Chairman’s Message: State of Panic?

Posted by Bill Sumner on 7/1/24 1:53 PM

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Oh, what summer has brought us!  From record high temperatures to torrential rainfall across many parts of the country, mother nature has its own way of creating chaos and panic. However, we can’t always avoid natural occurrences that come our way, and sometimes, mother nature can be easier to deal with than our own self-inflicted disarray and discord.

Our country is just days away from celebrating our independence and for nearly 250 years, we have been hosting speeches, ceremonies, and awe-inspiring displays of aerial color! We have a lot to celebrate and are blessed to live in the greatest country in the world. Yet, many are in a state of panic, questioning what’s happening to our great country. Where did our values go? How are we allowing personal feelings to overrule logic and science? How did we reach a point where we finally beat Medicare? Pushing politics aside and my slight jab at the sad state of the presidential debate, we should likely ask similar questions about our own businesses. There’s no doubt that if we become complacent, ignorant of our roots, or fail to meet the needs of our customers, we too will lose our way.

Though summer sales have been less than stellar in June, there is still much to celebrate with some big wins coming from the latest SCOTUS/US District court rulings on braces/bump stocks and the Chevron decision. Democracy is still at work here in America, but it is certainly at risk if we do not do our part this November. Likewise, as an industry, we too must pull together to protect the two-step distribution model. For my distributor colleagues who might be reading this, I hope to see many of you at next month’s Wholesaler Summit, where we’ll discuss and deliberate on current and future threats and opportunities. I commend NASGW for bringing us together to think collectively and critically about the challenges our industry is facing.

NASGW is also preparing for the 50th NASGW Expo scheduled for October 15th-18th in Kansas City. For those manufacturers who have new products this year, don't forget to submit your products for a chance to win a Caliber Award. The deadline is August 1st, so please ensure all submittals are sent this month. 

Finally, as you all prepare to celebrate the 4th of July and reflect on our freedoms granted to us as Americans, I want to leave you with this quote from President Ronald Reagan in 1975, as it still rings true today, perhaps more than ever:

"There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism—government."

Happy Independence Day!!


Until next time,


Bill Sumner

NASGW Chairman


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