Visiting the Gun Range 101 ⋆ Politicrossing
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Visiting the Gun Range 101

Photo courtesy of Patriot Outdoors, Inc.

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Does it Surprise You?

Does this surprise you? There are many factors that have contributed to the increase in firearm sales last year. Already knowing it was an election year, we had some added “scare” factors which we reacted to that led to this increase. Fears of gun ban legislation in one form or another by states and potential federal action by then potential new administration. The unprecedented outbreak of rioting across the country. To make matters worse, there was an amazing amount of illogical rational by state and local governments not enforcing law in many left or left leaning cities and states.

They literally threw gas on the fire by exacerbating law enforcement agencies with threats of decrease in funding, further scrutiny (some justifiable) but also leading to a notable decrease in officers on the streets.

So, more than ever Americans started coming to their own conclusions. “What should we do if we call 911 and cops aren’t going to show up or can’t show up fast enough?” Answer: “Well, maybe we need to protect ourselves!”

Myself, being in the industry and personally witnessing and assisting the rush of thousands to the stores and ranges for guns, gear and more importantly training was indeed unprecedented. The look of bewilderment of these first time visitors to a gun store or range was alarming. Fear in their eyes and money in hand they looked to us for answersand solutions

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Did You Know?

Did you know in the first seven months of 2020, we added easily 5 million Americans to the ranks of the existing 100 million new gun owners nationwide.  Oh, wait there’s more… A stunning 39.6 million FBI background checks were conducted and at the end of the year we Americans purchased over 40 million firearms and increased ammunition sales by 139% from 2019.

Further surveys indicate that 58% of firearm purchases were done by black Americans, while women initiated 40% of all purchases. Firearms retailers also noted that sales of firearms had nearly doubled, and ammunition sales were up 139% from 2019.” ~Americas1stfreedom.org

How to Visit the Gun Range

If you put all of that together common sense would dictate there are millions of unaware Americans needing knowledge, skills and a well rounded view of what to expect when going to a gun store or range for the first time. The statistics show already this year that millions more are flocking to the stores for gun purchases and training. I’ve been asked by the awesome staff here on politicrossing.com and many others over the years, how to “bridge the gap” or interpreting gun range or store protocols to the average all American.

Gun Ranges 101

Ok, here we go! So, How do you pick a range? I’m here to tell you that with the hundreds upon hundreds of ranges across this great nation, they are not all created equal! There are many ranges that are stellar and then there are those that are just “trying”. Like any business in any industry you will find that people make a business and we as humans are all not perfect. However, since people make up a business; you as a consumer should want the best experience possible. So, look for the best business possible to give you that experience.

  • Customer Service is Huge: Look up ranges in your area on www.wheretoshoot.org, google maps, yelp and on social media outlets. A good range facility will keep up with their content. You want to go to a range that has two key positive components
    • Product Knowledge: Do they know what they are talking about?
    • Industry Experience: Not everyone behind the counter needs to be some “billy badass” looking guy or “tough chick” with a cop or military background to get you great service or advice. I’ve personally brought staff on with little to no experience but what they did have was a care for others and a willingness to learn and those staff members I have cherished over the years and made my companies flourish! Bottom line, find someone who shows they care!
  • Location: Not all ranges will be in the most convenient locations, due to politics, price of real estate and encroaching negative demographics forecasting a ranges potential demise. Ranges seem to find themselves off the beaten path. Whether indoor or outdoor, I have found that to be true.  Just understand they all won’t be perched in the easiest to get to retail locations. Look for their website and directions and make sure it’sconvenient for you.
  • Essential Gear: Once you have picked a range, you’re on your way. Even if don’t have a gun with you already, you’re going to want some gear if you plan on shooting at all.
    • Gear Bag– find a range bag is what we call them, large enough for a couple handguns, ammo boxes, maybe even a first aid kit “I’ll talk about “medical stuff” on another video”.
    • Eye & Ear Protection: When you go to an outdoor range, any pair of good eye covering sunglasses will do, I prefer Smith and Oakley’s. However, when you go to an indoor range, you’re not going to want to where sunglasses due to being indoors. So, you’re going to need clear or yellow or other lighter colored shooting glasses to where. When it comes to ear protection being deaf sucks. Grab a great pair of “over the ear” ear muffs and “Listen Linda” don’t go cheap. Invest in a decent pair of Peltors or Howard Leights they range from 50-125.00 will do.
  • Questions to Ask: Now that you’re in the facility, looking around, they are going to know right away that you’re new. Here are some questions that will help you speak the native tongue and raise some eyebrows and just show that you’re serious and a little industry savvy!
    • Gun Rental and Gun Sales counters: Know the difference. Ask which one is which so you can start either handling one for a rental or handling one for a purchase and then ask if they have the same model to “test drive”.
    • Which caliber of ammunition does this gun use? the most popular handgun caliber is the 9mm. depending on your abilities or disabilities and hand size and body frame will typically determine what you may be comfortable to start with. Basic marksmanship classes will start you off with a .22. which has minimal recoil. If you’re wanting to start with something for defense right away look for a .380 “which is a short 9mm” or if you like a wheel gun (revolver) a .38special will suffice, but the most popular by far is still the practical 9mm.
    • Which gun manufacturers do you recommend? Now there’s a loaded question! Depending on which gunslinger is behind the counter and the shirt they where will determine that answer as well as their experience level. I’m going to just drop the mic right here though.. The Top 5 manufacturers out there that are guaranteed to stand the pressure of every day use on the street and in combat are: Cz, Glock, HK, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and Springfield Armory. My personal tried and true gun models are the Glock 17 (full size 9mm) and my Sig Sauer 365XL every day carry and nobody knows I have it on with 26rounds of ammo on me. Contact me on Social for more insight, I’ll be glad to assist!
    • How do I get on the range? There are many types of ranges out there and each have certain protocols. The main protocol is for you to provide your ID and sign a waiver, whether digital or on paper.
    • Other questions to ask: Do you have instructors available? What’s it cost to get on the range? Do you have memberships? Discounts? What are the range fees? an I get this gun in pink? Where’s the bathroom? Can I rent multiple guns? Can I get a lesson for class for a fee or included if I get a membership?
  • Safety First: Two phrases I want to burn into your subconscious brain to help ensure you become not only an intelligent person upon your visit but a safe individual and potentially a responsible armed citizen.
    • Finger Discipline: Keep your finger off the trigger and outside of the trigger well. there is no need to touch it at all until you are loaded up on the range and are cleared to shoot.
    • Muzzle Management: Point the gun in a safe direction always, a safe direction will be a directionthat for any reason the gun was loaded and you pulled the trigger or by an act of God the gun “went off” it would not cause personal bodily damage or “nominal” property damage. See Video
  • On the Range: Now that you’re on the range and hopefully with a staff member, let them guide you on the Gun 101 handling basics and how to start shooting,{you can also see my other videos on getting a grip and choosing an every day carry.}
    • “If you don’t know go slow” {I’ve taught this for years} You know we learn by crawl, walk, run. That means you can’t accomplish something fast and accurate if you’ve never done it before.. You gotta start somewhere, relax, have fun and enjoy the ride. Your goal should be to take it all in, slowing everything down and being patient with your learning this new skill will help reinforce confidenceand remove fears.
    • Correct, Continuous Repetitions: The old saying “Perfect Practice makes Perfect”. You don’t want to build bad habits. Understanding neuroplasticity and how we take information from the conscious to our subconscious mind requires us to complete quality reps. Therefore, when you go slow you will sealing in those good fundamentals which will build upon your successes.
    • Be Happy with Small Successes: Whether you just hit the paper or create any level of consistency on the paper when you are shooting, be thankful for any level of success. Your positive attitude will take you farther than anything. Be thankful for overcoming the initial fears of just being on a range. Be thankful that you are learning something new and it may take longer than you think to achieve your goals.  Just like in life, being content with our progress whatever it is helps us evolve into a better more well rounded person.
    • Note to Ladies: I have found over the years teaching thousands of women that they are, indeed, better shooters out of the gate. They are quite different then us men. They don’t come to train with fragile egos. They tend to be more coordinated, listen and learn more intently and their results show it!  

That’s A Wrap…

In closing, there’s so much to learn. Please get good quality advice from those that live and breath high industry standards for safety, crucial and relevant training, product knowledge and customer service.

I’d like to thank the wonderful staff and leadership at TSR {Ted’s Shooting Range} in Queen Creek, Arizona for allowing me to utilize their staff and facility to shoot the video. I walked in not knowing a soul there and was greeted with positivity.

When I explained my intentions they were willing to assist Which means a lot for them to care for thousands that will read this article and watch the video for the betterment of our fellow countrymen who are on their quest for shooting success. It’s comforting to find a great example in the industry of caring people who care about their business and those that are within their care. Go see them if you’re in the area!

That’s all I got for today, stay tuned with me on social media and please subscribe to my channel on youtube. If you would like for me to share my insight on a subject that you have of interest; please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or look me up on my social accounts!

 

Godspeed & God Bless,

Stephen D. Powell

~The GunLife Coach

 

 

 

 

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Stephen D. Powell is an Air Force veteran with more than 18 years of combined federal, military & civilian law enforcement experience. Powell has been teaching professionally for over 25+years as a firearms Instructor for numerous organizations and agencies rated with the NRA, NM & TX DPS and a Sig Sauer Academy Master Instructor. His company, Patriot Outdoors, Inc, has been operational in the defensive training industry since 2004, starting a thousand acre training facility located in Eastern New Mexico. Patriot has provided crucial and relevant firearms training to DOD and SOCOM, state and local law enforcement and armed citizen students. Over the past several years, Powell has appeared on several Fox News, Sirius XM radio, various regional newspaper, radio and tv shows, promoting military veteran entrepreneurship and patriotism as well as educating the shooting industry on range development, media relations and key second amendment issues. Patriot Outdoors is currently operating out of the Phoenix Valley, Arizona and with a new channel of The GunLife Coach to inspire and motivate other in life and on the range!



 
 
 

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Life

21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 3)

Even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable

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Here is the final set of seven ways the people who have attained work-life balance set themselves apart from the rest:

15) The typical person is easily distracted by daily noise and interruptions. Those with work-life balance monitor and manage their personal space to minimize distractions.
* carry ear plugs
* sound proof your workspace
* find alternative work locations and spaces, such as a picnic table or park bench * visit www.yogasleep.com

16) The typical person focuses on finishing the workday in order to drop back and relax. Those with work-life balance are productive at work and have a life for the rest of the day after work.
* leave work at a reasonable hour
* reduce TV watching and web surfing
* employ your den as a mini-gym
* engage in invigorating leisure

17) The typical person engages in inactive leisure, i.e. watching TV, web surfing. Those with work-life balance employ leisure for novel experiences, learning, and physical activity.
* live closer, not farther from work
* rediscover hobbies
* join group activities
* peruse local event notices and attend

18) The typical person intermittently invests in his or her own well-being. Those with work-life balance strategically purchase goods and services that support their well-being.
* buy in multiples when all supplies will eventually be used up
* make strategic purchases…
* if it saves one hour a week
* if it takes up little space, is portable, expandable, flexible, can be traded in

19) The typical person longs for the good old days when the pace of life was slower. Those with work-life balance recognize that even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable.
* acknowledge and accept the world as it is
* seek to change aspects of your personal environment over which you have control
* consider the 80-20 rule and ignore low-payoff tasks and activities
* emulate the role models in your industry, organization, or profession

20) The typical person over-collects work-life balance tips hoping that such information will rub off on them. Those who have work-life balance ingest the insights of others, and ultimately follow the beat of their own drum.
* put what you learn into motion
* adopt new behaviors until they become habits
* establish new personal systems
* develop rewarding rituals

21) The typical parent passes their hectic lifestyle on to their children. Those who have it teach their children what is needed to continually experience work-life balance
* remember: children learn most from observation
* exhibit behaviors that you want them to emulate
* include them in activities, ask for their opinion
* act accordingly: actions speak louder than words

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Life

21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 2)

Those with work-life balance regard periodic breaks as vital to their high productivity

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Here are the middle seven tip as to how people with Work-life Balance are different from others:

8) The typical person is resigned to a state of “too much to do, not enough time to do it.” Those with work-life balance establish clear priorities, support them, and assemble resources to accomplish their objectives.
* establish life priorities and pursue them daily
* devise goals – quantified, reachable, and written down – that support your priorities
* tap unused staff skills by re-reading resumes and job applications
* retain extra help for domestic and professional tasks via Craigslist, neighborhood flyers

9) The typical person multitasks, thinking that this is essential to get more done in less time. Those with work-life balance focus on the task at hand and accomplish more in less time.
* avoid articles that imply multitasking is okay and even preferable
* secure the quiet space needed to do your best work
* master the art of doing one thing at a time
* concentrate on the current task and take appropriate breaks at timed intervals

10) The typical person thinks achieving work-life balance requires complex tools and sophisticated techniques. Those with work-life balance find that simple approaches work best.
* employ a few, selected apps that are useful for you
* place post-it pads, and reminders in key locations
* benefit in many ways from using clock timers
* hang wall charts

11) The typical person believes that greater responsibilities diminish the chances of achieving work-life balance. Those who have it do not allow such thoughts to impede their progress.
* recognize that greater responsibility merits greater leisure investment
* re-invest some of your new found earnings
* anticipate the challenges, and
* strategize accordingly

12) The typical person worries that taking periodic breaks might be seen as shirking their work. Those with work-life balance regard periodic breaks as vital to their high productivity.
* rise from your seat at least every 20 minutes, which is required for good health * stand, walk, or stretch whenever you feel the need
* refocus your vision with the 20-20-20 technique
* drink water and head-off hydration problems

13) The typical person, when falling behind, wants to catch up all at once. Those with work-life balance seldom fall behind and, if they do, they avoid crash catch-up efforts.
* practice checkbook management
* watch your weight
* sleep, shower, and renew
* get help with yard work or whatever you prefer to not do

14) The typical person feels driven by external forces to race through the day. Those with work-life balance acknowledge that their own habits are the primary force in achieving WLB.

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