American martial arts legend Chuck Norris is getting some flak for becoming the new face of gunmaker Glock just weeks after Christchurch was rocked by a mass shooting.
Norris recently posted in his Twitter page that he was "excited that he was working with the Glock team as their new spokesperson".
The man who burst into prominence by fighting the late Hong Kong martial arts idol, Bruce Lee, in Rome's Coliseum in Way of the Dragon (1972) and starred in many other movies in a five-decade long film career, will make public appearances for the gun company and will be included in their advertisement campaigns.
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The 79-year-old American is also set to appear at the National Rifle Association (NRA) conference in Indianapolis from April 26-27. The NRA is an American organisation that advocates for gun rights.
Norris made his announcement about three weeks after New Zealand suffered its worst mass shooting in which 50 people were gunned down in a mosque in the country's capital. It also comes in the light of the growing number mass shootings in the United States and calls for stricter gun control laws.
While many supported Norris' new venture, there were some who were not happy about it.
One Twitter user, afresh_2019 said he hoped Norris was joining Glock - a popular Austrian made handgun of choice - wasn't doing it for the money.
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"Chuck shouldn't be working with gun companies at a time like this. He should be advocating ways to keep his gun loving friends from possibly becoming surprising random mental health people that use guns to kill others and children," he said. "Please tell me Chuck, that you do something like that for the kids at least and aren't about the (money). I mean no wonder Bruce Lee died … he wasn't like all those a******, just about the money."
However, Norris came in for a lot of support and many who wrote in his Twitter page congratulated the star of Walker, Texas Rangers, Lonewolf McQuade and Missing In Action.
"Congratulations Chuck! No one could replace the Gunny (the late actor R. Lee Ermey), but I couldn't think of a better spokesperson to represent Glock in his absence than yourself. I hope to see you soon at one of the trade shows," wrote Jason Farmer.
Norris served in the United States Air Force before he shot to fame in Way of the Dragon, where he played the character Colt, who is hired by the mafia to sort out Lee's character.
Norris issued a statement on his appointment, saying he was putting his trust in Glock and was "honoured to partner with this world-renowned brand".
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"The values that I have built my life and brand on - tough, real, constant and powerful - are echoed in everything that Glock does and creates. Let me put it this way, if I ever decided to go into firearms, there would be no point - I would just be recreating what Glock has already built. The only thing that would change is the name."
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