Apologies for no Friday newsletter, and for the very non-traditional nature of this one. I've been struggling to come up with the best way to write about the transformational experience I had in the Nevada desert last week (that sounds very pretentious, doesn't it!), and more to the point, I've been trying to come up with a way to present it to you positively and properly, and to encourage you to share this same experience.
Needless to say, whether I succeeded or not in this struggle, one thing was definitely achieved. The article has grown and grown again, and now stands at about 20,000 words.
As a number of you correctly guessed, I was in Pahrump NV to take two classes at the Front Sight Institute – a Four Day Defensive Handgun Course and a One Day 30 State Concealed Weapons Permit Course (it is actually more like 36 states, but who is counting).
I had no idea what to expect – other than stifling desert heat – and wondered how on earth anyone could stretch out a simple course in how to shoot a pistol to make it into a four day program.
Well, that was then. This is now. After an extremely intensive four days, with the longest day not being 10 – 12 hours as I'd earlier thought, but actually 14 hrs 10 minutes (including breaks for lunch and dinner) and desert temperatures peaking at 108°, the answer to that question is now clear to me. The program was jam-packed full of essential information and skills-development, with not a single minute wasted.
Now I know that some of you do not like guns, so I won't go into too much rhapsodic rapture about the course in this special newsletter issue. We'll return soon enough to airlines and all the other aspects of ordinary travel – oh, and I'm some great new gadgets to tell you about too.
For those who don't like guns, may I say that this was not a macho/survivalist (or even right wing) and 'gun nut' type program glorifying the death dealing powers of guns and advocating we should all let loose with the biggest guns we can get in response to the smallest provocation.
Quite the opposite.
After attending the lectures and listening to the personal experiences of former and current law enforcement officers, I'm much less likely now to reach for a handgun than I was before attending. But if a situation should ever – God forbid – arise where a handgun offers the only solution to a life threatening problem, I have a much better skill-set than before to assist me deal with the problem appropriately, hopefully enabling me to protect myself and my loved ones, and without risking innocent bystanders in the process.
I'm offering a sprawling review and commentary of the course as last week's feature article – a bit of a stretch for something loosely themed as 'travel and travel related technology' for sure, and if it is of no interest to you, simply don't click the link. I'm guessing there's over 20,000 words that I've written on the topic, and to make it not quite so overwhelming, I've divided it into 14 different sub-topics.
Probably best to start off on this page – The Front Sight Firearms Training Institute – then roam around the other pages linked to it in the box at the top right as may capture your interest.
If this has zero interest, perhaps ignore it. But if you are even 1% curious, and definitely if you are more so, please do read some parts of my commentary on what the course was like, who attended, what we learned, and – most importantly of all – how you too could benefit from attending.
Which brings me to some very special news.
The Four Day Defensive Handgun course I took has a full list price of $2000. Thanks to the generosity of a reader and good friend, I was able to attend for very much less. There are various special deals occasionally on offer that drop the price of the course significantly down from $2000, and certificates for courses commonly on sale on eBay.
But what would you say to an opportunity to take this course, yourself, for only $99?!
Yes, this is the same course I did (and which I will be repeating), with all the skills training, lectures, practical exercises, and everything else. In total, there's something well over 40 hours of training/classroom time, all of which can be yours for merely $99. (By comparison, local gun ranges in the Seattle area offer lack-luster one day courses for $175.)
How is this possible? I've exchanged multiple correspondence with Front Sight's founder, Dr Ignatius Piazza, to set this up. The reason this is possible – the reason you can buy this course massively below their cost of operating it – is three-fold.
Firstly, they hope you'll come back again in the future to take more courses, and to become a supporter of them in general.
Secondly, they are limiting the number of courses they sell at this price and are using this as a 'top up' – each course runs in multiples of 40 people (each range handles up to 40 people) so if they have a range that already has 30 people booked, it doesn't cost them as much to add ten more people to it.
Thirdly, this offer relates to their new program of mid-week courses which they are now starting to offer. Their standard four day courses run Friday through Monday, and these new ones run Monday through Thursday, enabling them to get twice the use out of their ranges.
Dr Piazza has allowed me to extend this offer to you through the end of Tuesday this week – a couple of days from now.
Now for the really good part. You don't even have to commit to a specific set of dates. All you have to do is buy the $99 course certificate(s) prior to the end of Tuesday; you can then choose the dates you want subsequently. The certificates have no expiration and are fully transferrable, so if you decide you don't want to take the course after all, give them (or sell them – possibly at a profit!) to friends, other family members, and so on.
One more thing. If even a few of you go ahead and get these $99 course certificates, I'll create an official Travel Insider Front Sight training course, to run either Monday 25 October through Thursday 28 October or Monday 1 November through Thursday 4 November (tell me which dates you prefer) – I want to repeat the experience (or perhaps better to say, I need to repeat the experience, there's a lot I didn't master the first time around). The weather should be lovely then – warm to hot, but not harshly so.
I urge you to attend one of these courses, either the $99 midweek courses currently on special offer, or the regular weekend courses.
If you don't already own a pistol, holster, etc, that's not a problem either. Front Sight will rent (or sell) you everything you need for the course for a mere $100 (the ammunition you'll shoot is extra). And if you do own such things, I've added a new page about how to travel with firearms and ammunition as part of this new series too.
Here's another two suggestions.
First, buy a bunch of these certificates and give them to friends and family as Christmas, birthday, or anyday presents. They have no expiration and they are transferable.
Second, at $99, these are almost throw-away deals. If you're not sure you'd enjoy one of these courses, buy one and come along. If at the end of the first day, you decide it is not for you, don't come back for the rest of the course (no-one is going to chase after you and demand you come back!). Check out of your Pahrump hotel, and spend the next three days in Vegas instead (you just know you can get a great midweek special rate on a hotel in Vegas; I'll even help you find one if necessary!).
There's no downside to this, and a profound amount of upside.
Here's a link to the start of my review series of the Front Sight Four Day Defensive Handgun Course I completed last week. Here's a link to Front Sight's course description for the Four Day Defensive Handgun Course.
And here's a link to their special $99 offer.
Please let me know if you'll join me either for 25-28 October or 1-4 November.
For those readers who are already First Family members (a status I hope to share with you shortly), why not come along for the four days too – it's free to you, after all! Again, let me know so I can plan the numbers – maybe we'll end up with a range all to ourselves.
Lastly, in case you're wondering, there is no benefit to me in this. I get no kick back or referral fee or anything from Front Sight. I'm writing directly from the heart when I urge you to do this; for your sake and for the sake of the people who rely on you for their protection and wellbeing.