And There Goes NRA…

NRA was part of the team that tried to reason with Reed Exhibitors over their ban on modern sporting rifles at the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show. They didn’t make any call to officially pull out until tonight. Now, they have. NRA had multiple large booths set up for the general organization, Friends of NRA, and their hunting services program. Apparently, whatever conversation broke down yesterday broke down spectacularly.

35 thoughts on “And There Goes NRA…”

  1. The NRA should get a panel truck, park it across the street, with advertising to let people know why they aren’t inside. And of course, offer memberships. Sort of like the truck SAF had in 2011.

    1. Um, nothing in that post is remotely news. We’ve been covering this story for a week and doing research on the ban before it was even publicly announced. Yes, we know that Reed is ultimately a British company. Yes, we know that Reed’s US headquarters are based in Connecticut. We also have the phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses of every major organizer off the show.

      1. Uh, wasn’t Lucky Forward’s most important point that news of this is now going beyond the local media? Red State is widely read; how long do we expect it to take, probably with this framing, for e.g. Drudge to promote it?

  2. Wow, Reed is going to go down in a giant display of a huge ball of fire. I’m not sure why they think that what they are doing is smart in any way based on the serious hit they have taken in the last week or two. Now it’s almost like sitting back and watching fireworks as they self-destruct.

    1. I wouldn’t be so cocky about it. You don’t know how much that is the case. They already have the checks cashed from each of these vendors. Even if their attendance is cut in half, we’re still talking about $1.4 million in entry fees. They have been selling advance tickets for months, so that’s money they also have in the bank. There’s no evidence that this is a “huge ball of fire.”

          1. That can be a crime, and I’m sure many if not most have already cleared; as it is, we’ve been speculating on the timing of the release of this info compared to Reed’s deadlines for payment….

        1. If they can prove that the decision for the ban was made prior to a deadline for exiting from the show without losing their deposit, and that the announcement of the ban was delayed until after the deadline passed, I’d say that they would have a case. However they would probably spend more pressing the case than they would get back. Maybe class action could do it but just thinking out loud so to speak.

          1. Yeah, that money is gone. A class action is a remedy, but the law firm fronting the money to prosecute it will get most of the proceeds upon a win. If the court could be convinced to order restitution based on lost business it might go better.

            Although small claims court might be a useful venue, but that’s of course just for return of the deposit, and it would be a hard case to make in that venue, except for the vendors that were outright banned.

          2. I guess I don’t understand why the timing matters. If they changed the rules after the money was paid, then one presumes the contract has been changed and the contract is thus open for renegotiation. That’s only true, of course, if the contract doesn’t have a clause that the company can change the rules at any time. But if they signed something like that, then they signed up for it.

            1. “That’s only true, of course, if the contract doesn’t have a clause that the company can change the rules at any time.”

              Not if they made the decision to change the rule before the deadline, but intentionally waited until after to make sure people could back out without losing their money. I’m not even sure that there was a deadline so just speculating anyways.

              1. There would pretty assuredly be a deadline. Typically with these types of events, you reserve space with a deposit and then the rest is due either in installments or by a certain deadline before the show at something like 30 or 60 days. There’s often room to cancel, but that can vary wildly by not only the individual event, but possibly even by the size of the space you’re planning to take up since it’s tougher to replace really big vendors.

      1. I suspect that the damage to their reputation is more significant than any financial loss, here.

        1. Indeed; with everything politicized in our country nowadays, many fewer will be willing to trust a vendor who so easily bends to political pressure.

  3. Some folks never learned from Zumbo. And these Reed Exhibitors seem to be some of those folks.

    1. At 9.5 billion US$ in annual revenue as of 2011, it would be a rounding error for the overall company. This division of course has to make its numbers, but unless we organized a boycott that drew in enough people not dedicated to our cause I doubt Reed Exhibitions will particularly notice, based on reports of what their other big shows are.

  4. I’m sure others have suggested this, but writing/emailing Yamaha and other large exhibitors and expressing your disapproval of their support for this betrayal wouldn’t hurt a bit. Tell them you think they are lining up against sportsmen, and ask why would we buy a product from a company like that, and so on.

  5. They might not have burned their business this time around, but any future exhibitions are going to be far less lucrative for them. Even if they backtrack, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to convince anyone that they’re not going to pull the same shit all over again in the future. And I don’t see them backtracking any time soon. They’ve hurt themselves, and badly.

    1. Yes. They just torched their bridges. Even non-gun vendors like Yamaha are going to be very reluctant to participate with these dummies again.

  6. The sad thing is these idiots just killed a great show. And we need this show. This is one of the most positive firearm related shows in the region.


    We need someone to buy and continue the show.

    1. The brand is now tarnished beyond short term redemption.

      Since there is a real need and a real market, if the show when it is held next month is sufficiently disappointing, expect another company to offer an alternative next year.

  7. It is interesting how long the NRA had its finger in the wind before it decided that it would be a good idea to come in out of the hurricane.

    1. Here you’re being overly cynical. Or at least we know the period is bounded by the end of the NSSF led negotiations, which happened 2 days ago.

      As big as the NRA is, as big a statement this will make, as big as the consequences of not signing up new members at the show, I’ll grant them a couple of days to make their final decision.

      It’s much easier for any gun manufacturer like S&W or Ruger that makes anything vaguely useful for self-defense, they aren’t going to lose any sales from pulling out since they’re trivially selling everything they can make. This action is going to have a real cost to the NRA and its current fight, that had to be balanced with the need to do this.

    2. I don’t think that’s a fair characterization of the situation at all. They were actively working to get Reed to overturn the decision. They didn’t want to announce they were pulling out and then find out that Reed would change its mind. They waited until things blew up in those attempts to get the policy fixed on Monday and Tuesday.

      1. But where is the “leadership” the NRA styles itself as providing?

        Reed’s effectively came out in public and endorsed our enemies’ position; that military style weapons were not acceptable to be sold to a civilian market. And NRA was willing to give them the opportunity to waffle on that position, and demonstrate that raw mercenary considerations are OK for buying opinions? Then, come campaign season, lecture us on the importance of “standing by principles?”

        Yep. Put me down for not getting it.

        1. Rather, the NRA was willing to allow the NSSF, who has the strongest and most direct interest in this, to try to negotiate Reed out of what will be a lose-lose situation for everyone. No doubt the NSSF said, “And, you know, the NRA and it’s 4.25 million members and counting are not going to be pleased by this”.

          For the NRA to go off on their own and do stuff would not have been helpful during the negotiations, I’m sure they did exactly what the NSSF asked for at the time. Now the NRA has made their first big move, and in terms of lost new memberships is a big one. But in such a target rich environment, I’m not sure they are called upon to do anything more except maybe set up a table at whatever counter-protest develops.

          In the scheme of things, this is rather small; I know it is, or rather was, a very big event for you guys, but for the cause the Northeast of the country is very nearly a total loss with no insurance, and we keep hearing from you locals that your state looks to be going Blue and firmly anti-gun in the foreseeable future (not that the NRA is writing it off as far as we know).

          Bad, yes, but e.g. compared to NY’s law, perhaps a water pistol compared to a Iowa-class’s 16-50 main guns … well, maybe that’s too wide a disparity but it is very large. The demise and eventual replacement of this show is not an existential threat; the NRA is focused on the ones that are, or at least I surely hope so.

    3. Yeah, I’m going to have to agree with the others, what the NRA did was the right call. You wait till after the negotiations are done before you pull out. Reed did a stupid in the middle of the floor, and some of the largest vendors tried to get them to reconsider. If they had reconsidered it would not be a sign of weakness to attend, but a sign of strength. Sort of a victory lap that you could project your cause. Since Reed did not reconsider they *did* stand by their principles and leave, despite the hit it will cost them. Just because a lot of other vendors (who were probably not even involved in the negotiations) left early does not mean that they were “waiting to see how the wind was blowing.” It just means that they had hope for a reversal.

  8. ” try to negotiate Reed out of what will be a lose-lose situation for everyone.”

    Wars are usually lose-lose situations for everyone involved. But, they are usually fought because the alternative is win-lose, with your side accepting the unacceptable loss; left with, as Hirohito said, “enduring the unendurable.” Surrender.

    In another thread I echoed someone else’s quote from The Godfather” with one of my own favorites; “Treachery must never be forgiven.” Turning against “The Family” needs to be a certain death sentence, metaphorically speaking. Otherwise we send the message that you can play around with violating our interests, if you do it cautiously, at the edges, and you’ll have a very good chance of getting away with and even profiting from it. Get caught and we’ll talk to you sternly until you back off and promise never to do it again until next time.

    Which is what we do, and why we’re sweating bullets waiting to see who is going to support us and who isn’t in the coming weeks and months. We do it with candidates all the time; why shouldn’t a Reed’s have expected to get away with it? And they did. Good thing their vote doesn’t control our fortunes!

    1. Reed could get away with it because they held every card WRT to the NSSF: in the scheme of things the SHOT Show is tiny and they’re just a vendor, so the NSSF had little leverage there, and negative when this started before the 2012 SHOT Show.

      This ESOS show is a bigger thing, and it’s their baby. Presumably they think they’re doing the right thing to preserve its value, but it will be lose-lose when they find they’re wrong (assuming there isn’t some big mega-account that’s pressuring them, but again, it’s a big reputational hit). We’ve held a few cards in this conflict, but obviously Reed found them easy to ignore.

      The Godfather analogies are only so apropos; obviously we won’t forgive this treachery, but we’re a rounding error to a $9.5 billion behemoth, and apparently close enough to that in their events business. So it’s nothing like the more peer-to-peer situations in the movies. Which also means the harm they can do to us is strictly limited, as you point out.

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