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Why Does the NRA Refuse to Support Front Sight? by Dr. Ignatius Piazza
 

Why Does the NRA Refuse to Support Front Sight?
A Letter from Dr. Ignatius Piazza

My name is Dr. Ignatius Piazza. I am the Founder and Director of Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. I am building the world's only 550 acre, resort quality, firearms training facility and masterplanned community near Las Vegas, Nevada.  

As a Life Member of KeepAndBearArms.com, I encourage fellow gun owners to join in KABA's efforts to protect our 2nd Amendment Rights.

I further proclaim September 23, 2000 as Keep and Bear Arms Day at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Las Vegas, NV. Front Sight will host a free, one day submachine gun gun course for KABA members and their families. See KABA updates for other activities associated with the KABA Day at Front Sight. See Free Submachine Gun Course on Front Sight's website at http://www.frontsight.com to download your application. Complete the application, circle the September 23 date and fax or mail it to us. We look forward to seeing you at Front Sight.

I am a Life Member of the NRA and have been for over ten years.

Last year, through a Front Sight First Family member who knows Charleton Heston personally, I offered to provide a $1000 Four Day Defensive Handgun course FREE OF CHARGE to anyone who upgraded their NRA membership to a life membership or purchased a new life membership. What that means is that my organization, Front Sight, would essentially work for free to promote the NRA Life Membership program. All I asked for in return was that the NRA promote the offer to their members through advertisement and editorials in the NRA publications and mailers. Imagine the shock NRA members would feel to actually receive a very tangible and valuable gift of world class training at Front Sight that matches the dollar amount of their life membership donation to the NRA. Never before in the history of the NRA has such an offer been provided to the membership. Front Sight can afford to provide such an offer because we know that once a student experiences the professionalism of our organization, the unmatched quality of our instructional staff and curriculum, and the friendly and supportive manner in which we treat our students, they will want to return for all of our courses. After numerous follow up attempts to speak with Mr. Heston about my offer, I never received a response.

In January, during the SHOT Show Convention, I spoke with numerous NRA Board members, some of which attended Front Sight's free one day submachine gun course, the day after the SHOT Show. I offered to start charging the general public for the one day submachine gun course, but exclusively provide it free to NRA members if the NRA would promote it to their members through NRA publications and mailers. I suggested that they could use the submachine gun course to promote enrollment in their standard memberships. Imagine the response to an ad that said "Join the NRA and receive a $500.00 one day submachine gun course at the world famous Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, guns and ammunition included, FREE OF CHARGE!"

The board members expressed concern about the "submachine gun" component of the course and asked if I could change the offer to a free one day handgun course. I chuckled and explained to them that the draw for people is not a free one day handgun course. The perception of the majority of their members is that they can get a one day handgun course at their local gun range--which has minimal perceived value. People will and are traveling from across the country to train with a submachine gun, because there is no other place where they can receive such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. At the time we had trained over 3500 students in one year. Six months later, we have now surpassed 7000 students. Again, no response from the NRA after asking Board members to speak with Heston, LaPierre, or anyone else that could make a decision at the NRA.

In early February of this year, at the Safari Club International Convention, I sat down with Joe Graham, Executive Director of NRA Publications. I had him watch a copy of the very positive coverage Good Morning America aired about Front Sight and our free submachine gun course. I asked him to run some feature articles about Front Sight so NRA members would know more about our program of courses and the free opportunity we were offering. Mr. Graham stated that he was in the business of selling ad space, not feature stories about Front Sight.

I asked him to explain why Front Sight had been positively featured by so many mainstream media sources, including the New York Times, LA Times, London Times, UPN, Good Morning America, and even the BBC, but not even a mention of Front Sight in any NRA publications? He again stated that he is in the business of selling ad space.

I asked him to show me the latest issue of the American Rifleman. I paged through it and found a four page story, complete with color photos, featuring how to refinish gun stocks. I asked him point blank, "What do you think the millions of NRA members would rather find out about-- an opportunity to attend a $500 submachine gun course absolutely free with the guns and ammunition provided free as well or how to refinish antique gun stocks?"

Mr. Graham did not answer that question but instead said that if we ran a two page advertisement for the cost of $33,000 in the American Rifleman, he would run an article about Front Sight in a future publication. My response was that we should not have to pay the NRA to do the right thing and inform their millions of members about such a valuable and unique offer that Front Sight has already provided to thousands of people-- especially when other mainstream media sources have covered Front Sight in such a positive manner. I then informed Mr. Graham that Front Sight had provided Safari Club International with a four day course for every life member that enrolled at the convention and he should speak with Heston and LaPierre to meet with me to discuss how we can build the NRA membership.

By the end of the convention Front Sight had assisted Safari Club in selling more life memberships than they ever had at any convention in their history. Front Sight provided over $300,000 in free four day course certificates to Safari Club International.

Two months later, after repeated faxes and phone calls to Mr. Graham inquiring about any decisions the NRA had made regarding my variety of offers to work with and support their efforts, I received a faxed letter from Jeff Young, an advertising rep for the NRA. The letter informed me that the NRA had decided against any participation with Front Sight due to our lack of credit history with them! I was initially confused and then became quite annoyed at such a spineless and thoughtless response. The fact is that Front Sight had never requested or suggested any credit with the NRA. We did not ever even see a credit application or contemplate completing a credit application. All of our advertising to that point with all other magazines, including a $25,000 advertisement with Guns & Ammo had been paid in advance at OUR request. I fired off a letter to Mr. Graham requesting an explanation and copied it to Jeff Young. I never received a response.

In June, I again attempted to contact the NRA to place an advertisement. After three calls and messages to Jeff Young, I finally caught him and asked for a price to run an advertisement in the new NRA publication, "America's 1st Freedom" (used to be named The Guardian). Jeff informed me that Joe Graham specifically advised him that the NRA would not take any advertisements from Front Sight that featured submachine guns due to the political fallout during this election year. I asked Jeff Young if he was aware that since we met with Mr. Graham in February, Front Sight had been featured POSITIVELY with their Free Submachine Gun Course in another dozen publications and on MSNBC's Special Edition and NBC Live Los Angeles News? Mr. Young's response was that he could quote ad rates only and that Joe Graham had made it perfectly clear that the NRA will not do anything with Front Sight if it involves submachine guns.

Later in June, I sent a letter to Joseph Farah at World Net Daily exposing the fact that the NRA had refused to inform their members about Front Sight and refused our advertising for the free submachine gun courses.

The WorldNet Daily story can be found by clicking here.

As I said before, I am a Life Member of the NRA. I want to support the NRA. I have offered support that only Front Sight can offer. I cannot understand why Heston and LaPierre have not found the time to sit down with me and work out a member benefit package that would skyrocket their life memberships and standard memberships.

I have done all I can to reach the NRA, including bringing this issue to the public through WorldNet Daily. Many thanks to Joseph Farah his courage and his assistance. I remain eager to assist the NRA or any other large, well organized pro gun groups that can promote Front Sight in the same professional manner that we demand from ourselves and have demonstrated is possible through the mainstream media.

Sincerely,

Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute


Dr. Ignatius A. Piazza is Founder and Director Front Sight Firearms Training Institute.  You can reach them on the web at http://www.frontsight.com, by email at ignatius@frontsight.com or info@frontsight.com and by phone 1.800.987.7719 or fax 1.831. 684.2137.

 

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