Kevin O’Leary criticized for posting gun video

The video, which O’Leary deleted from Twitter, depicted O’Leary firing a variety of high-powered weapons

Conservative party leadership Kevin O'Leary is shown shooting a variety of high-powered guns in a video he uploaded to VImeo and posted on Twitter Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Image via Vimeo.

Conservative party leadership Kevin O’Leary is shown shooting a variety of high-powered guns in a video he uploaded to VImeo and posted on Twitter Thursday, February 2, 2017. Image via Vimeo.

OTTAWA – Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary says he took down an Internet video of himself firing automatic weapons out of “respect” for the memorial to three of the six victims of the weekend massacre at a Quebec City mosque.

The video depicted O’Leary firing a variety of high-powered weapons — including machine guns and an assault rifle — during a visit to a Miami gun range. It was posted just as the high-profile funeral in Montreal was getting underway.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale described the timing of the video as “obviously crass, insensitive and exceedingly dumb.”

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The post went up as several thousand mourners, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, paid their respects to shooting victims Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi and Aboubaker Thabti at a Montreal arena.

There were also prayers at the service for the three other victims — Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry and Ibrahima Barry. Another funeral is scheduled to take place Friday in Quebec City.

The short clip, posted on the video sharing service Vimeo, showed O’Leary blazing away at paper targets with a number of firearms, including what looks like a heavy-calibre sniper rifle.

“Still got my marksman chops from my days as a military cadet at Stanstead College,” said the accompanying caption.

Several hours later, O’Leary tweeted, “Out of respect for today’s service, I have taken down my last post.”

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The clip, however, remained visible on Vimeo throughout the afternoon.

O’Leary, a businessman and star of the U.S. reality-TV show “Shark Tank,” is widely considered to be the front-runner in the race to lead the federal Conservative party, despite his lack of political experience and faculty with French.

He bills himself as having the business savvy and negotiation skills to help turn around the economy, create jobs and deal with U.S. President Donald Trump.

O’Leary is scheduled to make his first public appearance alongside his leadership rivals at a debate Saturday night in Halifax.


Kevin O’Leary criticized for posting gun video

  1. You say he the video is on Vimeo & that he took down the video.

    He did not and as of 6:45 pm EST he still has not.
    All he too down was a Tweet which included a link to the video. The video itself is still posted on Vimeo.

  2. I like Kevin. In fact, I used to listen to his spot on the radio show he used to do just prior to entering this race. He makes a lot of sense and would have supported him. I just can’t get this image out of mind and quite frankly lost a lot of respect for him. The timing and optics of this is horrible.

  3. Little men like to pretend they have big guns ….

  4. This was a calculated move. He knew exactly what he was doing by posting this video when he did. That should tell us a lot about his character. This now has everyone talking about him and helps him reach out to and appeal his target audience. This is the lesson learned from our neighbours to the south, that this type of behaviour gets votes. This is truly frightening. Please Canada, we must insist on way better than this.

    • That’s my take on it as well. What other purpose could he have for posting it?

    • Yup.

      Very poor taste. NRA?

  5. Whether the posting of this video was deliberate or merely clueless doesn’t matter. Yet another reason O’Leary isn’t leadership material.