The Free Publicity of a Boycott

They say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Unfortunately for the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, I don’t think that’s the case for the news generated by their ban on modern rifles. All of the regional headlines about the show just a couple of weeks out are now about the volume of exhibitors who are pulling out of the show and leaving empty booth space behind. That is decidedly bad when it comes to convincing consumers that they should hand over $14 a day to browse empty tables.

Those are just the headlines on the stories about vendors pulling out or sportsmen who refuse to attend. That doesn’t include the initial reporting on the ban. Give it more time, and I suspect that we’ll not only see more vendors withdrawing from the show, but also more stories that effectively squash any energy and excitement that the ESOS might have drummed up with area consumers.

Of course, boycotts are good for some businesses, too. I’ve been following the boycott reports very closely, and it’s really amazing how many businesses are climbing aboard the boycott and claiming they are “pulling out” of the show – except they never had exhibition space to begin with. It’s awfully easy to say you’ll no longer attend an event you weren’t actually planning to attend. A few others have made their proud stand, but they just happen to own businesses and only planned to attend as consumers, not exhibitors. But, hey, they are being public with their support for our rights, so I won’t give them too hard of a time.

And to keep up the energy of supporting the Second Amendment, one retailer that withdrew is now holding a drawing largely for those who support other vendors that withdrew from the ESOS over their ban on modern rifles & accessories.

For what it’s worth, everyone on the list I’ve made up has been independently confirmed that they were on the list of vendors. That doesn’t mean that the list is perfect, but it’s reasonably verified.

11 thoughts on “The Free Publicity of a Boycott”

  1. An enterprising economist, with more time than me, might see the opportunity to rent a venue elsewhere in the area and hold a Pro 2nd Amendment Hunting and Sportsmsn Show on the same day. Maybe even pull in all the vendors and celebrities who had pulled out.

    Hershey’s just 15 minutes up the road, and has the facilities. I’m sure there’s other places too.

  2. If it is the contention of the ESOS organizers that this show is primarily for hunting and fishing, why then do they predominantly advertise free CCW classes being held at the show? How does that not deviate from the stated purpose any more than a AR rifle that could be used for either self defense or hunting?

  3. I suppose they could exclude all semi-autos if they just call it the “Hunting that you can do in PA Show”.

    1. Do you have any upland bird hunting in the state? Ducks or geese?

      Any idea how long this has been in effect?

      Coming from a family with a fair number of lefties this doesn’t sound good (father, one brother and his son).

  4. This is great! Again, they said they didn’t want to cause a “distraction” by allowing those weapons. What would they call this? Hahaha.

  5. I admit to being torn over this boycott. On the one hand, it is a very poor way for a sportsmen’s show to act. We don’t need a high profile member of the community to seem to agree that EBR’s are really evil and should be banned or further restricted by forbidding them at a public event.

    On the other hand, this is not a time for us to publicly fight among ourselves. The anti’s are already trying to use the divide and conquer tactic (we’re not after your hunting rifle) and this type of boycott could just feed into that tactic.

    I think we will have plenty of time to remember who was a strong support and who wasn’t. Right now, we need to present as united a front as possible.

    BTW, has anyone heard who was planning what at the show that supposedly was the catalyst for the ban?

    1. I think that the boycott is actually very important: it shows that hunters and outdoorsmen *do* value the so-called evil black rifles, and that they are going to stand up and support their rights to keep and bear arms. This, in turn, creates unity.

      It also shows gun shows and gun manufacturers where the community stands on this issue–that, in particular, if you stab us in the back, you’re going to go down, and go down quickly.

      Overall, I think this is something that has to be done.

  6. What’s more fantastic is that it was only a few short years ago (2? 3?) that Trop Gun Shop would have been described as a FUDD shop. I’m not making any statements about their beliefs, but the atmosphere of the old place. Mostly hunting rifles, some pistols, etc. Now it’s got more modern sporting rifles than others and a very good selection of NFA toys.

    If you’re reading this, Trop, can’t wait for my AAC 762SDN-6 stamp!

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