At this point, the headline about the British company that tried to force American hunters to give up showcasing their guns at an outdoor show has made a nationwide splash and managed to make a few headlines overseas. Here in Pennsylvania, the fallout is huge. It’s even spreading into the political world with condemnations of Reed’s decision.
Rep. Tom Marino, who represents the area around Harrisburg, put out a statement that chastises Reed for their attack on the Second Amendment and notes how much it hurts the local economy. It’s estimated to be a loss of about $74 million in the local economy and in support of the non-profits that raise money and sign up memberships at the ESOS.
…despite the assertions by Reed that the decision to exclude modern sporting rifles and certain magazines only “affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits,” its impact is in fact far greater than that. The decision represents yet another attempt to undermine protections guaranteed to all Americans under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and it restricts the ability for law-abiding citizens to purchase legal firearms that are increasingly being used for hunting in a number of states.
While I am not happy with this development, the show is a result of free market capitalism, one system in America that thankfully is not broken. In organizing the event, Reed Exhibitions has every right to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles (also referred to as ARs). Its officials call the shots (no pun intended) and must do what they feel is best, keeping in mind their bottom line.
The vendors who consider participation in the show also have a right – the right to withdraw and not participate for whatever reason they see fit. In this case, they used their wallet to speak out against Reed Exhibitions’ policy. The result was obviously enough to impact the show’s viability. …
In the case of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, the system worked. It’s a simple case of supply and demand. The people have spoken, as they should.
It did work. Now, hopefully, someone will see a significant profit motive to offer up a nice alternative that pulls the community together in the same way, but without the gun bans that Reed endorsed.
That said, we have now also learned that Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg will apparently host a set-up the non-profits who were screwed over by Reed’s decisions the entire time the ESOS was scheduled.