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Drummer Boy

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Bike Helmets, Ski Goggles Swept up in Gun Control Debate

Public pressure against companies connected to the gun industry has hit an unlikely target: REI, the outdoors co-op better known for its public lands advocacy, liberal return policy and annual dividend for customers.





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The Seattle-based retailer, which doesn't sell guns, announced late Thursday that it will at least temporarily stop ordering ski goggles, water bottles, bike helmets and other products from some popular brands — including CamelBak, Giro and Bolle — because their parent company, Vista Outdoor, also makes ammunition and assault-style rifles. The decision came a few hours after REI's Canadian counterpart, Mountain Equipment Co-op, took a similar step.
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Smaller companies have acted too, including bike shops around the country that have announced they'll no longer carry Vista products.

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While it may seem incongruous for customers to boycott water bottles or bike helmets out of concern about mass shootings, there's probably little chance it will lead to a slippery slope in which products even farther removed from the gun industry wind up in the crosshairs, said Abhinav Gupta, a professor at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business. Activists work hard to bring customer and corporate attention to such supply-chain issues but often find it hard to gain traction.
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"If you start thinking about the global supply chain, every one of us is involved in something that is against our values:
:shh

If it's not Vista, maybe you're connected to someone who designs logos for one of Vista's brands," Gupta said. "That type of information typically doesn't do anything on its own if nobody pays attention. But if you know your actions are predictably going to do some harm, that's when people tend to act."

Manufactured outrage: My favorite kind of outrage.  :wut

This is why the U.S. is so divided.
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