It has been an interesting and busy week, and I've lots of good things for you today as a result.
In sort of chronological order, probably no-one will be surprised that my extensive series on the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute after attending one of their Four Day Defensive Handgun courses excited a lot of comment; some in reply to the articles, and some emailed directly to me.
But one element of this which did surprise me was that most of the people reacting with horror to anything to do with firearms were men, while most of the people supporting the article series were women. I have no explanation for that.
I seldom share the hate-mail I receive with you, because I'm sure you like it no more than me. But I will make an exception this time, so as to explain a possible misperception.
One reader wrote to say
I am absolutely staggered that you are promoting handguns and their use. Having followed your newsletter for a number of years and contributed to its continuation, this is disgraceful.
It even includes reference to gift certificates so that you can assist others to learn how to kill people! A fantasic Christmas present!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am sure I will not be alone in voicing my total disgust.
I have not read your article and have no intention of doing so.
Is this real or a wind-up?
I'm not going to comment on the wisdom of someone reacting so strongly to something they haven't even read. Unsurprisingly, this reader is completely wrong in his assumptions, and that is the point I wish to make.
Liberally sprinkled throughout the article series is the perhaps surprising statement that attending this firearms handling course has made me less likely to ever use a firearm in self defense. I am not promoting the use of handguns. Neither is Front Site.
Front Site impressed upon everyone the responsibilities of firearm ownership – as I say in the series (particularly in the section on using deadly force), while owning firearms might be a constitutional right, there is also a very strong moral (and legal) obligation/responsibility on us to understand how to use them and to make all reasonable attempts to avoid using them.
So even though I might now be able to more quickly draw and hit a target, I'm also much better equipped to spot potential problems earlier and to act appropriately to avoid them, even if that means running away while others brand me a coward, or locking myself in my bedroom at night and cowering behind the bed, while dialing 911 and hoping the police arrive before the bad guys break the door down.
Some of you reported problems accessing the article series from the links in the special newsletter on Sunday. Here now is a link which will take you to the start of the 15 pages of information (totaling some 28,000 words – more than I'd guesstimated on Sunday : The Front Sight Firearms Training Academy
Two updates to this matter, then we'll say no more about it.
First, the $99 Four Day Defensive Handgun midweek training course certificates are almost all gone (800 were sold in just two days this week). If you're even slightly thinking about this, you should rush to buy one or more than one of these certificates while they still remain available. Remember – they are fully transferrable and have no expiration date on them. Here's the link to the Front Sight page where you can buy them.
And, yes, as the reader commented above, I do indeed suggest them for a very different sort of Christmas or any other time present. Giving someone the gift of being able to better protect themselves – that's a very precious gift (see the security section of this week's newsletter for an appalling beyond belief story of a grieving widower in CT who doubtless desperately wishes he and his raped then murdered wife and two daughters had all availed themselves of these skills).
Secondly, I have now chosen dates for my Front Sight/Vegas 55th birthday celebration. This comprises the Four Day Defensive Handgun Course from 25 – 28 October, with my 55th birthday being 28 October, meaning we can enjoy a double celebration that evening, both from having completed the course and for my advancing decrepitude.
Five Travel Insider readers have already said they'll come, and there's plenty of room for plenty more, so if you'd like to celebrate my birthday with a bang and a beer, please urgently get one of the $99 certificates and let me know so I can coordinate the rest of the arrangements.
One of the transformational series on my website, started within weeks of it first going live almost exactly nine years ago, has been my ongoing series on noise reducing headphones. These items can make a profound difference to how relaxed and refreshed you may be at the end of a long plane journey – the subtle effects of surprising loud noises in the background on a plane really do physically tire you and contribute to the general jet-lag/malaise we all feel at the end of a long flight. Noise cancelling headphones can also save your hearing my making it less likely you'll be playing audio too loud.
And so with that as introduction, allow me to present to you :
This Week's Feature Column : Plane Quiet's Latest Noise Reducing Headphones : I review yet another set of noise cancelling headphones, the ninth model released by Plane Quiet. Might they be right for you, or is there a better set out there? Read the review to find out.
You'll see as you work through the week's articles another review too, this of the Joby Gorillapod camera stand. It is a clever little device – I'd always thought them to be gimmicky and ugly, but having now had some time to use it, I'm a convert. A great little gadget, and something to keep in mind with Christmas' rapid approach.
Talking about Christmas' rapid approach, there is still time to choose to join us for this year's Christmas Markets Cruise, 3 – 10 December.
Please check the link and consider joining your fellow Travel Insiders for a fun filled festive time. Unlike the birthday celebration in October, this will obviously be, ahem, a gun-free event! 🙂
Until next week, please enjoy safe travels