President's Message: Reflections on Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 5/17/22 9:30 AM

Kenyon Gleason, NASGW President

Hatred is a cancer.

It should find no home… anywhere.

We obviously don’t know all the details yet surrounding the horrific shooting in Buffalo over the weekend. Based on what I’ve read and seen, it was likely a racially motivated rampage. What prompts someone to do such things? Were there signs the young man was not in a healthy state of mind? Could this have been prevented?

Like many of you I’m sure, I’m struggling to comprehend this evil. There are no easy answers, and it seems only more tough questions. It’s another senseless tragedy to go along with more extreme violence in Chicago, St. Louis and elsewhere.

We need very much to start understanding the root causes here and working on ways to solve these problems. And that doesn’t mean grandstanding politicians should enact more rules, call for more bans on inanimate objects, or create more bumper sticker slogans. What I mean is, we all need to come together to try and understand the “why” these things happen and stop the fixation with the “how.”

I can’t say it any more plainly; there is no place for such hate in our country. It should be rooted out from wherever it tries to rest. It should be given no safe harbor. Hate is a cancer, and we will need some strong medicine to cure it.

NASGW Closes in on 70 Year Anniversary

For those of you who’ve been keeping track, NASGW is getting close to celebrating 70 years of existence as an organization. We were founded in 1953 and incorporated as an entity in 1954. As we draw closer to 2023, and the celebration of this milestone, the organization continues to develop and adapt to an always changing industry landscape.

NASGW’s Chairman, Chris Means, reflected in his column earlier this month on some of the many things we have been working on as an organization. As you are all aware, our SCOPE™ data program continues to grow into an indispensable tool for businesses in our industry. We are making strides daily and soon will be sharing some exciting new opportunities for all our members to benefit from these incredible tools. We built SCOPE™ for you, our members, and we want you all to be able to take advantage of the great benefits.

As an integral part of the shooting sports industry sales channel, the wholesale distributors also understand that in order to keep doing business for the long term, we’ve got to make sure we protect our channel and our heritage.

I try to live by the mantra that, “You can’t know where you’re going, unless you know where you’ve been.” I find that to be true in my personal life and in business. If you don’t understand your past, you likely won’t do a very good job planning your future. Doing the same things, but expecting different results, is a recipe for disaster.

Luckily, our organization is led by a great board of directors and made up of about 500 companies all hoping for a brighter future for this industry. At NASGW, we’ve been talking for years about doing big things for this industry. We’ve accomplished some big things already, especially when you consider the herculean task of building a data platform that truly helps us understand product sales and inventories.

But we’re not stopping with just SCOPE™. With constant political challenges and regulatory challenges being thrown in front of us, it will be incumbent on all of us in this industry to find critical solutions to banking, insurance, payment processing and other roadblocks to our legal business operations.
We are working on many of those things now both internally and with our other partners across the industry. Together, we have the ability to preserve and protect our industry for the future and we won’t stop until we’ve accomplished that mission.

Remember the Real Reason

I want to take a moment to reflect on the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. As we all know, it makes for a great start to the summer season. Kids are getting out of school, vacations are being planned, backyard barbecues and pool parties will be in full swing soon. All these fun things are part of what it means to be an American and to live in the best country on the planet.

But let’s not forget the real reason for Memorial Day. Please make sure to take some time to pause and reflect on why we have the freedom to enjoy all that fun. It’s because hundreds of thousands of men and women loved this country so much, wanted so much to protect it for their friends and families, that they gave the ultimate sacrifice, they died so we could have those freedoms.

It's a great time to kick off the summer. But it should also be a solemn time of reflection and remembrance. My thoughts and prayers are with every individual, and their families, who’ve given all they could give, so I could have the blessings that I do.

Freedom isn’t free and I won’t ever forget it.


Until next time,

Kenyon Gleason
NASGW President

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