REI's kneejerk reaction to...


Well-known member
Jun 20, 2013
Reaction score
Washington State
...not sell Vista Outdoors products. Vista outdoors owns a number of outdoor products we would all recognize. Here's and article about what's happened.

Gun Debate: REI Places 'Hold' On Vista's CamelBak, Other Brands

You can email REI at:

I did.


Dear REI,

I've been a member since the early 1990s. My membership number is 2402267. I have it memorized. However, I will now make it a point to not buy anything from you anymore unless you reverse your recent shallow, kneejerk reaction against Vista Outdoors which betrays your core lack of understanding of the issue. I will also be canceling my REI credit card.

Did the gun the killer used pull it's own trigger? We have a people problem, not a gun problem.

Alcohol kills several times more people every year than does guns. Perhaps we should try prohibition? Oh...wait. We tried that and it didn't work. Try the same thing with guns and only the criminals will have guns! This is the road REI is helping to pave, whether you realize it or not.

There are about 30,000 homicides in this country with some fool using a gun as the tool do do this. Does REI know that approximatley 2/3 of those deaths are suicides? They will find a way whether there is a gun around or not! Do you also realize that Washington State, in all it's intellectual grandeur, allows physician assisted suicide? Ummm...2/3 of gun deaths are suicide and we are up in arms, but the state allows physician assisted suicide. What?

People are screaming that the NRA is killing our kids and many of the same people are pro-choice and screaming that they should be able to kill babies in the womb, the place they should be most safe. Ummm...what?

Does REI know that more people are killed with hammers/clubs in this country each year than all rifles, let alone modern sporting rifles? Lets outlaw hammers. Knives too. And, REI shouldn't sell those. Let's be consistent REI.

Does REI know that best estimates (because crime preventions are not 'reported') indicated that 2.5 million times a year in this country that a gun is used in self defense in prevention of a crime, often with only showing the gun being enough to stave off the perpetrator?

Does REI know that the AR in AR-15 does not stand for 'Assault Rifle' or 'Automatic Rifle' as the press and many of those who make our laws so ignorantly believe? It's an abbreviation for 'Armalite', the company that popularized the design many years ago. Does REI know that the terms 'assualt rifle' and 'assault weapon' are false terms--do the research. Only the military has automatic assault rifles and weapons. Automatic weapons were outlawed in 1934! Machine guns are 'automatic' and illegal under the 1934 law. Does REI know that the AR-15 is simply a common type of semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatics having been available for a hundred years?

Does REI know the difference between semi-automatic and automatic rifles?

Does REI recognize how law enforcement, Obama/Holder Promise Program, and the school district in Parkland, FL, at nearly every level absolutely failed these kids and families at Parkland? FBI and the Sheriff and the school district failed to react appropriately to the killer beforehand even though there was a huge number of warnings. The Federal background check failed, perhaps in large part to the Obama/Holder era Promise Program, which also supported law enforcement and school districts to not deal correctly with and report certains types of student crimes--all in an effort to reduce the number of young minorities in prison. If you deserve to be in prison, you should be in prision. Period. Do we discriminate in this regard based on skin color? That is shallow.

So, with all these failures of government, we, what, want to give government more control over our lives with more regulation to solve the problem? Hmm...

Does REI realize that the AR-15 is the most popular legal rifle in the US with over 10 million in existence and that 99.999% of the people that own them are absolutely law abiding people, of which you are now warring against? Your reasoning here amounts to me saying that since one person drove a car and killed someone, all cars should be taken away even though 99.999% of people will never kill someone with a car. That's where the bandwagon that REI has jumped on is headed--don't be deceived. Yet, REI is willing to jump on this rickety political correctness bandwagon and help assist and apply pressure towards denying the natural rights, merely written in the US Constitution, not given us by the government, of millions of people in this country.


Your stance is not going unoticed by many of us that love the outdoors and have been members or purchasers for decades and I believe you are actively disenfranchising many customers.

Frankly, I hope it hurts your bottom line.

I would be happy to come talk to the Board of Directors about this issue.

I could go on like this for a long time, but the abject ignorance and emotionality of many that help support and make a decision like this is difficult to put into words.

This is little more than foolish political correctness. And REI has fallen for it. Dumb.

Check the stats on alcohol related deaths: "Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years."

Are you going to come out against alcohol now...something that contributes to several times the number of deaths than 'guns'? Let's be consistent, REI.

We have a people problem, not a gun problem. Get it straight. The more we remove the absolutes of Judeo-Christian values from society, the more society (individuals, families, etc.) degrades at every turn. THAT is at the core of the issues we have. And yet, REI chooses to pick an politically progressive/liberal cause to support and convienent straw man to wage war against. Way to get to the core of the problem, REI. Really helpful.

I am also an avid hunter, NRA Endowment Member, climber, hiker, sea kayaker, etc. Has it become a mission of REI to discriminate and determine which types of outdoor activities you find 'politically correct' and acceptable?


You would do best to keep your nose out of political discussions of any kind. Please reverse this decision and refuse to stray into politics. You simply and foolishly open a pandoras box.


Jon Denham




Mar 1, 2017
Reaction score
Vancouver, WA
Very well said... I called and cancelled my membership today, 29 year member, I was very nice and when the woman asked me why I was cancelling, I politely told her the same thing that they a making a wrong headed political statement and I could not be a member of an organization that did that. She mentioned they are tracking this issue and comments.


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