From the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show web site, comment by Reed Exhibitions on January 24th:
Originally Posted by Reed Exhibitions' rationale for canceling the Feb 2 show
More than 300 of 1000+ exhibitors pulled out. That's at least one-fourth of their exhibitors putting their money where their mouths were. "Small percentage," indeed.
In short: it's not about "hunting and fishing." It's about our very lives and our protection of them, about our rights as citizens, and about who's with the citizens in these attacks against our Constitutionally-protected liberties.
Trouble is, there's no real way for them to exclude products they deem (for whatever reason) aren't related or applicable to hunting/fishing. Those excluded vendors and products will feel snubbed. And with AR's such a large portion of the overall firearms-related market these days, I can't help but wonder who at Reed Exhibitions imagined it couldn't backfire on them.
That being said, I feel for them, if their focus is truly on the hunting and fishing outdoor sports. It's tough to be so firearms-oriented as a show without becoming a part of the 2A-related fight that's going on. Bummer that they opted to cave to the PC concept of cutting out the AR-related products from their show, in such an environment. I'm sure they were doing it to hopefully sidestep criticisms about hosting something involving such products, but biting the hand that feeds them isn't going to yield predictable results. Oops.
Unfortunately for them, and any other business in this industry, it comes down to this: you're either pro-liberty or you're not. And the citizens into hunting, fishing, defense related products are going too largely see it that way. Time to take a stand.