Front Sight Resorts Interviews Student Nola Hatch
July 21st, 2006
Interviewed by Jim McMahon
Nola Hatch is a Front Sight student, as well as a teacher and owner of a private school in California. Moved by the school shootings of Columbine, Nola has taken it upon herself to become trained in the skills of firearms handling. Nola is also a First Family Member with a Gold Membership.
But what makes Nola really unique is her unwavering dedication to the personal safety of her family, and her support of Second Amendment rights. She has ensured that all of her six children, and their spouses, have First Family Memberships, and all of her many grandchildren, Family Safe Forever Programs.
Nola is truly a mover and shaker. And at a young age 65, shows no signs of slowing down. I caught up with Nola at her home on a Saturday afternoon, where she graciously took time out from her busy schedule to talk with me.
FSR: What event or reason prompted you to search out firearms training?
Nola: It was the Columbine shooting. As the owner of a private school for children, this tragedy really concerned me, and opened my eyes to the potential danger that this could happen someplace else. I felt the necessity for more security for our pre-school.
FSR: Did you have any previous firearms training experience prior to attending Front Sight?
Nola: I had no training whatsoever. My son had handled firearms before, just a little amount with his dad when he was younger.
FSR: How did you find out about Front Sight?
Nola: Shortly after the Columbine shooting, my son was online and found that Front Sight would give free courses to school administrators. Being the administrator of our pre-school, he followed up on it, and enrolled in a course.
FSR: What made you choose Front Sight over all the other choices in the firearms training industry?
Nola: My son did the selection, and to him it sounded like a quality company. So we went with Front Sight.
FSR: What course did you first attend?
Nola: First, my son did the Four-Day Defensive Handgun Course, and on his recommendation, I did the course too.
FSR: What was your impression of your first course?
Nola: After my son came home from the handgun course, he was extremely impressed. He felt the teachers had a very good way of teaching.
Then I took the course, and I loved it. I was surprised. All of a sudden I began a new life. I had never even thought about guns. I could see how beneficial they were now. And when used correctly I liked it. And it was from the very beginning too. The instructors at Front Sight train you so accurately, so specifically, and with such respect, that you can’t help but end up having gained these skills.
FSR: How did the initial training impact your life?
Nola: I felt empowered with the knowledge of what I learned, on how to protect myself. I did two more courses, both Four-Day Defensive Handgun Courses. One for Glock, and then one for revolver after that.
I wanted my whole family to have the same feeling. I wanted every one of my six children to go through this training. That’s what level of impact this course had on my life.
FSR: What aspect of the training have you found most valuable?
Nola: As a teacher I have a special appreciation for well run educational systems. Not all are well run, by the way, but Front Sight has what I would call an exceptional system of instruction.
The skill, or the technique that Front Sight provides, in using the weapon, is, extremely valuable.
The teaching of the classes themselves is tremendously valuable. The close ratio of instructors to students ensures a more in-depth level of individual attention. The positive reinforcement of the instructors makes for a more willing learning environment. And the curriculum is just so well organized, with such smooth transitions, it makes for maximum learning and minimum downtime.
But I also very much felt that the way of thinking to protect yourself, the system that Front Sight puts forward to spot dangerous situations before they happen, was outstanding.
FSR: Have you used any of the training to protect yourself, family or friends in a real life situation?
Nola: No, but the Front Sight training has put me in a significantly better position where I will not become a target of some criminal, and nor will my students and staff. I feel much more stable that if something did occur, I could deal with it effectively, know what to do and take control of the situation.
Since I’ve started training at Front Sight, how do I know what potential situations I have diffused already, that may have escalated? How do you measure prevention?
I also know that my children and my grandchildren, who have also taken courses at Front Sight, are in a much better position to deal with criminal elements. But again, their attitudes, and how they project themselves, have made them less vulnerable to these potential problems.
FSR: How many courses have you attended at Front Sight to date?
Nola: I have attended two Four-Day Defensive Handgun Courses at Front Sight so far.
FSR: How many other students have you directly or indirectly referred to Front Sight?
Nola: Aside from my children and grandchildren, about a dozen.
FSR: What is the biggest challenge you find in trying to encourage friends to attend a course at Front Sight?
Nola: People have a mentality that guns are bad, and don’t understand that guns are beneficial when in the control of a sane, rational individual who is well trained in their use and safety. This is the challenge to overcome.
I have been successful in being able to communicate this concept effectively, but it does take some work.
FSR: When did you become a Front Sight First Family Member?
Nola: About two years ago.
FSR: What level membership did you purchase?
Nola: I purchased a Copper Membership for myself, which was then upgraded to a Bronze Membership. I then upgraded to Gold.
But, I also purchased Copper memberships for my six children, and their spouses. All were upgraded to Bronze Memberships as well. And two of my children upgraded to Gold.
And for my grandchildren I purchased Family Safe Forever Packages. They were very excited about it. They’ve done Open Hand Defense, Edged Weapons, and Defensive Handgun. My grandkids know how to protect themselves. They enjoy every minute of it.
FSR: Why did you choose to become a member?
Nola: Because I think Naish (Dr. Ignatius Piazza) has the ability to help keep our Second Amendment rights intact, and even restored. And I want people to keep and bear arms.
FSR: What is the purpose of the Front Sight Organization?
Nola: I believe to help people understand their rights and responsibilities of weapon ownership. And to train them how to use these weapons correctly. And this includes teachers.
I think there should be adults on hand to stop people with evil intentions that have a gun. Statistics prove that most every time someone with a gun tries to hurt people in school, when an adult also has a gun, they stop that person from shooting.
FSR: What does Front Sight and your participation with it, really mean to you and the future of firearms ownership in this country?
Nola: I’m hoping that Front Sight will change a lot of American’s opinions on gun ownership. We all need to realize that the Constitution permits us to own and carry arms. Front Sight is standing the ground on these rights, and doing what is necessary to help guarantee these rights. And that is training.
I personally believe that becoming a First Family Member is a vital show of support to this effort. When you find somebody who you believe can carry the torch, you need to back them up. And I do believe Front Sight is carrying that torch.
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?
Nola: Front Sight gives you the tools to keep yourself, your family and your friends safe from criminal approaches. No one else provides training like this. No one else has the facilities, the instructors, the curriculum, or the orthrightness to present and maintain a program of this magnitude and scope.
Front Sight gives every student, of any age, and any experience level the opportunity to train to any level of competence they desire. And the staff provides complete support for you to reach these objectives.
I fully support Front Sight’s efforts, and urge you to avail yourself of their wonderful personal safety and self defense courses. I’m sure you will be just as impressed with their professionalism and competence, as I continue to be.
FSR: What course are you going to attend next?
Nola: I would like to do the Edged Weapons Course with my grandchildren. And then one of the Precision Rifle Courses.
FSR: Thank you Nola. See you at Front Sight!