The Fallout from the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show Cancellation

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.

He’s not the only lawmaker speaking out. State Rep. Tommy Sankey submitted an op-ed on the situation and noted that it’s the free market at work.

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.

14 Responses to “The Fallout from the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show Cancellation”

  1. Spade says:

    Man, that loss in tax revenue on $74m is really going to hurt Harrisburg. All that tax money could have serviced their debt for a whole half an hour or so.

    • Bitter says:

      Heh. Yup. Maybe 45 minutes if they had a particularly successful show…

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      Forget it. You’ll surely never hear any hand wringing about that from city government. Count Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson among the MAIG group, like Rahm Emmanuel, that would sooner push gun show investment out of her town regardless of the revenue potential because it’s “the moral thing to do”.

  2. Zermoid says:

    The media are still passing it off as a “Postponement”.

    Like it’s going to be rescheduled…..

    • Bitter says:

      I think they are just trying to report what they know. They really only know that the exhibition company indicates that is just a postponement. I am actually the one who is taking a bit of a leap by calling it a cancellation. They haven’t given anyone any timeline, and they are issuing full refunds immediately. That hardly shows an intent to have another one this year, so I’m making the assumption that it’s really a full on cancellation. :)

      • Pyrotek85 says:

        Even if they reversed their policy at this point I’m not sure enough vendors would trust them.

  3. Dave says:

    Just imagine if this had happened before the age of social media and the internet. A lot of people would have spent a lot of money for nothing and been pretty much out of luck.

  4. Chas says:

    Bust a Britard in the face? Worth ever penny of it!

    The late, great Elliot Smith of Portland, Oregon. When you go out with 27 self-inflicted stab wounds, you really mean to go. Doing Baby Britain:

  5. Chas says:

    Oh, and this is the best of Elliot Smith, the song that got me hooked. Perhaps a little tooo overbearing, certainly a loud enough recording. Maybe overdubbed. XO. Kick your ass musique from a violent suicide. Loved it from the start. Damn you, Elliot! Why’d ya have ta go? Ya could’a done so much more, if you could have.

  6. Bitsy says:

    Looking for another show to boycott? lists a bunch of other shows that they are running.

    Maybe next year they will be the second largest organizer of trade shows, instead of the largest.

  7. Andrew says:

    “the British company that tried to force American hunters to give up showcasing their guns at an outdoor show”

    Go home Limey’s. And take that idiot Piers Morgan with you.

  8. JKB says:

    Some of the conservative blogs reporting this “postponement” attributed it to the NRA. Perhaps I missed it but from the reports here, it seems the small vendors, with the most to lose, are the ones who got this going with the big dogs playing catch up.

    What should scare the politicians, not just in PA, but everywhere was that this came from the grassroots. Going after the big companies or the NRA isn’t going to help because they aren’t leading just trying not to get run over.

    • Bitter says:

      The boycott energy came from both the small vendors and the larger vendors. I think that the smaller vendors absolutely deserve recognition in what they risked and sacrificed to pull out early. But, it wasn’t that they were leading the NRA on that front. The larger groups/businesses – NRA, NSSF, Cabela’s – were actively working behind the scenes with Reed to try and get their gun ban reversed. The smaller vendors weren’t in on those conversations largely because Reed wouldn’t even return their phone calls and emails, at least according to multiple vendor comments I read in the boycott pages. They tried, but Reed just wouldn’t work with them. The vendors who started to pull out gave more weight to the arguments being made by the bigger guys trying to talk to Reed. Basically, it kind of all worked together without any real organization.

      To the degree that NRA brought any more weight to the boycott, it was in the ability to reach thousands of people in the area who would normally attend. While an organic boycott movement had already started on the part of consumers, NRA sending out an email about the situation and asking people to contact Reed with their disappointment (and, unstated, with any thoughts on whether they would still attend or not) hit thousands more. After that, the ball really got rolling. NRA pulled out later than most, but not because they weren’t working on the issue or helping build awareness of Reed’s gun ban. On the other hand, their point was made more serious because of all the smaller vendors who spoke out on the ban before the official announcement that they were withdraw.

      Based on everything I witnessed with the issue, I don’t think one group or one group of vendors deserves “real” credit for it. I think it was a very natural process where everyone’s actions built upon everyone else’s without any real coordination.

      • Harold says:

        NRA pulled out later than most….

        Of the smaller vendors. Except for Cabela’s, didn’t the big ones start to pull out immediately after the negotiations ended Sunday the 20th a week ago? I.e. S&W and Ruger on the Monday the 21st? With the NRA the 22nd, “later” by exactly one day?

        This “later than most” canard is irritating. I.e. people gave grief for taking a exactly one additional day to make their announcement on Wednesday the 23rd, ignoring the minor detail that they’re very very busy handling what I’m sure are their highest rates of transactions and therefore customer support ever?

        Anyone who pulled out within the narrow three day window between negotiations failing Sunday and the show getting “postponed” Thursday the 24th gets full credit from me.