The NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) does not generally allow major media outlets to cover the events that go on at SHOT show. Their primary reason being that SHOT show is an industry trade show focused on showing off new products of guns, ammo and firearm related accessories.
Regardless, the organizers did allow reporters from The Guardian (AP) to attend with stipulations that they would focus on what the trade show is leaving politics aside. The NSSF informed the Guardian reporters that they should not be injecting politics into their questions, that they should have an escort at all times, and they should not harass vendors. They agreed and were allowed press credentials for the event.
Interestingly enough, however, The Guardian reporters went on to immediately violate all the terms, as can be seen in their video, and subsequently having their press passes and access to SHOT Show rescinded before being ejected by security.
Rupert began by asking various attendees about sales number increases, how events like mass shootings increases the sale of guns, and then proceeded to ask the people at the Smith & Wesson booth if a particular model firearm was used in a mass shooting. These questions paint to a very biased and agenda driven motive behind The Guardians interest in this convention.
As shown in this week’s podcast in the player above, there were split views about how the situations handling by both SHOT show representatives and the reporters. The email below, sent to Rupert Neate, invited him to join us for a show and provide his point of view, without being attacked:
“Hello Rupert, we had a huge discussion on our show last night (which will publish on the 28th) Some of the panel felt your removal was justified because you went to the event with an agenda to ask certain questions, others felt you had a legitimate right to ask your questions and S&W was just being a “bitch” for stopping the interview and the NSSF was in the wrong for kicking you out.I personally felt, you went there with an agenda, however you should not have been booted based on your questions, while in bad taste, were not horrible. We in the gun world who attended the event went there to inform our listeners and readers of the new and current products available on the market, but your base is different than ours, we would love to hear from you to hear how you felt, would you be willing to sit down for maybe 30 mins to talk via a google hangout?I can promise you this will not be a personal attack. We just want our listeners to understand more of your insight. If you would like to hear our conversation you can find it on youtube.this will give you a feel for the show, and our initial discussion on the subject.”
To which he replied:
The NSSF and SHOT Show issued credentials to a major news outlet, with guidelines, to facilitate a smooth event. The point of allowing outside media, not industry reporters, to come in was to give them an opportunity to see what the show was about, which was firearms and firearm related products.
While SHOT Show is a private, invitation-only event, it does have the right to set out rules for participation. Being representatives and part of the firearm community, we should all be aware and understanding of the scrutiny and criticism coming from outside sources.
Whether or not you agree with SHOT Show’s policies, they are there primarily to screen out people and organizations who’s goal is to promote an agenda and harass attendees and vendors.
When given a chance to have a fair airing of his opinions and agendas, Rupert Neate suggests that his primary purpose for attending was to produce a hit piece. That hit piece was somewhat magnified by their ejection as the reporters got to play the victim card because they were kicked out of the show ‘just for doing their job’.
As anyone on the pro-gun side of the debate knows, this is a ‘cry wolf’ tactic meant to look like the firearm industry are just ‘gun bullies’. While the show’s policies help paint that picture, to a degree, one cannot fault the organization for being proved right.