Front Sight Resorts Interviews Student – Dr. Jeff Colon
June 28th, 2006
Front Sight Resorts Interviews Student – Dr. Jeff Colon
Interviewed by Jim McMahon
Jeff Colon is a native of New York City. A successful chiropractor, he had a practice just outside of Manhattan for many years before he decided to move his family out to the rural life in central California’s hills near Monterey. Jeff was a wine maker for a while, but has since become a Deputy Sheriff, after a twist of fate caught his interest.
He is also a Front Sight Gold First Family Member, and so is his young son. In this interview, Jeff was kind enough to share with us his viewpoints on the importance of self-protection training, and the role that Front Sight plays in it.
FSR: What event or reason prompted you to search out firearms training?
Jeff: I had a house break in. That was the thing that really kind of got me going.
This was probably seven years ago that we had the house break in. We weren’t there at the time. It was a burglary. Had personal possessions taken, some cash, some things that were irreplaceable items, sentimental value items. It was a forced entry through a door.
I grew up in the New York, New Jersey area, about 20 minutes outside of Manhattan. Houses stacked right on top of each other, a large population in a small area. You would figure there would be so much personal contact that burglaries and personal crimes would happen more frequently than in the rural area we currently live in. The last thing I expected to happen was a house break-in after moving to a rural area, where my nearest neighbor is sixty acres away.
My wife and I came out to California, bought this property in a very rural are of Monterey County, in central California.
People come out to the country, to rural areas, for many reasons. Some folks to run away from something, or avoid exposure to things. For me, I had enough of city living, and I just wanted to get out here, raise my family in a nice quiet area with mountains and streams. Eventually, we realized that our nearest neighbors were a bunch of people who lived there because they wanted to avoid the law.
When we had the break-in, we felt totally violated. Even though it wasn’t a violent crime against us physically, it was our personal space, and we felt very violated, as you might imagine if that happened to you.
I called the police immediately after the break-in, and I wasn’t helped in any way. I pointed out suspects, and they didn’t want anything to do with it. I was really dissatisfied with it. So, I started an investigation on my own. I did my own surveillance, writing down license plates, photographs, evidence trails, I did all that, on all the suspects I figured on that crime. And I went back to the police department with all that information, a big thick file, and I said, “Here look, I did your work for you, can you help me now?” They took me more serious then, and sent out a guy that was just phenomenal, under-cover narc guy who was just great.
We did some work together, and in the course of that he asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was looking to do some volunteer work, maybe in the coroner’s division doing autopsies and anatomy. He said, “You know what, why don’t you go the police academy, get your full officer powers, then come back and work through the coroner’s office, and you will have full investigative and law enforcement powers as well, maybe do on-scene, on-site work as well.” To me it sounded great. That very much drew me into it. They sent me off to police academy, and here I am a fully functioning deputy sheriff now for about four years!
There is no way, honestly, to protect your property when you live in a rural area. You have to drive a half-mile on dirt roads, off-county roads to get to my property. And if anyone had any motivation whatsoever, they could just bring a whole moving van up here. Now that I’m in law enforcement, I see it all the time. People’s houses will be completely cleaned out, someone will just drive a moving van right up the road, empty the whole house, and disappear. It is so easy. Nobody sees anything or questions anything. It’s a whole different type of policing out here compared to urban or suburban areas.
After the break-in, I felt all kinds of things, different emotions. Before you have kids, you have that protective instinct about yourself. But after you have kids, Mother Nature just dials it up a little bit, and that’s kind of what happened to me, around the same time as the burglary I was a new father. That’s when I started looking out for firearms training.
FSR: Did you have any previous firearms training experience prior to attending Front Sight?
Jeff: No formal training. Just limited stuff that I’ve picked up from friends and family. My dad used to shoot air rifles with us around the house, when we were little, in the basement. That was my first exposure to firearms. I was in the Boy Scouts, we did a lot of rifle shooting in scouting. I hope they still do. In the summers I would go to scout camp, and go to the rifle range there.
FSR: How did you find out about Front Sight?
Jeff: I found a flier from Front Sight at a gun shop.
FSR: What made you choose Front Sight over all the other choices in the firearms training industry?
Jeff: I read up on Naish and found that he had this new state-of-the-art facility. I had to decide if I wanted the old established school or the new state-of the-art school for training. And I decided on Front Sight.
FSR: What course did you first attend?
Jeff: Four-Day Practical Rifle. I owned a Number 5 Enfield Jungle Carbine, that was my beauty, my sweet rifle. Cost me $180 bucks. Bolt action. I took that down there to Front Sight. Three, four years ago.
FSR: What was your impression of your first course?
Jeff: It was awesome. It was simply awesome. It was everything I wanted. Everything I was looking for. It was discipline, without whip-cracking, yet it allowed me to apply my personal discipline. The people were good, the fellow students were extremely respectful, and serious, there to train. It was just great. It was just super. I learned so much. I have dreams about it today.
FSR: How did the initial training impact your life?
Jeff: When I came back after those four days, the way I viewed the whole world changed. It really did. It truly made an emotional change in my body. There is training where I can read and study, I remember some of it and I forget some of it. But whenever there’s an emotional pop inside of me, a little emotional response, then it’s there to stay. Permanent training. I only have to experience it once, then it’s there forever.
I judge good training like that. How it makes me feel when I get home. Everything around me feels different. I know I was broken down inside a little bit, and re-built. It was awesome.
FSR: What aspect of the training have you found most valuable?
Jeff: The weapons manipulations. The weapons manipulations I found was awesome. The whole idea of being able to reload, tactically reload, emergency reload, clear malfunctions, all of that I was never, ever exposed to.
Anyone can teach you how to point the gun and pull the trigger. But, when it comes to the weapons handling skills, that’s how you can tell whether somebody was trained or not trained.
When I go to the range I can see how people handle their guns, and I know they have never received any good, formal training. I learned more in four days at Front Sight’s Four-Day Defensive Handgun Course than in my department training and six weeks of firearms school at the academy.
FSR: Have you used any of the training to protect yourself, family or friends in a real life situation?
Jeff: Fortunately I’ve never had to do use lethal force. But I do use the training, absolutely, every single day in my line of work, and in my daily activities. If anything, that proves the success of the training, because I’ve managed to get myself into scenarios where using force is an option. But the Color Code of Mental Awareness, being able to anticipate problems before they begin by viewing situations, oftentimes enables me to avoid force altogether. That is priceless right there.
FSR: How many courses have you attended at Front Sight to date?
Jeff: Let’s see, I’ve had the Practical Rifle, I’ve had the Night Practical Rifle, I had the Four-Day Defensive Handgun, I’ve had Sub-Machine Gun, and I had the Four-Day Rappelling Course.
FSR: How many other students have you directly or indirectly referred to Front Sight?
Jeff: At least six so far that have actually gone, and literally I could fill a bus and bring them down there tomorrow if I had to. Seriously, I have people almost every single day talking to me about it because they know me, they know me as, that “Front Sight guy”, at work. I hand out the Front Sight DVD, I show them the website, I’m proud to be a First Family Member. Many want me to put together a whole trip, and all go down there and do some training altogether.
FSR: What is the biggest challenge you find in trying to encourage friends to attend a course at Front Sight?
Jeff: Very similar to when I was a chiropractor. Everyone wants to get the training. Everybody wants to feel better. People aren’t so willing to spend the money, and make the commitment to themselves, though. It baffles me.
FSR: When did you become a Front Sight First Family Member?
Jeff: I became a First Family Member after the first course I took. I took the rifle course and I signed up right there.
FSR: What level membership did you purchase?
Jeff: I bought a Copper Membership when I was first there. Upgraded to Silver, and then upgraded to Gold.
My eldest son was just a little squirt when I signed him up as a First Family Member. I started him out as a Copper member then I upgraded him to Gold. He is four years old now.
FSR: Why did you choose to become a First Family member?
Jeff: I recognize value when I see it. You just know, you just know when something is right. I knew the way that I felt after the course. When I went to Front Sight it was literally like turning a light on in a dark room. This is the place I want to be associated with forever more. Not just for personal, selfish reasons, I get really, really sad when I walk around are I see the pressure that special interest groups, and society in general place on people who want to shoot for fun and personal development.
I tell people the amount if personal development I get out of it. Shooting to me is a very personal experience, like driving a fine car or using a well-made tool. My goal is to live up to the capabilities of the gun I shoot. The concept of aiming in, putting your Front Sight on the target at ranges under pressure, and being able to deliver consistently is a very self-challenging experience. It’s always the user, it’s always the human being that fails, it’s never the gun.
FSR: What is the purpose of the Front Sight Organization?
Jeff: I would say it’s to develop a sense of self-reliance and independence in people. It’s a school that supplies the necessary environment for you to challenge yourself, and learn about yourself, and to increase your personal awareness of everything around you, of your own freedoms, your own limitations, and everybody else’s personal freedoms.
I think it stands as a political environment that represents what the Founding Fathers wanted for this country. They wanted to create individuals that were self-reliant and respectful, as well as technically capable, competent people.
FSR: What does Front Sight, and your participation with it, really mean to you and the future of firearms ownership in this country?
Jeff: I think it’s essential for people to understand that with the ownership of a firearm there is a huge responsibility that comes with it. Being a law enforcement officer, I see that laws don’t protect people. They really don’t. They help, but they really don’t protect people. It’s up to the individual to have a sense of morality, a sense of competence to protect himself and to help protect other people. And that’s what I think Front Sight encourages.
It’s going to be all about how firearms owners present themselves. The consumer always destroys themselves. Fifty years ago people understood that guns don’t commit crimes, bad people commit crimes. They understood that good, competent people with guns were an asset to society, not some special-interest group that needed to be regulated. Competent, armed people are the very fabric, the citizens, of this country. Because it was a more responsible consumer environment, consumers weren’t irresponsible with their habits.
Now it’s different. Now the consumers are exposing themselves to too much liability, and refusing to take the blame for their irresponsible actions. The lawlessness and immorality of certain people is reducing it for all of us. So the people who are responsible and competent need to present themselves as even greater. They need to expose themselves even more, and say, “Look, this is a productive activity. This is an essential responsibility of a citizen. These are essential things that people must do.”
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?
Jeff: First thing I would tell them is to get off the couch! Stop listening to the media and turn off the TV! Go and have an adventure for yourself. Go seek truth on your own. Go to Front Sight and make your mind and your body work together. Set down that fiction and become a hero in your own book. Definitely. Don’t let other people have all the fun. Go out and experience life for yourself.
I am pleased to see the evolution of Front Sight from a firearms range, all the way through to this concept of an adventure school. And, that is what it’s all about. Life is about taking those risks that you’ve trained to become competent in. And Front Sight is a training ground, and a proving ground for you to apply yourself.
FSR: What course are you going to attend next?
Jeff: Well, I’m headed to Zimbabwe, Africa later this year. My first time there. Taking that same old 303 that I took to my Front Sight course. I’ll be taking the Rifle Skillbuilder Course, so I can brush up before I go to Africa. I am going for about a month, for Cape Buffalo, and for various plain’s game and antelope.
FSR: Thank you Jeff, we’ll see you at Front Sight!