Front Sight Resorts Interviews Student Mike Allum
June 24th, 2006
Interviewed by Jim McMahon
Mike Allum, Front Sight Silver First Family Member, is a very ardent supporter of our Second Amendment rights. As a GOA Life Member and Patron Member of the NRA before discovering Front Sight, Mike holds no words back when it comes to championing our right to possess firearms. Mike is also a recently retired commercial pilot, having flown with United for 32 years, and before that flying in 233 combat missions in Vietnam and 400 aircraft carrier landings.
Mike has been a First Family Member for four years, along with his wife and sons, and believes very strongly in Front Sight’s mission to secure our freedom to defend ourselves. Mike graciously took time out of his busy schedule to allow us to interview him.
FSR: What event or reason prompted you to search out firearms training?
Mike: I thought that some day I wanted to go to one of these firearms training places and get some real training, and then I joined Gun Owners of America as a Life Member. At that time they were giving the Front Sight One-Day Sub-Machine Gun Course and the Two-Day Defensive Handgun Course as bait when you signed up as a Life Member. So I had three days of training that were courtesy of the GOA connection with Front Sight. This was four years ago.
FSR: Did you have any previous firearms training experience prior to attending Front Sight?
Mike: Mostly it was informal, self-taught or from the other folks that I hunted with or went out shooting with. I have been shooting all my life. But, as far as formal training, no, not really. I grew up in a rural, small town in Arkansas, the northwest corner. When I was thirteen I finally got my own .22, so I spent the rest of my growing up years hunting rabbit, squirrels, things like that. As I got older the first pistol that I bought was when I was in college, I was working with a survey crew and we were wading the swamps on a Corps of Engineers dam construction project on a lake down in southwestern Arkansas. I’m walking around out there belly deep in the swamp. And there are these cottonmouth going by, so I though maybe having something to protect myself might be appropriate. I bought a Ruger Bearcat, a small one, that I could stick in my pocket while I was wading around out there. So that was my first pistol.
I qualified sharpshooter with pistol and rifle in the military. I had five years in the Navy, flying in Vietnam. Did 400 carrier landings and 233 combat missions.
In ’68 I started as a commercial pilot with United, and flew for 32 years. Early on, some of the captains carried, but they didn’t want the rest of the crew to carry.
FSR: What made you choose Front Sight over all the other choices in the firearms training industry?
Mike: : I had just a limited knowledge of any firearms training schools prior to Front Sight.
FSR: What course did you first attend?
Mike: It was a combined One-Day Sub-Machine Gun Course and Two-Day Defensive Handgun Course.
FSR: What was your impression of your first course?
Mike: All of the stuff that I had taught myself, or learned from other shooters was wrong. After 50 years playing with and shooting weapons, and trying to be serious with them, I basically realized I was dangerous.
FSR: How did the initial training impact your life?
Mike:It made me well aware of the limitations of the training that people get for themselves on their own. You know the attitude, “I’m a deadly man now, I’ve fired six rounds through my revolver and didn’t hurt myself, so watch out bad guys.” The interest was sparked for further training. I figured the best way was to join, and take a membership out for both myself and my wife.
FSR: What aspect of the training have you found most valuable?
Mike: I would have to say the improvement of skill. Mainly just developing a technique that is efficient and effective. The whole point is when the bad guy is kicking the door down instead of unloading in your own shorts you want to be able to unload into him. It’s learning how to be effective and efficient when the stuff hits the fan. That’s’ the deal.
FSR: Have you used any of the training to protect yourself, family or friends in a real life situation?
Mike: Once you’ve been through the training that’s just something that’s ingrained. You just walk around just a little bit more aware of who’s around and what they’re up to.
FSR: How many courses have you attended at Front Sight to date?
Mike: I have only been back for the one Four-Day Handgun Course.
FSR: How many other students have you directly or indirectly referred to Front Sight?
Mike: I talk to everybody about Front Sight, and refer everybody I can.
FSR: What is the biggest challenge you find in trying to encourage friends to attend a course at Front Sight?
Mike: In a lot of cases people blink at the cost. I ask them how much is your life worth?
FSR: When did you become a Front Sight First Family Member?
Mike: Four years ago when I took the first course.
FSR: What level membership did you purchase?
Mike: I bought a Bronze membership for myself and one for my wife. I also bought both of my sons Copper memberships, initially. They were then both upgraded to Bronze. I upgraded my membership to a Silver, and one of my son’s to a Silver. I also bought an Iron for my younger stepson. I’m now looking at upgrading the memberships to Gold.
FSR: Why did you choose to become a First Family member?
Mike: I enjoyed the training, I had such a good time, and I thought it was so valuable. I figured with the philosophy of what Front Sight is trying to do I thought I’d buy the membership and use it as often as I can, and Naish is going to have the money so he can further the complex. It’s a dedication thing.
FSR: What is the purpose of the Front Sight Organization?
Mike: The furtherance of training of people in the art and knowledge of self defense. And to create a place where you can go and do that with the very best facilities, and instructors.
FSR: What does Front Sight, and your participation with it, really mean to you and the future of firearms ownership in this country?
Mike: The Second Amendment says that government shall not interfere with the private ownership of firearms. Period. That’s what it says. And every compromise means that those who are trying to take those rights away get something that they have no right to have at all.
It’s an integral part of the battle to maintain the right of the people to defend themselves. I think there are leaders in the effort to keep this Second Amendment movement going. This newsletter is a perfect example. The new Front Sight film that is coming out is certainly part of that. ACPS (American Council on Personal Safety) is part of that. To get the message out in any way, and to as many people as possible.
Everybody that comes to Front Sight for the first time, whether or not they can participate as a member by buying a membership, I think when they leave they are better for it.
FSR: If you were standing at the speaker’s podium in a large stadium, addressing 100,000 people, and you only had one minute to tell them why they should attend a course at Front Sight, what would you say?
Mike: : I would say that Front Sight is the premier location to go for the finest personal defense training that they could possibly spend their money on. And they would have a great time when they were there. The value of their personal lives – there is no cost that is to great to get the training to save it.
FSR: What course are you going to attend next?
Mike: It will either be Handgun Skillbuilder or the Four-Day Practical Rifle.
FSR: Thank you Mike, we’ll see you at Front Sight!