Tell REI CEO Jerry Stritzke to stop selling brands owned by Vista Outdoor.
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I was recently surprised to discover that a number of popular bike gear brands (including some of my favorites) -- Giro, CoPilot, Bell, Blackburn, CamelBak, Raskullz and Bolle, are owned by Vista Outdoor, one of America's biggest manufacturers of ammunition and assault rifles and a major supporter of the National Rifle Association.
In other words: The same corporate conglomerate that makes my kids' CoPilot bicycle safety seats also funds the NRA and markets Savage Arms AR-15-style rifles to the civilian market, the same kind of weapon that has been used repeatedly in mass shootings in schools, concerts and night clubs. This is unacceptable to me. I don't want money that I spend on my kids' bicycle gear helping to fund the NRA and its toxic, partisan agenda. Personally, I'm no longer going to buy brands that are owned by Vista Outdoor. And I'd like to see retailers drop these brands too.
As I researched Vista Outdoor further I discovered that they also run their own SuperPAC to make contributions to political campaigns. The two members of the U.S. House of Representatives who appear to have received the most money from Vista Outdoor PAC in the last two election cycles are Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Chris Stewart, both from Utah. Who are these guys?
Well, Rob Bishop is the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Outside Magazine calls him, “Public Lands Enemy Number One.” For years now, Bishop has been the driving force in the privatization and exploitation of western public lands for mining, drilling, grazing and motorized recreation. You might call Rep. Chris Stewart, "Public Lands Enemy Number Two." He was the legislative hatchet man behind the Trump Administration’s two million acre dismemberment of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in December 2017.
I'm not sure how REI feels about the National Rifle Association. But there's no question where REI stands on the issue of public lands. REI has been a vocal and powerful leader in the fight to protect the commons from private exploitation. REI’s CEO Jerry Stritzke has written that he's “mad as hell and disappointed” about the decision to rescind protection for Bears Ears and has declared "protecting public lands as our top priority.”
And, yet, REI is selling products and brands owned by Vista Outdoor, a company that not only supports the NRA but is using its SuperPAC to fund the campaigns of the Congressmen leading the assault on protected public lands. So, with one hand, REI is fighting the privatization and exploitation of public lands. With the other hand, REI is selling Vista Outdoor products that help fund the campaigns of the Congressmen leading the effort to hand over America's public park lands and national monuments to mining, drilling, grazing and other corporate interests.
This is clearly unacceptable and must stop.
This petition calls on REI CEO Jerry Stritzke to stand by his commitment to protecting U.S. public lands and stop selling products and brands owned by Vista Outdoor. These include Giro, Blackburn, CamelBak, Bell, Camp Chef, Bolle and, perhaps, others that I've missed and I hope people will go ahead and add to the list.
#BoycottVistaOutdoor. #BoycottNRA #UnitedOutside
Image courtesy of BikeBiz.
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