Nothing bothers me more than people being told they need to be taken care of. “You’re at a disadvantage, so you can’t do (insert anything here)”.
Bullshit. Disabled… handicapped… handicapable… non-ambulatory… disadvantaged… whatever your preferred non-politically correct term may be (political correctness breeds victimhood, and I refuse to brand anyone a victim), chances are you may be still able to participate in shooting sports, and even defense of your home, property, and family. How, you ask? Lets find out!
The great American tradition of innovation, charity, and capitalism has provided our disabled friends with many advantages and incredible options they’ve never had before. These get better by the day and continue to blow my mind. It’s very encouraging and frankly, warms my heart. I can’t relate to being disabled, so I can’t tell you what it’s like, nor will I pretend to. However, I do have a friend that happens to be a veteran of the Iraq war. He has almost completely lost use of his left arm, and he has trouble firing a rifle, particularly shouldered. Do you think he lets this stop him? Hell NO.
We did a little research together and found a perfect combination for him. An AR-15 in a pistol configuration (seven inch barrel with no stock). Legally this is considered a pistol (depending on what state you’re in). The other part of this combo is the Sig Sauer SB-15. This is a pistol-stabilizing brace that fits over your forearm, while your hold your AR-15 pistol, and helps to effectively stabilize your handle on the firearm.
While this isn’t really new technology, they’ve been around for a few years now, I think this is one of the best examples of an assist for disabled shooters that are in a similar situation. Also, let me tell you, this guy can smoke me at the range with literally one arm tied behind his back using this setup. Sig Sauer also makes one for AK47 pistol variants called the SB-47.
In addition to great technology, there are equally great organizations out there completely dedicated to disabled shooters and firearm owners. They can range from support groups to competitive shooting groups. One that comes to mind is the Disabled Shooting Project (disabledshooting.org.uk) based in the UK. Even the National Rifle Association has a Disabled Shooting Service (http://competitions.nra.org/news-and-events/disabled-shooting-services.aspx) to help people enjoy shooting sports despite any sort of disability or infirmity.
Long story short, there are options out there for you, no matter your condition. It’s up to you whether you want to let your disability or disadvantage get the best of you, or get out on the range and kick some ass. No one is going to shun you because you have to wear a brace, or are chair-bound. The shooting community are some of the nicest people in the entire world, and we always want more folks to come and enjoy the shooting sports we love. You might even end up like my buddy, shooting better than someone like me that isn’t disabled!
Please share your stories! Do you have a disability, but shoot despite it? Do you have a relative or a friend in a similar situation? As always, we love to hear from you, so please share your experiences in the comments below. Happy shooting!