Long time readers know that I have nothing particular against hunting. Or to be more accurate, that hunting isn’t a hill I’m willing to die on. I grew up in an area that gave kids the first day of buck season off of school, my father was an avid hunter until his disability kept him from the woods, and I personally enjoy venison. Of course, people don’t actually need to go hunting for their meat anymore in the society we have built, and I question why father/child bonding activities/outdoor recreation have to include the murder of an innocent animal, but my non-vegetarian ass isn’t going to pick a fight where I’m the obvious hypocrite.
Frequent visitors probably aren’t aware of my thoughts on things such as Make-A-Wish, because I doubt I have ever had a reason to bring it up, although I am sure they aren’t surprised to hear that I am all for it. Hell, it is the only reason I tolerate the existence of John Cena. Enabling disabled/sick/dying children to have experiences that otherwise would be impossible while helping them to forget, if even for one brief moment, the shitty hand the non-existent creator of the universe dealt them, is a good thing.
And then I read this and have to get all Grinchy.
A visually impaired 13-year-old Pennsylvania girl was able to take her first deer with the help of a local sportsman.
Aw, that’s so swee….Wait, what now? Visually impaired? How visually impaired?
Hoyt said he connected with Hoster through the organization “Moment of Peace Adventures,” a nonprofit whose mission is to send youths, 18 and under, who have a severe physical disability or a life threatening illness on a hunting or fishing trip, according to its website.
Okay, once again, I wish these kids wanted to do something other than murder wildlife, but I’m not picking that fight. If that is their wish, then I am very thankful they get the chance to experience it. But back to the point now, how visually impaired?
Hoster has juvenile glaucoma, according to Hoyt, and has no vision in her right eye and only has 10 percent vision in her left eye. She’s able to see about 16 inches in front of her, he said, and also has other medical issues.
Oh, okay, that’s not too bad I gu… What the Jesus H. pogo sticking Christ!!!? 10% vision in one eye? She can see 16 inches in front of her? And you let her shoot a gun? Nah, that’s crazy. I bet he held the rifle with her and she just pulled the trigger or something.
To help Hoster find the deer, a special iPhone attachment was attached to the rifle scope, Hoyt said. The phone and attachment allowed her to see more clearly.
“It worked like a charm,” he said.
Other than the special attachment, the technique she and Hoyt used to take the deer wasn’t too different from what a person with sight would use, Hoyt said. The adults spotted the deer first and helped her get into position until she found it in the scope. She was able to shoot the deer — a Père David’s deer, specifically — and harvest it by herself.
I give up. Our nation is so in love with its guns that not only can we not pass laws banning high capacity magazines and assault rifles, but we feel that killing things with those guns is so important that we take legally blind people into the woods and let them shoot at things.
I fully expect to be called a child hating Grinch for this post. So be it. I totally support Make-A-Wish and other similar groups, but not every wish is possible. If a blind child’s wish was to drive a lap at Daytona would they strap her into the car with an instructor to talk her through the turns? What if she really wanted to shoot an apple off someone’s head?
I would never tell a disabled person that they were not able to do something, because that is a great way to get proved wrong. Before this story, I had no doubt in my mind that a blind person could shoot a deer, and the story proves that it is possible. But it fails to answer a different question, which is should a blind person shoot a deer?
I am sure they were very careful and took multiple safety precautions. That being said, hunting accidents are depressingly common and that is with hunters who have no vision impairments. Placing a loaded gun in the hands of an individual who can only see 16 inches in front of them, with 10% vision in only one eye, is tempting the hand of fate. I’m sure everyone involved in this story thought that they had their safety bases covered, and that nothing could go wrong.
Just as I’m sure Last Stop gun range thought nothing bad could happen from a nine year old shooting a sub-machine gun on full auto.