Gun Control.... Alaska Style......

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by BTPost, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Floyd Dryden 6th graders learn gun safety
    Posted: October 21, 2011 - 12:00am


    After spending hours in the classroom, half a day outside and a thrilling 30 minutes in an indoor shooting range, some 200 sixth-graders are now well-versed in firearms safety and survival skills. And, for those who passed the class, they have their shiny new Hunter Education identity cards to prove it.

    Floyd Dryden Middle School students today wrapped up this year’s popular Alaska Department of Fish & Game Hunter Education and Firearm Safety Course, which teaches firearms handling and safety, marksmanship, shooting dos and don’ts and survival skills.

    “It’s all about safety,” Ed Buyarski, a hunter information and training instructor, said. “And helping kids to make the right choices.”

    The program, taught by ADF&G and other agency volunteers, was founded by the 4-H Outdoor Skills Club and is sponsored by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. The middle school has participated in the program for the past 11 years, said Linda Coate, a top volunteer with the program and the wife of Ken Coate, one of the founders of the Outdoor Skills Club and the school program.

    Coate estimates about 4,000 students in Juneau have taken the course over the years.

    “We hope we helped to either save their lives or someone around them or just give them the knowledge of how to be around guns safely, and to be active in the outdoors,” Coate said.

    Coate emphasized students learned not just about guns, but how to survive in the wild if something happens while on a fishing trip or a family hike. Students also learn about wildlife conservation.

    “It’s really just life skills,” she said, “which is something that is stressed in part of the creed of the Cooperative Extensive 4-H program.”

    On Wednesday and Thursday, following a week of classroom training, six or seven classes of sixth-graders gleefully stepped off a school bus and onto the grounds of the ADF&G Education Training Facility on Montana Creek Road.

    On the site, students rotated through classes on topography, mapping and compass directions and outdoor scenario instruction on hunting dos and don’ts. Silhouettes of bears, deer and caribou were placed on a walking course — and even a hunter in camouflage without an orange vest — and kids were faced with scenarios about whether it was ethically and legally safe to shoot. (They were equipped with dummy nonfiring rifles.) Kids were also provided free orange hunting vests and were encouraged to wear them in the future even though it’s not mandated for hunters in the state of Alaska, Buyarski said.

    But perhaps the most popular class of the two days was the shooting instruction at the indoor shooting range at the facility. Students learned the pros and cons of the four different shooting positions — standing (the wobbliest), kneeling, sitting and prone, or lying face-down (the most stable). And then they had a little target practice. In order to pass the marksmanship test, the students shooting rifles with .22 ammo from 50 feet away have to make four shots in a three-inch circle. Students with air rifles shooting from 33 feet away have to make four shots in a 2-inch circle.

    If the kids practice unsafe techniques, like jokingly point a rifle at someone else, they fail automatically on the spot. But most walk away with a Hunter Education and Safety certificate — required for hunting.

    The kids also have to take a written test in school on the things they’ve learned.

    Rebecca Farrell, a sixth-and seventh-grade looping teacher, says she’s glad students in Juneau are receiving this type of education and are learning survival skills.

    “Living in Southeast Alaska, they get a lot out of this program because the environment here is unforgiving,” she said.

    Another teacher, Rebecca Goertzen, said that 90 percent of Alaska homes have guns, so even if a student’s parents don’t own a firearm, it’s likely they will be invited to a house that does have a firearm.

    “They need to know what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate” when it comes to handling guns, she said.

    Other schools in the area have participated in the program, and Dzantik’i Heeni will participate in the same course in the spring.

    Ken Coate said that’s a good start to promoting firearm safety for kids, but it’s not enough.

    “The goal is that every sixth-grade kid in the state of Alaska will have firearm safety and hunters education,” he said. “That’s my goal. Investing in firearm safety for the youth of today is an investment in the adults of tomorrow.”

    • Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 at
    Cephus, hank2222, Sapper John and 4 others like this.
  2. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Basic survival skills ought to be a common sense requirement in more places than just Alaska.
  3. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    “The goal is that every sixth-grade kid in the state of Alaska will have firearm safety and hunters education,” he said. “That’s my goal. Investing in firearm safety for the youth of today is an investment in the adults of tomorrow.”

    BRAVO!! This should be done nationwide. Guns shouldn't be demonized and villified. Take away the 'mystique', and there will be fewer 'accidents' owing to curiosity and careless handling.
  4. fishpicker

    fishpicker Monkey+

    What a great program!
    Try doing that down here in the lower 48.
    Do you really live in Excursion Inlet can I ask?
    I go there once a year to look at some equipment at the cannery.
    Exciting though sometimes to take off when you're sharing space with a plane load of fish.
    Beautiful spot.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yep, I do actually live here at Excursion Inlet. I am the Winterman, for the Cannery, and along with Momma, live in the Winterman's Cabin. Next time you drop in, make yourself known, and we can have a FaceMeet. Been here since 1991, year round, and during the summers since 1976. ......
  6. fishpicker

    fishpicker Monkey+

    You'll never go hungry there.
    I make a day trip once a year pre-season.
    Will say howdy next time.
  7. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+++

    People act like this is something new.Well it's not!!
    Untill the 70's,firearms safety,and instruction was common in most rural,and even some urban middle,and high schools.
    They even had teams for competative shooting.My Dad,Uncles,and one of my Aunts were all competative shooters for their high school in the 50's,and 60's.
    No one gave a second thought to seeing teens bringing their cased rifle to school.There were no teen's comming to school to shoot it up either.
    Then came the commie,pinko,fags on the scene,who pushed the idea that guns,and anyone that used them were evil,and dangerous.
    As these libturds aged they infiltrated the schools,government,and other places of power.Hence by the mid 80's firearms instruction had been pushed out of most of our schools,and greatly demonized in society,through indoctrination in those same schools.
    So it's not something new,but been push by the wayside,by the same by the same libturds that have ruined so much of this country.
  8. fishpicker

    fishpicker Monkey+

    Absolutely true and I'm old enough to confirm it.
    But as you say it doesn't fit with todays liberal agendas in our schools so it is pretty darn refreshing to see it happening somewhere.
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    LibTards do not last long in Alaska Schools.... They invariably spout their Ideas and get some of the Parents upset. Then a few parents get together, and they go have a "Meeting" with the Principal. If that doesn't fix the issue, then the School Board gets a few letters, and if that doesn't get the issue fixed, then the School Board gets SACKED, at the next election. The new School board, then SACKS the Principal, AND the Teacher. Sometimes all it takes is a "Letter to the Editor" in the local Paper. This is a State with a "Small Town Mentality" and you mess with what the Parents hold dear, and you are GONE, down the Road, FAST. There have even been a few cases of Parents, and, or, Villages, kindly showing the School Staff, the way to the next Bush Plane, Out of Town.....
    ...... YMMV.....
    Cephus, CaboWabo5150 and Sapper John like this.
  10. fishpicker

    fishpicker Monkey+

    You just gotta luv Alaska!!
  11. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Monkey++

    Just another reason why I'll miss this Great State...
  12. Dropy

    Dropy Monkey+

    GAWD i cant wait to move up there!!!! Soon....soon.....
  13. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    We did not have a shooting team but often we would go duck/deer hunting prior to class and rabbit/squirrel afterwards--sometimes right on the school grounds or close by. It was nothing special to see gun racks in windows or gun cases leaning in cars. Can never remember any problem with them or any accidents. We were all brought up with them and taught safety first.
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