Making Good on a Promise

December 31st, 2009  

Dr. Piazza,

I could not agree more with your perspective and reaction to the brutal murder by stabbing of the young pregnant woman in Venice, CA. I also agree with your response being that there would have been one less felon in the California system to be monitored and coddled for years if I had been a witness to the crime as described.

In the early 1970’s I was a bank VP in Birmingham, AL when there was an “event” at one of the branches that was my responsibility. I had been notified that there was an agitated individual in the bank, trying to cash a check in an amount approximately 1400 times greater than his available balance. I told the branch manager not to indulge his difficult behavior and “pull the bill trap” setting off the alarm if she became the least bit concerned. Instead, she called the Birmingham Police Dept. and they dispatched a police officer whose normal activities was to ride through the downtown area policing parking violations. His vehicle was what I would describe as a “meter maid’s” Cushman three wheeled scooter. I told the manager that I was on my way down there to confront the person in the facility but she was not to take any chances.

When the police officer arrived, he and the suspicious customer got into a confrontation and a fist fight ensued. The officer was knocked to the wall and down to the floor where the assailant pulled the officers S&W Mod. 10, 38 Spl. from its holster and fatally shot the officer as he was pulling the gun up from the officer’s Sam Brown. Fortunately, an off-duty police officer who was moonlighting at a bank down the street as a parking security guard heard the shot and saw the Cushman parked outside our bank. He rushed to the scene, entered the lobby and saw the assailant standing over the fallen officer. He did not call for backup. Instead, he rushed toward the assailant and dove behind a desk in the lobby, coming up over it to confront the assailant. The bad guy shot at the new officer and the officer came up over the top of the desk he was using for cover and thoughtfully and deliberately fired 6 rounds at the assailant, hitting him 5 times and wounding mortally. During the time just after the second officer entered the bank lobby I arrived in the parking lot and hurried to the door. I was carrying a Colt Cobra 38 Spl. of my own. In Alabama at that time no CCW permit was required.

As I hurried by the front of the bank I could hear shots ringing out from the lobby and entered with gun drawn prepared to fight, even though I never had received any defensive training. Fortunately for me, the fight was just ending with the second officer delivering the final round to the assailant as I entered.

The first officer died of his single wound and the assailant died of his 5 wounds. I was later able to view the bank’s security camera films with the FBI and saw all but the first punch thrown by the assailant. I decided then that I NEVER would be unarmed or unprepared and vigilant to the possibility of danger in my surroundings. I made good on only 1/2 of that promise.

I now have an Ohio CCW permit and carry at all times where it is permitted. However, I have not, until I came upon Front Sight known of an appropriate training facility. I do now and that is why I joined the 912 Family at Front Sight earlier this year. In addition, I gave to my 45 year old son one of my certificates so he and I will be coming to the defensive handgun course the weekend of my 71st birthday, Feb. 12, 2010. It is my hope that he will acquire his own membership so he can return with his son well before that grandson of mine, who now is only 11, grows up to fear for his life and the safety of those around him who he loves and respects.

I am looking forward to my training in February. On another point, as the Dean of a Business School in my area, I am very interested in the business model of Front Sight. If you are at the facility when I am there, I would very much like to discuss that model with you. I think the effectiveness of what I have seen from Front Sight is compelling and represents a great lesson for other industries to improve their effectiveness.

Thank you for all that you do to make a significant difference for the safety of law-abiding citizens of our great nation, that I am fearful is under great threat and attack from inside our borders. I won’t conform to what I think are threats or inappropriate actions on the part of anyone. Your training will finally prepare me for a better future.


Ron F.

Entry Filed under: From the Mail Bag,Front Sight,Gun Training,Self Defense.

Ignatius Piazza
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