10 Year Old Patience (Photo Credit: Niki Jones)
Mini Sure Shots-Training the Next Generation of Responsible Shooters
Niki Jones of Sure Shots Magazine Explains the beginning of Mini Sure Shots
hen I started Austin Sure Shots Women’s Pistol League over five years ago, my main goal was to provide the women of Central Texas a free network of support and instruction as they made the decision to defend themselves with firearms. Over time, we expanded our defense-oriented focus to include shooting sports. But the one aspect of Sure Shots that I am probably the most proud of is our ever-growing gaggle of Mini Sure Shots.
What started off as some general interest in shooting by a few Sure Shot ladies’ daughters has turned into a real, legitimate training course we developed for our "Mini Sure Shots," and this summer we had our fourth one. These young girls already had one thing going for them: their moms are Sure Shots, so safety, training, responsible gun handling and ownership are top priorities.
"…their moms are Sure Shots, so safety, training, responsible gun handling and ownership are top priorities."
10 Year Old Chloe (Photo Credit: Niki Jones)
From the very start, Austin-based firearms training and security company BSG has hosted this event and worked with us to develop the course curriculum. "It is such a huge thing to see the Mini Sure Shots learn the right way from the beginning," BSG owner Kent Morrison says, "While we absolutely have included correct skills and proper techniques in the curriculum, the value in being able to impress safety above all else from the very start—before any bad habits have a chance to set in-is immeasurable for these young girls."
7 Year Old Meghan (Photo Credit: Niki Jones)
We agree that it’s incredibly important to teach safety and respect for firearms to kids of all ages, and ultimately take the "mystery" out of guns. We train them first in safety, and it isn’t until they fully comprehend safety that we begin to teach them technique. It seems like it would be a given, but we always like to reiterate that these kids don’t have access to guns other than when they are in a heavily-supervised and coached training environment.
4 Year Old Giuilana (Photo Credit: Niki Jones)
This summer, our Mini Sure Shots training course consisted of girls ages 4 through 13. Our 4-year-old student Giuliana was the youngest Mini Sure Shot we’d seen yet (before her, our youngest was 6). Giuliana had expressed an interest in shooting, and her dad wanted her to begin learning about safety and to witness proper and safe gun handling and overall respect for guns, as well as proper shooting technique. So, he got her a pink CO2 pistol and her training began. All the girls, including Giuliana, rang steel consistently all day long. Little girls, in my opinion, are the greatest students. They’re methodical, they listen… they want to do it right. They were so proud of themselves, and more than a few of them proved they’re ready for competition—four of the girls from this year’s group have begun shooting matches!
Mini Sure Shots - 2013 (Photo Credit: Niki Jones)
Mini Sure Shots - 2015 (Photo Credit: Niki Jones)
ABC News Nightline did a story about the Mini Sure Shots Training in 2013
Niki Jones is the Founder and President of Sure Shots, Texas’ Women’s Shooting League, as well as the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Sure Shots Magazine. She has been featured on ABC News’ ‘Nightline’, CNN’s ‘Erin Burnett OutFront’, and many other news outlets regarding women and shooting. Niki is a certified pistol instructor and also holds her state commission as a Personal Protection Officer.
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