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Bell, Giro and the AR-15

Feb. 25, 2018, 8:36 a.m.
Posts: 157
Joined: July 24, 2009

Posted by: tehllama42

Posted by: Mic

Posted by: tehllama42

FWIW, this moved me towards purchasing stuff from them. A lot (staggering amounts of well heeled rednecks) of people will think similarly, but not many will go voice it on a Canadian biking forum.

So you think that it is ok for US primary school kids and teenagers to have to live in a country that is at times as dangerous when it comes to school shootings and/or rifle attacks as Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan?

Being in the extreme minority of people who have spent time in both US primary schools and Afghan primary schools, the comparison is laughable, and I'd charitably describe that comparison as just ignorant at best. The AO we worked and lived out of (we inherited it from a British/Canadian coalition - those dudes are awesome) had a major feature - a primary school for girls, and it was the best Taliban magnet we had, because even those retards do manage to comprehend that literate girls become thoughtful and difficult to oppress women, which shuts off their supply to illiterate and easy to radicalize teenagers willing to blow themselves up inside a group of children...  Even a rudimentary understanding of statistics tells you how different an experience those two things are.

The notion that you would assume promptly that I'm a trogoldytic NRA shill is cute... People who own firearms are far more motivated than others to try and get this crap to stop happening (so that panic buys on materials, poorly crafted legislation, and other stupidity can stop affecting something we do predominately for fun). Even more so for individuals like me looking to find improvements to the education system at large (this is my dissertation topic), idiotic violence affecting schools will continue to force oversized and overfilled facilities for kids in order to amortize security and logistics costs instead of getting that focus onto delivering better educational content.

I'm here, happy to have intelligent discussion (I've been around NSMB since before the server migration, and I'm here because this is a nexus of useful and intelligent thought relating to how to set up and use mountain bikes that actually get ridden... If there isn't any hope of that then I'll spend my time elsewhere on the forum, or go back to refining giant tomes on how to apply modern model-based engineering methodologies to mountain bikes for fun.

That's all very interesting, but it doesn't really clarify your opinion on guns/gun control. The gun debate seems to be even worse than the eMTB-debate, with people yelling "libtard/2nd amendment/from my cold dead hands" or "Redneck/think of the kids" with hardly any nuance and often arguing with a concept of reality that has little to do with the real world. So, since you seem to be willing to have an open discussion and at least to some degrees open to rational tought (given my opinion of most of humanity, this is a compliment, not an insult), I'd like to hear your opinion and the rationale behind it. Just so you know where I stand, or as some talking points.

-The majority of studies show stricter gun control results in less gun deaths. There don't seem to be a lot of (confirmed)  instances of guns being successfully used for self-defense.

-More guns mean more gun deaths, according to most studies (suicides, accidents, killings).

-Responsible gun owners: Have you been in rush hour traffic lately? The level of irresponsibility and aggression displayed is truly frightening. And they're not even inebriated. I'm sure those people are really nice in other circumstances, but I really wouldn't want to hand them a gun, seeing how they act conducting a 1.5ton killing machine. I'm sure there are a lot of responsible gun owners, but even responsible people have bad days/are in a hurry/forget to lock the gun safe etc.

-I'm all for hunters, farmers (if need be) and marksmen owning appropriate guns. By all means shoot guns for sport, but I can't see a reason why a civilian should be allowed to own a weapon of war (I can't even see a reason for most of law enforcement). Handguns for self-defense? I say more harm than good, see above.

-Generally, I think walking around with a gun on a daily basis (unless it's your job or you're out in the wilderness) is not a good idea and I can't understand it. I mean, every time I put on my helmet some small part of my brain considers having a bad crash. Would I really want to contemplate killing someone every day?

-As a teacher watching this from across the ocean, I'm horrified at the thought of armed guards and metal detectors in schools. And no, I don't live in a fairy tale. Just last year I taught a class where the local police would probably have known every single pupil by name. Not once did I feel threatened and not once did I even think about having a gun.

-No, guns don't kill people. But having easy access to guns makes killing people (or yourself) a lot easier and more efficient. I'd be a lot less worried about a pupil running amok with a knife than with a SIG550 (which would be the weapon of choice around here).

So, I hope you had as much fun riding your bike today as I did. Ground frozen solid and finally some sun, yay!

Feb. 25, 2018, 6:41 p.m.
Posts: 26
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

There are a decent number of cases of firearms being used successfully in self-defense. It's not as frequent as [anybody selling you products based on that extremely unlikely event of a home invasion] most pro-2A sources would have one believe (2.5million per year is unrealistically high), but per FBI sources that are deliberately low-ball, that figure is around 66,000 cases per year. Not trivial at all, especially when compared to incidence rates of gun violence outside of impoverished areas.

More guns will mean more gun deaths - although statistically the person in most danger of being killed by a firearm is its owner. Accidental gun deaths are the same thing, and that hurts my especially because many of those are preventable. If we're going to be a country with as many guns as citizens, I don't see why a rudimentary gun safety class isn't part of elementary school curriculum (the recommended course basically consists of: Stop. Don't touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult), but there exists pushback against that because some people think it would normalize gun ownership (in a country that has 300million guns...).

I live in New Mexico, where the leading cause of death after obesity-inducing unhealthy life choices is death by drunk driver, so I don't even assume the idiots I drive around are sober and insured. Even with that generally low opinion of people who occupy my immediate area, those who choose to own guns seem to actually be less idiotic on aggregate.

In its original conception, the second amendment was predicated on the idea that having privately owned arms would limit power usurpation of the government and keep it as a government 'by the people and for the people', but with the side goal of having additional weaponry available in case we were invaded by a foreign power... but it's not like a foreign army would ever march into the US, and say burn Washington DC to the ground or anything, EH?

There are already schools with those safety precautions in place. Mostly poor areas, and to boot those are really overcrowded schools with poor parental buy-in to the teaching process. Having that widespread seems both dumb and a waste, but there are already areas where pragmatically that has to be the answer.

Guns are efficient tools, though numerically rifles in terms of total deaths (to include justifiable homicide) trail behind things like knives, blunt objects, and cars. No way around the intention of guns as designed, it's to cause damage at a distance, and to do so repeatedly because hitting anything with a high velocity projectile from a tube of steel and crudely installed amount of gunpowder is hard. My answer to anybody whinging about 'high capacity' magazines is to look at the statistics of even law enforcement successfully hitting what they're aiming at (circa 18%), and see if my explanation of how little in a terminal ballistics sense being able to get one or two impacts with a relatively small caliber achieves in a self-defense situation.  The practical answer is that most guns are still optimized around hunting, with the side effect of making somebody with one a more difficult target for assault than somebody who is unarmed, so for dealing with the stupidity biased criminal element, they work.  In practice, murder innocent and defenseless people can be achieved more quickly with cheaper tools, the only things guns improve for somebody looking to do that is the speed with which one can murder people.

Summary - if you accept the tenet that an armed populace can function as somewhat of a deterrent for anybody with schemes of despotic or even plutocratic rule, then weapons with approximate parity of weaponry with the weapons that would be used by a police state is a requisite. I can't state that is is an apodictic truth, but it's something that the founders of the USA felt so strongly about that the majority chose not to put it into the constitution because they felt it was so self-evident that it didn't bear stating, and added it as the second amendment because they realized how much federalizing aspects of government could concentrate both wealth and power.
There are downsides to this, I won't pretend they're not, but the practical answer is that if law-abiding citizens in the US were the problem, having 300 million guns among them it would be much more noticeable. The problems actually do emerge when weapons amplify the tragic effects of other things, and finding ways to prevent and/or minimize that is hard, but an area where we should be doing better with the tools we have but don't (as an example, the NICS system that should function for background checks is not integrated, is poorly ran and overseen, perpetually under-budget, and isn't easily accessible for private sales - the last one is particularly stupid). A fix there would be tremendously helpful. My answer to school shootings is to add school resource officers, but also enable teachers who voluntarily want to go through a LOT of extra training and screening to be able to extent their CCW permits to their shcools, but that's a small thing not really much of a fix in the big picture. The idea of gun-free zones is silly to me - to put it in MTB terms it's like posting signs and being shocked that bikers would poach trails - but instead of upstanding and overall moral human beings (I presume MTBers to be), we're talking about people already willing to murder others, so keeping law-abiding persons out feels particularly pointless.

Didn't get to ride, but did spend lots of time building racing drones (my other obsession that involves paying too much for nice carbon fiber things that I will subsequently ruin by smashing into things out of incompetence).

As for eMTB's - as long as it doesn't create access issues, those things should be awesome... but as it stands right now they create access issues if allowed onto trails reserved for non-motorized transport. They could share trails with horses, and I live next to an awesome network of trails that are already moto-accessible, but would make an ideal location to ride eMTBs... I just want to take some of the electronic controllers from drones (really similar devices) and fix the overrun issues when you stop pedaling, and manage the specific battery usage through a better P-I-D controller to make it feel more like natural pedaling and compensate for a bike that is running beefy tires.


 Last edited by: tehllama42 on Feb. 25, 2018, 6:47 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Feb. 26, 2018, 9:54 a.m.
Posts: 9180
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Money talks.

Having grown up in the states and having gone to school at one of the first high schools that had a mass shooting (Thurston High School...but I had already graduated), I can say that I will not support any of these companies.

It's too bad, I really like what Blackburn has been doing and was planning on supporting them in the near future, no longer. There are a ton of other great products out there that I will support with my wallet instead. 

The unfortunate part of this is the staff of these companies who have a passion for bikes, families to support, and support others in the industry with their products and sponsorship.

In the end, it's about the 38,000 people in the US killed by guns in 2016... It's about the kids will are gunned down before they can make their mark on the world, their friends a family who continue to see the politicians take money from the NRA to look the other way.

What are their lives worth to you?

Feb. 26, 2018, 10:32 a.m.
Posts: 1196
Joined: May 23, 2006

Posted by: tehllama42

In its original conception, the second amendment was predicated on the idea that having privately owned arms would limit power usurpation of the government and keep it as a government 'by the people and for the people', but with the side goal of having additional weaponry available in case we were invaded by a foreign power... but it's not like a foreign army would ever march into the US, and say burn Washington DC to the ground or anything, EH?

http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/380/380reading/baron_heller.pdf

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/guns-and-liberty/


 Last edited by: tungsten on Feb. 26, 2018, 10:38 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 26, 2018, 11:08 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Another American here. Thanks for bringing attention to this issue among the MTB community in Canada. I support this boycott in concert with other actions against Vista Outdoor, and #NRAboycott as a whole.

It's a tough spot to be in for bike shops, Bell/Giro/Blackburn/Camelbak employees, and sponsored athletes for sure. Taking a guess that many of those that will be affected don't share the positions and politics of Vista Outdoor, and a fair point can be made that boycotting Vista's cycling holdings won't sway their support of the NRA. Bike Portland and Red Kite Prayer have covered this in detail. 

A sad reality of the gun regulation debate in the US is that motivation spikes after every tragedy, then fades. So the time is now to send any message we can, keep up the pressure, and hopefully-beyond-hope get action from government. It's the NRA in particular that callously and repeatedly stands in the way of the most basic reforms. For example, since 1996 our Center for Disease Control has been barred by NRA-backed legislation (the Dickey Amendment) from researching gun violence as a public health crisis; we don't even know the full extent of the crisis.

Feb. 26, 2018, 11:49 a.m.
Posts: 157
Joined: July 24, 2009

Posted by: tehllama42

First of all, thanks for your reply. Just a few points:

There are a decent number of cases of firearms being used successfully in self-defense. It's not as frequent as [anybody selling you products based on that extremely unlikely event of a home invasion] most pro-2A sources would have one believe (2.5million per year is unrealistically high), but per FBI sources that are deliberately low-ball, that figure is around 66,000 cases per year. Not trivial at all, especially when compared to incidence rates of gun violence outside of impoverished areas.

Self defense seems to be kind of a murky area, after all I've read now. Probably hard to quantify. Still, I find it hard to believe that the benefits outweigh the negative aspects of having more guns. After all, there are several countries where people don't walk around with guns and where violent crime rates are significantly lower.

More guns will mean more gun deaths - although statistically the person in most danger of being killed by a firearm is its owner. Accidental gun deaths are the same thing, and that hurts my especially because many of those are preventable. If we're going to be a country with as many guns as citizens, I don't see why a rudimentary gun safety class isn't part of elementary school curriculum (the recommended course basically consists of: Stop. Don't touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult), but there exists pushback against that because some people think it would normalize gun ownership (in a country that has 300million guns...).

I live in New Mexico, where the leading cause of death after obesity-inducing unhealthy life choices is death by drunk driver, so I don't even assume the idiots I drive around are sober and insured. Even with that generally low opinion of people who occupy my immediate area, those who choose to own guns seem to actually be less idiotic on aggregate.

More guns, more gun deaths.... I fail to see a benefit of guns that would make those deaths "acceptable". Car deaths for example are a "side effect" of transportation that is somewhat made acceptable by the benefits of readily available transportation. Even there, there is always the movement toward more safety, more control etc.

I can see both sides on safety training in elementary school. Yes, it's pragmatic, on the other hand I would be horrified to think this were necessary a my children's school.

Cannot comment on the second, as I've never been to New Mexico, and I don't think the level of idiocity relative to gun ownership is available in statistics. ;)

There are already schools with those safety precautions in place. Mostly poor areas, and to boot those are really overcrowded schools with poor parental buy-in to the teaching process. Having that widespread seems both dumb and a waste, but there are already areas where pragmatically that has to be the answer.

I know, and I think there is something deeply wrong with a society where this is necessary (no, not necessarily it's gun culture). I don't know about the effectiveness of said measures. Also, if we're talking schools, at least some of the shooters came from supportive families, AFAIK.

Guns are efficient tools, though numerically rifles in terms of total deaths (to include justifiable homicide) trail behind things like knives, blunt objects, and cars. No way around the intention of guns as designed, it's to cause damage at a distance, and to do so repeatedly because hitting anything with a high velocity projectile from a tube of steel and crudely installed amount of gunpowder is hard. My answer to anybody whinging about 'high capacity' magazines is to look at the statistics of even law enforcement successfully hitting what they're aiming at (circa 18%), and see if my explanation of how little in a terminal ballistics sense being able to get one or two impacts with a relatively small caliber achieves in a self-defense situation.  The practical answer is that most guns are still optimized around hunting, with the side effect of making somebody with one a more difficult target for assault than somebody who is unarmed, so for dealing with the stupidity biased criminal element, they work.  In practice, murder innocent and defenseless people can be achieved more quickly with cheaper tools, the only things guns improve for somebody looking to do that is the speed with which one can murder people.

I beg to disagree. Including cars seems kind of arbitrary. Over 60% of homicides in the US are done with guns. If we're looking at all deaths, yes, cars kill more people, apparently even private planes kill more people (as per The Atlantic), BUT people usually get into private planes by their own free will and cars are an useful means of transportation. I'm still not sold on the usefulness of guns (apart from hunting/law enforcement). Yes, I repeat myself.

If i understand you correctly, then you claim high capacity magazines are necessary in self-defense? How often would a self-defense-situation require you to shoot more than 10 bullets?

I'm no sure there are that many ways to kill people (especially indoors and up close) that are more effective than a gun. Plus, speed is important. I can outrun a knife-wielding maniac, a guy with a baseball bat etc, and I could probably dodge a car. With a gun? No such luck.

Summary - if you accept the tenet that an armed populace can function as somewhat of a deterrent for anybody with schemes of despotic or even plutocratic rule, then weapons with approximate parity of weaponry with the weapons that would be used by a police state is a requisite. I can't state that is is an apodictic truth, but it's something that the founders of the USA felt so strongly about that the majority chose not to put it into the constitution because they felt it was so self-evident that it didn't bear stating, and added it as the second amendment because they realized how much federalizing aspects of government could concentrate both wealth and power.
There are downsides to this, I won't pretend they're not, but the practical answer is that if law-abiding citizens in the US were the problem, having 300 million guns among them it would be much more noticeable. The problems actually do emerge when weapons amplify the tragic effects of other things, and finding ways to prevent and/or minimize that is hard, but an area where we should be doing better with the tools we have but don't (as an example, the NICS system that should function for background checks is not integrated, is poorly ran and overseen, perpetually under-budget, and isn't easily accessible for private sales - the last one is particularly stupid). A fix there would be tremendously helpful. My answer to school shootings is to add school resource officers, but also enable teachers who voluntarily want to go through a LOT of extra training and screening to be able to extent their CCW permits to their shcools, but that's a small thing not really much of a fix in the big picture. The idea of gun-free zones is silly to me - to put it in MTB terms it's like posting signs and being shocked that bikers would poach trails - but instead of upstanding and overall moral human beings (I presume MTBers to be), we're talking about people already willing to murder others, so keeping law-abiding persons out feels particularly pointless.

It's a tenet I have a hard time accepting in today's society. Personally, I don't think civilians should be armed on a military level. Wouldn't it make more sense to work towards a better government and a better "execution of government functions" (for lack of a better term), better laws, if need be even a new constitution instead of "preparing for a rebellion"? And yes, buying another gun is a hell of a lot easier, but does it really make society better?

I agree with you that gun violence should be seen in a larger context. Especially background checks would certainly be helpful. But the NRA/gun industry often fights even these, and here's where we come to the beginning of this tread: That's why some people would rather not spend their money with these companies. Would you really?

The fact remains that the US have a higher rate of firearm-related deaths compared to "similar" countries with less guns and stricter gun-control laws. So, while more gun control may not solve all violence related problems, it would almost certainly improve the situation. I still fail to see it's negative effects.

I think the whole "guns in the hands of good guys" thing doesn't work. More guns ad more confusion, more ricocheting bullets, and accuracy diminishes dramatically in stressful situations. The guy in Florida didn't even go in (and I don't blame him).  Most countries wouldn't even consider declaring schools gun-free zones, because nobody would ever think about bringing a gun to a school (or anywhere else except to the shooting range or the forest). So maybe at least part of the problem could be the omnipresence of guns. I think the MTB analogy doesn't work, because there have been shootings in non gun-free zones. If you want to make an MTB-analogy, it would be more along the line of making doping readily available, banning it from certain trails and then saying we need some doped up trail marshalls to catch those dopers speeding on these trails. Oh well, doesn't work all that well as an analogy as well. Yes, somebody determined enough will find a way, but making the means readily available (and very lethal and effective means) makes somebody not so determined more likely to act (especially true with suicides).

To summarize: I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Neither of us will probably convince the other, but it was very interesting to read your points. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out for me. Should I have come across as too harsh I apologize. Feel free to reply, but I probably won't anymore. Not for lack of interest, but it takes too much time to write all this in English (and do all the research beforehand).

involves paying too much for nice carbon fiber things that I will subsequently ruin by smashing into things out of incompetence).

That's gonna be my new motto, even if it's mostly alloy for me :)

Feb. 27, 2018, 4:42 p.m.
Posts: 26
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Thanks for the well thought out reply, I'm probably in the same boat.

Feb. 28, 2018, 7:40 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan. 16, 2018

I find the timing of this super crazy for personal reasons. We are purchasing a bulk order of helmets through work to give away free to kids who don't have them. My LBS is working on quotes from Vista among other distributors. So let me get this straight, we're giving protective equipment to kids potentially from a company tied to controversy related to the killing of kids? I think the decision will be pretty clear. 

Also it will be interesting to see how MEC reacts to this controversy for sure.

Feb. 28, 2018, 9:52 a.m.
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

I guess we should hope that Vista sells off these brands sooner rather than later.

Feb. 28, 2018, 10:07 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

As an American gun owner (buying a new one this spring) and a mountain biker, I do not support the NRA or their message. There are so many factors in these mass shootings and it is crazy to not look into and ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING about people's access to these guns. I hunt, that is why I have guns. Moving to NW Montana, I am getting a large pistol to carry on backpack/wilderness adventures (not biking, that is nuts). But if I have to register, take an exam, undergo a psychiatric evaluation, wait a week/month I am fine with all that. 

All that said, I will not support those companies that support the NRA!

Feb. 28, 2018, 11:57 a.m.
Posts: 171
Joined: April 15, 2017

My issue is with the NRA, not the guns and ammo manufacture and that's why I arrived at this position. 

I wrote to Camelbak and Giro to explain my decision to stop purchasing their product and received two very different replies.

Giro's was standard boilerplate - Thank you for your feedback. Our brands are each unique and remain focused on their individual mission, vis__ion, and values. 

Camelbaks was a lot more personal - Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We sincerely thank you for your business over the years and respect the decision you’ve made. Our brand stands for the same thing now that we stood for before the acquisition by Vista, a decision outside of the brands’ control. Our objective remains focused our brands’ promise to provide our consumers with the most innovative and quality products available. 

The Camelbak reply included a list of the outreach programs they are involved in and started up. This wasn't a request for absolvement but was part of the following line :

Although CamelBak is owned by Vista Outdoor, our brands operate independently with different missions, visions, and values … values we have had since our inception and that have remained in place since we were acquired by Vista in 2015. Vista continues to runs these brands as a portfolio and does not leverage another brand’s $s to support causes that are not common.

Obviously things are never clearcut when owned by essentially a holding company instead of being folded into said company. But I still do feel strongly that messages of an economic nature are the strongest when faced with corporate ties to policy lobbying.

Feb. 28, 2018, 1:24 p.m.
Posts: 1196
Joined: May 23, 2006

Posted by: stinky_dan

My issue is with the NRA, not the guns and ammo manufacture and that's why I arrived at this position.

The NRA is the "guns and ammo manufacture(s)" mouthpiece in Congress. 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-sugarmann/nra-receives-millions-fro_b_848727.html

Buy used, man.


 Last edited by: tungsten on Feb. 28, 2018, 1:33 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Feb. 28, 2018, 1:47 p.m.
Posts: 171
Joined: April 15, 2017

True, that was splitting hairs on my part. But I won't buy used if I'm trying to boycott a brand; part of advertising is brand awareness created by having the brands on display.
If you see what I mean.
So I won't be walking or riding with those names on display on my own mini-advertising hoarding


 Last edited by: DanL on Feb. 28, 2018, 2:19 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Feb. 28, 2018, 8:42 p.m.
Posts: 1196
Joined: May 23, 2006

"Buy used", I was referencing this.....

As an American gun owner (buying a new one this spring)

March 1, 2018, 8:18 a.m.
Posts: 171
Joined: April 15, 2017

Ah, I guess it makes it safer for ammo too.

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