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Front Sight Student of the Week

Herb Smith
Police Chaplain

Video Transcript:

Hi, I'm Herb Smith from San Diego, California. I serve as a police and sheriff's chaplain.

I was out training on the range one day with a friend of mine who had been to Front Sight and I had been an officer, I was in SWAT, and I thought I had pretty good gun handling skills. And, my goodness, he was on my left and he was going through all these gyrations and focusing in and he had a pattern and I was feeling like, man, I'm just chopped liver after all these years in law enforcement. "Where do you get this?" And he goes, "You've got to go to Front Sight". So I said, "Front Sight? What's that?" And he told me about it and I go "Yeah, I need to go to Front Sight".

That was several years ago and I came finding that the training just outdistanced what I was getting, even as an officer, a SWAT officer. I was really grateful to know that my confidence in handling a gun, even though I felt confidence, it was an ignorance that I didn't know. And what I received from Front Sight was so much more that I could, because I carry concealed, do that in a way that not only do I feel that I could defend myself or others if I had to, but I know how much better to avoid a fight.

I started out with the basic four day handgun defensive training course and again I felt like I had never picked up a gun in my life. With all these years in law enforcement I felt like, well granted I was learning a new system, new forms and techniques, but still you know I felt like a fish out of water. But I appreciated the instructors, they were all there, very patient. I did not tell them I was law enforcement, I was too ashamed to say that but they enabled me to really dial in, not just with the principles and the form. Once I got that down my patterns just went like this and then my confidence really started to build for real. I had a sense of the skill at arms that I had always longed for but just felt like well let's just hope you never get in a gun fight. I hope I still never get in a gun fight, but at least if I do I think I can survive it now.

When I went home, especially after that first day, of course we have a close family, I sat down and I just envisioned okay everyone is going to Front Sight. And I started out with my kids as they began to become of age, bringing them with me. They've all been through the basic four day handgun and they are now starting to cycle through shotgun, rifle, tactical, open hand defense, edged weapons. And they've outstripped me now, I mean they are better than I am but that's a good thing and I feel proud about that as a parent. I also feel very glad about that as they go through life, and I've picked up First Family memberships for children that aren't even born into my family yet, knowing that their spouses and their children are going to want to come here too.

We are a Front Sight family and I feel like this is America and this is where I want to be for training that maintains our Second Amendment rights and that keeps that sense of freedom that we've always longed for and want to retain. So I went home and I told them we are going to Front Sight. I told my friends you don't understand what firing a weapon is all about, what handling a weapon is all about, until you've been to Front Sight. I tell that to my fellow officers as I'm working with them, even as a chaplain and encourage them to come out as if your life depends on it, and it does. Come to Front sight. You'll leave a different person.

Dr. Piazza, I've been here, this is my fourth trip, I've lost count of the number of courses I've taken. I can't say how grateful I am to you for having the vision and the guts for taking the risk that it must have been for you to put out that much interest and finances at the beginning. You've really blessed us as a family. You've blessed hundreds of thousands and I think in a short time, millions in America. You are, I think, at the fore front of what is really helping to maintain American freedom. That video you produced, there's a lot of emotion to it but it's real, it's genuine. We are gratetul to you, and for spreading the vision of what you've given, not just to America itself, but establishing a sense of inspiration and encouragement that what we have as a heritage is continuing to bless us and it is worth striving to maintain.

I would say again, this is America. You meet the nicest people at Front Sight. I'm not just talking about the people here that work for Front Sight. The people who come to Front Sight, you feel like you've known them all your life. You sit down next to them. My goodness, there's pastors, there's deacons, there's people that you wish you lived next to. You exchange names and addresses. You start running into them on other trips you make out to Front Sight. It becomes a second family. No, it's not a cult, nothing like that but it is a sense of connectedness, a sense of belonging and that shared identification we have of Americans who love our freedoms. No, we're not establishing militias, nothing like that but we love what America stands for. And that Second Amendment stands for so much of who and what we are historically and is a heritage we as Americans want to maintain. So I would encourage you to come and rediscover America.



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