Are Second Amendment Rights Protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

(courtesy inquisitr.com)
A Georgia television station’s report raises an interesting and important question: should a person who’s legally blind be “allowed” to exercise their Second Amendment rights? From newschannel9.com . . .

Her father, Sheriff Warren Wethington, taught her how to shoot.

He told Byfield he wants his daughter to be able to protect herself.

“The people who express their opinions that my daughter’s not safe with a gun most likely have never held one, shot one or know anything about one,” Sheriff Wethington said.

“I’m not a threat to society. I’m a law-abiding citizen, and just because I’m legally blind doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a permit to defend myself,” Bethany Wethington told Byfield.

Another person, referred to as Bunch, has a friend who does not want him carrying a pistol, because he cannot see well — even though he trusts him with a gun in his house.

I struck me that preventing a person from exercising their Second Amendment rights, because of a disability, might be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I looked at the ADA website for hints. From ada.gov:

§ 35.130 General prohibitions against discrimination

(a) No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.

That seems fairly straightforward. But how about the claim that blind people are not issued drivers licenses? First, drivers licenses are considered privileges, not a Constitutional right. Second, there is a portion of the ADA that addresses the idea that a disability could make someone dangerous. From ada.gov:

§ 35.139 Direct threat.

(a) This part does not require a public entity to permit an individual to participate in or benefit from the services, programs, or activities of that public entity when that individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

(b) In determining whether an individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, a public entity must make an individualized assessment, based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on the best available objective evidence, to ascertain: the nature, duration, and severity of the risk; the probability that the potential injury will actually occur; and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures or the provision of auxiliary aids or services will mitigate the risk.

It seems that such an assessment would not be too difficult. We know that legally blind people have defended themselves with firearms in their homes. We know that it’s possible for them to do so in public. The burden should be on public entity to show, in each individual case, that there’s a direct threat that cannot be overcome with a reasonable accommodation.

It is not uncommon for people to be partially blinded in an initial attack, and still be able to defend themselves. All of the legal cautions that are normally taught to people with normal vision apply to people who are legally blind, so I do not see anything special there.

I haven’t heard or read of any instances where people have been harmed because a legally blind person shot someone by mistake. This seems to simply be another form of prejudice about disabilities. I suspect that legally blind people are well aware of their limitations, and have spent far more time on determining how to function with those limitations, than people without them have.

The National Federation for the blind issued a statement including this paragraph:

In recent days there has been much discussion about whether blind individuals should be permitted to own and/or carry firearms. The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, understands that guns are dangerous weapons and that anyone who owns, carries, or uses them must therefore exercise great care and sound judgment in doing so. Blindness has no adverse impact on a person’s ability to exercise due care and good judgment. State firearms laws must be applied in a nondiscriminatory manner to blind individuals. Recognizing that laws and regulations regarding the granting of permits to own and/or carry firearms vary throughout our country, our single position on firearms regulation is that a permit to own and/or carry a gun should not be denied to any individual solely on the basis of blindness.

I have not heard of ADA challenges to firearms permit laws that discriminate on the basis of physical disability; but I will not be surprised when one happens.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    Isn’t it true that being legally blind doesn’t mean you see nothing? There’s a threshold of vision one must lack to be legally blind.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      “Legally blind” does not mean “totally blind” necessarily. Like so many other things, I expect it varies with jurisdiction.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        The bar for legally blind isn’t all that high. If you can’t read road signs with corrective lenses, that’s usually enough. Most legally blind people (as opposed to completely blind) can see plenty well enough to identify a close-range threat and put bullets into center mass.

        1. avatar NineShooter says:

          Totally blind North Dakotan Carey McWilliams has had a ND Concealed Weapon Permit since about 2000-2001. He later added a Utah non-resident permit.

          http://www.careymcwilliams.com/faq.htm

          http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/04/us/national-news-briefs-blind-man-gets-permit-for-concealed-weapon.html

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Does it really matter, I think a blind person would do really well shooting a .38 snubby @ bad Breathing distance. It doesn’t matter if completely blind as long as the person is held accountable for any bullets that leave the gun.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Spot on.

        And it goes without saying that a snubby, when used as a contact weapon, requires no vision at all.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          And the blind person could use blanks. If they miss, no harm comes to anyone three feet or farther away from the muzzle. If the blind person “hits” their attacker — literally in contact with their attacker — the attacker will sustain serious damage and have a very strong incentive to cease their attack.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “And the blind person could use blanks.”

          That’s an excellent point. The blast alone on the skin would convince the attacker that they had been shot…

        3. avatar AdamTA1 says:

          When I’m shooting my snubbie at bad breath distances I prefer to close my eyes.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Somebody could redefine “legally blind” to include us all without much trouble. When we have one single case of a legally blind individual abusing his/her RKBA, harming an innocent, let’s discuss it. Getting panicky and passing laws to prevent things which HAVE NEVER HAPPENED is a fool’s errand, bring it up again when it has been proven to be a problem. Being terrified by this “problem” parallels gunfights at the OK corral, blood running in the streets, thousands or tens of thousands of deaths due to traffic confrontations. It is bullshit, ignore it until it is proven to be a problem.

      1. avatar Big Jim says:

        Ditto plus one

  2. avatar Vitsaus says:

    Well, if mental illness is considered a disability, its going to be a tough sell. Back in my gun selling days, we sold a gun to a fully blind guy. I won’t lie, I cringed when he said something like “I’m just going to point it in the direction of the noise and shoot until its empty.” He had a neighbor helping him with the 4473, reading him the questions, and checking the boxes for him based on his answers. She also drove him to the store.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Clearly because mental illness is ALWAYS characterized by violent outbursts? Right?

      Except, you know, Asperger’s Syndrome which IS considered a disability and the people who have it are no more violent than anybody else.

      1. avatar Rokurota says:

        Not to mention the definition of mental illness is constantly changing. I don’t trust the APA to not one day declare hoplophilia a mental illness and cause for involuntary commitment.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Hell, I could support that NOW! OOoops. Was I thinking of hoplophobia? AAaargh.

        2. avatar george from fort worth says:

          he didn’t say “hoplaphobia”. “phobia” is fear; “philia” is affection for.

      2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        Autistic children CAN be very violent. Ask me how I know.

        1. avatar Kyle says:

          They can be, but it is not a facet of the condition of Asperger’s.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          Aspergers is not Autism. The decision to put it in the Autism spectrum is a political smear campaign by people who want to push drugs on perfectly healthy people.

        3. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          I realize this. I am just pointing out that there is a “diagnosing” spectrum, and at one end you have possible violence and at another you have social awkwardness.

        4. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Well, hey. I happen to know a kid with Aspergers, if you heard the way he talks to his mother, you’d have a difficult time calling him “healthy”.

  3. avatar Roymond says:

    How would a blind person pass the range portion of a concealed carry class? We had to demonstrate we could at least hit the target (anywhere on the upper body half counted).

    BTW, this interests me as I am covered by the ADA though not for blindness.

    1. avatar On the can all day says:

      Georgia has no class requirement. But for another state, good question.

    2. avatar Kendahl says:

      My state also requires a shooting test. As a joke, a shooter was blindfolded and pointed in the right direction. He passed the test.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      The original question did not address carry, but ownership. I think. But consider carry in Vermont, for 225 years, how many problems have they had with the blind? Bringing up bullshit nonexistent problems is our opponents’ job, let’s not do it for them.

  4. avatar Big Jim says:

    This kind of hit home for me, I lost my left eye from an IED explosion In Afghanistan. It also cause severe damage to my right eye which basically got sand blasted by the pressure wave. I have a concealed weapons permit and have had one for over 20 years now.I believe every citizen Law-abiding that is Should have the right to keep and bear arms. I can still shoot at 21 feet A 2 inch group Just from years and years of shooting. My first handgun was a 1911 that I received from my father at the age of 11 years old. I was brought up around guns And how to use them safely, and correctly.I respect The weapon, And follow all safety rules and regulations because I’m a law abiding citizen.Just because I may be visually impaired doesn’t mean that I do not still possess my constitutional rights, end of story! I know my limitations and won’t push past them End of story. This is all because I’m a law abiding gun owner and citizen of this country.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I am with YOU, dude, thank you for your service and sacrifice! Please keep sticking your nose in here to keep us all honest!

  5. avatar Gunsplain says:

    I have a few disabilities.

    I can’t fistfight a crowd.
    I don’t have lethal backup because of my career choice.
    I don’t have skin like Luke Cage.

  6. avatar Cliff H says:

    “In recent days there has been much discussion about whether blind individuals should be permitted to own and/or carry firearms.”

    And here is the recurring fallacy in all of these discussions. “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The question is NOT: “…whether blind individuals should be permitted to own and/or carry firearms.”, but whether or not the government has the authority to infringe on their right to own and/or carry firearms. I believe the Constitution is clear on this subject and so the argument is moot.

    I do believe that persons who are deaf or legally blind should be strongly encourage to carry concealed due to situational awareness limitations.

  7. avatar ARluv says:

    The most recent example that many people talk about is the Sig brace. Some people say that the ATF has not banned the brace and cannot ban the brace for the simple reason that it allows those with limited mobility to fire a “pistol” that would otherwise be unwieldy with one hand.

  8. avatar James in AZ says:

    I’d rather have totally blind people opening up in the hood than gobbermint having another means of controlling our lives.

    It’s the blind’s personal judgment, none of anyone else’s biz

  9. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Not as though a blind person rolls up during a mall shooting and declare they got your back. Most likely their DGU’s are going to under 3 feet.

    Allow them carry and be exposed to the same laws as sighted people. Miss and hit a bystander your legally responsible.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      This should never be about “allowing” them to carry. It is and should always be about not infringing on their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

      1. avatar Mk10108 says:

        Noted. Regardless what the parchment says about not infringing, I’m allowed to CCW carry in CA.

  10. avatar Amfivena says:

    I’d say don’t worry about it and leave people to make their own choices. When a blind person shoots someone and the government thinks it was unlawful or negligent, then let’s have the conversation about capabilities in front of a jury.

  11. avatar TXGungal says:

    I’ve been wearing glasses for nearsighted vision, since grade school. Get eye exam annually, new Rx glasses as needed. Got my CHGL a couple of years ago. Used a Bersa Thunder 380 for range qualification, not best or worst score but passed, Even without glasses, not legally blind. I can see, just at a far distance things are fuzzy,
    If you can see well enough to hit what you are aiming for, you should be able to own pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, legally.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      If you breath and are in America legally the Second Amendment protects your right to keep and bear arms. This right “…shall not be infringed.”

  12. avatar CLarson says:

    Did I miss the huge lobby of blind people agitating to drive cars? I am pretty sure they understand driving without being able to see is suicidal. Blind people can make responsible choices regarding armed self defense as well as the rest of us. They know their own limitations. We shouldn’t patronize them.

  13. avatar Sam I Am says:

    An interesting that is not seriously addressed by snipes, slogans or other self-righteous bragging (not that there has been any to this moment, about 10 comments in).

    The question takes some deliberate consideration. The first item to be answered: “is the second amendment absolute, different from any other constitutional right?” The answer here may stop discussion completely, or allow further exploration.

    If we get beyond the first question, the next questions seem to be, “what does blind mean”? There are degrees of “legally blind”, already noted. Should a person with any degree of blindness be required to demonstrate an ability to follow “the four rules” before being allowed gun ownership?

    If a “blind” person is allowed to own and deploy a gun, is the gun restricted entirely to the inside of a business or home that is intimately familiar to the “blind” person?

    Can a “blind” person be allowed to deploy a gun in a place other than home or business?

    The next thing I would like to introduce is the fact that drive-in restaurants are required to have their drive-in window menu listed in Braille. Curious, or ridiculous?

  14. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    YES-but I am not a legal scholar or play one on TV. Hey I was at Cabelas and a guy with no fingers was buying a gun. Shall not be infringed…

  15. avatar Paul53 says:

    They have braille on drive thru ATM’s. If they can drive, let em shoot.

  16. avatar Kyle says:

    IMO, if the person is responsible and thus knows their limits, and they can make out the basic shape of a person, then yes. If you mostly see things in a blur, but can make out the basic shapes of people and be able to shoot them center mass, then you should be fine. And you of course don’t need to be able to see at all if someone is on top of you trying to pound your face in to be able to pull out a gun, press it into them, and pull the trigger.

  17. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Totally blind? In public? No. You can’t handle the weapon safely. I know, there are examples to the contrary. So what? I’m sure there are examples of DGUs by six year olds. I’m not giving them licenses to carry, either.

    1. avatar Big Jim says:

      It’s a good thing you’re not in charge of giving licenses to anyone!The Second Amendment protects everyone that’s a legal citizen in the US Even blind people!

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Jon if you are ever mugged and hit over the head with a club and lose your eyes/vision, do you think you still have the right to continue defending yourself or do you give up and take the beating?

    3. avatar 2Asux says:

      Wow, are you in for it.

      1. avatar On the can all day says:

        Wow, you hate the blind.

        1. avatar 2Asux says:

          Nope, I just expect your comment to receive some really bad action from 2A absolutists; that’s all. The issue of the blind owning/carrying firearms is something that could easily generate knee-jerk responses. It will be interesting to see how the community responds. The proposition is worth serious consideration.

  18. avatar Paul says:

    I own a gun. And I have a concealed carry permit. But I do not believe that the right to own a gun is absolute.

    There are people in society who should not have guns due to anger management and mental health issues. There are also some people, able bodied or not who cannot safely handle a weapon

    Of course these sorts of exceptions must be made on case by case basis. But they still must be made.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Who makes that decision? You? That is part of the irony of our system. Freedom! Freedom to have protected rights and freedom to F things up. Once you F things up then your freedom can be limited after due process, not before. Everyone in America should have the ability to choose, I have talked to more than a few people that admit they are unable to carry a gun due to anger issues, but just because person A is hot headed does not mean person B who is also hot headed will react the same way. Again America is about liberty and Freedom. Until you become king you don’t get to make that choice for anyone.

    2. avatar 2Asux says:

      Okaaaayy, a non-absolutist concerning 2A; sound collision alarm, brace for impact.

      1. avatar On the can all day says:

        Says the racist that wants all blacks disarmed.

        1. avatar 2Asux says:

          Now that is a libelous comment. Never have I written a racist comment, or one that could, even while drunk, be perceived by a reader as racist. I was commenting that by not shouting out that 2A is absolute, you are open to rough handling by many of the people on this blog.

        2. avatar On the can all day says:

          I bet you’ve said the N word before though, haven’t you? Explain yourself.

        3. avatar 2Asux says:

          Why would I use the ‘N’ word, anywhere? Why would you suspect I did?

          My original response was related to a comment that did not take the position that there is no such thing as a “reasonable” restriction on 2A. That thinking usually results in rabid attacks. My comment was a reminder of that.

          But let’s look at your responses. Why the suspicion? Why the unfounded accusation? Is this the limit of your ability to carry on a conversation?

          I do not understand an unwarranted personal attack, unless that is just, as suspected, the common denominator of gun owners.

        4. avatar On the can all day says:

          Stop dodging the question. I’m helping you come to terms with your racism, sense of superiority, and privledge. Now, when was the first time you ever thought, the N word?

        5. avatar 2Asux says:

          What is with this racism stuff? Before you make such an accusation, you need to have some grounds for the attack. Or maybe such attacks are just projection, eh?

        6. avatar On the can all day says:

          You believe all guns should be banned, yes?

        7. avatar 2Asux says:

          I think gun owners should be treated no different than surgeons, beauticians and lawyers. Improving the competence of gun owners to keep everyone around them safe is a step in the direction of further reducing NDs. If training and certification achieves that goal, I, and many pro gun-safety people, are happy to let it go at that. If gun owners continue to refuse to look at reality, continue to insist there can be no “infringement” of any kind (which already exist), then confiscation might be the only answer available. A disciplined gun owner is a benefit to society at large. A trained gun owner is made aware of the heavy responsibility of ownership (one time lecture is not enough). A gun owner reminded often of where they are, what they are doing, and the consequences of a single thoughtless move is a benefit to themselves and society. Training and certification should be provided at no cost to the owner (or maybe as a piece of the purchase price of the gun). If a gun owner does not get and maintain certification, then any ND should have more severe penalties that an ND caused by one trained and certified. Why the trained owner gets a lighter punishment? The trained owner cared enough to be and act responsibly.

    3. avatar TP says:

      Okay, listen up people. I agree with some specific comments and concerns with respect to individuals with disabilities and the concern with firearms of possession and acquisition. I have ten years in the security industry working directly with the mentally ill and working with people in conflict with the law. I have dealt with many intense and stressful situations with being on the front line working with very critically ill persons including persons of contagious diseases like HIV, Hep C, MRSA, including mental health in hospital settings etc.

      I strongly feel that too many people using this site are jumping to way too many early conclusions way to fast without properly investigating and having access to those deep background checks and then of course making a fair informed decision case by case regardless of a person with a disability.

      For example, if you had a guy with a profound developmental disorder who lived in a group home and could not live independently at all and could not understand reasonable verbal reasoning. Well then it would be common sense that this person could not handle a firearm safely and for that matter own a firearm.

      Another example if you had a guy who suffered from mental illness, had both a criminal and psychiatric record, was known to police and had behavioral problems. Again, obvious this person would not be a safe choice with possessing a firearm.

      If you had a person for example that had a learning disability like he was dyslexic and had serious behavioral problems with both a police and psychiatric record with a risk of harm to others and himself with a reasonable risk to reoffend. Then again of course we would not want this person to have access to firearms.

      Now I am going to list an example in between complete black and white called a “grey area”.

      You have either a male and female that is of legal age for example 21 years old and was diagnosed with a “mild learning disability” that does not impair him or her by verbal reasoning and general functioning reasoning and or cause them to react in a dangerous manner to themselves, others and their environment in a behavioral and risky manner.

      In this situation, they were involuntary committed ten years or longer ago because of suicide attempting and for example depression and anxiety, back in their quite early teens. In this situation, their diagnose was not long-term issue for him and or her depression and anxiety.

      They have no criminal record, no risk to harm themselves and others in any manner as per “multiple mental health professional’s medical opinion”, their doctors, their “professional references” including parents have no safety concern. There mental health professional has indicated their reoccurrence risk is very low and there not and perceived not as a threat in general. However, they do have past mental health history.

      They have never been in trouble with the law “juveniles”, their mental health professional has clinically stated that in no way they would be at risk when handling any firearms and as per doctor there are no further concerns as mental health is cleared but on file.

      This would be a gray area situation, because if you were to exclude this specific type of person, when they were qualified to possess and acquire a firearm for legal possession and hunting purposes for example and to legally possess a firearm with zero risk to the public.

      It would then not just be morally wrong, but it would as well directly discriminate against a class of persons “persons with disabilities” for non-justified reasons, which could be classified as illegal and discriminatory “against the law” and against the People with Disabilities Act depending on where a person resides country of course.
      Because the reason for excluding the person had nothing to do with “concrete background and screening proof that the person was not qualified” to possess a firearm in a safe manner and there is no proof to indicate a public safety or health risk to anybody. Therefore, it just proves that a restriction would be a slander based on a just a random perception of what the person could do off chance instead of what is the case by case.

      Well then this has nothing to do with any realistic legal threat and or a person’s mental competency to safely both handle and possess firearms. This would then just be a discriminatory barrier profiling people with disabilities that are thought to be characterized criminals and crazy just because they have a medical mental disability on their medical record.

      When it comes to common sense and legality there is proof and there are usually fair and realistic decisions which are made on a case by case basis with respect to firearm licensing in most countries. Usually the background testing is every five years.

      Meaning that you can not really say well because he has a form of high functioning autism, learning disability and or history of mild depression “history of mental illness or disability for example, then would for sure then that preclude him from firearm handling and possession.

      However, people I agree that to either possess a firearm, you are required to be firearm licensed with a rigorous background review consisting every three to five years. Also, to note a firearms license and or the realistic ability to have access to possess a firearm, handle firearms and possess any ammunition is “not a constitutional human right by far”, it is a “privilege” provided to specific responsible individuals that meet very tight legal and medical guidelines and background checks, medical documentation including criminal record checks.

      For obviously reasons firearms are not generally available to everybody in the community and public which is a safe thing and is very legal in the legal system. However, we can not say and just slander a person with a disability, their history of mental illness, diagnosed disability like learning disability, legally blind that require glasses, physical disability on just assume great presumption. You have to legally proof in court and or by detailed back ground checks that beyond a reasonable doubt that these specific persons like people with disabilities are for sure incompetent specifically in handling firearms safely and that these persons are a realistic public safety threat where there is a likely chance they will offend and or be at risk to the public.

      The sad problems are that there are 200 different people with 200 different types of all disabilities including both physical and mental disability with as well 200 people with the same type of diagnosis with their specific disability affecting them 200 different times. If we just to barrier someone because of their personal characteristics, then this has nothing to do with gun prevention and control, but has to do with just not wanting people with disabilities as a like owning or handling a firearm for personal reasons not legal reasons. Where many of us would be then in direct conflict of specific laws and then this would not be necessary using any common sense of normal logic but just perceived random strong opinion. So in all reality yes persons that are not capable of handling firearms should not handle firearms, simple.

      Feel free to comment folks, would love to hear different views, replies and further comments.

  19. avatar Paul says:

    I must also point out that a large seeing eye dog could be an effective deterrent. 75 pounds of muscle and teeth will make many potential assailants think twice

  20. avatar TwinReverb says:

    I don’t think they should be allowed to have guns if their vision is so poor that they can’t aim and hit their target. They’re only setting themselves up for failure. And a grave one at that: will “I’m blind” be a sufficient legal defense should they accidentally kill an innocent bystander?

    Not saying I want it to be illegal for the blind to own guns. I’m saying they’re being very irresponsible. And I’m never going to support them having guns, though I don’t want there to be a law against it.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Your right, I’m blind should not be a suitable legal defense if they hit an innocent. That still doesn’t mean that you get to tell them they can’t defend themselves with modern protection. As I said above they should be able to choose, and also be responsible for every shot they take, as should we all. Again a blind person at bad breath distance with a snubby would get the job done. I may suggest frangible ammo to help with decreased pass through, but never require it. As for the let them drive comment below, they have a right in the 2A, but the privilege to drive is something that is not completely covered in the constitution.

    2. avatar Arkansas kurt says:

      My older brother’s best friend from high school is more than just legally blind. He is totally blind. He also has the largest firearms collection of anyone I know, and makes a living as an ffl, selling mostly through gunbroker. (mishaco) free plug for my buddy. He also has a small firearms blog (ozarkbeararms). I have bought many rifles from him and he managed to find me an absolutely beautiful may 1944 garand a few years back. anecdotal, I know. However the only blind person I know is very capable of owning quite a vast collection and has yet to cause harm to anyone.

      1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

        I’ve seen that guy on youtube! What an extremely knowledgeable collector.

  21. avatar TwinReverb says:

    Hey, I know, let’s let them drive! I mean, come on, it’s their God-given right to travel wherever they want, right?

    1. avatar On the can all day says:

      You know, I trust the blind behind the wheel more than all the millennials who can’t see the road because Facebook is in the way.

  22. avatar Chris. says:

    Yes, unless you’re a proven danger to yourself & or others.

    Next question?

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      How does gun rules

      #3 Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

      and

      #4 Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

      … work when you cannot see?

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Contact shots.

      2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        Always be sure of your target, It’s possible if getting attacked to know where your target is, ever tried sparring while blindfolded in martial arts?

        Be sure what is beyond, this goes with situational awareness. If you heard screaming women running for cover I wouldn’t shoot, if I had just been near a wall I might shoot that way. Ears become sharper with the loss of vision. If I myself was blind and I chose to carry, I would choose a snub nose revolver with frangible ammunition.

  23. avatar On the can all day says:

    Typical liberal statists have always been oppressive to the disabled. They are a real drag on the state.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Agreed, now on to the banning of Muslim/Hindu/Jewish/Atheist/Wican citizens practicing their 1st amendment rights too. The readers on here sometimes perplex me, you can take old blind Joe’s guns/rights but not mine.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        This seems out of place because I read On the Can’s post a bit wrong, I “imagined” it said “real drag on this site”.

  24. avatar Pascal says:

    This disable gun right group has tried to sue for their gun rights many times and have a separate suite right now going after the stupid post Sandy Hook gun laws
    https://www.facebook.com/DisabledAmericansForFirearmsRights

    The courts have pretty much shut them down although they keep trying.

  25. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    It’s a sad statement on our society when we accept violations of the Bill of Rights yet concern ourselves about the violation of a mere law. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

    This came up a couple years ago in Iowa when some reporter figured out that the legally blind were not prohibited from obtaining a Weapons Carry Permit. No one seemed to care that a permit is required to carry a knife with a blade longer than 5″ or to carry a taser concealed, but the usual gaggle of cackling hens crowed about blind people shooting up the state. As usual, the general lack of blood in the streets was mostly unreported.

  26. avatar MD Matt says:

    Let’s not mince words. If you feel that a blind person shouldn’t be able to carry a firearm in public (concealed or otherwise) because of the risk they pose to bystanders, please explain how the blind person’s lack of sight makes them any less capable than a person with 20-20 vision walking around at night. The natural reaction when thinking about Americans carrying blind is to think about some jack wagon unloading his magazine in whatever direction he pleases with no attention to where the rounds are going. I am going to assume that this is a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the commentators and not a reasoned response.
    There are plenty of situations where a sighted person will feel threatened where we trust them not to initiate a mag dump. Blindness doesn’t take away one’s ability to reason. Blindness doesn’t remove one’s ability to assess the risks of one’s choices. Sure, there are less circumstances where a blind or legally blind person can safely use a firearm in self-defense but there are circumstances where such steps are warranted and can be undertaken safely. Blindness, no matter the degree, is not a mental disorder.
    The only reason to strip a person of their firearms rights simply on the basis of their visual acuity is fear. This is exactly the argument used by the disarmament complex when targeting gun owners. “What if?” or “They might.” I normally end this sort of comment with “with respect” or the like but hang it all. My rights do not end simply because someone else is unreasonably afraid of something I have not done, something I have no preference to do, and something I am manifestly capable of avoiding. Please do not surrender to fear—it is unbecoming a mostly free society.

    1. avatar Big Jim says:

      Amen brother! It’s all about the freedom.

  27. avatar zaphod says:

    There’s been a lot of theoretical talk about blind folk heretofore, but it ain’t all that complicated…

    Can blind folk safely manipulate a firearm? Dunno, were you in the service back in the day when they expected you to field strip and re-assemble a firearm blindfolded?

    So, you get down to the basic safety rules; particularly in this case to know your target and what’s behind it. Keeping in mind that there are blind idiots just like any other kind of idiot: An intelligent blind person isn’t going to try to emulate a sniper.

    I know a bunch of blind folk, having married one, and several who live in neighborhoods that I’ve thankfully long since fled have asked me about guns. My response is that for HD, any gun, long or short, that you can naturally point is good. (I know several folks who could make a bedroom doorway a very dangerous place from diagonally across the room.) For carry, where knowing your target implies belly distance, I gotta think a J-frame in 22Mag is the thing.

    My spouse doesn’t do the carry thing, not only because I’m more than just the “designated driver,” but because we’re now old farts in a pretty quiet neck of the woods avoiding dumb people at dumb places at dumb times.

  28. avatar JohnF says:

    I did a little ‘net research on this. The federal standard for “legally blind” comes from the Social Security Administration. The standard is someone whose vision cannot be corrected to at least 20/200 in the better of the two eyes, or a field of vision of less than 20 degrees. Keep in mind this is based on the Snellen test, where the eye doc says, “What is the lowest line you can read?” So it’s geared toward reading, not shooting.

    There are 20/200 visual simulations on the web. Someone at 20/200 could reliably see gun sights and make out a human shape. I see no reason they could not get center of mass hits out to 7 yards. They may not be able to ID the facial features of the target or if the target had something in his hands, they may not be able to distinguish what that object was. But I think if they had all their other shooing basics down, they should be able to pass a basic shooting test at a range.

    Not making a point, just food for thought.

  29. avatar Craig Bradburn says:

    I am a C-6 quadriplegic. Let me explain some things about the ADA and where is fails and falls short, at least for a person in a wheelchair. This is the only Civil Rights legislation that has not been fully enacted or enforced since its passage. It was written in 1990 and updated in 1994. No other legislation has taken 26 plus years to be enforced.

    Here are 3 quick examples (2 of them are privileges and the third a tight): 1. Housing – I live in Central Indiana. I cannot find a regular apartment complex that has the accommodations I need. Roll in shower, roll under sinks, roll under cooktop. Sure they have “accessible” apartments, which means I can get in them, but they are not livable. I need to be able to roll under a sink so I can brush my teeth, shave, wash my hands, etc. 2. Transportation – Try to go to a regular dealership like Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, Honda, or Toyota and try to find a vehicle with a wheelchair lift. You will not find one. When I need a vehicle I have to pay for the vehicle and then spend an additional $20,000 – $40,000 to make it accessible. And then try to get a loan for the extra costs. Those 2 are privileges. The third example is a right the Second Amendment Right to be exact. I have limited use of my fingers and have no control over my trunk muscles. I cannot safely fire a handgun, even with a Sig Brace, but I can safely fire a shotgun or rifle. When I do use a shotgun I have to use a chest strap so I do not fall over. Carrying a regular rifle or shotgun for self defense is not an option. I do, however, carry a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 on my wheelchair everyday. I would not win any fast draw competitions, but in the case of an active shooter I would be able to defend myself.

    Since I need a shoulder fired weapon and do not believe I should have to pay the extra $200.00 fine, wait 2 months, and then get a permission slip anytime I want to cross state lines here is what I have tried to do using the ADA. 1. Requested a waiver from the ATF. It was denied. 2. Asked my Representative to request a waiver. It was denied. 3. Filed a discrimination complaint with the DOJ. It was denied because they said I have filed a law suit, which I have not yet. 4. Wrote an appeal letter to the DOJ asking for a review. I have not gotten an answer yet. 5. Asked my Senator to request a waiver from the ATF. I have not heard back yet. I have also contacted the ACLU, but they have not responded.

    So even though the ADA exists, don’t count on it to save the rights of any individual because it lacks teeth and does not go far enough. The ADA has made a big difference since it has been passed, but it still does not protect our rights to keep and bear arms.

    And to answer the question – it should protect the rights of the blind to keep and bear arms, but don’t count on it.

    PS – The worst accessible buildings around here are Government offices and doctor offices.

  30. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    raises an interesting and important question: should a person who’s legally blind be “allowed” to exercise their Second Amendment rights?
    Sure why not? While we are at it let us just deny them all of their rights. Makes life simpler for the government.

  31. avatar Peter B says:

    I’m legally blind, and have had need of my firearm for my self-defense more than once. I have carry licenses from my home state + two others. But if the government decided to make it illegal for me to own and carry a gun, I would quietly go about my business anyway. Currently I’m quite the boysccout about carrying only where legal for me, etc, but if some jackwagon somewhere decided to take the right away from me entirely I would suddenly have no reason to care anymore.
    No one is going to tell me I don’t have the right to effective self-defense. I will take responsibility for my actions, I’m a big boy in that regard, and I will work within the limitations I’ve been handed by my physical disability, but if anybody thinks they can make that decision for me they can go take a long walk off a tall building.

  32. avatar NineShooter says:

    Totally blind North Dakotan Carey McWilliams has had a ND Concealed Weapon Permit since about 2000-2001. He later added a Utah non-resident permit.

    http://www.careymcwilliams.com/faq.htm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/04/us/national-news-briefs-blind-man-gets-permit-for-concealed-weapon.html

  33. avatar Phil Wong says:

    If my glasses get broken or knocked off in a fight, I’m down to 20/400+ vision(my optometrist wouldn’t get more specific than that, he just said that with optical prescriptions as strong as mine, it’s pretty much academic when you get higher than 20/400). Without my glasses, I can still distinguish shapes and colors out to 40-50 yards, but I cannot distinguish details like lettering or facial features past about 5-7 yards. Since my vision is *correctable* to better than 20/200, I’m not technically “legally blind” without my glasses, but it’s still pretty bad.

    In November 2013, I shot the qualification course of fire for the Massad Ayoob Group MAG-40 class with my Glock 19, OEM Meprolight night sights, and non-prescription lenses in my shooting glasses, in front of about 25-30 students, staff instructors, and Massad F. Ayoob himself – just to see how I might be able to shoot under pressure without my corrective lenses. My final score was 297/300, which means that I had zero misses and only 3 shots outside of the A-zone of a standard IPSC cardboard target, over 60 shots fired at distances between 4 yards and 15 yards. I wasn’t nearly as fast as Mas and the other instructors, but I met the allotted time limits and still got the hits on target. Honestly, the hardest thing to do was to make sure I shot the right target – I had to consciously count targets from the end of the line before each string of fire, to distinguish between my target and a couple dozen other identical targets. As long as I don’t get attacked by a bad guy wearing the exact same clothes as an innocent bystander, I should be OK…  

    Bottom line – don’t assume that you know what someone else is or isn’t capable of, and don’t assume that you can or can’t do something until you try.

  34. avatar h2s says:

    I think we have a case against CA, NY etc for the magazine capacity bans and bullet button. My mom has really bad arthritis and could never reload a magazine in a reasonable time or operate a bullet button.

  35. avatar Jim Macklin says:

    Until I got old I was a professional pilot. I had a waiver from the FAA that required I have eye glasses. Without my glasses I was legally blind. With properly fitted glasses I was 20/15, w/o glasses I was 20/200.
    If I am attacked on the street and they knock my glasses off I can still see them. But I won’t be able to read their T-shirt logo.
    Astigmatism.
    Or I could just use the Force and my light saber.

    Part 1 of the U.S. definition of legal blindness states this about visual acuity:

    A visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better-seeing eye with best conventional correction (meaning with regular glasses or contact lenses).

    This is a 20/200 visual acuity measurement, correlated with the Snellen Eye Chart (pictured above):

    If you can only read line 1 (the big “E”) from 20 feet away while wearing your regular glasses or contact lenses, the doctor records your vision (or visual acuity) as 20/200 with best correction.
    Update: In 2007, the Social Security Administration updated the criteria for measuring legal blindness when using newer low vision test charts with lines that can measure visual acuity between 20/100 and 20/200. Under the new criteria, if a person’s visual acuity is measured with one of the newer charts, and they cannot read any of the letters on the 20/100 line, they will qualify as legally blind, based on a visual acuity of 20/200 or less.

    Part 2 of the U.S. definition of legal blindness states this about visual field:

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email