For those of you not of the “gunny” subculture or perhaps only on the periphery of that culture probably aren’t aware of the current controversy over a major, regional gun and sports show, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA. The show averages 200,000 attendees making it one of the largest in the country. The show is managed by the same group, Reed Exhibitions, that managed the famous S.H.O.T. show that just finished in Las Vegas, NV.
It all started with this statement.
A statement on the Eastern Sports And Outdoor Show website says, “As a hunting-focused event, we welcome exhibitors who wish to showcase products and firearms that serve the traditional needs of the sport. Clearly, we strongly support the 2nd Amendment. However, this year we have made the decision not to include certain products that in the current climate may attract negative attention that would distract from the strong focus on hunting and fishing at this family oriented event and possibly disrupt the broader positive experience of our guests.” — FOX43 News
Those “certain products” are AR type rifles, the EBRs, Evil Black Rifles so demagogued by the media, and large capacity magazines. The response by vendors was rapid and unambiguous. The first vendor that I was aware of withdrawing was Cabelas. That vendor was quickly followed by Ruger, Smith & Wesson, the NRA, and others. The list continues to grow.
Many of those vendors who dropped from the show are local to the area. For them, the show is a major marketing event, allowing them to meet more actual and potential customers than any other venue. It is an expensive decision for those small dealers to make. But, make it they did.
Reed Exhibitions decided to cave to pressure from the anti-gun lobby and the liberal agenda to disarm America. They made a tragic, strategic mistake.
The local response should not surprising in the heavily Blue eastern Pennsylvania area. Unionism and democrat politics are the norm but perhaps there is more Red in the populace than the liberal pols and organizations believe. In a sense these continued attacks on guns and the 2nd Amendment strengthens resistance to the FedGov and liberal policies. I just wish it wasn’t necessary. I would not be surprised to see another manager for next years S.H.O.T. show. Gun dealers and the NSSF who sponsor the S.H.O.T. show have long memories.
Just another day under the weight of gangster government.