Jay Leno folds under pressure, cancels SHOT Show appearance

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Former Tonight Show Host Jay Leno.

Former Tonight Show Host Jay Leno.  (Photo: Newsbusters.org)

Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno announced Wednesday that he would no longer be emceeing the Industry Dinner at the 2015 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show).

In an interview with Mother Jones, Leno said he didn’t realize that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which sponsors SHOT, is based Newtown, Connecticut until various pro-gun control organizations brought it to his attention, including the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Campaign to Unload and the Newtown Action Alliance.

“I understand it’s Newtown, and of course I get it,” Leno told Mother Jones. “It’s just, sometimes, mistakes get made.”

Newtown, Connecticut, was the site of the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which claimed the lives of six adults and 20 school children.

“I’m not at all surprised that Jay didn’t understand that the NSSF is part of the gun lobby,” said Po Murray, the chairman of Newtown Action Alliance. “Before the Sandy Hook shootings, I had no idea they existed, and they’re right here in my community! I am thrilled that Jay changed his mind once he had full information. It is so appreciated by those of us in Newtown.”

Jennifer Fiore, the executive director of the Campaign to Unload, continued, “I’m grateful that Jay has seen the NSSF for what it really is: a corporate lobbying group that puts money over morality, no matter how many families are destroyed by its products.”

“We are sincerely grateful to Mr. Leno for making this decision so quickly after it was brought to his attention,” said Josh Horwitz, the executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “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.”

Likewise, Shannon Watts the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America applauded Leno for backing out.

“Moms applaud Jay Leno’s decision to cancel his National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) event appearance after hearing directly from Moms and other gun violence prevention supporters on social media,” said Watts in a press release.

“The NSSF opposes common-sense gun safety measures like background checks on all gun sales,” she continued. “This announcement comes just one day after moms launched the social media campaign #JokesOnLeno and reflects the power of holding public figures accountable. Jay Leno now stands with the majority of Americans who support common sense gun laws. Moms across the country are thanking Jay for making the right decision.”

Upon learning that Leno caved to the pressure, the NSSF released the following statement:

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 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.

We are proud of the many programs that we run that meaningfully contribute to public safety including our long standing Project ChildSafe and Don’t Lie for the Other Guy initiatives in addition to our members everyday work in compliance with comprehensive federal and state laws. We will not allow the lawful commerce in firearms nor our industry to be demonized and we will continue to speak out for the Second Amendment rights of the millions of law-abiding citizens who are our customers.

Despite Mr. Leno’s cancellation, we look forward to having our biggest and best State of the Industry Dinner to date with a performer that respects the contributions of our industry and the customers it supports.

Welcome to the new America! While a mentally deranged sociopath by the name of Adam Lanza carried out the attack on Newtown, in the eyes of the anti-gun lobby all gun owners, gun manufacturers and those who support the Second Amendment are somehow complicit in the murder of those innocent first graders, teachers and staffers.

Isn’t that misrepresenting their position? Nope. It’s what many of them believe. Consider what New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik said in the wake of Sandy Hook.

“The people who fight and lobby and legislate to make guns regularly available are complicit in the murder of those children.”

Gopnik didn’t stop there, but followed it up in a separate article with an even bigger condemnation of 2A supporters:

As I wrote last week, those who oppose it have made a moral choice: that they would rather have gun massacres of children continue rather than surrender whatever idea of freedom or pleasure they find wrapped up in owning guns or seeing guns owned — just as the faith healers would rather watch the children die than accept the reality of scientific medicine.

Those who fight against gun control, actively or passively, with a shrug of helplessness, are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more parents to unspeakable grief just as surely as are those who fight against pediatric medicine or childhood vaccination. It’s really, and inarguably, just as simple as that.

How sad is that? Gun owners are tantamount to child killers. But the reality is just the opposite. Guns are a boon for society. In the hands of the law-abiding, they are the great equalizer and the optimal tool for self-defense. In fact, guns are used to save lives and prevent crime more often then they are used to perpetrate it. As a 2013 study coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found:

“Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

Yet, despite this fact, gun owners are the bad guys. We’re radicals, extremists and zealots. We are America’s untouchables. Any celebrity, industry executive, sports star or other high-profile figure who associates with us or supports us in any way is publicly shamed by gun-control organizations and lead to believe, as Gopnik wrote, that gun owners “are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more parents to unspeakable grief” because we refuse to surrender our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense not only against the criminal element, but a tyrannical government.

Welcome to the new America where you and I are the evildoers for believing that we should have the means to protect and preserve the very freedom that we all enjoy.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Joe November 25, 2016, 11:38 am

    When are we going to quit referencing, thereby giving credibility to, the FICTION that is Sandy Hook? It was a false flag op, pure and simple!! All one need do is watch the videos related to the incident of parents acting happy and normal, until the news cameras start rolling, and they force up fake tears! Tell me now, what parent behaves in such a manner the day after their child was supposedly gunned down? Too many Americans have become stupid and gullible!!!

  • Varn Ford November 25, 2016, 6:35 am

    About the video above, Cuomo seems very ignorant concerning the 2nd Amendment. As we all know, the 2nd Amendment is not about hunting. It’s not about a right to hunt. There is no such thing. In the Constitution, there is no reference to a right to hunt. He does not realize that there is a difference between hunting and the Constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. It’s about having adequate firearms to repel a tyrannical form of government that may develop in the USA and it’s not about hunting deer or ducks.

  • Fred Ziffle August 7, 2016, 12:08 pm

    I clicked the link to Gopnik’s article on The New Yorker’s web site and after reading that one, I gleaned several of his others. It took less than a minute to deduce, with a less-than-zero margin of error, that Gopnik is a liberal-poster boy; a smug, arrogant, condescending, manipulative lying hack. You know, like Hillary. Mr Gopnik, when the premise of your entire movement is a lie, you will always find that the foundation of your house-of-cards is made of shifting sand.
    Liberal’s (such as Gopnik or Hillary or any others of their ilk) War-On-The-Second Amendment is based upon hypothetical scenarios and deceitful supposition. Law-abiding, gun-owning American citizens don’t commit crimes (hence the whole “law-abiding” bit). Law-abiding, gun-owning American citizens PREVENT crimes. FACTS support this, no hypothetical scenarios or supposition are needed.

  • Calin Brabandt July 2, 2016, 11:44 am

    I nominate Penn Jillette as emcee. Penn is VERY pro-gun and he already lives in Las Vegas.

  • George December 1, 2014, 12:17 pm

    I am disappointed that Jay Leno went this way , I thought he would look into a matter and make an intelligient decision not a decision based on hysteria from a group that blames gun owners for every tragedy that happens. Perhaps he should not speak anywhere because someone will always disagree with you over something and he shouldn’t insult anyone, oh wait that’s how he makes his living.

  • BlueBuddha November 26, 2014, 3:54 am

    Jay has a famously huge car collection. When you think of the millions of people – especially children – massacred in violent car crashes over the years, you see how evil he really is. Not only does he not care about these poor innocents who died early & violently, in pain & terror, he has spent huge bucks to create a shrine to their killers.

    The firearms community is better off without a person who glorifies such butchery.

  • Dave November 24, 2014, 11:11 pm

    Anti-Car Guy,
    I’m sure Jay Leno supports “wreckless” driving. I doubt he supports “reckless” driving, however. Don’t you have spell check?

  • Just1Spark November 24, 2014, 4:56 pm

    What ever happened to telling people to ‘go fuck themselves’? Very disappointed. smh

  • Dave Hardy November 24, 2014, 3:38 pm

    One further example of an entertainer whose depth is only skin deep. Jay Leno joins the league of disappointing celebrities.

    • B Harrell November 25, 2014, 9:48 am

      …disappearing celebrities..

  • BigR November 24, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Doesn’t that total nut case Adam Lanza and his stupid mother bear any blame for the death of those children and teachers? Why is it always the masses of legitimate, law abiding gun owners fault?
    Jay Leno, I’m sorry for the few times I ever watched your show, you never really could come up to Johnny Carson’s level, could you? But you know that! Fool people once, you won’t fool them twice!

  • Bigmag47 November 24, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Wow, what kind of crap was that video. First off, does he think any rifle with the capability of holding more than 1 round constitute being an “assault rifle”? Secondly….will somebody PLEASE give me the definition of an “assault rifle” if there even IS such a thing? The CRAP the anti-gunners dish out is nothing short of bedtime stories based on their opinions on how they feel about guns. NOTHING they say, and I mean NOTHING is based on fact! Here`s some facts I can give that are NOT my opinion, but fact. FACT… No gun laws will ever stop an evil man, or woman from committing an illegal act with, or without a gun.
    FACT… The more guns there are in the hands of law abiding citizens, the safer they and those are around them are from criminals and gun violence.
    FACT…. Just because an AR15, or and AK47 look like “military” weapons, doesn`t mean they are, nor do they even belong in the same category!
    FACT…. Having a high capacity magazine, does NOT make it a fully auto firearm.
    FACT…. More gun deaths (excluding war) are attributed to handguns above ALL other types of firearms.
    FACT…. AR15`s, and AK47`s are NOT “assault” weapons!
    FACT…. Just because a rifle is BLACK, doesn`t make it an “assault” rifle, no more than being a “black” person makes them a criminal.
    OPINION….Right off the top of my head, for a weapon to be classified as an “assault” weapon, which by the way is terminology concocted by the left loons to bring a dark shadow over two of the most popular rifles in America, it must first and most importantly, be able to fire automatically. Example: If a military style M4 rifle with a fully functional selector switch so you could select “auto” fire came straight from Iraq and was used by a civilian in the process of a crime, then I guess someone COULD call it an “assault” rifle. I would say the rifles used by our “over militarized” police forces COULD be called “assault” weapons. These are my OPINIONS, because in my humble opinion, anything used to assault someone, even a toilet plunger COULD be called an “assault” weapon because you`re assaulting somebody.
    The facts are, that the left loons use no facts. They let their emotions run their lives and expect the rest of us to comply with their TWISTED way of thinking! It`s like…if you don`t agree with Obama`s policies, it`s not a matter of a difference of opinion, you are just plain and simply a RACIST! This is the way of thinking of the left. Not even the FAR left, just the left. The left demands TOLERANCE from all, yet they are the most intolerant group of individuals on the planet when it comes to opinions different from their own.

  • Greg November 24, 2014, 1:48 pm

    Please thank Jay for removing himself and allowing another to step in who really supports and values the 2nd Amendment rather than Jay continuing to half-heartedly feign his way through the one amendment that has ensured he could ply his trade without fear of being hauled away to a cell after the insults/assaults he has used through the years to get laughs and be paid exorbitant amounts of money for doing so.
    Now we can have someone who can read and understand the issues and put their best forward in support of the industry and those who depend on it (that would be every damn one of us in this country and many others).
    Funny, car manufacturers install known defective parts that cause many more deaths and injuries but these Mom groups and others are not campaigning to have all vehicles done away with etc etc. How many defective guns did manufacturers produce knowing that sooner or later those guns would bring issues because of the defects?
    This blaming inanimate objects rather than understanding that humans are the catalyst that cause the action is an extreme lack of comprehension and intelligence on the part of those who choose to take that path and in so doing they are the ultimate problem that will never have solution until they quit laying blame and learn to understand rather than to just grandstand. Remember, Jay says he has dyslexia and so he has a difficult time of knowing which side what letter or number really is on and now we know he doesn’t understand that the 2nd Amendment is really the only reason he has a 1st Amendment to hide behind.
    Count your blessings Jay, those of us who truly understand the issues will stand fast and make the curtain of protection for you to come from when you want to spew forth your “jokes” which never would hurt anyone……. or would they as we hear in the news on a daily basis now that bullying, bashing and other manner of insult and language violence is causing so many to do violent things to others or themselves.
    May be only a matter of time before the Comedic Cops come get the jesters and lock them away or worse and if those who would take away all guns succeed it will be sooner than Jay or Bill Mahr and others think. Thanks again Jay for getting out of the way and admitting that you don’t really know what you are doing.

  • Ricardo November 24, 2014, 9:05 am

    Still blaming Sandy Hook on the gun and not the nutcase. I guess when you have an agenda, you’ll twist the truth to lies just to make it work your way. Sorry gun haters, but our rights to own will NEVER go away. Deal with it.

  • Jay November 24, 2014, 8:55 am

    I will never understand the stupidity of the anti-gun agenda and those who support it! If anyone truly wants to reduce gun violence then why the *ell don’t you go after the criminal element that do 99% of the gun violence or violence in general! You make the time fit the crime and enforce laws, harshly and swiftly with no way out of the punishment, no plea deals! You kill, you get killed it’s really very simple! There is no deterrent to crime because of all the bleeding hearts and do gooders, it’s about time to make them support the criminals they so fervently protect, with housing, food, clothing, medical care etc… nothing out of tax payers pockets, then we will see how long they still feel that way! They will also have less money to try and do away with law abiding citizens 2nd amendments rights that way too! Human rights cannot be governed!!

  • Anti-Car Guy November 24, 2014, 8:41 am

    We need to start lobbying against all those dangerous cars Jay Leno keeps. He must support drunk driving and wreckless driving.

  • Bob November 24, 2014, 6:22 am

    Jay Leno really surprised me with this decision. I always enjoyed his show and thought he was a standup guy. I was disappointed to see he could be bullied by these anti gun groups.
    Jay what are you thinking ?

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