What Does This Mean For The 2021 SHOT Show? (Updated)

There was word this week that two major expositions had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, there was the National Association of Sporting Good Wholesalers (NASGW) Expo that was scheduled for October in Grapevine, Texas. This is an annual gathering of wholesalers, manufacturers, media, and sales reps in the hunting, fishing, and firearms industries where new products are brought out and displayed. What the SHOT Show is for dealers, the NASGW Expo is for the wholesale industry.

Laurie Aronson, chairwoman of NASGW and CEO of Lipsey’s, had this to say about the cancellation:

As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact every aspect of our lives, we have all been forced to make difficult decisions. On Monday, the NASGW Board of Directors voted unanimously to cancel this year’s Expo. This was a decision that none of us wanted to make, but it was the right decision. With mounting cases in the state of Texas and increased travel restrictions in numerous states, particularly in the northeast, we could not leave things to chance in hopes that cases would subside or that states would ease restrictions. We’re not blaming Texas. The biggest reason this decision had to be made was for the health and safety of our members, our colleagues, our employees, and the entire shooting sports industry.

They are working out the logistics on how to present the new products and awards virtually.

The other big show announcing its cancellation was the Consumer Electronics Show or CES. That show was to take place the week before the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. They have said they plan to offer the show “all digitally”. CES is the largest show and convention to take place in Las Vegas with upwards of 180,000 attendees.

With the growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it is not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person.

An all-digital CES 2021 will allow the entire tech community to safely share ideas and introduce the products that will shape our future. You’ll be able to participate in all the awe-inspiring moments of CES wherever you are in the world. We are designing a unique experience for the tech industry.

Given that the 2021 SHOT Show is scheduled for January 19th through 22nd, one has to wonder what will happen with it. This is to be an expanded show with the new Caesars Forum opening additional exposition space. It is connected to the Sands Expo Center by a skybridge.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is still saying it is a go but they do have this posted on the SHOT Show website. They have also adopted a set of social distancing and safety guidelines.

The NSSF looks forward to hosting the 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas this coming January at both the Sands Expo Center and Caesars Forum, and we plan to proceed as scheduled. We are actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as the health, safety and well-being of our industry and the local community is a priority for us. We will continue to monitor the situation and share show updates in a timely manner. 

Jim Shepherd in The Outdoor Wire this morning said what he is hearing is that it will go on. Nonetheless, companies are coming up on cancellation dates and will need to decide on their participation regardless on NSSF’s ultimate decision.

I had planned to go and I even have a voucher that would probably cover my airfare. That said, despite the expansion, how much new stuff will firearms manufacturers release given they are selling everything as quickly as they can make it? And do I really want to be in a crowd of people anymore?

Decisions, decisions. For me and for the NSSF.

UPDATE: I have updated this post with a comment on Twitter from Chris Dolnack. He is the Senior VP of NSSF who is in charge of organizing and running the SHOT Show.

Chris also posted a comment on the SHOT Show Insider page regarding the cancellation of CES and what they means for SHOT.

SHOT Show All Systems Go; Silver Lining in CES Cancellation

CES, the nation’s largest trade show, announced this week that it is canceling its in-person show in Las Vegas this January. With many of its major exhibitors—and its attendees—based in Asia and other parts of the world, the show was confronting increasing uncertainty involving global travel to and from the United States. If there’s a silver lining to the CES announcement, it’s that CES was to be held the week before the SHOT Show—and while we are disappointed that CES won’t be taking place, its cancellation will allow more local resources than ever before to be devoted to the SHOT Show. And both the Sands Expo Center and Caesars Forum will be primed and ready to welcome us to Las Vegas. We’ve received a number of inquiries this week about the status of the SHOT Show due to CES’s announcement, and also regarding the cancellation of the NASGW Expo in October. Rest assured, we are all systems go and we are working around the clock (our sleep patterns these days) in planning to ensure our customers’ and employees’ health and safety are at the forefront throughout our time in Las Vegas. With six months until the show, we are fortunate that we will be able to learn a lot from other shows taking place in other countries before ours. And, with six months to go, both the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum are nearly sold out for SHOT, making it our largest floorplan ever. We are well-positioned to make this the best SHOT Show we’ve ever held, and we are very much looking forward to reuniting as an industry in Las Vegas in January. — Chris Dolnack, NSSF

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Has Given Us Two Very Successful Experiments In Social Control – One Global, One National

The following editorial was written by my friend “ScotShot”. He is a resident of New Jersey and a firearms trainer. ScotShot is a NRA Training Counselor, a USCCA instructor, and a CCW instructor. He is also the co-founder with Klint Macro of National Train-A-Teacher Day. He has a greater appreciation for the US Constitution and especially the Second Amendment than many. That is because he grew up in a country which has no written constitution and no such protections.

More to the point of this editorial, “ScotShot” has a PhD in immunology from the University of Strathclyde and served for a few years as the Director of Research at a university center on biodefense.

It seems like an interminable time since the first recognized case of COVID-19 hit places in Europe (Northern Italy) and the USA. At the time of writing it’s been five months. There are many timelines out there that you can find, and the question of whether it actually came earlier is real. However, there’s a great interactive published by the New York Times that is well worth a look:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/22/world/coronavirus-spread.html

In these five months, the United States and other Western countries have been transformed by this event. Your present correspondent, who writes from the aggressively confinement-orientated New Jersey, has been struck by how much and for how long we have allowed this to modify our behavior and change our lives.

I’m not going to discuss the various successes and errors nor whether the Orange Man did well or poorly. I also am not going to discuss whether it was correct or wrong for Western governments to fall over themselves to follow the apocalyptic modeling of a certain Dr F from Imperial College, London after it became clear that it was only older people who were generally at significant risk. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We always, as they say, fight with the tools of the previous war, and this was fought with the tools built during the emergence of HIV. No foul, Drs F’n’B.

Let’s talk, Gentle Reader, about two Great Experiments.

EXPERIMENT ONE – “OK, we didn’t plan a biowarfare attack, but…”

Take another look at the NYT interactive linked above and remember that while this was taking place, China had essentially shut down, or was in the process of shutting down, internal travel. The Chinese Authorities very likely knew about how contagious this new virus was and the morbidity/mortality it carried. While we can’t know exactly what they were thinking, it’s interesting to speculate that some bright spark may have come up with the idea of letting a bunch of very likely infected people leave the epicenter of the outbreak to a whole bunch of countries just to see what would happen. That is, just to see how Europe, Australia, the USA would react at the levels of their governments and their citizens. I’d say that they are happy beyond their wildest dreams right now.

The whole Western economy disrupted, (multi?)-generational debt accrued, lockdown frustration amplifying civil unrest here in the USA (and whether the murder of Mr F was a deliberate trigger-act is for others to discuss). Oh, they learned a lot about us. Importantly, they learned that certain parts of our manufacturing capabilities were so dependent upon them that countries would order protective materials only to find that they were, for example, defective upon shipping or would buy back their own previously charitably-given supplies . They also learned that the political process here is so fractured that parties would use the pandemic to further their venal political ends. This brings us to…

EXPERIMENT TWO – “Wow, I never thought they’d do this…”

It is perhaps surprising (but only in retrospect) that only one or two countries, e.g., Sweden, didn’t follow the others in the mass-lemmingization of the West into the economic and social chaos of the pandemic lockdown. The UK, well England to be more precise, did make an attempt, but it was half-hearted at best and they basically caved at the first sign of trouble. Scotland, with its more socialist political environment, went for it whole-heartedly and are this week rejoicing that the affectionately-known “wee Nichola” has allowed them to once again go out and socialize but “at a distance.. over your garden fence, and not going into your neighbors’ homes..”. This is remarkably like it is in more blue-hued States here in the United States: NJ, NY, WA, OR, CA…. As we now begin to emerge armed with actual data about the effects of the pandemic and the entrepreneurial economy re-emerges in the red states, we see the true political agendas laid bare on the beach like little blue puddles as the tide of pandemic caution recedes.

Don’t wear a mask… everyone wear a mask… you don’t need a test… everyone needs to be tested… two weeks to flatten the curve… could be six months till we get a vaccine… back to normal…. emerge into the New Normal…

The “New Normal?” What is this New Normal that Democrat Governors are talking about? I’d say that they too have had a very successful experiment going in enhanced social control over their citizens. Well, I guess when you force small business owners to close down while letting corporate giants (naming no names) stay open, you are garroting your opposing political base. Who really cares whether people wear masks properly so long as they cover their faces somehow and you get the bonus of a bunch of Karens hounding those who do not, live-streamed on Facebook. You issued an Executive Order and people rushed to squeeze through the Overton Window just so that they could get out of the house.

What can we conclude…

So, what can we conclude, Gentle Reader, about the outcome of these two experiments? To date, they have been very successful and those who conducted them have learned a lot about their experimental subjects. Personally, I think it’s more important to think about what we, those very subjects, have learned about the experimenters and our fellow subjects.

As the lockdown is eased in red states and not blue, we see a picture emerging that is disturbingly similar to the cover of Kurt Schlichter’s book, “People’s Republic”. Blue State Governors working with the DNC to maintain control and build a New Normal up through the Election, and they do not care that they are now in plain sight. It’s probably wishful thinking to hope that there will be a move away from China as the source of inexpensive essentials and towards more domestic manufacturing, too. Too many of us are like the bunnies in Watership Down… “Look! Free Carrots!” and never mind where Fred went.

So I leave you with a question. Will those of us who believe in self-reliance and paying our own way simply become a thing of the past, turned to dust and blown away on the breeze, or we once again turn and say that we are ‘we’, “WE, the People”?