Weekly roundup Friday 17 September 2010

Good morning

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





8 thoughts on “Weekly roundup Friday 17 September 2010”

  1. I have enjoyed your newsletter for many years. I had no idea that you were a gun owner and enthusiast, but I have always enjoyed your insightful articles. I am a woman. I recently turned sixty and I hold a concealed weapons permit in my state of residence and have for many years. I have lived in California, on St. Croix, USVI, and I now reside in Charleston, South Carolina. I have taken three firearms classes, one each in all three places, and not one of them has ever encouraged the improper use of firearms, nor anything as heinous as killing people. They have all encouraged the safe and responsible use of firearms and a healthy respect for them. I would love to take the course in Pahrump (and I probably will someday) but right now I lack the free time. The reader who was so appalled by your advocacy of the course is entitled to his or her own opinion but please be aware that there are many of us out there who do not share that person’s views. I am grateful to the founders of our country who believed so strongly in our individual rights to freedom that they saw fit to protect our right to defend that freedom by including the right to keep and bear arms as one of the amendments to the Constitution. Any use of lethal force needs to be in response to lethal danger, but citizens of a free country need the right to defend themselves and their property from those who would harm them. I am never happy when I read a report of some violent crime carried out by someone using a gun, but those kinds of crimes would not be prevented by stripping ordinary law-abiding citizens of their right to protect themselves when necessary. In fact, I believe that fear of retribution can act as a crime deterrent. Please feel free to publish my remarks, but not my last names. I prefer to keep those private.

  2. You are obviously trolling for money…how much do you get per person…you are no better than the rest of the media hounds who incite fear in the public to further their own causes. The guns are not the issue…its the fact you are the media hound for this gun organization; why have you not addressed this issue with a financial benefit for yourself…if you want to speak of the many years you have been doing this…the dangers you now tout have always been there. Man-up and confess you hidden agenda…more money in your pockets.

  3. Another barely intelligible comment from someone unable to offer anything other than an ad hominen attack, and clearly from someone who hasn’t read much of what I wrote.
    As I said at the bottom of the earlier blog entry https://blog.thetravelinsider.info/2010/09/a-profound-experience-id-love-to-share-with-you.html there is nothing in this for me. I don’t make a single penny from Front Sight for any of this.
    One could even say that this has cost me money by alienating readers and former supporters; people like this person who have a tremendously biased extreme unreasoning hatred of guns. I expected such costs/losses and accept them as a small personal sacrifice in return for the greater shared benefit of open minded readers who learn and get value.
    Why is it no-one accused me of bias or self-interest when I was sharing other life changing experiences like my house fire http://thetravelinsider.info/info/firesafetytips.htmin the hope that readers could learn and benefit from them?
    Or when I urged newsletter readers to learn CPR and consider buying an AED?
    Or when I recommend airlines, destinations, gadgets, etc?
    I guess what we see here is the inability of gun-haters to mount a cogent discussion on the topic, so instead they resort to insults.

  4. On firearms and training:
    I strongly support firearm training and weapon carry permits as well. Both my wife and I have attended training and carry and are trained in the correct usage of handguns, and we do practice. I have carried a firearm for many years.
    The one time I needed it, I really needed it, and I am alive today because of having one. Road rage in Houston. Convicted felon crashed my car into a guard rail, got out with a club in his hand (there were robberies on the freeways that matched that description with brutal beatings and some fatalities) and started back to my car. I stepped out, opened my coat and withdrew my weapon. He stopped dead in his tracks and ran back to his car, which would not start. The police arrived about 8-9 minutes later and arrested him. No shots were fired, but the safety was off and a cartridge had been chambered. Would I have pulled the trigger? Damn straight I would and he knew it.
    The police sergeant asked me later if I had pointed my weapon at the bum and I replied “I did not have him in my sights” , therefore I was not pointing my weapon at him.
    So, tell your doubters and nay-sayers
    Would you rather be standing next to us in a life threatening situation? That is a VERY safe place to be.
    Or would you rather be a couple of miles away with a cell phone in your hand trying to dial 911. Speed of a 9MM bullet = 1400 feet per second. Average 911 call response time in our part of the USA=12 minutes.
    Deterrence is the word. Slime balls attack soft spots.
    David, you carry your weapon and I will always be the one who wants to be close to you, or to any other trained user.That happens to be the safest place in town!
    Bob in Florida

  5. On our 2nd Amendment rights statistics from the FBI as reported by the NRA: Coinciding with a surge in gun purchases that began shortly before the 2008 elections, violent crime decreased six percent between 2008 and 2009, according to the FBI. This included an eight percent decrease in murder and a nine percent decrease in robbery.
    Since 1991, when total violent crime peaked, it has decreased 43 percent to a 35-year low. The murder rate, less than half what it was in 1980, is now at a 45-year low. Throughout, the number of guns that Americans own has risen by about four million a year, including record numbers of the two types of firearms that the Brady folks would most like to see banned — handguns and the various firearms they call “assault weapons.”
    Predictions that increasing the number of guns would cause crime to increase have been proven profoundly lacking in clairvoyance. One of our favorite gems comes from the Brady outfit, when it was known as the National Council to Control Handguns: “There are now 40 million handguns. . . . the number could build to 100 million. . . . the consequences can be terrible to imagine,” the group warned in the mid-1970s.
    “Terrible consequences” indeed, for gun control supporters. The number of handguns has reached almost 100 million; waiting periods, purchase permits, and prohibitions on carrying firearms for protection have been dismantled in state after state; gun ownership has soared; and violent crime has plummeted.

  6. Would you be interested in attending a defensive driving course and writing about that? I don’t think any reader would object to you working out a similar $99 deal for that.

  7. Any use of lethal force needs to be in response to lethal danger, but citizens of a free country need the right to defend themselves and their property from those who would harm them.

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