MEC - or Mountain Equipment Co-op - has long been known as a company that is committed to socially responsible and environmentally protective movements. They are the go-to store for Canadians who are in search of outdoor gear.
However, MEC has recently been put under the microscope for carrying brands under gun companies. The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida has sparked a large movement in the United States for tougher laws on gun control to better ensure public safety, and Canadians are hoping that the US will be pressured to do so with Canada's example. While MEC doesn't sell firearms, it does sell products from Vista Outdoor, an American company that also manufactures semi-automatic weapons. Thus, MEC has since been one of the biggest targets in consumer boycotts, and it's hurting their public image. This comes as no surprise, as their mission statement is "to inspire other organizations to be socially and environmentally responsible."
In response to the social media outcry, the co-op decided to suspend its connections with Vista Outdoor on March 1st. Through social media, Canadians have voiced much support, and this action will hopefully bring about change in our neighbours across the border.
Unfortunately, gun laws in the United States have remained stagnant despite the various tragedies that have occurred in past years. It's simply too easy for an average American to obtain possession of a dangerous weapon.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is heavily involved in the lobbying of these guns laws, determined to protect the rules that stand unwavering and untouched by the US government. Political interests of business and industry have dominated over the people's interests for safety and well-being. This makes us wonder how much time it will take for the government to take the public's basic needs into interest before being influenced by NRA representatives.
Countries such as Australia have experienced mass shootings in the past, but it only took one of these tragedies to occur before a change was made. There have been zero school shootings since then. So how much longer will the US government have their citizens wait for? One can only hope that stricter laws on gun control will be implemented soon.
MEC's actions may inspire change in our neighbours down the border, or it may not. Ultimately, the people have the power to voice their opinions, but the responsibility of listening to these ideas lies on the shoulders of the US government.
CBC. “Consumers Pressure MEC to Drop Outdoor Brands Owned by U.S. Gun Manufacturer.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 26 Feb. 2018, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/mec-guns-vista-boycott-1.4552325.
Proctor, Jason. “'Why Is MEC Waffling?' NRA Consumer Threat Takes Co-Op Back to Ethical Roots.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 28 Feb. 2018, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/nra-mec-vista-guns-outdoors-1.4554643.
CBC Radio. “Can a Boycott of Canadian Companies Actually Hurt the NRA? | CBC Radio.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 1 Mar. 2018, www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-february-28-2018-1.4555132/can-a-boycott-of-canadian-companies-actually-hurt-the-nra-1.4555163.