For That Person Who Said We Needed Vision Tests

Congrats to Mr. Completely, for getting a positive article about shooting and shooters into the main stream media. And just a note to “Dog Gone” who suggested we all needed to pass vision tests, like keeping and bearing arms was some kind of privilege doled out by the likes of her:

It’s a trick he’s learned pretty well. The nearly lifelong South Whidbey resident is undoubtedly the island’s quickest and greatest crack shot with a record in Steel Challenge competition shooting to prove it.

He’s also nearly blind.

Suffering from presbyopia, a condition in which the eye loses the ability to focus and makes it extremely difficult to see objects up close, Gallion is severely farsighted. His vision is roughly 20/400.

The condition forces him to wear three different pairs of glasses. It’s a hurdle few in his sport have to contend with — most of those who do well don’t wear glasses at all. However, poor eyesight hasn’t seemed to hurt Gallion’s record.

Since he started a little more than a decade ago, the 67-year-old has secured about 100 first place finishes — at least five of which are state championships — including a gold medal at an international competition in Holland this past May.

If we put Mr. C into a head-to-head competition with successive members of the NYPD, I’d put big money on Mr. C besting all of them, and if I was going to be this guy, I’d certainly feel a lot better with Mr. C behind the trigger than most of the folks the gun control crowd says are “responsible and trained enough” to bear arms. People can find ways to deal with advantages and disadvantages. Bitter is nearly blind too, enough that if she loses her glasses, I’d have to help her find them. Enough that she can’t do well with skeet because the field of vision outside her glasses is so bad she can’t see the bird until it’s practically in front of her. Yet I’m fairly certain she could put 16 rounds into a man sized target at 7 yards, even under stress, without hitting 9 other people.

And “Dog Gone” wants to tell shooters that they need a vision test for exercising a right? I print this stuff because sometimes the nerve of these people appalls me. I’m sure that people like “Dog Gone” and Joan Peterson think themselves big advocates for the rights of people with disabilities in any other context, until they decide they want to exercise their Second Amendment rights, that is. Sure, maybe a disabled hunter would be fine by them, but the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting, and never has been. It’s hard not to walk away with the notion that they absolutely hate people that decide to exercise their rights. In that sense they are all for equality, whether disabled, black or white, rich or poor. They would have everyone equally disarmed and rendered powerless.

13 thoughts on “For That Person Who Said We Needed Vision Tests”

  1. There’s a couple of NJ court cases that have come down (one just recently) that blindness is not a disablement to having a Firearms Purchaser’s ID card (and therefore does not make one a prohibited person).

  2. Its hard to take that Penigma blog seriously. Anyone who uses Wikipedia as a source in a political debate can’t be all there.

    dog goneSeptember 2, 2012 12:56 PM

    wikipedia, Hubert Humphrey entry, on Republican / Conservative racists/ Democratic civil rights advocates:

    …Humphrey gained national fame during these years by becoming one of the founders of the liberal anticommunist Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and for reforming the Minneapolis police force. The city had been named the “anti-Semitism capital” of the country, and the small African-American population of the city also faced discrimination. Humphrey’s tenure as mayor is noted for his efforts to fight all forms of bigotry.

    The national Democratic Party of 1948 was split between those who thought the federal government should actively protect civil rights for racial minorities, and those, who believed that states should be able to enforce racial segregation and infringe on the rights of non-white citizens.

  3. Sure. We can do a vision test as soon as you must pass a rigorous speaking and readingtest before practicing your first amendment rights.

  4. Devil’s advocate, but would the blind person know that the man turning around was holding a gun and not a cellphone?

    Being able to hit a target is great but knowing which one is the target is another thing…

    1. If said man is in my home illegally, I don’t really care if he’s got a cellphone or a firearm, he’s still a threat that I can make out.

    2. Amazingly enough, it IS possible to discriminate a threat under many circumstances even without the ability to see clearly.

      A. Someone kicking my door open at 3AM ain’t there to sell me Girl Scout cookies.

      B. Someone approaching me rapidly, screaming “I’m gonna kill you, m*th*rf*ck*r!”.

      C. Guy approaches me in the WalMart parking lot saying, “Give me your wallet, or I’ll cut you.”

      D. A physical confrontation has already started — whether me or someone I am obligated to protect (like my family).

      Even with vision so bad you are labelled “legally blind”, it can be possible to determine if your life is, indeed, being threatened — even if you cannot tell what is in his hand or make out his face. (BTW, you can be “legally blind” and still able to make out facial features at self-defence ranges.)

      Even with vision so bad you are labelled as “legally blind”, it can be possible to see well enough to shoot defensively — even if you cannot see the sights clearly enough to have a sight picture (paging Jim Cirrilo.)

  5. Only 20/400? My eye-doctor said I had about 20/500+ vision, and I wear three different types of glasses. I wouldn’t even try skeet-shooting without correction, the orange clay would be invisible, rifle shooting iron sights is hard enough.

  6. Ummm, the eye doctors can fix his condition now. Why is he still legally blind?

    1. Presbyopia can’t be fixed with lasik.

      Farsightedness and nearsightedness can be fixed with lasik, but generally by changing the ranges you have focused vision at.

      All lasik can do is change the one range at which he has good vision.

      The ability of the lens in his eye to change its focus is what is ailing him. If he gets lasik to give him near range focus, he will become too blind to legally drive a vehicle.

  7. If a blind man drove a great race, that alone wouldn’t be enough to convince that that he is qualified to drive the public roads.

    Steel Challenge isn’t a stand-in for real life.

    1. Of course not, and if a thousand blind men drive for decades without incident, that too would not be enough. On the other hand, the thousands of mangled bodies caused by young males with automobiles is plenty of evidence that this group is perfectly safe to drive. After all, what’s really important is maintaining our traditions, prejudices, and preconceptions.

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