Press "Enter" to skip to content

Remember that big outdoor show where the exhibition company banned ugly black guns?

Yeah. You remember how Reed Exhibitions, run by those quivering, politically correct Brits, tried to ban ugly black guns from the huge Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show early this year. They got got clobbered, slammed, obliterated, run out of town by gutsy vendors and presenters — most of whom had nothing to do with the banned items.

It was a fabulous display of unified support for gun rights.

Well, guess what? After Reed “postponed” the show, they eventually abandoned it altogether. And the NRA, which had opposed the cowardly ban, took over the show and will be producing it next year under a new name, the Great American Outdoor Show.

Yippee, eh?

Um, not quite. It seems that while the NRA will allow vendors to display guns, there will be no actual, you know, firearm sales allowed.

Time to give the NRA’s crippled show the Reed treatment?

(Tip o’ hat to Brian Wilson, whose blog I’m adding to the blogroll as soon as I post this.)


  1. Jim B.
    Jim B. April 28, 2013 9:49 am

    Not only should they be given the Reed treatment, we should ramp it up considering that they are suppose to support ownership of guns. Which means being able to buy guns.

    Of course, as far as I’m concerned, what they really need is the ole’ Smith & Wesson treatment.


  2. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 28, 2013 10:13 am


    Although I agree with the sentiment of not attending this show, I (donning my flame proof suit, putting legs in, working it up over shoulders, and picking up helmet)) feel compelled to point out that this isn’t all that weird.

    It looks like the NRA is turning this into a ‘trade show’. Their (the NRA) annual meeting does not allow firearms sales, if I remember correctly, and it’s a pretty big affair. I attended this thing many years ago when it came to the nearest big city. The SHOT show (which is also run by the infamous Reed Exhibition) doesn’t sell guns either…I may be mistaken on that, having never attended. The big gun makers attend, with hands on of their latest and greatest. It probably isn’t something that small dealers would go to to sell their stuff, it was in its previous incarnation. It IS intended for them to go to and look, feel, and talk to sales reps, and make contacts with distributors.

    I also feel compelled to point out that they are *not* discriminating against black guns, per se, unlike the previous fiasco.

    However, having said all that….I personally have little use for a trade show. The NRA has turned this into something that is NOT a gun show in the sense that I mean the words.

    I also have little use for the NRA……if I have extra money to sling around, I tend to send it to JPFO…although with Aaron Zelman gone, I wonder what good it will do.

    Zipping up suit, putting helmet on and lowering the visor……….

  3. Claire
    Claire April 28, 2013 10:19 am

    UnReconstructed — I hope you don’t need that flame suit. However, I’ve got to point out that the NRA is turning this into a trade show (in the no-sales sense) only if they forbid all sales of anything (beyond snacks, etc.).

    If they allow vendors to sell fishing gear, spices, boats, duck blinds, boots, camo clothing, etc. while not allowing any vendors to sell firearms, then they’re doing worse than showing Reed-style prejudice against ugly guns. They’re showing prejudice against all guns.

    When I hear that the NRA has banned all sales of every kind of gear at the show, then I’ll believe otherwise. Until then, this is the same old sh*t — treating guns as a special forbidden class.

  4. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 28, 2013 10:45 am

    (voice muffled inside suit)

    well, what I was trying to say, but it didn’t gel properly, is that this is not without precedent. Dunno (or recall) if they sell other things at said shows. But this is sort of an industry thing. You won’t see Colt, or S&W, or Remington, or Armalite, or any of the big guys at the little gun shows. And at the big shows, they do not sell guns directly. It is, though, more like any big trade show, for any industry. They generally don’t sell their wares directly at such shows….they collect business cards, make contacts, and arrange sales.

    I think that perhaps the NRA is trying to capitalize on the shows previous popularity, and pretty good location, to make an annual eastern trade show.

    I’m not defending the NRA, far from it. This practice of not selling guns at trade shows has, I believe, been going on for a while, though.

  5. Claire
    Claire April 28, 2013 10:56 am

    So you think their intention might be to create a firearms-only trade show (just manufacturers; no dealers) — in the midst of what will otherwise be a regular outdoors show where people go to get bargains on fishing gear, trailers, etc.?

    Little strange, that. But I could be misunderstanding you — or them.

    I do understand that they’ve had no-sale exhibits by gun makers at their annual meetings, which I can see, since the purpose of an annual meeting is informational. But I also understand that the former ESOS was a huge bargain-hunters’ paradise for all kinds of outdoor gear.

    Don’t get the logic of keeping it that for all other gear, just not firearms.

  6. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 28, 2013 11:10 am

    well, yes, sorta. I think maybe more like an outdoors trade show. Boat manufacturers, ATV manufacturers, fishing gear, camping gear, etc. Not a direct sales sort of thing. Manufacturers, distributors, but except for small things, not direct retail sales. You know, fishbowls for business cards, drawings for prizes. Food concessions.

    I’m probably wrong, and they will allow the sales of all sorts of other stuff. We will have to see. I have wondered, and did at the time, when I went to the NRA show, why they didn’t sell guns there.

    Dunno, one thing you can make serious book on. The NRA will be selling memberships right there. And books, and t-shirts…..

    Me, I’m going to a nice big show next weekend….and they WILL be selling all sorts of good stuff…..grin.

  7. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 28, 2013 11:11 am

    darn, wish I could edit posts…..

    wanted to add, a trade show, with big showy displays, boothbabes….

  8. Roberta X
    Roberta X April 28, 2013 11:31 am

    Did the show it is replacing allow firearms sales?

  9. Claire
    Claire April 28, 2013 11:45 am

    UnReconstructed — If indeed the NRA does ban all gear sales of all types, then I wouldn’t fault them for also banning gun sales.

    As long as they allow sales of other stuff, but no gun sales, then they’re dirt.

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  10. Joel
    Joel April 28, 2013 12:11 pm

    I’m trying to recall a time when the NRA managed to do anything without disappointing me. It’s not quite coming.

    OTOH, I didn’t know the annual NRA convention show banned gun sales. Does anybody know for sure whether vendors can sell gear at that show?

  11. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 28, 2013 12:26 pm

    I just went to the NRA website that contains information for their annual meeting next week in Houston. They *do* allow for retail sales of items, they mention the collection of Texas sales tax for retailers….

    I would imagine that the ESOS would be the same deal.

  12. PA Resident
    PA Resident April 28, 2013 1:39 pm

    The Eastern Sports Show was a sales event. Boats, RVs, Tents, Gear of all sorts. You name it, it was for sale. Pay your money and drag it home. It was not a display only trade show. The NRA is famous for preemptive surrender and they are not about to disappoint us this time.

  13. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 28, 2013 2:48 pm

    Well, yeah, Claire. The NRA has *always* been dirt.

    I really do not expect much from them. From their inception in 1871 by a couple of *yankee* generals who had noticed the utterly deplorable state of their troops marksmanship, (just ask John Sedgwick, about the state of the Confederate marksmanship in the late unpleasantness)) through to the GCA ’68, through to the evil FOPA ’86 (where the NRA tossed the NFA enthusiasts under the bus), to the Brady bill, they have *always* been dirt.

    I am not surprised (shrug) …leave it to the NRA to host an event that won’t sell guns. All I wanted to point out is that this is NOT a departure from their policies. This is not appeasing anybody that they weren’t already appeasing. They generally don’t sell guns at their events, and it isn’t that out of scope to not sell guns at a trade show in general. The ESS *was* a normal sort of gun show…they *did* have some big guys there, and the little guys were there, too.

    Whether this non-selling at the new NRA hosted incarnation affects the attitude of the consumer remains to be seen. *I’m* not going, and I will encourage friends to not attend either and tell them why.

  14. Lonewolf72
    Lonewolf72 April 28, 2013 5:26 pm

    The NRA and I seem to have an understanding. They don’t contact me, and I won’t tell them where to put it. They haven’t called , or sent me anything, in 15 years. I called them out as liars about the 2nd Amendment and its purpose and I haven’t heard from them since.

    Once in while they accidently do something right, but overall are a backstabbing bunch of politicians.

  15. Claire
    Claire April 28, 2013 5:51 pm

    I hear what people are saying about the historic perfidy of the NRA. Said a lot of that same stuff myself.

    What’s amazing here is the tone-deafness. Seriously. The ESOS gets canceled and Reed Exhibitions gets run out of town in a nationwide fury because it was going to forbid one type of gun to be sold or displayed. So the NRA comes riding in — heroes in white hats, banners flying — and bans all guns from the show. Just allows some “look but don’t take it home” firearm displays.

    And they think this is going to go over well … why?

    And they miss the irony in this … how?

  16. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth April 29, 2013 7:24 am

    “What’s amazing here is the tone-deafness. Seriously.”

    Oh yeah. And that just nails the way to say it. Tone-deafness to the point of being a useful illustration to the credulous on “both sides”.

    For the Fudds, Prags, and Quislings on (hock, spit) “our” side, this is the NRA’s “shoulder thing that goes up” moment; sadly, it doesn’t seem so particularly unusual, as simply loud and obvious.

    And I’ve lately been wanting a really good illustration to respond to the tiresome refrain of the ridiculous notion that the most formidable enemy of the gun-people-ban* crowd, is somehow the NRA. Boy, does this seem like a great candidate.

    * We all know this isn’t about banning guns; maybe we should stop using language that cedes that point.

  17. Mark Call
    Mark Call April 29, 2013 9:11 am

    Years ago I confronted Sell-out Wayne Lapierre in Denver, at a PR event promoting “Turn in your neighbor” backdoor anti-gun propaganda, where he appeared on stage with the gun-grabbing mayor, and the Brady bunch. (No, I’m not kidding, of course.) I had asked an embarrassing question at the Press Love Fest, and later talked to him privately, and informed him I was an NRA Life Member (yes, before I knew better.)

    When I asked him if he actually had ANY clue what “SHALL NOT be infringed” really mean, he turned in a huff and walked off.

    There’s a reason the NRA is called the “National Registration Authority” by those who watch their actions as opposed to their rhetoric.

  18. Shel
    Shel April 29, 2013 9:26 am

    I have to wonder now if the deal with the NRA, tacit or otherwise, isn’t that they get called the bogeyman to drum up donations and to distract attention from the better organizations and in exchange they “make a deal.” They certainly don’t pass up a chance to make a buck.

    Based on previous postings, GOA doesn’t look so good at all and JPFO does.

    I still would like to know, does anyone have any opinions on They’ve been in existence since 2001, so there ought to be some track record. And Rand Paul endorses them, so they ought to be legitimate.

    I truly enjoyed reading the comments to this article, as opposed to becoming truly depressed. Speaking of enjoyment, my mind immediately went to what has to be one of Unreconstructed’s favorite poems, complete with the sometimes used last verse: A brief history on the poem is found here

  19. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember April 29, 2013 10:01 am

    the “National Registration Authority” – very fitting.

  20. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 29, 2013 7:43 pm

    Shel, you just made my week! I hadn’t seen that in years.


    Whaddya expect from a bunch of damn yankees, anyway.

  21. Claire
    Claire April 29, 2013 9:02 pm

    Shel — FWIW, I’d like to know more about the National Association for Gun Rights, too. I like some of what they have to say:

    But I don’t know the people and I don’t know any of their members (or at least anybody I know is a member).

    With three of the nation’s five big gun groups (NRA, CCRKBA/SAF, NSSF) being prone to wussy sell-outism, one (GOA) being a damnfine organization when not shilling for Republican authoritarianism, and one (JPFO) being fabulously uncompromising but strictly educational, a solid, hardcore activist group could sure be welcome in the fray. I like what NAGR says about supporting the grassroots, too.

    But I’ve become so leery of believing what any group says about itself. Just don’t know.

    If anybody has experience with NAGR, I hope they’ll speak up.

  22. Roberta X
    Roberta X April 30, 2013 5:27 am

    NRA is an effective advocacy organization, and willing to bear the slings and arrows of a host of antis.

    I don’t know what they know about running gun shows — as I understand it, the event in question has been moved over from Maryland and that’s a state with very bad gun laws indeed. So the info available now may not be definitive.

    The alternative was no show at all.

    NRA can be hamfisted. Use ’em where they’re useful and realize they’re not all there is to gun culture.

  23. PA Resident
    PA Resident April 30, 2013 11:02 am

    Roberta, the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show was always in Harrisburg PA. You must be thinking of some other show in Maryland. Also, it has never been a trade show where products were displayed but not sold. Everything at the show was for sale from beef jerky to 50 foot RVs.

    The NRA has sold out gun owners so many times over the years I can’t see how it can be called an effective advocacy group. at least not for gun owners. They may have done some good at some point but you never know who they will throw under the bus next, or when.

  24. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty April 30, 2013 1:27 pm

    The only thing the NRA has ever done right (well, mostly right) is the nationwide, affordable and wonderfully voluntary training program specifically directed at new shooters. The program material is often weak, far too slanted toward shooting as a “sport,” and loaded with NRA self aggrandisement, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing at all.

    I’m an NRA “member,” only so I can afford the student packets, and I cut off all the political crap long ago. But if any organization would come up with a viable training program even remotely as good, I’d quit in a flash.

    Preaching to people about guns and self defense isn’t nearly as effective as being able to SHOW them. I’ve simply found that offering the NRA training is a very effective way to do just that.

Leave a Reply