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Elaine Spraker (right) courtesy

You might think Alaskan teenagers would know what to do if a two-legged varmint makes camp, ballistically speaking. T’aint necessarily so. Enter Teens on Target, a firearms class that teaches youngsters in the Land of the Midnight Sun basic firearms safety and armed self-defense. Course founder Elaina Spraker told that the instruction was inspired by a conversation with her son . . .

“She asked him whether his girlfriend, who sometimes went on the shooting trips, enjoyed it as much as he did. Her son responded that the girls in the group usually hung back and often seemed intimidated by the guns.

“That’s when the wheels started turning,” she said . . .

In addition to safety, the course includes trigger technique, accuracy practice, shooting from a full range of positions, and a chance to gain experience with a variety of guns. Ted Spraker said that the class begins with shotgun trap-shooting, then progresses to rifles and handguns, and finishes with a course in the AR-50 assault rifle, which Ted Spraker said the girls are “not bashful about shooting.”

“Sometimes the only thing that saves us from running out of ammo is that it gets dark,” Elaina Spraker said.

Sounds like someone should donate some weapon-mounted-lights. Meanwhile, thanks to the NRA for helping fund the effort. And here’s hoping Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America have a s-fit over this, so that the course gets even more publicity, so that instructors in the lower-48 are inspired to recreate it.

 “The true value of this program is female empowerment,” said Elaina Spraker. “You take an adolescent girl, and something very positive happens when they learn the power of firearms.”

[h/t Dean Weingarten]

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  1. Alaska is the last frontier, of course you need firearms training. Even Moms Demanding Attention can’t be that stupid …

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein

  2. Awesome, sounds like they are having fun.
    Advice to those teaching their own kids how to shoot, don’t teach your kid how to shoot 9mm or .45 on a lightweight carry handgun. The recoil is much sharper making it easier to develop flinching habits. What looks like a P226 in that image reminded me…

    • That’s exactly why I won’t get rid of my heavy, steel-framed CZ-75BD even though I prefer the 10-ounce lighter alloy-framed CZ-75 P01. The heavier gun will be the centerfire handgun that my son will be trained on first.

    • That looks like a Ruger SR22P with a Raspberry frame. I got one for my wife, and it is one of the most fun pistols I have ever shot!

      • You’re right that the SR22 is an absolute blast to shoot, but that’s not one in the photo. The Ruger has serrations on the front of the slide, and the slide doesn’t protrude past the frame like the gun in the picture.

  3. It really makes a lot sense to have gun classes in states with constitutional carry.

    When I moved from Montana to Alaska I was really surprised how bad the crime was up there. I alway equated low population with low crime but in Alaska there is a lot of military personnel from big cities and they brought their gangs with them so despite the low population of most towns you need to carry more so than in many other places.

      • Oh, they do. It’s a bolt action, single shot (no internal magazine) .50 BMG. Reputedly a damn good, no frills .50. I was just poking fun at the mistake.

    • Well, if they’re working their way up to that then there will be no doubt they will be able to handle just about anything that comes their way.

      • Makes sense to go all the way to .50 BMG. From what I hear there’s things in Alaska that don’t take too kindly to getting shot.

  4. I’m glad that the young ladies are shooting and that they can learn how to defend themselves — but every time I hear the phrase “female empowerment,” I want to reach for my Smith & Wesson.

  5. And as these young ladies (or your daughters) head off to college or the working world she can not purchase a handgun with which to protect herself from the Bill Clintons of the world.

  6. That NRA funding they mentioned comes from the NRA Foundation, which is legally distinct from the main NRA organization.

    The NRA Foundation is a charitable operation which provides funding for many worthy purposes, including youth shooting sports groups. Donations to it are tax deductible, unlike those to the main NRA organization. The NRA Foundation raises its funds largely through hundreds of “Friends of the NRA” dinners and raffles held nationally each year.

    In a city like Houston, you’ll find maybe a dozen or more events scheduled throughout the year. They’re organized by volunteers and you needn’t be an NRA member to attend one or run one. There is a professional, full time paid NRA field coordinator for each region who is there to guide you and support you with standard templates for putting one of these things on. It’s fun and easy.

    They’re a great way to raise money, have fun, and make new friends. You help support what you’re passionate about, regardless your views on the NRA main organization itself. Perhaps best of all, you get a chance to win great firearms in the raffles, generously donated by major manufacturers.

    Check it out!

  7. Considering police response times in many areas of Alaska is defined in hours and sometimes days, you would think it would be a required course in school.

  8. A kudos to Mrs. Spraker for organizing these.

    My only comment: there should also be classes for boys as well. Many, many boys are also not raised around firearms and have similar reactions to what the young Mr. Spraker’s girlfriend had. This is especially true in the least free states.

  9. To all of the comments that questioned the AR-50, it was a typo by the reporter. We train our young lady shooters with a DPMS White Panther which is a AR-15, 223 caliber rifle.
    I agree with many of he comments, we would like to see this program adopted in more places.

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