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The SHOT Show in Las Vegas

It set new records for attendance, claiming the spot as the 13th largest trade show in the nation. Doug Painter, the driving force behind the National Shooting Sports Foundation and champion of this event is retiring after 37 years, turning over the reins to Steve Sanetti, with predictable pomp and circumstance at the 1,000-seat State of the Industry Dinner, featuring comedian Jeff Foxworthy. The comic had us laughing until we were in pain, for more than an hour. Many thanks to LuckyGunner, the fine discount-ammo-by-mail company for having me as their guest.

A record number of outdoor and sports media people were in attendance (2,074), with more than 57,000 people overall, but the lamestream media could not be found at the show. They must have been tired from their non-stop Las Vegas coverage of  consumer electronics show gadgets, which are obviously more important than fundamental constitutional rights and our safety. The economy may be slow in some places, but this industry is doing quite well thank you.

The gap is unfortunately widening between government police armaments and the gear available to the general public. The law-enforcement segment of the show had battle gear, armor and high-tech weaponry that was so far advanced from commercial offerings it was like being in another world. While it's true that our front line law-and-order forces can use such armaments against gang warfare and organized foreign hostiles in this country, the implications for crowd control, civil disobedience and the growing absence of Officer Friendly were terrifying. Bulging-muscle guys in spandex t-shirts and battle gear were comfortable amongst each other, a dominating presence for mere civilians who wandered through that part of the show.


Is Officer Friendly a thing of the past?             

Innovative targets are changing the shooting sports.


Eye candy is a big part of the SHOT Show.
Admit it, most women you know do not
dress like this.

Gun Trader, the wildly successful online gun brokerage site
employs tasteful hiring practices.

All police departments can use this sort of roof-mounted,
remotely operated, armored, telephoto and infra-red-equipped
full-auto crowd-control and gang-removal device.

The show is overwhelming in every respect, from the gear to the gals to the shoe leather you leave behind as your dogs bark by the end of the day. Unwilling to let my feet slow me down, I joined several dozen key players in the industry at the private United States Concealed Carry Association steak dinner. These folks are growing fast and doing so much for gun rights it's hard to express. While some of the big dogs get the attention, grassroots guys and entrepreneurs like these, operating lower on the radar, are constantly breaking new ground and expanding the boundaries. You should check them out -- and if you carry discreetly, you need to know what they know. Also, tune in to Armed American Radio, Mark Walters rapidly growing network that, like stalwart Tom Gresham's Gun Talk,,  and Charles Heller's Liberty Watch Radio,, is 110% freedom and getting the news out the lamestream media suppresses.

The same goes for Marty Hayes' (also at the dinner) Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network. He and I having a running dialog on what a citizen should do after a self-defense shooting. His firm is built around that issue (and lawyer backup for the public), and my latest book After You Shoot explores it from top to bottom. There is no standard model -- not for the responding police, the courts, the prosecutors or the defense attorneys, and especially not for the citizenry. That needs to change. We're working on it. Ask about his free booklet, "What Every Citizen Needs To Know About Self-Defense Law."

I'm in a rarified segment of the SHOT Show, as a buyer (always looking for good new products for my customers) also a vendor seeking outlets and exhibitors who want innovative new products themselves, and as a member of the press, covering the show from a news perspective. This year we introduced our next book to the overseas market, to mixed reactions -- no one has ever seen anything like it before. In most countries, the gun laws are virtually unknown, and people get by on word of mouth, scuttlebutt from their local dealers, rumors, and a wing and a prayer.

The most important facet of the upcoming 64-nation Worldwide Gun Owner's Guide is its exposure of the global firearms-enthusiast market and culture. Virtually every nation has gun buffs, and they all struggle for their freedoms. You'll be amazed when you see how broad it is. The book is scheduled for release in March. I'll have ordering information posted soon.


Ammo for sale girl

This shot show looks like it was a success. The targets were...interesting...but definitely better than your traditional targets. Wish I could have been there. Maybe they would have had ammo for sale.

Timothy Myers

I love the eye candy. Seriously, that's the only reason I ever go to shows anymore, lol...sad, I know...

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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