When your ‘Gear’ Company Also Owns a semi-auto Rifle Maker

business_ethics_highlights_2Would you buy stuff from a company that owns, or is owned by, a company that makes the kinds of guns that sometimes end up being used in massacres like the one that occurred recently at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida? Should you? Does patronizing the one imply support for the other? In the piece below, 3 ethicists weigh in.

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LINK: Should Our Morals Determine Our Gear Purchases? (by Ariella Gintzler for Outside)

CamelBak, Camp Chef, Giro, Cébé, Bushnell, Raskullz, Bollé, and Jimmy Styks have seemingly little in common. CamelBak makes hydration products; Camp Chef makes stoves; Cébé, Giro, Raskullz, and Bollé make helmets and goggles; Bushnell makes optical equipment; Jimmy Styks makes watersports gear.

What they share is a parent company: Vista Outdoor. The Utah-based corporation owns a number of outdoor brands, across various sports, including hunting and fishing. And one of those brands, Savage Arms, happens to be one of the country’s leading producers of semi-automatic rifles. (A 2016 Mother Jones article identified Savage as one of the country’s 10 biggest gun manufacturers. According to its 2017 annual stockholders report, Vista Outdoor sales totaled more than $2.5 billion that year.)…

What do you think?


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One comment

  1. Interesting article – thanks for sharing it and initiating a discussion.
    I would definitely factor it in to my purchase decision (I think it’s appropriate that people get into the habit of doing this) and in this case it would weigh fairly heavily against making a purchase.

    In the same way, I would factor in the activities of any parent company. For example: Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods. In that case, I believe that WF is a force for good and it being owned Amazon (which is not my favorite, but also by no means the worst company in the world) would not tip the scales against WF.

    On my blog I’ve looked at a few cases like this, for example Converse, who were about to go bankrupt when Nike bought them: https://greenstarsproject.org/2015/03/28/converse-chuck-taylor-high-tops/

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