Jay Leno has been planning for some time to make an appearrance at the 2015 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT). Leno was scheduled to appear in January. The show which sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will be based in Newtown, Connecticut. The town that played a tragic host to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
This changed however, when an online petition posted by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence accused Leno of “helping to legitimize a crass commercialism which values profit over human lives.” The group of gun control advocates implored the former host of the “The Tonight Show to rescind his attendance at the event.
“I understand it’s Newtown, and of course I get it,” Leno, whose CNBC car series is slated to premiere in 2015, told Mother Jones about his decision to skip the event. “It’s just sometimes, mistakes get made.”
And the groups that couldn’t be happier: The executive director of The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Josh Horwitz, said his group was “sincerely grateful to Mr Leno for making this decision so quickly after it was brought to his attention.
“It shows that he cares about all the Americans whose lives have been turned upside down by gun violence. And that speaks to the man’s character,” Mr Horwitz added.
While anti-gun activists were pleased. The NSFF released a statement after Leno backed out of his promised appearance .
“We are clearly disappointed by Jay Leno’s decision not to perform at the 2015 SHOT Show State of the Industry Dinner. He unilaterally cancelled his promised appearance due to pressure from the anti-gun lobby, which included false statements about our industry and its commitment to genuine firearms safety, which we attempted to personally correct with him, but to no avail.
“We are not deterred by their publicity seeking nor are we unfamiliar with the bullying political tactics of the gun control groups that seem to have as little respect for the First Amendment as they continually demonstrate with regard to the Second Amendment.”
Suppose that just goes to show you can’t please everyone all the time.