By Mark Kenyon
Last week Friday in our Mashup we posted a few links speaking to the recent controversy surrounding the 2013 Eastern Sports of Outdoors Show (supposedly the largest hunting/fishing show in the country). This controversy stemmed from the fact that the show’s organizers recently announced a ban on certain types of weapons/accessories to be displayed or sold at the show. The result of this has been a widespread outcry from the hunting/shooting community who believed this was a direct assault on our 2nd amendment rights, leading to many vendors pulling out of the show and many hunters/shooters boycotting it altogether.
Now Reeds Exhibitions, the organization that runs the show, has released a new statement announcing the indefinite postponement of the show.
Per a local news organization, “Reed Exhibitions, which organizes the show, says it made the decision after controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale or display of military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines and clips. As of Wednesday, over 200 vendors had pulled out of the show. A Facebook page dedicated to boycotting the show currently has over 18,000 fans.”
Here’s the full statement from Reed Exhibitions …
“Our original decision not to include certain products in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year was made in order to preserve the event’s historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families,” said Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions President for the Americas. “In the current climate, we felt that the presence of MSRs would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of our guests. This was intended simply as a product decision, of the type event organizers need to make every day.
“It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year’s show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment. It is unfortunate that in the current emotionally charged atmosphere this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits showcasing products and services for those interested in hunting and fishing.
“ESS has long been proud to participate in the preservation and promotion of hunting and fishing traditions, and we hope that as the national debate clarifies, we will have an opportunity to consider rescheduling the event when the time is right to focus on the themes it celebrates.”
What do you think about all of this? Were the actions taken by Reed Exhibitions a slap in the face to the very 2nd amendment supporters that the show supposedly services? Did the hunting/shooting community do the right thing in boycotting the show?