Moral question about Front Sight lawsuit

Years ago, I took a basic handgun class at Front Sight, and afterwards purchased the lowest level of lifetime membership, which allows me to take a small number of classes as many times as I want for the rest of my life. LIke most such impulse decisions, this turned out to be a mistake, as I have not taken a class since. The quality of training was incredible, and I expect to take more classes there in the future, but not enough to make the membership worthwhile.

A current class action lawsuit against Front Sight alleges that lifetime memberships were sold under misleading terms, and a settlement has been reached where Front Sight has put up $8M to buy out lifetime members. Is it immoral for me to take advantage of this opportunity to exit this poor performing investment, even if I do not feel that I was misled in any way?

My tentative answer is that it depends on the wording of the settlement. My reasoning is that lawsuits for fraud would happen in the kind of government that I consider just, and so the lawsuit and settlement both moral and are substantial evidence that the charges are true. If the terms of the settlement compel Front Sight to buy out any member who wants to exit, I see nothing immoral about taking the opportunity. On the other hand, if the settlement specifies that this is only for members who feel they purchased their memberships under false pretenses (which I do not), then I would be lying by signing it.

(I don't feel like looking up any links about this lawsuit, but I'm sure they are easy to find, so I'll leave it to the commentariat)

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I'd consider it immoral.

I agree that something called "lawsuits for fraud" would happen in a moral anarcho-capitalist society...but not all of the law and enforcement providers would necessarily have rules that were moral. You might employ an individual X who later contracts with a Marxist law and enforcement provider, and that provider might then host a lawsuit in its courts alleging that you engaged in fraud by hiring someone and not paying them the full profit made off their labor.

Under the current legal system, the legal definition of fraud may not be congruent with what you and I consider true fraud.

Thus, the fact that a US court finds party X guilty of fraud doesn't necessarily make it so.

By being party to this lawsuit, you risk piggybacking on immoral extortion.

It seems to me that it's an accepted free market tool to offer membership plans ON THE ASSUMPTION that most people will not take advantage of them (even if everyone is allowed to).

If it's about $100 it's

If it's about $100 it's definitely immoral, if it's about $10K further ethical inquiry is needed.



Will your decision influence

Will your decision influence the amount that Front Sight will have to pay or will it be $8M no matter what?

If it varies, I'd say it's immoral. If it is $8M no matter what, then one could argue that this is a "sunk crime". The state stole $8M from FS and now it happens to be distributing money to people who relinquish their lifetime membership... it's "different" money... but one could argue as well that it's recelling in which case the most moral thing to do would be to collect the money and donate it back.


Could be okay

I haven't worked out the argument yet but the conclusion is that as long as you give me, say, ten percent of the amount, it's perfectly legit. I'll have an airtight argument for this in just a bit, but in the meantime I'll need an advance.

Cordite credits?

Cordite credits?

I think it is the same thing

I think it is the same thing as the bailout via taxes that occured for most state's pension plans, class action lawsuits simply when stock prices go down and the potential bailout via taxes of homeowners who cannot make their payments.

Unless you suffered because of fraud, man up and live with a bad decision.

Can you can sell your membership to someone else?

Front Sight's own lawsuits

This is not directly relevant to the specifics of your case, but it's interesting to note that Front Sight itself filed a lawsuit against an individual who was merely expressing her own opinions about Front Sight and the Church of Scientology (Ignatius Piazza has taken Scientology courses and considers himself a "Clear Catholic"). I'm referring to Diana Mertz Hsieh, not to the former Front Sight instructor who was sued for erroneous claims about Front Sight and Scientology.

If taking the settlement

If taking the settlement doesn't influence the amount FrontSight pays, you have the option of taking it and giving the money back to FrontSight. Doing this publicly even offsets somewhat the support you're giving to the legal systems by participating.

It's funny that no one is

It's funny that no one is alluding to the fact of having actually used the membership or not. I believe most "common people" would spontaneously believe it to be relevant... something along the line of "Since FS didn't incur any cost for your membership it's okay to reclaim the money." However not only what is bought is an option which itself carries ab initio a cost for the company but ethics have nothing to do with profits and losses.