The boycott of the Reed Exhibitions Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show has grown to more than 200 exhibitors according to MyNortheastOutdoors.com. This would amount to more than 17% of the total exhibitors having backed out of their commitment to display based on the ban on the display and sale certain type of legal firearms imposed by Reed Exhibitions.
Earlier this month, Reed Exhibitions announced they would not allow the display or sale of “…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.” According to the NSSF and NRA, Reed Exhibitions was specifically banning Modern Sporting Rifles from the event.
Modern Sporting Rifles, or MSR, is a term that refers to semi-automatic firearms with detachable magazines. MSRs are frequently demonized in the media as “assault weapons” or “military-style” firearms, even though they do not meet the definitions of either assault rifles or military weapons. The most popular sporting rifle in the United States, the AR15, fits this profile and is now banned from display at the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show.
Interestingly, Reed Exhibitions organizes the firearms industry’s major trade show: the SHOT Show. The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show is owned and sponsored by the NSSF, and is operated by Reed Exhibitions. I was at the SHOT Show last week, and there were plenty of rifles, actual machine guns and other things on display that would cause Diane Feinstein to curl up on the floor and shriek in mortal terror.
While it is unfortunate that Reed Exhibitions has made the decision to ban legal and extremely popular products from the Eastern Sports & Outdoors Show, it is encouraging to see so many sporting companies stand together. It is always good to see companies like Smith & Wesson and Ruger back out of the show, but it is even nicer to see knife companies, hunting outfitters, lodges and other outdoors organizations likewise boycott the event in a show of solidarity. These companies do not directly make a dime from the sale of MSRs, but they understand Ben Franklin’s advice from many years ago: “We must hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Understand that it costs these companies money to back out of the event. For some of them, they see significant portions of their income generated from these kinds of events. By taking a stand, they risk themselves financially. So, if you can, support those companies who are helping defend all of our rights. These companies are standing by the final line of the Declaration of Independence:
…we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
They are certainly pledging their fortunes, do the honorable thing and support them if you can.
We also need to watch to see how the NSSF reacts to the situation, and if they choose to continue their relationship with Reed Exhibitions. If a small business can take the hit to drop Reed, so can a larger organization.