For all you non-gun-nuts out there, Frontsight is a training school in the Nevada desert run by a chiropractor named Dr. Ignatius Piazza. Yes, his name does make him sound like a conquistador. Now be quiet and pay attention, because this is important: he published Marko's excellent essay "Why the Gun Is Civilization" without permission and with the wrong attribution.
In his advertising email newsletter. If Sam Waterston began one of his awful life insurance commercials by intoning "Edgar Allen Poe once wrote that 'We're just waiting for the hammer to fall' and I think blah blah blah we'll sell you just enough insurance to cover your funeral if you don't go nuts with the good coffin and the real embalming fluid . . ." there would be a general outcry. Those guys from Queen who aren't Freddy Mercury would be livid at the theft of their art.
Well, this is the same thing, more or less. There is no Major Caudill, and all you have to do to find Marko's name is to Google the phrase "why the gun is civilization." Try it and see.
Frontsight has long been the lovable scamp of the of the firearms community. The people who train there often have good things to say about it; the rest of us wonder what goes on there. They give off a little bit of a grifter vibe. Partly that's Piazza, who has made himself the face and spokesman of Frontsight. He's a fast-talking salesman and his writing can give the impression of a carnival barker. Frontsight sells certificates good for classes or for various levels of membership. They seem awfully expensive to me, but young school teachers with families are not Piazza's target market, and that's fine. Slightly more disturbing were rumors that students at Frontsight had been lectured on the power of Dianetics and pressured to join the Church of Scientology. In the end, that one turned into he-said, she-said, with many former students coming out to say they hadn't been given any Scientology sales pitch.
Then there was the deusie: Piazza and company sold tiny plots of worthless desert to a whole lot of well-heeled shooters, many of whom were Frontsight students. They told these suckers that they were buying lots in a future "Shooter's Community," basically a gated town complete with streets, curbs, water, electricity, community pool, beautiful houses, and of course, berms and backstops and ranges all over the place. You can find this story told in much finer detail elsewhere, but suffice it to say that none of those promised things ever materialized. Last time I checked, Dr. Pizza was still insisting that the community will one day be built, but he and his collected millions on the deal and never got the work started, so that's not looking so good. The best part is that the sheep getting fleeced in this deal bought some kind of complicated futures stock in the land, NOT deeds to the land itself, so there's a way for Pizza to keep their millions of dollars and take the land back anyway.
I'm not saying that taking Marko's essay was worse than this scam, mind you. That's just what brought it to mind again.
A morning at the gun show
13 minutes ago