If it meets any of the criteria (and regardless of barrel length an AR would meet the criteria) its classified as restricted and the rules are there to keep the numbers lower and the backround checks are more rigorous for those with a "restricted firearm" license. These firearms can't be transported except to and from a designated range and requires a Authorization to Transport from local authorities. These are measures used to keep the firearms out of the hands of irresponsible users, including those with criminal intent. The harder it is to get, the less incidents there will be. The dedicated and passionate folks that jump through the necessary hoops can still enjoy their pastime of choice. Where is the downfall? Lift your writing hand for paper work or lower a casket into the ground. Which is easier?

eMcK
+1 rockpunk
eMcK  - March 7, 2018, 7:48 p.m.

Phillip Peterson, the author of Gun Digest Buyer’s Guide to Assault Weapons (2008) wrote:

The popularly held idea that the term 'assault weapon' originated with anti-gun activists is wrong. The term was first adopted by manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearms owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.

https://books.google.com/books?id=fd9Qc0neMjYC&pg=PA11#v=onepage&q&f=false

To say a rifle that can interchange most every part with a military issue M16 or M4 is not a "military grade firearm" or that "there is nothing really assault about it" shows either total ignorance of firearms and the military use of them, or an attempt to spread disinformation. (Source: 11B training and expert marksmanship qualification).

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syncro
0
Mark  - March 7, 2018, 8:46 p.m.

I didn't think I made any sort of claim as to the origin of the term assault weapon. It is somewhat telling though that the manufacturers have used this term as a marketing tool to try and sell more firearms. Telling in the sense of the attitude that seems prevalent around firearms. 

Re your statement that you can interchange most every part of an AR-15 with an M16 or M4 may be true, but not so for the critical components that would make the AR-15 fully automatic. Those parts aren't readily available (also cost $$$$$) and apparently one would have to do some machine work in order to make it so. 

I don't have total ignorance of firearms nor am I trying to spread disinformation. The point I was trying to make is that how we use language to frame an issue is important as it will dictate how the conversation flows and whether people will engage in a meaningful way.

__ EDIT __**

eMck  - Seeing as I can't reply to your comment I'll state it here and hopefully you'll see it. 1st I'm not sure where you or Cam got sporting rifle from, I never made such a comment.

2nd - I've stated a few times why I've made an issue out of the name and the way an argument is presented. I am 100% for reasonable gun control similar to what we have in Canada, but I don't see any value in entering into a discussion in a manner that  that will antagonize those who have a different viewpoint that you. If one of the goals of a discussion is to sway differing opinions then an approach that doesn't rebuff those with differing opinions is needed. Based on most of the posts in this thread, anyone with more of a pro-gun attitude seems to not care to much what the anti-gun people have to say.

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eMcK
0
eMcK  - March 7, 2018, 10:09 p.m.

Fully automatic fire is not required for something to be an assault rifle. For decades, the main battle rifle of the US military wasn't capable of full-auto fire. (The M16A2 is a semi-auto or 3 round burst weapon)Did that magically make it into a sporting rifle that was suddenly much less dangerous?

Stop being ridiculous. The AR series of rifles was developed by Armalite to kill people effectively. That is why is carried in semi-auto form by thousands of non-military law enforcement officers. And why it has been used to kill dozens of people in mass shootings.

Full auto setting or not, these are effective tools for killing a lot of people. Why do you feel the need to argue semantics about the "proper" name?

fmeister
0
Meister  - March 5, 2018, 7:07 p.m.

So why do you need a gun like this? Is it the mentality that I've got a bigger button than you? Guess where that will get you, us, civilization. Unfortunately it comes down to multi-billion dollar industries that form and direct governments and our only recourse is to stand up in unity and get companies to take notice and we can only hope it continues so hopefully policies get changed in goverment

Reply

Varaxis
-3 Fatehasaknife Bogey oudiaou Beau Miller Mammal
Dan V  - March 3, 2018, 3:09 p.m.

Knives are the weapon of choice for mass murder outside of the US. Google search on the topic will give plenty of examples, such as Japanese school massacres or a German stabbing spree where there was a HIV-positive scare.  

Focus on the process, instead of only the problem. Culture is a part of the root of the problem that can be addressed. Is there something closer to the root of the problem? 

US culture: heavy judgment, social outcasting, and incarceration. Suicide prevention that assumes people are mentally ill who need personal fixing. "Thoughts and prayers" as sympathy. Heck, just being smelly is borderline terrorism to people, with people preferring to outcast them rather than offer a solution that allows integration. Victims of such treatment lose hope and have breakdowns. They have strong feelings yet have no way to act them out. If they lay a hand on an oppressor, they can lose their way of life, so they suppress it until it grows too big to hold back. Evil thoughts are frighteningly common, due to all the pent up frustration. Outlets such as "rage rooms" are questionable in effectiveness, as is sport shooting.

There's many changes we can make to culture that subtly affects people to mitigate problems down the line. For example, simply having anonymous voting buttons on these posts is questionable, since it makes judgment seem commonplace and tolerated. If people are given power, they need to be held accountable for their use. Me having a word in this matter is held accountable by my ID/profile. If I am to upvote/downvote, I would prefer if it were tagged with my ID, and have a full history of my voting habits displayed in my profile, and have my upvotes/downvotes decrease in value in certain circumstances, to limit the damage/impact I can do with them in case of corruption. This system will encourage me to self-police myself to uphold a consistent ethical standard. 

The fix could be summed up as simply being tolerant, yet being intolerant of intolerance (famous paradox). Intolerance of guns and brands associated with them etc. is questionable. Money going to Camelbak, Bell, Giro, etc. isn't proven to go towards supporting sport shooting. There's other options out there for those seeking to be mass murderers, such as explosives. Need to divert focus to the problem of intolerance and help re-integrate people into being productive fulfilling citizens of Earth. We just need to get along with each other and stop drawing lines to segregate yourself from others, based on fears and narrow-minded beliefs.

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 Dan V
Cam McRae  - March 5, 2018, 9:51 p.m.

I don't disagree with you about the societal issues that contribute to the problems of mass shootings, suicide and gun violence in general, but we have those same issues here in Canada. Laws that require background checks and cooling off periods are straightforward and easily enforced. Changing the arc of society so people are more tolerant and inclusive doesn't have the same kind of readily identifiable band-aid. 

Also - allowing everyone to see who voted for their posts is on the to do list.

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Varaxis
0
Dan V  - March 11, 2018, 1:17 a.m.

Respect for the feature-in-work. Good to have the foresight to have tools and a strategy plan to deal with chance problems, which further deter the problems.

Do you Canadians see yourselves as "normal" with typical assholes and nice guys and other countries as having many assholes? I hear stories of tourists saying you're all so polite. It's a relative thing... makes me want to research mass murders in Canada and why gun culture works in other countries, like Switzerland.

Here's a concept regarding band-aid fixes and why they're bad: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixes_that_fail

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Vikb
+4 Meister oudiaou Beau Miller Mammal
Vik Banerjee  - March 4, 2018, 6:47 a.m.

The American public wants tighter gun control. In a democracy the will of the people should be enacted. In the US what is stopping that is that the NRA has so much money to lobby with it can buy politicians on both sides in sufficient numbers to stop any laws from being passed.

About the only way to solve this problem it to remove that financial lobby advantage. Attacking companies that funnel money to the NRA is a reasonable step in that process. 

It's not the last word in this fight, but it's a reasonable step to take at this time given the horrendous cost being paid by the public. I support MEC and REI's move.

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JohnF
0
John Forsythe  - March 4, 2018, 4:11 p.m.

Consider this: SOME of the American public want tighter gun control. The mere existence of an organization such as the NRA presupposes your statement. If all of the US public wanted tight controls, then an the NRA would not exist because there would not be a need to defend the 2nd amendment.

The NRA is funded by memberships and donations. Their goal is not to pass laws. Their goal is to uphold the 2nd amendment. They do this through their lobby groups, legal foundation and public awareness campaigns. Their most recent (50 years or so) political orientation is a direct response to the attack on private citizens ability to keep and use firearms. 

I think it is safe to say that no one wants to see this horrific shootings continue, no matter what side of the argument you are on. Having a rational argument is a different story.

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cam@nsmb.com
+3 Meister Niels rockpunk
Cam McRae  - March 5, 2018, 11:21 a.m.

That stats indicate that a majority of U.S. citizens are in favour of many of the gun control measures the NRA opposes. Initiatives like waiting periods, background checks, weapons bans for those on the no fly list etc. Interestingly this generally seems to be true on both sides of the political divide. 

"American voters support stricter gun laws 66 - 31 percent, the highest level of support ever measured by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll, with 50 - 44 percent support among gun owners and 62 - 35 percent support from white voters with no college degree and 58 - 38 percent support among white men." 

https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2521

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blackfly
-3 Fatehasaknife Meister bmv88 oudiaou Absolut-M
Peter Leeds  - March 4, 2018, 12:59 p.m.

Just a thought.

If the problem is the gun and not the person firing it, then why does the same logic not follow to other areas of life, cars say. Without a driver the car just sits there and is no danger at all, until a motorist gets into it.  You need a license to drive, show some level of competence...but do we blame the accidents and deaths on the cars or the drivers?  Funny this same logic does not work with guns.

The Virginia Tech shooting really stands out for me, as the perp was a KNOWN head case and STILL was able to get semiautomatic handguns, that are just as effective as an AR 15 (worse, actually since they can be readily concealed compared to a long gun) and yet the focus is the guns, not the fact he was allowed to slip through the system which I suspect is as leaky as a sieve.

I think until the real issue, the people committing these crimes, is addressed nothing will improve.  The guns will never go away.  And as aluded to earlier, you hear about how gun control brings down gun violence in other parts of the world (England and Australia come to mind) but I would like to see the stats on deaths by "alternate means".  I would like to see the stats for driving in the US per year.  Would make for an interesting comparison.

And I don't think selective removal of business associations are going to work, either.  I know ethical funds exist but how many invest in them?  The things that make the most money are not often the most peaceful or non injurious aspects of life.  I think for most so long as they are getting 15% they don't really care how.  I am a MEC member but I see this as a knee jerk reaction.  Why not after Sandy Hook or Columbine?

Interesting side note to Columbine:  Klebold and Harris had a bomb attached to a propane tank for added effect, and it never went off.  So why not ban propane tanks if it is really about the ability to effect mass casualty?  I could go on, but the point:  until we focus on the people and the reasons why they do what they do nothing will improve.  David killed Goliath with a stone, after all.

Does anyone find the fact that the shooting in Florida happened on Valentines Day?  This to me speaks volumes for the fact it is not a gun issue but a people issue.

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rockpunk
0 Mark Meister
rockpunk  - March 5, 2018, 12:50 p.m.

You are correct in that the real problem is the people not the gun. But the other problem is that the guns are too easily obtained and the rules surrounding their handling and ownership is far too lax. Therefore the laws need to change and that means filtering people and making the firearm more difficult to obtain for everyone, not just the crazies or those with a history. Make more hoops for the dedicated and responsible to jump through in order to be able to own and use such a firearm. This won't eliminate all the bad people that can get them but it would drastically reduce them.

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bmv88
+3 Cam McRae Meister Bogey
bmv88  - March 5, 2018, 1:01 p.m.

I try to remain as open as possible to arguments from both sides of the gun debate however, the one thing I don't understand or at least haven't heard a convincing argument is why does one need to have an AR-15 rifle or it's equivalent?

It seems overkill for home protection and hunting and probably wouldn't be the weapon of choice for either of these purposes (or so I've read, I don't know anything about guns). So, if it isn't for protection or hunting then is it merely for hobby?

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wncmotard
0
WNCmotard  - March 6, 2018, 11:59 a.m.

Why does one need a 6" travel, $10,000 wonderbike to go ride? Surely a Walmart special would get the job done just as well, right? The AR is robust, dependable, accurate platform to start with. You can also get them chambered in various calibers, so yes, they can make a good hunting rifle, and most states limit you to a 5 round magazine for hunting. Lots of people go out and target shoot and practice marksmanship on a regular basis as a hobby, no different than we ride our bikes. Putting a five shot group into the ten ring at longer ranges is nowhere near as easy as the movies leads people to believe. Shooting when done responsibly is a very enjoyable way to relax, as you need to be relaxed for good accuracy. And just for the record, I enjoy shooting my air guns just as much as anything I own.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 6, 2018, 10:20 p.m.

That's not a just comparison. You can't kill by the dozen with a mountain bike so who cares?

I have no issue with target shooting and we have that in Canada, with registered firearms and trained owners who have passed background checks and who transport their weapons in accordance with the law. What's so hard about that?

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wncmotard
0
WNCmotard  - March 7, 2018, 1:12 p.m.

Nothing is hard about it, and thousands of us do just that regularly. My point was the gun is just a tool for performing a task, no different than our bikes, or a hammer. The number of motor vehicle deaths each year is almost identical to the number of gun deaths in the US, yet nobody is screaming to ban motor vehicles now are they? And plenty of innocent people are killed by other drivers every year, and vehicles have even been used in recent years in attacks on large crowds. I get your point, but you can't fix a problem with human behavior by making the tools they use to commit those acts unavailable, they'll simply choose another tool for the job and carry on. Human beings have been killing each other since we were huddled in caves smacking rocks together to light a fire, and they'll most likely continue to do so as long as there are human beings in the universe.

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rockpunk
0
rockpunk  - March 7, 2018, 8:49 p.m.

I agree with you that its a tool. The bad people will always find a tool. The difference is that you make it more difficult to get their hands on a air powered nail gun so that they only have a old-fashioned hammer to pound nails in the coffins. Means less coffins will get made.

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rockpunk
0
rockpunk  - March 7, 2018, 9 p.m.

Also, hard to drive a car around in a school, movie theater, or other confined space that gather lots of people. The number of incidents of the weaponization of motor vehicles for attacking groups of people for some reason is much much lower than firearms.

Humans have been killing humans for all of humanity. Statistically per capita those numbers have been dropping dramatically since the dawn of time too. Cave man scraps, tribal warfare, expansion and defeat of so many empires, mass genocide, warfare since the inception of the firearm, mechanized warfare, World Wars, more genocide, all through that time the numbers killed have been reducing when factoring population growth.

Lets keep that trend up and take what measures we can to reduce gun violence.

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DemonMike
0
mike  - March 5, 2018, 7:16 p.m.

Curious as too how many supporters have either thrown out or put these products up for sale ??

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Bude
0
Bude  - March 8, 2018, 9:20 a.m.

Does the parent companies stance on a political topic magically lower the quality and workability of their products? Or are you suggesting that wearing Bell, Giro or CamelBak gear marks you as Pro-gun supporter and everybody should just trash their perfectly good products?

I'm truly confused… Hasn't Vista owned most of these brands for the last 3 years? I didn't see anybody throwing a tantrum then? Why now?

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NealWood
0
NealWood  - March 5, 2018, 9:44 p.m.

I have no issue with exercising my right to spend my money where I want and on what I want.  You can easily extend that to spending it in shops that sell the things I do or do not approve of. If MEC and others decide that they are better off not selling products from one company or another then that's the free market.  I can tell you that I will not be purchasing any of these brands, so a good shop will find other things to sell me.

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