NRA Flag
Editorial

Uncle Dave Tackles the Vista Outdoor Debate

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Mar 6, 2018

I wrote this before I realized Cam was writing something about guns. I mean, we're writers, not talkers...You can't really expect us to get on the same page all of the time. I will admit that when I saw Cam's piece I got kind of excited because I thought that meant I could scrap this sucker and  not worry about putting myself out there. But alas, here we are. More guns.

Personally, I don’t really care if you want to own guns. If you want to buy dozens of them to play with in the bath while you splash around and make “bang bang!” noises, that’s fine. If you want to go to a gun range and blast holes in pictures of things, that’s okay too. I don’t really understand it, but I’m going to recognize that most governments in most countries will give you the legal ability to do such a thing (you know, one way or another). We good so far?

My problem is when your rights to own a gun infringe on my rights to not get shot in the face. I know, that’s a bit dramatic. I live in Canada, after all. The chances of me getting caught up in a shooting of any type are remote…although not as remote as we might hope.

But even though I’m up here, one country removed from the insane debate y'all have going on down there, I think things have reached a point where this is now a “moral thing upon which anybody can have an opinion.”  For example, I’m not gay and I don’t live in Russia, but I’m allowed to look down upon the way Mr. Putin deals with that.

So let’s just say, from up here in Canada, I respect your American right to own a gun, but I have an equal amount of respect for the people who are a bit worried that they’re going to get shot due to your god-given right to own a firearm. And when I see that I could have a chance, however small, to have an impact on that debate, that's something that I'm going to put some serious thought into, and something that I hope we all do.

And I know, I know, I know. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. You’re a responsible gun owner and would never do anything dangerous with your gun. But isn't that exactly why we have laws? To protect us from all those other schmucks who aren't really paying attention to what they're doing? We don’t have speed limits for the 63% of people who drive safely or seat belt laws for the 98% of people who don't need to be told that it would be bad if they fly through the windshield on impact. I don’t smoke in bed but I’m glad that we’ve made laws to prevent mattresses being made of kindling and gunpowder. And I'm a bit confused but okay that it's a tiny bit harder for me to buy over-the-counter cold medicine if it truly does make it a bit harder to cook meth. Or to buy enough fertilizer to build a giant bomb. Or whatever. 

We make laws to protect people from doing stupid, dangerous things. If we feel unsafe or witness a lot of stupid activity, we’re entitled, as a society, to voice an opinion about how things are used and regulated. And if we view enough irresponsible and dangerous usage of something...anything, really... it’s not a good enough argument to point at the majority that don’t do these things and claim that as justification for doing nothing. And there are more than enough examples of people doing really, really bad things with guns for people to start thinking that maybe the current setup is less than ideal.


Can we speak rationally about why you need that semi-automatic rifle with the large ammunition clip without it turning into a pedantic discussion about how we’re all idiots because it’s “not an assault rifle?”

And this is the problem. There's an organization of approximately 5 Million People that have decided that there isn't a valid opinion on guns other than "all of them, all of the time". They've decided to shut down any sort of debate on the topic using the millions and millions of dollars in funding that they receive every year from the people that make the very thing we're trying to talk about. They bully politicians into taking their side on the issue and make any sort of change impossible.

And that's where I come to this whole Bell/Giro/Camelbak thing. I'm not a huge fan of the idea that their parent company makes guns and ammunition and all of that, but I also recognize that they have a legal right to do so and that they're probably not going to stop doing that anytime soon. And if we start digging into the ownership groups on all of our purchases, we're going to pretty quickly get really depressed and not be able to buy anything. But that might be a lesson in paying more attention to our purchasing habits than it is an argument about not doing something here.

So I'm almost willing to give the whole "gun manufacturer" thing a pass. But what I'm having a harder time doing is giving the whole "NRA supporter" thing that same pass. If we're going to be the slightest bit rational on this issue, it's going to involve ideas and discussion and some hard truths. From everybody. A well-funded group that seems hell bent on this discussion not even taking place feels like the last thing that anybody needs right now.

Because, it is possible for people to have guns, and for there to be reasonable limitations placed on that ownership. Even the gunniest gun owners have a line they won't cross somewhere, right? Somewhere along the line, people decided that 17-year-olds can't buy their own weapons. Or that most people don't need shoulder-launched stinger missiles. Would it be okay to bat around some ideas to keep guns out of the hands out of violent criminals, terrorists and those who might harm themselves or others? Can we speak rationally about why you need that semi-automatic rifle with the large ammunition clip without it turning into a pedantic discussion about how we’re all idiots because it’s “not an assault rifle?” There probably are some people out there who “want to take all your guns away.”  But there’s also a shitload of people who just want to see some kind of rational limitation put on this thing before we’re all required to have advanced weapons training as a prerequisite to visiting your country. And unfortunately, I think the NRA has played a large part in turning any of those discussions into an apocalyptic, winner take all, cage match filled with confusion, semantics and grammatical arguments, rather than a productive discussion about guns. And that is not healthy, or good for anybody.


But the worst thing that could happen right now is for Vista to divest itself from cycling. If they decide this shit is too much of a hassle, focus on guns and go right back to the way that they're doing things now, we no longer have any sort of voice in any of this, and we won’t really have accomplished all that much.

In all honesty, in the near future, I'm not planning on buying any products in the  Bell/Giro/Camelbak sphere (but in writing this article I've probably seen my last free helmet or shoes for quite some time). It would be really easy for me to say that I won't buy these products because I really don't have to back up those actions with anything. I probably wouldn't, but that's just an academic point based on nothing.

I like what I'm hearing from the CEO at MEC on this topic. Shots have been fired. Waves have been made. Now it's time to see what Bell/Giro/Camelbak are made of. We know they're not making guns or directly sending money to the NRA. But they're involved with somebody who is. What sort of impact can they have on changing the way Vista's shooting brands deal with this issue? What happens at Vista when there's a serious threat to 25% of their revenue? If the answer is 'nothing' and Vista decides that there is more money to be made from a strong gun market than from us mouthy cyclists...well, then that is definitely a decision being made and something for us to consider. But the worst thing that could happen right now is for Vista to divest itself from cycling. If they decide this shit is too much of a hassle, focus on guns and go right back to the way that they're doing things now, we no longer have any sort of voice in any of this, and we won’t really have accomplished all that much.

So I guess that's where I'm at on this. I love that we're having this conversation. I love that, as a cyclist, I have a tiny bit of leverage as to where this debate could go. I'm not going to tell you what to do or what to think, but if you really do care about this (and you should, one way or another), reach out to the companies involved and tell them your opinion. They keep telling us that they are independent companies that have nothing to do with the shooting side of the business. Let's see if they can prove it. Let's give them a reasonable way to win back our trust and see what happens. Let's see if they can nudge a large gun owner in a new direction. My two ideas for how this could happen:

1) Bell/Giro/Camelbak publicly demand that Vista cease any and all funding to the NRA.

2) Bell/Giro/Camelbak or Vista set up some long-term funding for organizations dedicated solely to gun safety and gun control or to victims of gun violence. Let's at least level the playing field.

I'm sure you can think of other ways to impact this conversation. If this is something you agree with, keep up the pressure, but give Giro/Bell/Camelbak a constructive way to respond, and reward them if they do so. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I think we all need to put some thought into what “success” looks like here. I think that improving the level of discourse by marginalizing one of the most toxic voices would be a huge win for everybody.

Comments

mawa
+4 Merwinn Skyler Fatehasaknife Luix
MaWa  - March 6, 2018, 2:50 a.m.

Thank you for that article. 

I think a change is possible. It was possible against the cigarette lobby and it is possible against the NRA.

Reply

slimshady76
+3 Cam McRae Mammal flash4092
Luix  - March 6, 2018, 4:35 a.m.

Amazing piece Dave. Once again, you've set my mind's gears spinning, making me see a whole new angle on this debate. It's pretty easy to get caught in the my-way-or-the-highway reasoning -which is partly endorsed by the NRA as a mean to victimize itself- and you have brought a very good approach to the issues derived from gun control.

Thanks so much for broadening the horizon. For sure, if I wasn't half a world away, I'd invite you and Cam to share several rounds. It's Beer I'm talking about here, off course ;-).

Reply

Vikb
+2 Bogey Luix
Vik Banerjee  - March 6, 2018, 5:25 a.m.

While I agree that VO getting out of cycling and still supporting the NRA is less optimal than if they get the message and change their stance on support for the NRA....however if the former happens that's still a pretty big deal. Being forced to change your business structure because enough people are unhappy and boycotting you is sending a big message. 

Fighting an organization like the NRA to get some rationality into the gun control debate is going to be a war not  battle. Things will not change overnight or because of one set of actions, but if enough people are willing to keep at it there can be meaningful change.

And ultimately it's better to try and fail than to do nothing.

Reply

davetolnai
+2 Luix Merwinn
Dave Tolnai  - March 6, 2018, 8:17 a.m.

Ya, in all honesty, I went back and forth a fair amount on how far to take things with this article.  What you're suggesting would definitely be a result, for sure.  But I really started thinking that if that were to happen, all it does is further solidify people in two camps.  Say Vista sells off Giro/Bell/Camelback at a bit of a loss.  Hooray.  We can relish in the egg on their face.  But how long would that last?  My bet would be that they celebrate their martyrdom, sell more guns and push further right.  I could definitely be wrong about that, but it's for sure a possibility.

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JohnF
0
John Forsythe  - March 8, 2018, 8:53 a.m.

Dave, good write up and thanks for taking the time to reason it out.

However, I think you are really glossing over why the NRA, or other gun lobbies do things the way they do. They lobby lawmakers because if they don't, then like minded people would get steamrolled by people who's agenda is to not allow you to own a firearm. You, and others, paint it as though the only lobbying going on in DC and at state levels is by the NRA. But you are lying to yourselves and presenting a false argument if you don't include both sides of the discussion. 

Here is a list found with a 5 second google search for anti-gun lobbies:

The Brady Campaign
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
Everytown for Gun Safety
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Violence Policy Center

There are more, some more frenzied than others.

Expanded background checks are a great start, but in the US  you have to be careful because it starts to infringe on 4th amendment rights. Where does the information for the more comprehensive tests come from? Does the government have the right to collect and store this information? etc.

In the case of the Florida shooting, yes, a kid who shouldn't have been allowed to buy a gun did. But in many cases, these people are either older than 21, or just take their parents guns. No background check would have prevented those types of incidents. 

In the end, it is a very complicated topic and there is no short solution. Most of the issue is societal anyway. And that is an even more difficult subject to sort through.

john

Reply

flash4092
+2 rockpunk Cr4w
flash4092  - March 6, 2018, 7:58 a.m.

Thanks for taking such a reasoned approach to this whole issue.  Given the 5 million existing NRA members stance on regulation, what might be accomplished if 10 million supporters of appropriate legislation were to pay their $10 membership fees and make wholesale changes to the organization from the inside?

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - March 6, 2018, 8:36 a.m.

10 million supporters who just happen to be people of colour

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - March 6, 2018, 8:43 a.m.

?

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craw
0
Cr4w  - March 6, 2018, 10:48 a.m.

The NRA is a right wing organization. If 10 million people of colour joined the NRA and all demanded the right to open carry assault rifles I think you'd see some change PDQ.

Reply

DanL
+1 Luix
stinky_dan  - March 6, 2018, 11:26 a.m.

Seeing open carry assault rifles at first hand is fucking terrifying. Especially when you see the that the people carrying them are really into replicating some kind of pro-country para-military feel and discussing just how quickly they can load their guns if it came down to it.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
+1 Luix
Merwinn  - March 6, 2018, 1:04 p.m.

There was video of that floating around a short time ago set as tongue-in-cheek. Basically two actors portraying conservative, pro-2nd Amendment white guys ('bought and paid for' politician and a NRA member) become concerned that a 3 actor, a paramilitary-minded black man is encouraging his compatriots to join the NRA in order to reinforce their right to legally arm themselves, en masse. The high point comes when the white politician and NRA member are indirectly condemning the availability of guns as the thinly-veiled racism behind their new intentions becomes obvious. 

It was a interesting point, social commentary and humour all wrapped into one.

Reply

brian
+2 Cam McRae Evil_bumpkin
Brian Goldstone  - March 6, 2018, 7:36 p.m.

If you're into podcasts listen to More Perfect : The Gun Show - https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/gun-show/

Amongst a few things it talks about how the Black Panthers actually brought the 2nd Amendment to the forefront when they realized they could carry guns to police the police.  The history of the NRA segment is interesting as well

hongeorge
0
hongeorge  - March 8, 2018, 4:53 a.m.

Not much, unfortunately. NRA doesn't represent it's members, it represents gun companies, who oppose any and all regulation. Most polls suggest a majority of NRA members supportt gun control already.

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Cheez1ts
0
Garrett Thibault  - March 6, 2018, 8:02 a.m.

I think you’re right Dave re an equal discussion needing to happen. I had an Uber driver in the states ask us Canadians about gun control. He didn’t know we still had handguns, or about our process of getting one. I think he liked the idea of a little more regulation. I was surprised that discussion of how other countries manage it had never come up for him.

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whatyouthink
0
whatyouthink  - March 6, 2018, 9:15 a.m.

um there was no music included at the end of this article.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 7, 2018, 3:51 p.m.

Saving that for Uncle Dave's usual column.

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DaveSmith
0
Dave Smith  - March 6, 2018, 9:27 a.m.

also the facebook comments on this post by NRA trolls are entertaining!

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davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - March 6, 2018, 9:39 a.m.

Will I get depressed if I look at them?

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 6, 2018, 11:16 a.m.

Likely. Although it seems many haven't read your article.

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Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - March 6, 2018, 1:10 p.m.

What? 2nd Amendment nutjobs ignoring opinions from abroad? Shocker.

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mightyted
+1 Luix
mightyted  - March 6, 2018, 9:55 a.m.

Good article Dave. Thanks. I agree and I think the point is more about scrutinizing the NRA and how they operate. Any conversation about how to make people safer gets turned into one about broad strokes gun control and violation of the 2nd amendment when all that needs to be discussed really is how to ensure those who have access to guns aren't dangerous to other people. An idea the NRA should support but always manages to kill whenever it gets brought up.

Moving forward, I too will vote with my dollars.

Reply

markisfat
+1 Evil_bumpkin JT Mammal
markisfat  - March 6, 2018, 10:12 a.m.

Oh Uncle Dave. You started out so well. "My problem is when your rights to own a gun infringe on my rights to not get shot in the face." Poignant, succinct, and graphic. Journalistic gold.

And then you went as soft as a Marzocchi Z2.

Here's my problem with your article, and your position: Although the sarcastic and "cranky old man" tone of your articles tries to position you as the Free Ride Everyman, you are not Joe Average. You have an audience. A big one. And with your platform, comes responsibility. In this context, that responsibility includes taking a deep breath, bearing down, and having your balls drop for everyone to see. You're not a private citizen, you're a Journo with a voice. Wanna waffle on Rockshox vs. Fox? Give'er. Wanna sit on the fence about proper sweep of your handle bars. Be my guest. But if you're going to engage in shit like racism, human rights, and yes, gun control in America, it's time to put on your big boy undies, step up, and really call shit out. "Hard truths..." as you put it. 

The gun control "debate" in American is problematic on many levels. But those levels are not nuanced, subtle, or as difficult to navigate as some pretend. Your strongest statement came early in your article: "My problem is when your rights to own a gun infringe on my rights to not get shot in the face." If you believe in basic human rights, then the right to live, without fear of persecution, threat of violence or death, tops the list. (If you don't believe that, then your participation in a structured society is destined to be problematic.) Although sympathy for the non-gun toting employees of Bell/Giro/Camelback/Blackburn is fair, nuance and subtly in capital market language is not. Letters were appropriate at the time of District Of Columbia v. Heller 2008 when this bullshit started.. In today's context, letters are like bar-ends on a downhill bike: misapplied, and a waste of space. Boycott these brands BECAUSE their parent company is complicit in facilitating a morality that says gun ownership trumps your right to an intact face. "Ethical Mutual Funds" have been available to investors for years. This is our moment. Put on your big kid undies. Buy alternative brands.

Reply

davetolnai
+3 DCLee rockpunk Cam McRae
Dave Tolnai  - March 6, 2018, 11:05 a.m.

As stated above, I struggled with how far to go.  I can totally respect your position that I didn't go far enough.  "Private Citizen" Dave is probably willing to go a lot further than "Pseudo Journalist" Dave.

I stated in the article that I would "most likely not buy Giro/Bell/Camelbak" products if I was spending money in that arena.  I could have gone further with that rather than letting you read between the lines to figure out what I actually think.  That said, I don't think there is anything written above that suggests I don't support the boycott and it isn't apparent in my general theme here it is:

I wholeheartedly support anybody who chooses not to spend money with Giro/Bell/Camelbak.  They won't be getting any of my money, either.  But is it possible that we can create something larger than just not give money to cycling brands tied to a gun manufacturer?  Can we cultivate that relationship and create a more positive result?

I honestly don't know the answer to that but I'm interested in the discussion.  I think, bigger picture, I was having thoughts along the lines of crime and rehabilitation.  We're supposed to believe that people can change, and that we have an ability to correct behavior.  So I think that's my question.  Are we trying to punish Giro/Bell/Camelbak for being owned by a gun company, or are we trying to correct their behaviour?  We all may have a slightly different answer to that question.  I don't know.  Maybe it's the wrong question altogether?

I will admit that I've also been struggling a bit with tribalism and echo chambers.  I definitely lean pretty far to the left, and I've been getting pretty frustrated watching this side trip all over itself searching for the perfect solution, whithout accomplishing much of anything.  Is it possible that we can accomplish more by working with those vast swaths in the middle?  We may be loathe to admit it, but there are justifiable uses for firearms.  The NRA has made a pile of hay with "they're comin' for our guns!"  What happens if we concede that point, work towards some kind of action on the worst policies, and go from there?

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+1 Luix
Cam McRae  - March 6, 2018, 11:19 a.m.

How far did any of the other MTB sites go Mark? If you have looked. I haven't seen much but I'm sure there have been some pieces of note.

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wncmotard
0
WNCmotard  - March 6, 2018, 12:30 p.m.

As an avid gun owner, and target shooter, I get it, I really do. And I'm all for stricter background checks and laws as they apply to gun purchases and ownership. The problem is, we already have a lot of that stuff on the books, and it's not always enforced as we already know from recent events. If we don't have enough people to police and enforce what we already have on the books, adding even more laws and regulations potentially means that even more things will fall through the cracks. Honestly, one of the biggest issues is the state of mental healthcare in the US.

Reply

T-mack
+2 AJ Barlas Cam McRae
T-mack  - March 6, 2018, 1:12 p.m.

Healthcare is one of the problems, but that wouldn't have stopped the Vegas shooter as he was a 'normal guy'. Healthcare is just one of the problems as is the ease of which guns are obtained. The biggest problem imo with America is the propaganda machine that is the NRA. We don't have anything like that in Canada and thus our gun problems pale in comparison. We still have mental health problems, we still have criminals that get their hands on guns and yet I'm not scared of my neighbour. I don't FEEL the need to carry a gun.

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DemonMike
+1 WNCmotard
mike  - March 6, 2018, 9:21 p.m.

Normal guys don,t kill 50+ people.

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kos
0
Kos  - March 6, 2018, 2:56 p.m.

Such a tricky issue.  Obviously, something has to be done about school shootings in particular, but anybody that thinks legal gun availability is the root cause of this is living in a very simplified dream world.  Case in point:  The VERY small northern Minnesota town I grew up in was rife with gun ownership.  Everybody hunted. Everybody.  I am not exaggerating when I say that 90% of my male classmates could have grabbed one of several guns from home that they knew how to use and hauled it to school, BUT NONE OF US EVER DID.  Again, no argument that something needs to be done, but focussing solely on legal availability while ignoring how things like violence in film/TV, video games, and popular music influence modern youth is short-sighted.

And penalizing a helmet company?  Would be that it was so simple.  I mostly ride Treks, and I bet a bunch of those nice guys in their Wisconsin HQ are hunters.  No more Treks?  Where is the line?

Again, not saying that action is not needed.  The solution to gun violence just isn't going to be as simple as we'd like it to be.  Consider that gun violence overall is down markedly over the last 30 years (honest).

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davetolnai
+1 DCLee Luix Kos
Dave Tolnai  - March 6, 2018, 5:42 p.m.

But what sort of guns were those?  Shotguns?  Bolt action rifles?  How many of your friends had semi-automatic rifles with large capacity magazines?  How many of them went out and bought five of them, and enough ammunition to take on an army?  Did they have training?  Education?  Was there a mechanism to take them away if they started threatening people or showed that they couldn't use them safely?  What exactly have I said that would suggest what you experienced growing up couldn't still exist?

Nobody cares if people that work for Trek hunt.  I'm not arguing that people shouldn't be allowed to hunt and I have no idea where you got that from anything that I wrote.  Look at the NY Times article I linked to about buying guns in other countries.  It's not perfect, as they don't encapsulate all of the differences state by state, but so many countries have figured out how to give people access to firearms with some element of control.  Hunting is just as much a part of European culture as it is a part of North American culture.

I believe you about your stats.  Overall crime figures are down.  Doesn't mean there still isn't a problem.  Doesn't mean we can't do more.  Doesn't mean we shouldn't take opportunities to try to create some kind of positive change when they are presented.

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kos
-1 DCLee
Kos  - March 6, 2018, 7:50 p.m.

Ouch.  Was shooting for a reasoned response to your article.  Didn't expect you to shout back at me.  

Out.

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pete@nsmb.com
+1 DCLee
Pete Roggeman  - March 7, 2018, 8:08 a.m.

Hey Kos, your response did come off as reasonable, but so did Dave's. If you're going to engage, you have to expect a response, and while online tone is hard to interpret sometimes, I can assure you, Dave's response to you was not a shout. 

It's pretty common for this pattern to emerge and I think it's a big obstacle in the conversation. Someone makes a point for gun control using school shootings and assault rifles as an example, and a responsible gun owner, usually a hunter, counters with a reasoned argument about how their type of guns and use isn't the problem. But that was never the target of the original point, so the conversation devolves - very quickly - away from reasoned argument and response because neither side is actually listening anymore.

Of course mental health is a huge issue here. If you've had any firsthand experiences with that (you or someone you know) which is likely, you also know that that is probably the hardest variable to address. Most gun control advocates would want mental health to be addressed as well, but there are so many things that would help, that advocating for one does not mean ignoring another. Mental health reform, background checks, restricted availability to some users (criminal records, no-fly list, etc), de-legalization of some gun and ammo classes (ones NOT used for things like hunting or self-defense)...ALL of these things need to happen, and ALL of them will contribute to making these mass shootings less likely to happen, or mitigate their severity. NONE of those things will get in the way of the ability of a responsible gun owner to shoot or hunt as they are now. 

But the conversation is being controlled by the NRA. And, quite frankly, probably also the Russians.

Reply

wizardB
+2 Kos Evil_bumpkin
wizardB  - March 6, 2018, 4:51 p.m.

MEC's stand means I will no longer shop there and will continue to talk others from shopping there as is my right.

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T-mack
0 flash4092 Evil_bumpkin
T-mack  - March 6, 2018, 5:06 p.m.

That is your right correct. They'll probably lose much less business from your group than from my group so still a good decision imo.

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Evil_Bumpkin
0
Evil_bumpkin  - March 7, 2018, 7:43 a.m.

I'm with wizard on this. Why the fuck is a Canadian company getting involved in politics across the border? Haven't shopped at MEC in years, definitely not shopping there now. 

It's comical that our community seems to have no concern for the employees of said companies. These are people like "us" who work hard to produce good products, sponsor athletes, events etc. So fuck all of that right? All hail the Social Justice Warrior. Much Luv Evil.

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pete@nsmb.com
+1 DCLee
Pete Roggeman  - March 7, 2018, 8:15 a.m.

That is a fair point. However, the counter-argument is in MEC's case (as with REI), they are a co-op, governed by its members. If the members start to make noise about an issue (as they did in this case), responsible leadership has to consider taking action.

Nobody's happy that the good people at Bell/Giro/Camelbak/Blackburn etc may suffer through this, but if the few must suffer in the service of creating a very positive change, then the prospect of the greater good wins the argument. Jobs vs the potential to help save future lives is, for most, an easy one to sort out.

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Evil_Bumpkin
0
Evil_bumpkin  - March 7, 2018, 12:52 p.m.

Agreed Pete, MEC leadership has to listen to their membership...but in this case I feel its more like said leadership wants preserve their current state of employment more than anything else. 

Its nice to talk about the greater good and such. However, I doubt the people that work in these companies are at all happy about being shuffled toward the sacrificial alter for the sake of this potential. And I really don't like the idea of a bunch of reactionaries determining innocent peoples fate, with a tap of the keyboard, over a matter that they have nothing to do with.

I am horrified by recent and past mass shootings across the border. I hope Americans can figure out a way to come together and agree on a way dramatically reduce them through effective gun control. Its not going to be an easy process for them and it wont happen quickly. In the mean time I'll keep buying the products that work for me regardless of their politics.

Reply

AW_REALLY
+1 mike Kos DCLee
AW_REALLY  - March 6, 2018, 6:58 p.m.

Well Dave I read your article and I also read Cam's article.  Though I am truly happy that we are all free and entitled to our own opinions and the fact that I do not agree with either one of you is my right.  I do enjoy the articles that both of you share with us weekly, on all other subjects.  I will paste below how i replied to Cam's article.  Thanks for all that both of you do for the sport that we all love, but please keep the politics out the Mountain Biking.

AW_REALLY - March 6, 2018, 8:41 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 ?????

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lev
+1 Cam McRae
Lev  - March 7, 2018, 5:20 a.m.

Aw really, and if the rules were tighter, such as age limit and deeper background checks, the Florida shooter wouldn’t have slipped through the net. It is really simple.

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AW_REALLY
0
AW_REALLY  - March 8, 2018, 12:33 p.m.

So Lev you are in favor of more rules from a government that can't even govern itself, is it really that simple?  Are you truly that naive or are you one "those people" that believes everything we do in our lives needs to be controlled and delegated by the government?  Bernie would LOVE You...

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T-mack
+1 Luix
T-mack  - March 7, 2018, 5:35 a.m.

The murder rates in those cities are because of the poverty stricken areas and drug use etc. I hate to say it but the people murdering other people in those areas don't care about mowing down a school full of kids and keep to themselves so to speak. In fact I would even say that jailed criminals from those areas would be the same inmates that kill child molesters in prison. Point being when they murder or break the law its out of a hopeless necessity to stay alive and live the gang life or die. Thats a totally different issue and needs to be addressed asap. We have the same shit in Canada but it tends to stick to poorer areas. 

A 19 yo buying ANY gun that can fire multiple rounds from it' chamber with the sole purpose of doing lots of damage so they can shoot up a school is not the same as above. These kids are troubled middle class people that need help. Putting school shootings and homicides from the 'ghettos' is ridiculous imo because the root cause is totally different. The only thing they do have in common is the use of easily accessed weapons.

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pete@nsmb.com
+1 DCLee
Pete Roggeman  - March 7, 2018, 8:27 a.m.

As usual, stats being bent to suit an argument. AW, your stat is about homicides, and that is a favourite tactic trotted out by the NRA. The problem with guns goes way past homicides in the US. Accidental deaths number in the tens of thousands per year, and gun-assisted suicide rates are enormous compared to countries where gun access is harder to come by. Be careful about throwing around 'lazy journalism', because these are stats that are easy to come by, and are well-understood. Both Cam and Dave could have spent 1,000 words establishing those benchmarks, but it's not necessary if an assumption is made about the wider picture.

Furthermore, building in added assumptions about things like an AK-47 are not useful to your argument. Those are hypotheticals. Yes, the FBI and local law enforcement both assumed some responsibility. If anything, that proves the point that multiple reforms and measures are needed in order to reign this thing in. Law enforcement is controlled by people, and people make mistakes. Get the system sorted out so that there are multiple levels of safety nets, and the strain is taken off of the human element. This is how automotive and aeronautical safety is handled, and advancements in technology, regulations, and design ethos have contributed to incredible decreases in accident and injury/death rates on the roads and in the air over the past 100 years. Take the same attitude towards gun control, and thousands of american lives would be saved every year. 

A nation that is so worried about transgressions from within is somehow unable to realize that some of the very things the second amendment are designed to protect against are what are causing many of these problems: greed and the prioritization of making money over human lives. The enemy is making the calls from inside the house, but your caller ID is fucking broken, America.

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AW_REALLY
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AW_REALLY  - March 8, 2018, 12:27 p.m.

Well Pete at least some of your facts are correct.  I was merely pointing out that if one truly wants to speak on a subject such as this, then ones needs all of the facts.  If one does there own research  instead of just using the data that's handed to them, then one would not be guilty of " lazy journalism" .  Yes the facts can and have been bent on both  sides of the argument and our media are the worst offenders.  Both sides of our government and the NRA are also guilty of it.

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AW_REALLY
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AW_REALLY  - March 8, 2018, 12:15 p.m.

AWWWWW, T-Mack your one those people and thought they only existed down here in the good    Ol' US.  So T-Mack how do think all of those murders occur?  Are the so called poor poor drug dealers that live in the ghettos stabbing everyone to death because they can't afford to buy an illegal gun off the street or do you think since the government gives them everything else thus keeping them right were they want them" totally dependent on the government" maybe they give them guns when they go to pick up the food stamps, welfare check or EBT card.  Or is this some how the NRA's fault, i'm confused t-mack....  So why don't you enlighten all of us on your apparent vast knowledge of the poor folks in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and New Orleans and why they are killing each other on a daily basis, but no one seems to care about that, no one is protesting and marching on Washington D.C. because no cares about them and for you to advocate murder in prison ??? Does that really make it ok or are you one of those poor troubled middle class kids who needs help???  What does really say about you ???

Now let me ask you another question.  Who's fault is it that we have these poor misguided and troubled middle class teens that need so much help?  If you had taken the time to read what I wrote you might actually understand that I was not comparing the two, I was only stating the facts that everyone wants to hurry up and use the data provided to them instead actually doing the research themselves.  What no one wants to ask is where did the data come from and who provided it.  Anyone can pick and choose the numbers, data and statics to prove their side of the story and omit everything that doesn't support their argument and print it as facts and truths for people like you to run with.   Are both sides of this debate guilty of this ?  Yes they are including the NRA.  I don't how the media is where you are, but down here they are truly the worst offenders and guiltiest of them for picking and choose what supports their agenda instead reporting the facts.

Lastly have you ever bought a gun in the US?  Do you even have a single clue how the process works? If you do not and I don't believe you do then how can you make such a blanket statement:  "The only thing they have in common is the use of easily accessed weapons"?

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 8, 2018, 7:51 p.m.

Maybe this is the issue here. You suggest we practiced lazy journalism because our conclusions don't match your own but then you say that Tmack is advocating murder in prison when clearly he did not. He said nothing of the sort so perhaps you shouldn't be pointing the finger about journalism when you bend someone's words to suit your needs when what he wrote is simply a scroll up from what you wrote.

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AW_REALLY
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AW_REALLY  - March 10, 2018, 5:28 a.m.

I don't believe thats what I said or what I mint.  What I said was if your going to put out a story on such a controversial subject such as this, then you need to have all the facts , statics and data from both sides, instead of just puking out the one sided liberal medias facts, statics and data.  Yes of course I disagree you and everyone else on this subject, but "I'm not "trying to convince anyone to change their opinions or believes, I'm merely pointing out the facts that everyone seems to be so offended by, including the ones that seems to offend you and everyone else on this touchy subject.  For those that are on the fence, so to speak in this debate and are still undecided who they want or need to support or buy products from or not, they are only getting one side of the story, its not fair to them or anyone else in this debate.  So villainize, the NRA, the guns or even me if you must to prove your point, i'm fine with that, i'll happily fight to the death to defend your right to disagree with me or anyone else all day long.

As far as T-Mack's comment; 

"In fact I would even say that jailed criminals from those areas would be the same inmates that kill child molesters in prison. " 

When I read this, my comment is simply my own personal interpretation of what I read, thus the question I ask and not the comment I made.

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DemonMike
0
mike  - March 7, 2018, 5:58 a.m.

School and church shootings happen due to the fact it's easiest too attack the weak and powerless. Shooters have figured out the most damage in the quickest amount of time will happen in area with least resistance. Attack an area where the chances of being defended are little to none.

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T-mack
0
T-mack  - March 7, 2018, 6:03 a.m.

Yes but who are the ones doing those shootings? Some gangbanger isn't going to take the 401 from 8 mile all the way into town to light up a church when he's got drugs to sell back at home. The ones shooting up schools and churches are troubled middle class teens and adults who's only agenda is to murder innocent people to prove a point or whatever.

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gravitysurfer
+4 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Perry Schebel Niels
Un San  - March 8, 2018, 2:35 a.m.

I'm from Germany and just want to say that the whole "story" pertaining to mass shootings, the ensuing debates and media coverage thereof are just absolutely mind-boggling from a European point of view. Seriously, it's impossible for me and most likely the overwhelming majority of citizens in those other "1st world countries" you see in those stats to even wrap our heads around what is going on over there... common sense says: you have a problem? Well, then just f'ing fix it! Aforementioned countries seem to have sensible legislation that doesn't keep people from owning firearms and I can hardly see that impacting sales in any major fashion. It might take a few weeks longer until you get to hold that shiny new "toy" in your hands, but hey, I waited 5 months for my Nicolai frame... I survived ;)

My neighbor owns firearms for sporting purposes (German championships and shooting at the range) but he is only allowed to own a certain amount (don't know the numbers...). You can simultaneously only own one of a category (rifle, shotgun, handgun...) and they are registered to your "Waffenbesitzkarte" (WBK=weapon owning permit). He can only buy a firearm by having it registered in his WBK and if he sells one, it has to move from one WBK to another, so it is always clear in whose possession any given firearm is. Buys/sales always have to be applied in advance and need approval. He once had to sell one firearm to acquire another, because he already had maxed out his "allowance" and they said, sorry, you have enough already (there are exceptions to that but under heightened scrutiny). He has to lock the firearms in one safe, ammunition in another. Transport outside of the home is allowed only in a locked case.

I am absolutely ok with my neighbors guns and him owning them along with any of the other unknown to me owners. I never see guns in public other than on law enforcement officers, which is the way I believe it should be. I have no desire to own one myself and see no need to for self protection purposes. I believe that is the way the overwhelming majority of citizens in my country see this issue as well and the stats seem to suggest that sensible legislation can work. Yes, we have had our incidents, but on a totally different scale. There just is no 100% solution... Albeit, legislation alone is not the ultimate fix, it is just as much a mind-set and social issue. Fear mongering and divisiveness are a big part of this.

As a long time passive reader here, I just wanted to put my 2 cents out there. I really liked both of your articles and figured I could post here instead of on yt or wherever else I would just get bashed to oblivion. If you really read all of this.. well, thx! Ride and write on!

()

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dave_f
0
dave_f  - March 9, 2018, 11:41 a.m.

Setting up long-term funding for organizations dedicated solely to gun safety and gun control or to victims of gun violence is putting the cart before the horse, and just adds another voice to all the organizations and individuals out there who are sure they know what needs to happen.

Priority number one is to get rid of the Dickey amendment and fund research by the CDC on what is effective and what isn't.

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markisfat
0
markisfat  - March 16, 2018, 9:07 a.m.

Dear Uncle Dave. I, like many hot headed fans on this site, wrote to you after your article on guns and bikes etc. My favorite line of yours was: "My problem is when your rights to own a gun infringe on my rights to not get shot in the face." So, so good. It reminded me of why I read your editorials. Because, they're editorials. For me, your "Uncle Dave" rants are an ode to the "@#$% off, I'll write what I want, ride what I want" gritty mountain bike hoser that we all are and snarls at the pseudo-objectivism of (oh my, another) gear test on some anodized shit I can't afford. NSMB, and so many of the sites I read, are replete with images of dreamlike technology, buff athletes, and gag inducing positivity pieces on the endurance of the human spirit. That's not my mountain biking. I ride a mid level, aluminum, non-boutique, all-mountain, war pig. The only carbon I have are the spacers under my stem. Titanium? Never heard of it. When I ride up hill, I suffer. Terribly. When I descend, I think I'm awesome. I think. But I have as much fun on my 2000$ Giant as that hose-bag with frosted tips on his 10,000$ carbon dildo/SantaCruz. (Sure, I'm jealous, but @#$% him anyway.) Now, to my point: In case you got enough flak from frenzied readers about this particular editorial of yours on guns and bikes, please don't lose your edge. NSMB is not the NYT. You are not expected to debate socially pivotal issues like gun control on a mountain bike web site. So with the benefit of time, reflection, and a whiskey, it may be that my (personal) disappointment in the tone of your article was not with your position, but rather that it seemed like you were too fair, even keeled and balanced in your discussion. You're Uncle Dave, for @#$% sake! If your article had been titled "Best place to mount a gun rack on your mountain bike" I would have laughed and read it voraciously. I hope all this bullshit hasn't spooked you. Let Cam and the others write about gear and other stuff. You hold a sacred role at NSMB: the cranky ol' bastard who writes what we're all thinking. Your fan, M.

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