Reflex Protect is the story of two men with similar origins, both born into the 4th generation of Montana ranching families, who followed strikingly different paths before coming together to form a revolutionary non-lethal self-defense company.
After graduating high school, Steve Mangold joined the U.S. Army as a member of the Military Police stationed in Germany. After honorably serving his country, Steve returned to Montana where he worked in various manufacturing management positions, as a fiber optics installation consultant specialist, and as a real estate agent, all while tinkering in his workshop, establishing numerous patents for new inventions in the non-lethal self-defense field, notwithstanding his lifelong interest in firearms and membership in the NRA.
Meanwhile, Joe Anderson graduated from Stanford University, followed by Georgetown University Law Center, before joining Pettit & Martin, a large corporate law firm headquartered in San Francisco. On July 1, 1993, Pettit & Martin was the site of the infamous 101 California Street Shooting, the largest mass murder in San Francisco history, in which nine people were killed and many others injured. Traumatized by the loss suffered by friends and colleagues, Joe temporarily left the practice of law to pursue his love of music, but soon found his talents better suited to representing others more creatively gifted than he. He opened his own practice and became the Entertainment Law professor at U.C. Hastings College of the Law just as the Napster-fueled dot-com boom took off, laying the foundation for a long and varied entrepreneurial career in both business and the law.
In the following years, the country witnessed other names joining 101 California as locations associated with tragic mass shootings: Columbine… Virginia Tech… Sandy Hook… Aurora, Colorado… The Pulse Nightclub in Orlando… Las Vegas… sadly the list now seems endless and is added to on average every two months. Each incident resulted in outrage and the renewal of debates, begun in the aftermath of 101 California through the Brady Bill, about the causes of and potential solutions to what has become a central fact of American life, but little progress was made.
In 2017, Steve and Joe met in Missoula, Montana (where Joe had returned after almost 30 years living in California) at the behest of a mutual acquaintance convinced Steve’s inventions might benefit from Joe’s well-honed entrepreneurial skills. Joe instantly grasped Steve’s desire to offer his patent-pending Reflex Technology spray head in service of a non-lethal alternative to a loaded gun in America’s 120 million homes. Moreover, Joe recognized that if a receptionist at Pettit & Martin had had a viable non-lethal option available, his entire life might have followed a different course. The synergy was immediate and undeniable.
Reflex Protect’s co-founders’ political affiliations differ, sometimes radically. Nonetheless, both agree whole-heartedly that the ongoing “Guns vs. No Guns” debate has not served the country effectively. Even since the company’s founding the list above has increased to include Sutherland, Parkland, Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh, Santa Fe, and yet another Aurora, this one in Illinois.
Although once again at the forefront of American politics, the debate itself has not yet appreciably saved lives or otherwise reduced the effects stemming from one simple reality: There are potential threats of violence, some involving guns but not always, in most people’s everyday lives, be it at home, in the workplace, at school, in municipal and public settings, and even in one’s house of worship.
The Reflex Protect mission is to provide simple and effective non-lethal self-defense products and training as a viable alternative to firearms where they are ineffective, impractical, or not allowed, and as an answer to those for whom firearms are simply not a choice at all. Steve and Joe are extremely proud of the many people who have joined them in bringing this mission to reality and are grateful to all who support it.