News and Information 2018-06-03T07:08:12-05:00

Upcoming Events

Fri 24

Couple’s Date Night at Saddle River Range

May 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sun 26

Ladies Shooting Social

May 26 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Sun 26

SRR Shooting League

May 26 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri 31

Couple’s Date Night at Saddle River Range

May 31 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Ride Sharing Safety

Ride Sharing Safety

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

It is a tragedy that has been on broadcast news and social media for weeks.  A young woman coordinates a ride share, but instead of getting into the ride share vehicle, she gets into the car of the man that will eventually kill her.

Although such incidents have recently been making the circles on all media outlets, they are not uncommon; and are not new!

It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman.  It doesn’t matter if you’re jumping into a ride share vehicle or a car pool vehicle.  Any encounter with a stranger can lead to an unexpected outcome.  Generally, not violence; however…

What should you do to protect yourself if you are going to use a ride share program?

I know it seems out of date; but if you call a taxi, verify the markings on the car match the service you called.  Validate the driver’s license is displayed and is legitimate.  Agree upon the expected charge prior to entering the vehicle.

Most ride sharing apps will provide you with a description of the vehicle, the name of the driver and will track the vehicle on a map that you can follow.  Additionally, some display the license plate to help you verify your service.

A recent feature on one of the ride share programs; is service tracking.  You can set up a text number of someone you trust that will receive a notification when you enter the program vehicle and will provide an additional notification when your trip is complete.  This is a lot like flight following in aviation; and we recommend all men and women, when out solo for either work or pleasure, engage in a “flight following” program with a trusted friend.

Once you enter the vehicle, there are a few suggestions we offer to help you remain safe and secure.  First: keep your personal items with you in the cab of the vehicle.  If you have to bolt from a less then comfortable situation; you don’t want to be leaving important possessions in the trunk of the car as it speeds away.  Second: once in the car with the car door closed, make sure you can open the door from the inside (close, then open the door) verify the child lock is not engaged.  Third: sit behind the driver.  From behind the driver, they can’t “eye-ball” you; and you are in a position of leverage if you have to take action should you find yourself rushing past your destination or heading to a destination not of your choosing.

A few other considerations…

If you know you’ll be drinking while out, plan ahead for your transportation. Coordinate a ride with a designated driver, have someone with you that you trust confirm your program service and see you into the vehicle; and use the service tracking program on the app.  You should also have an idea of the route from where you are to where you are going; and be cautious of alternative short cuts.  It goes without saying; carry small bills.  A twenty-five dollar fair offers a great tip if all you have is a one hundred dollar bill and the driver informs you that they don’t have change!

Take advantage of someone else driving; but be aware of your circumstances and situation.  With proper planning, your trip will be rewarding and uneventful.

***

Learn more about training programs and firearm instruction here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

© Copyright 2019 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | April 25th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

Violence and Self-Defense

Violence and Self-Defense

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

There has always been, and there always will be violence in the world; and we’re not referring to “The Animal Kingdom”.

In nature, violence is a means to order, food and territorial protection.  For humans, violence tends to be a means toward domination and destruction.

We hear about violent encounters in the news, but rarely is violence perpetrated on us; or even someone we know.  However, we are all; every one of us, at risk of a violent attack.

So we ask the question: Do you know what you’d do if attacked?

Let’s be honest here.  In the middle of an attack, where fear and shock are at their peak; you are not going to automatically become a Ninja Warrior and beat down your assailant.  You are going to default to whatever training that you’ve practiced.  If you do not train, and do not practice; your odds are slim.

In a violent confrontation, there is no such concept as a “fair fight”; there is only “survive”.  You are NOT going to get any advance notice; it will be a sucker punch or an unexpected attack from behind.

Your response after the initial shock, trained or not, will be determined by the outcome of the encounter.  If you’ve studied complex moves that require thought and strategy; you are not going to get the results you expect.  If you have two or three simple, but effective strikes that can stun the attacker long enough for you to escape; you will likely survive with only physical scrapes and bruises.  The emotional trauma may linger, but you’ll be alive to deal with that later.

Remember, you only want to break off the attack and get away.  This is not where you are going to “show them” they picked on the wrong person.  Get away, call Law Enforcement and live another day.

There are a few good programs that can help you prepare for the possibility of a violent encounter.  We have had self-defense classes at Saddle River Range; and we will have more – watch for them on the calendar.  You can also find other courses in various parts of the country and even order a set of DVDs that walk you through simple, effective strikes that can turn the tide on your attacker.

We are big proponents of training.  Practical, realistic training; with a syllabus that will put you in a position in which you may actually find yourself.  However, it’s the practice along with the training that will allow us to survive.

We train using our carry firearm; but what if that defensive tool is not accessible?  Planning and preparing for the various developments of something you hope never occurs is the mark of a responsible person.  We run fire drills to prepare for the possibility of a fire; and what to do if there is a fire.  The aviation community conducts training on how to respond to the possibility of emergencies in flight.  Schools are now conducting “Active Shooting” drills – and we’re all for it.  Understanding the potential risk, planning for that risk and preparation will go a long way in minimizing loss and injury.

The same is true in self-defense and violent encounters.  Understand that it can occur, plan for that occurrence and prepare.  Seek out proper training and dedicate time to practice that training.  Live your life, enjoy your life and know what to do if you encounter a bump along the road.

***

Learn more about training programs and firearm instruction here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

© Copyright 2019 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | March 31st, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

Heart to Heart

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

 

February is the American Heart Association’s Heart Awareness Month.  Friday, February 1st was Go Red for Women Day when women, and men, wear red clothes to bring awareness to heart disease in women.  Still to this day the number one killer of women in the United States.

 

With it being “Heart Month”, let’s talk about things associated with the heart.

 

Keep reading, don’t stop.  We’re not going to tell you what to eat or not eat; we are going to talk about introducing firearms to someone you love, “Date Night at the Range” and of course our love for all things that go bang!

 

Let’s start with introducing a novice to firearms…

 

Ron is an NRA Certified Hand Gun Instructor and has many times made the introduction of a firearm to someone that has never picked up a gun.  From that perspective; it is an honor, and a responsibility to make that initial introduction. It must be made in a non-threatening and enjoyable environment; and of course safety has to be of utmost importance.

 

If we begin the introduction with the perspective that the firearm is nothing more than a tool; an assembly of plastic and metal parts, we can remove some of the fear associated with firearms.  And we must recognized that for some that have not been around firearms; there is a fear associated with guns due to what’s viewed on the news and what Hollywood portrays as what guns ‘do’.

 

We want to share our love for the sport of shooting with those we love.  A “Heart to Heart” experience!

 

With that said, the first part of introduction is safety.  So let’s review the four rules of gun ownership that we must pass along with any introduction to firearms:

 

  1. Treat ALL guns as if they are loaded and ready to fire,
  2. Never point any firearm at anything you don’t want to destroy,
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire,
  4. Be aware of what is around and behind your target.

 

Regardless of whether we are introducing firearms to a son or daughter, a girlfriend or boyfriend, someone of a more intimate association or even a parent; “Date Night at the Range” is an excellent opportunity to make that introduction, share our love of the sport and share time with that loved one.

 

Many shooting establishments have a “date night”.  Saddle River Range was envisioned with a concept in mind as a place where you could be proud to take a novice to introduce them to firearms; as well as a place where you’d find likeminded souls where you can continue to enjoy the sport you love with the people you love.  It’s an ideal environment for introduction, skill development and for practicing something we enjoy.

 

Once we’ve reviewed the safety issues, the rest is pretty simple.  However, let’s keep it fun.  Don’t pull out the Desert Eagle for the first gun a novice will shoot.  Keep it low caliber and let them work up to the bigger bang.  An uncomfortable environment, heavy guns and unexpected ‘kicks’ are experiences that will have that person never want to step foot back into a range.  Also, some people are more sensitive to the loud noise concussion from firearms; if so, encourage double protection – ear muffs and ear canal inserts.  If you want to share your enjoyment and have them share the enjoyment with you; start with a great location, begin with a smaller caliber and be VERY, VERY encouraging.  Begin with the targets at 3 yards, let them enjoy hitting the target in a tight pattern and work back when the shooter is ready.  Also you want them to know you are skilled, but don’t be a showoff.  In that first ‘date’, let them do all the shooting; be excited that they are sharing your passion.

 

There is an adage in our society that husbands should not attempt to teach wives.  This may also be relevant for parents and children.  It is recommended that soon after that first ‘date’, while the novice is still excited to spend time with you and your passion; have a trained instructor polish up what you started.  Enhance the encouragement, the safety, the technique and the enjoyment.  You can continue to share your love for the sport together at “date nights” in the future.

 

Learn more about training programs and firearm instruction here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

 

© Copyright 2019 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | February 5th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gun Safety in the Home

Gun Safety in the Home

 

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

 

Did Santa bring you a new firearm for Christmas?  Did you decide not to take a chance with Santa and buy a new firearm on your own?  Great, congratulations on your new firearm.

 

So whether this is a first gun, or just another in your collection; Safety is of utmost importance.  With any complex piece of machinery, safety must be in the forefront of our minds.  We want everyone to understand the rules of safe gun ownership and stay safe – including the children in our homes.

 

There was a popular movie that came out around Christmas time a couple of decades ago about a boy that wanted a BB gun for Christmas.  He was tormented by all that if he had a BB gun, he’d shoot his eye out!  We recognize that any firearm can cause injury; and because of that, we want to address some safety considerations for new gun owners; and a refresher for those that have a collection of guns.

 

Four rules of gun ownership:

  1. Treat ALL guns as if they are loaded and ready to fire,
  2. Never point any firearm at anything you don’t want to destroy,
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire,
  4. Be aware of what is around and behind your target.

 

As adults, we can understand and respect these rules and abide by them; and we need to instill this respect in our children.  From an early age we must educate our young people that guns are beneficial, but must be handled with respect.  A recent CDC report presented statistics that gun related deaths of children between 1 and 19 was second only to auto crashes.  We can change that with a little practical, rational thought and the addition of available devices that can help keep guns away from curious hands.

 

Considering the aforementioned devices; what options are available to keep our guns secure and our children safe?

 

The basic three include: 1. a gun safe, 2. trigger guards, and 3. cable locks.

 

Each provides a level of safety and security for the firearm based on the particular risk associated with the household environment.  For a single defensive pistol kept in the bedroom with no children (and no expected children) a trigger guard or finger release box would be considered sufficient.  For four or five rifles, a couple of shotguns and a half dozen handguns with children living at home; a large room safe would be considered a more appropriate option.

 

The type of firearm, your situation, your lifestyle and household environment will determine the security measures you’ll want to take to keep your firearm(s) secure and ready, but out of the reach of the kids.  An informed sales clerk at a gun store – specifically the knowledgeable men and women behind the counter at Saddle River Range can help you determine the best option for you and your family.

 

They can also sign you up with an instructor learn about firearm safety and the basics of firearm operations.   Make if a family affair and bring the whole family; if everyone learns the basics, we all benefit as responsible gun owners.

 

Learn more about training programs to help you understand how best to protect yourself and your family here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

 

© Copyright 2019 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | January 6th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

 Legalities of Carrying a Handgun

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

 

Grab a cup of coffee and find a comfortable place to sit.

 

We recently penned an article on the use of force; and now we are going to take a deeper dive into the responsibilities of carrying a handgun in public and the potential use of deadly force. You’ll want to sit down and read this…  Not just skim through it!

 

In the state of Texas, Government Code 411, Subchapter H outlines the authority and obligations for a private citizen to carry a handgun, concealed or open, in public.  The latest amendments of this code went into effect January 1, 2017; referred to today as a “License to Carry” or “LTC”.

 

We are not going to go over the legalities associated with the LTC.  You should be familiar with that from attending your LTC class.

 

This article was drafted from research into GC 411, discussions with instructors and conversations with Law Enforcement.  We were fortunate to gain an audience with Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson, Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable and MCSO Captain Damon Hall in the development of this article.  Thank you all for your time, your insight and your service to the community.

 

You have watched the news and seen an increase in situations where the average citizen is under threat of violence; and you think to yourself “What if me, my wife and kids were in that situation?”.  Would you know how to protect your family?  Could you protect your family?

 

This is the primary reason for most individuals to make the effort to secure their License to Carry.

 

You are born with the right to protect yourself, the US Constitution stipulates that the government cannot take that right away from you; and Texas Penal Code Chapter 9 defines the legal use of deadly force to affect that protection.

 

The LTC however, comes with some guidelines, rules and responsibilities.  It is our obligation, and our responsibility, to treat the right and the authorization with respect.  There are too many people in the world that want to take your right to carry a gun away from you; we don’t want to give them a reason to do so.

 

You have attained, or are deciding whether to attain, your “LTC”.  Understand, the gun you carry can only be presented in response to a direct threat of physical violence upon yourself, a family member or innocent bystander.  Shooting at the car of a shoplifter as they speed away from you does not meet the criteria of the established guidelines; and you may end up on the wrong side of the law!

 

It should also be pointed out that the “LTC” is NOT a badge.  It does not promulgate a law enforcement authority.  The “LTC’s” only purpose is to allow an individual to carry a handgun in public.

 

We’ll mention it again; there are responsibilities to carrying a handgun in public.  One being awareness of those around you.  Yes, we live in Texas and it’s expected that everyone has a gun in Texas; even so, there are many people that are uncomfortable with someone sporting a new Sig Sauer on their hip at the local restaurant.

 

And as is the case, if this handgun is seen by someone, they could call to have law enforcement investigate the situation.  If you are ever approached as a result of this situation; be respectful of the Law Enforcement official, be polite.  Present your license and be courteous; he or she are just doing their job.  And if asked by the establishment to leave; find somewhere else to grab a burger, you don’t want to eat where they don’t support the Second Amendment.

 

Sheriff Henderson shed a little light on the public carry of a handgun for Montgomery County, explaining that when the carry laws changed from concealed to open, the act of open carry was determined not to be considered ‘probably cause’.  Unless actions dictate otherwise, law enforcement officers will likely leave you alone.

 

In our conversations, it was shared with us that law enforcement officers routinely experience two very different personalities when approaching an individual with an open carry handgun: One is referred to as responsible and respectful; the other as arrogant and antagonistic.  A showboating attitude in such a situation does not promote a responsible and respectful gun owning member of society.  Again, show Law Enforcement the respect they deserve; and exemplify the responsible gun carrying citizen you are.

 

We should also mention that legislative changes are updated every two years for the law enforcement community.  LTC renewals are much less frequent; opening a possible gap in our compliance with legislative changes in the law.  The Officer or Deputy may only want to inform you of the change; not “Jack you up”.  They don’t want to harass you.  They do want you to be safe and respectful to the people around you.

 

We’ve mentioned that carrying a handgun in public is a big responsibility.  But protecting our family from harm, or keeping your co-workers safe while out for lunch is another enormous responsibility.  The handgun just gives us a tool to provide that protection.  Yes, we have an obligation and a responsibility.  But didn’t we have that moral character before we had our LTC?

 

In the past year, there have been several stories of the average citizen standing up to a threat and protecting an innocent, and even a couple of stories where a citizen intervened when a criminal element got the upper hand on a law enforcement officer.  Constable Gable referred to those individuals as “angels”.

 

We want citizens with that character, the character to stand up to a threat and to injustice; and we want them carrying the tools necessary to deal with those issues.

 

One additional item to point out.  Everyone we talked with in constructing this article pointed out that just having the tool does not make you an expert in the operation of that tool.  Just because you have a seven iron, it doesn’t mean you’re a golfer.  Just because you carry a sidearm, doesn’t mean you’re ready – unless you train!  The final obligation and responsibility we have as a result of carrying a handgun in public is to train.  The military trains, hoping never to have to go to war.  Law Enforcement trains, hoping to never have to draw their duty gun.  We too must train.  We rehearse; hoping we are never called on stage.  But if we are ever called upon; we must know what to do. And; as Sheriff Henderson pointed out, we need to have a ‘mental blueprint’ associated with the fact that we may have to take a life!

 

Sheriff Henderson and Constable Gable both reiterated the need for advanced education and practical training.  Both considered civilian carry of a handgun a positive consideration; as well, both pointed out that with this right and authorization comes substantial responsibility.

 

Training and practice means more than just going to the range and punching holes in paper.  Take a series of beginner, intermediate and ultimately a tactical pistol class and learn what it’s like to draw your handgun from its holster, what it’s like to shoot at the image of a real person (and not just a silhouette), how to direct your shots towards the perpetrator without risking the safety of innocent people around you.

 

We don’t promote taking a life; but we don’t want the life of one we know taken.  We have a responsibility to the people we care about!

 

Our safety is our responsibility.  The ability to defend ourselves is our right.  Knowing how is our challenge; and know-how not only includes understanding the laws that frame our rights, but also the knowledge of how to use the tools to protect ourselves, our families and our friends.

 

Learn more about training programs to help you understand how best to protect yourself and your family here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | December 4th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Holiday Safety Tips

 

Holiday Safety Tips

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

The days are getting shorter, the morning cooler.  It’s that time of year…

The time each year where we point out a few things to help keep you safe throughout the holiday season.

It bears repeating, the bad guys love the holidays as much as the rest of us; only because it affords them more opportunity for crime.

For those that have been reading our Situation Report for the past several years, some of these tips will be a needed refresher, for some of you – new material.  And to start off the season of Thanks Giving – Thank you to all of you; new readers and those that have been with us from the beginning.  We appreciate your support and your loyalty to Saddle River Range.

We have segmented the following tips based on the location, activity and age group.

Shopping:  Shopping centers and malls are ideal locations for criminals as the environment is “target rich”.

  • Stay alert and aware of what is happening around you, in the store and in the parking lot
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash: I suggest getting a debit card and limiting the amount loaded on the card.  There is no identification information and the loss is limited if stolen.
  • DO NOT overburden yourself with packages. Keep your purse closed and held tight, not dangling from straps.  Guys, put your wallet in your front pocket if carrying stuff for your gal.

 

 

At Home: We have all heard of someone being followed home, or having their home burglarized.  Some neighborhoods stand out as targets because of the displayed affluence.

 

  • When arriving at home be alert for suspicious vehicles on the block. Be alert for strangers approaching you in the drive way or at the front door.  Remove hiding spaced, by illuminating shadows.
  • Not to be alarmist, but someone at the front door may not be whom they seem to be. Criminals do pose as delivery personnel; and those asking for charitable donations may not be representing others in need.
  • After you open the gifts from your holiday spree, don’t announce your new toys to the world by putting the boxes on the front curb for collection. Break down the boxes and bind them.  This prevents a bad guy from noticing you have a brand new 70 inch flat screen TV.

 

Children:  It’s an exciting time for the little ones; plenty of colorful lights, and magical sounds and lots and lots of people.  It’s easy for you, and them to get distracted and get separated.

  • It will happen, regardless of the effort you make to prevent it; children will wander off. Teach your children that if they turn around and mommy is not there, they should seek out a store clerk, a security officer, or as a last resort another mommy with children.  Play a game with them, and stop on occasion and have them point out a safe person they might approach if you were not with them.
  • For the older children, have them be mindful of what they post online. Pictures of the house portraying all the stuff under the tree just points out to a criminal where they might want to shop.  Also, be especially considerate of posting pictures of grandma and grandpa’s house online.

 

Winter and the holiday season is a special time of year.  With a little thought and attention, you will be rewarded with wonderful memories of a joyous occasion; and the bad guys will end up with coal in their stockings.

Oh, yeah!  Don’t forget to load up on stocking stuffers for your family, friends and loved ones.  Gift certificates are now available for a new something special, an outing at the range or some instruction for a new shooter or archer.  Come in now and load up for the holidays.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved.

 

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments