The SHOT Show goes far beyond just guns.  One of the hottest accessories today is the sound suppressor – silencer – which is riding a huge wave of popularity that has yet to crest.  My old friend Jeff Chudwin is a retired police chief, several-time national patrol rifle champion, head of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association, and one of the great street survival gurus of all time. He has flatly stated that he thinks every police patrol rifle should be equipped with a silencer.  Not just for tactical reasons, but also because of the risk of hearing loss in training with very loud guns. He cites the case of an officer he knows who lost 50% of his hearing when a brother officer fired a 5.56mm M4 rifle near him in the course of an on-duty shooting where naturally, no one was wearing ear protection.  Today’s silencers are better than ever, and we have gun-makers such as SIG and Ruger making their own.

For some time now, the SHOT Show schedule has included not just show and tell/show and sell, but training. Some of it has to do with marketing and management for firearms dealers and shooting range owners, but some of it also has to do with survival.  Some highly-credentialed people are teaching initial police response to mass murder incidents, and offering tactics for unarmed civilians caught up in such atrocities.

Today some of us from Massad Ayoob Group took a well-attended class on firearms dealers’ role in suicide prevention. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has joined with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help gun dealers recognize customers with suicidal ideation in hopes of denying those people the means to carry out impulsive self-destruction.   Though some have the impression that this is a new concept, it actually follows in the footsteps of the New Hampshire Firearms Safety Coalition under Elaine Frank, and the Gun Shop Project spearheaded by gun shop owner Ralph Demicco, an active member of NHFSC.  This program puts suicide prevention posters and literature into the shops themselves, and offers training for gun shop staff on how to pick up subtle indications of suicidal ideation.  There have already been “saves” with it, and many other states have developed programs modeled on New Hampshire’s. It is good to see a national organization picking up that ball and running with it, given that some two-thirds of the “deaths by gun violence” that prohibitionists cite as a reason for you and I not to own firearms are in fact suicides.

Christine Moutier, MD, Chief Medical Officer of AFSP yields the microphone to Bill Bussard of NSSF at SHOT Show suicide prevention lecture.

Latest variant of Ruger Mark IV .22 pistol, the 22/45 lightweight, mounts Ruger’s own suppressor.  Handy thing to have around farm or ranch. Yes, suppressor requires BATFE licensing.




  1. Legislation has been introduced to remove suppressors from the list of NFA items and to treat them as ordinary firearms. See this link:

    We all need to contact our members of congress to support passage of this important legislation.

    Such a bill would be vetoed by President Obama. However, with President Trump in office, we can hope for a better result.

  2. Speaking of the Ruger Mark lV, I had one in my hands around Thanksgiving at Belmont Firearms & Range in December. Takedown & reassembly is fast & easy!

    Interesting to note, I shot a S&W Victory for the first time last month. I like it ! ! It had a Tandem Kross trigger ($40) and stock sights. I fired the 1st shot in the 8 ring at 10 o’clock. A bit surprised, I took more carefully aim before touching the trigger a second time. Then increasing fire rapidly, I unloaded the last 8. 9 in the X ring. My friend watched the ragged hole develop and commented that I seemed to enjoy “that.” Well yes, I did!

    The Ruger Mark series has some serious competition.

    I am pleased to hear of the suicide presentation & programs. I have worked in a regional poison center. The tragedy of suicide includes not just the deaths by gun (and yes, by other means). It also involves those cases where the attempt is successful but much slower, often involving days, weeks or longer to die from a drug overdose or self poisoning. It also involves the repeat attempts that often involve long hospital stays for medical treatment and then psychiatric treatment.

    Proper psychiatric preventative treatment is typically far less expensive than medical treatment of overdose attempts.

    Often, friends and family fail to note signs or don’t take comments or other indicators seriously. I alway do. I ask and engage individuals and take proactive steps. Just yesterday I met a beautiful 40 ish mother who lost her 21 yo daughter to a car accident in December. I spent 45 minutes with her. Listening, sharing, advising, reminding (her so, husband, etc), referring. A hug to boot. And I will follow up even though she lives 1,300 miles from my home.

    I recall my father teaching me about suicide when I was younger. I see an awareness of life in the gun community I have been exposed to all my life. It goes beyond things like guns, suicide, self sufficiency and such. It is real reality (yes, i said that, real reality). It is unlike the modern liberals contrived notions of life and reality. Dad taught me about conservation, honesty, integrity and more at a ripe young age of 5 or 6. About when he started me on guns too. Life in the real lane. Observe. See. Care. We are all just a phone call or mouse click away today.

  3. Anyone have feedback on the new version of the all stainless .38 Colt Cobra? Looks like it might be a fine carry piece.

  4. With the upcoming presidential inauguration of The Donald, which will finally end the sleazy regime of our Dear Leader, there may be a spike in suicides among fanatical liberals, especially since HillBilly will probably never set her size 13 4E feet in the White House again, except maybe to do community service as punishment for her many despicable criminal activities.

    I wish just for tomorrow, I could be a cop again so I can hear all the signal 88(A) calls going out after The Donald is sworn in as our 45th president.

  5. What ear-muff protection do you suggest? I think it is so important but I don’t waste to waste money on inferior products-what do you use? Best regards & Thank you in advance!

  6. Definitely active ear pro; the more you can hear without risking your hearing the safer you are on the range. For range use I’ve generally got either Sport Ear XT or Peltor 3M.

  7. oh yes, which Peltor 3M? there are so many to choose from! I do own the Pelter Tactical 100-but find they are just “OK” and I want to rip them off because they hurt my ears

  8. thank you-take your time-I appreciate your help! I hope some day I can take one of your courses when you are in gun unfriendly NJ! I belong to Gun for Hire range-

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