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Ignatius Piazza has a dream.
He wants to build the safest community in the world — a well-armed one
on 550 acres in Nevada.
Front Sight, Piazza’s dreamland serves primarily today as a Disneyland for shooting enthusiasts — a site where he offers instruction on the use of firearms, including Uzi submachine guns.
When it’s finished, the community will have 12 shooting ranges, an assault tower, 400 yards of training tunnels, 177 home lots, a convenience store and a private K-12 school. About $3 million of infrastructure is in the ground and the total project is expected to cost some $25 million.
You might think such a resort — even in the Nevada desert — might cause something of a political stir. It has not. In fact, rather favorable stories have been written about Piazza’s project in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the London Times and USA Today.
But there is one place you won’t read about Piazza’s Front Sight. You won’t read about it in any publications associated with the National Rifle Association — at least not for the foreseeable future.
The political climate is not right for any reference to a project involving machine guns.
I’m not kidding.
The fascinating plan is off limits as a topic in the NRA. That’s the official word I got from Joe Graham, director of publications for the organization.
“It’s just not the right political climate with elections so near,” he said. “Nobody wants to hear about machine guns right now. We don’t need to take a step backward. We need to move forward.”
In fact, Graham confirmed for me, the NRA will not even accept paid advertising from Piazza and Front Sight if there is any reference to the free machine-gun training the company offers to law-abiding citizens and law enforcement officers as well.
Does it seem strange to you that you can read about Piazza’s Front Sight project in dozens of articles in mainstream news sources but not in the publications of the nation’s premiere gun organization? It certainly does to Piazza.
“What in the hell is the NRA thinking when they are afraid to tell their millions of members about an opportunity to receive a day of world-class training with an Uzi submachine gun, plus the ammunition, food and beverages all free of charge?” he asks rhetorically. “What in the hell is the NRA thinking when they refuse to accept an advertisement from a leader in the firearms training industry that has already trained over 6,500 law-abiding citizens and police officers together in the safe and responsible use of a submachine gun — all free of charge?”
Has the NRA gone soft? Has it gone establishment? Is it too concerned about what its gun-grabbing enemies will think about it?
Graham says the NRA’s political adversaries monitor its publications and use anything they can as ammunition against the organization and the right to bear arms. But Piazza thinks that kind of defensive thinking is timid and self-defeating.
“If any organization in the world should be shouting positively and encouraging their members to take advantage of such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it should be the NRA,” Piazza said. “Instead, we are told that they don’t want to touch anything that involves submachine guns due to political fallout.”
He continues: “The NRA’s fears are quite simply pathetic. The NRA’s lack of courage to promote the safe and responsible, free training in the use of a submachine gun is disgusting. The sad fact is that the people who are really losing out are the millions of NRA members who won’t find out that they could have received a $500 course in Las Vegas, free of charge. They won’t find out until it is too late and we are no longer offering the course for free.”
One gun activist I know who took the course gave it a thumbs up.
“It is professionally run and certainly lives up to its billing,” she said. “You are taught proper technique in using a fully automatic firearm under proper supervision.”
Piazza offers the free courses as a way of attracting interest and positive publicity for the bigger Front Sight picture and two- and four-day courses in pistol, rifle and shotgun use.
“Maybe what the NRA wants us to offer is a free musket course or a free sporting clays course,” Piazza says derisively. “The NRA could then report on such courses without the fear of upsetting their slave masters in Washington. I guess if the NRA ran a story about Front Sight’s uniquely positive and extremely successful free submachine gun courses, the NRA might actually have to stand up and tell the people who hold their chains that the Second Amendment is not about the freedom to own antiques or sporting arms.”
Piazza closes with this: “What the hell is the NRA thinking? Can somebody answer that question? In the answer we will find the reason why we are losing out gun rights.”