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