I guess we're finding out how us gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment will fight - and stand up - for our rights. Push is coming to shove, as the organizers of one of the biggest sports shows in the nation are finding out.
It seems that Reed Exhibitions, the sponsors of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA (February 2-10), took a stand recently not to allow certain weapons be displayed or sold during their upcoming show next month. BIG mistake!
The gun community - and outdoors community - have responded. In a big way. Yes, a boycott of the show has been declared, and it's gaining momentum. And not in a positive way for the show.
Lee and Tiffany Lakosky have announced that they will not attend the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year. File Photo Ohio Valley Outdoors
The shell casings continue to drop on the show. Big shots - celebrities, sponsors and vendors are firing back by joining the boycott. The names include Cabela's, NRA, Smith and Wesson, Ruger, Kinsey's Outdoors, TenPoint Crossbows, Horton Crossbows, NWTF, Primos and celebrities; Jim Shockey, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky, Michael Waddell, Gene and Barry Wensel, Larry Weishuhn, Fred Eichler and several more. Currently more than 60 businesses have declared they are backing out of the event. Ouch!
As this story gains momentum - clearly assisted by the Internet and social media - there will surely be more companies and celebrities join the boycott.
Here's the official words from Reed Exhibitions that's caused all of the commotion: "The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show is a unique celebration of the authentic hunting and fishing traditions that are cherished by millions of Americans and their families. We are proud to celebrate these pastimes by featuring 1,200 exhibitors offering a diverse range of products from outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, from archery to art and from clothes to cabins.
The gun community - and outdoors community - have responded. In a big way.
"As a hunting-focused event, we welcome exhibitors who wish to showcase products and firearms that serve the traditional needs of the sport. Clearly, we strongly support the 2nd Amendment. However, this year we have made the decision not to include certain products that in the current climate may attract negative attention that would distract from the strong focus on hunting and fishing at this family-oriented event and possibly disrupt the broader positive experience of our guests."
Reed Exhibitions is owned by a British firm with 33 offices worldwide. They can be found on the Internet at: www.reedexpo.com.
The NRA's inclusion in the boycott was obviously forthcoming. Their web-based broadcast of NRA News is on top of the story. They've posted a recent interview with Blaine Anthony, the host of "The Bear Whisperer" on Sportsman Channel, who is one of the celebrities who pulled out of the Eastern Sports Show. Anthony said he didn't understand the sports show's decision. "The show (ESOS) is a bi-product of the Second Amendment. It doesn't make sense," said Anthony during the interview. "The people are standing up for the Second Amendment and I think that's awesome."
As the information and list of those boycotting the ESOS event grows one Internet-based company, www.mynortheastoutdoors.com, has announced they will offer free classified ads on their site to companies that have pulled out of the ESOS event. According to the website the free classifieds will go live on February 2, the opening day of the Eastern Sports Show. Visit the My Northeast Outdoors website for details.