Blind guy gets handgun permit.

Blind guy gets handgun permit.

This is a discussion on Blind guy gets handgun permit. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Well, after the recent discussions here on how the accuracy required to qualify for a permit could be accomplished by a blind person... Blind Man ...

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Thread: Blind guy gets handgun permit.

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Blind guy gets handgun permit.

    Well, after the recent discussions here on how the accuracy required to qualify for a permit could be accomplished by a blind person...

    Blind Man Says Utah Gun Permit Does Not Make Him Dangerous

    May 15th, 2007 @ 2:38pm
    FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A blind man who has concealed weapons permits from North Dakota and Utah says he's not a danger to society, even though he can't see the gun he's shooting.

    Carey McWilliams, 33, says he has followed all rules, and he wants Minnesota to join other states that have granted him a concealed weapons permit. He says he was rejected by a Minnesota county sheriff and a judge in that state.

    "I'm trying to prove a point that people without sight still can carry (a gun) because brains are more important than eyesight in securing public safety," McWilliams said. "The shooter at Virginia Tech had really good eyesight and he killed 32 people."

    Sheriff Bill Bergquist of Clay County, Minn., said he felt bad about denying a permit for McWilliams.

    "He's a super nice guy," Bergquist said. "But the application states that a person should be able to show proficiency on the firing range and a proficiency of the weapons. That's the issue.

    "Sometimes I have to ask myself, what is right in this case? I felt when I denied it, he could have his day in court," the sheriff said.

    McWilliams said he completed the required class and shooting exercise by Paul Horvick, a National Rifle Association instructor. Horvick said he believes gun rights are private and would not comment on anyone he has taught or tested. Documents on Minnesota weapons hearings are sealed.

    McWilliams said he uses special low-range, hollow-point bullets that are effective only in tight quarters.

    "If I use a gun it will be at point-blank range, period," he said. "A sighted shooter is probably more dangerous because they can see something scary and pull their gun in haste."

    Under Minnesota law, an applicant must be issued a license for a gun or a concealed weapon if he or she completes the class and shooting exercise and passes a background check -- unless "there exists a substantial likelihood that the applicant is a danger to self or the public if authorized to carry a pistol under permit."

    McWilliams believes Minnesota officials have violated his constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

    "It's nobody business that I'm blind," he said.

    McWilliams lives in a Fargo trailer park with his wife, Victoria. A neighbor, Jon Storley, accompanied McWilliams during his appeal to the Minnesota District Court.

    "He's not a nut, he's not a weirdo, he's not a freak," said Storley, a cab driver and rock musician. "I'm not a lawyer, but in this case I believe the judge was legislating from the bench."

    Storley also said he doesn't blame Bergquist and Kirk for their decisions, calling the case "a kettle of worms."

    The permit obtained from Utah is recognized in 30 other states, including Minnesota. McWilliams said he had to complete a "firearms familiarity course" before receiving the Utah license.

    "Basically they just passed around a couple of guns," McWilliams said.

    McWilliams, who got his North Dakota permit in 2001, testified during the 2005 North Dakota legislative session against a proposal to drop the written part of the concealed weapons test. He told lawmakers it would allow people who are ignorant about firearm regulations to get permits. The test was eliminated.

    The Legislature also decided to keep individual information about weapons permits confidential, said Liz Brocker, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office.

    "All I can tell you is the total number of permits that have been issued" -- 8,030, she said.

    McWilliams lost his eyesight when he was 10 years old, after a series of headaches and gradual deterioration. It was a mystery to doctors.

    He said he was a victim of domestic violence growing up and was stalked by gang members.

    "I've had situations where I would have felt threatened if I hadn't been carrying," he said.

    McWilliams has written two books, including an autobiography published earlier this year that talks about his experiences in sky diving, scuba diving and deep sea fishing. He was in two segments of Michael Moore's antigun movie, "Bowling for Columbine," including a scene showing him cradling an AK-47 assault rifle.

    Much of his autobiography is about his weapons training and testing.

    "My permits together allow me, with reciprocity, to carry my gun in 30 states, one of which could be yours," he writes. "But never fear, with my extensive experience in firearms, I have take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of others."
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    It's the distinction between rights and needing to ask permission. Puts things in perspective, though, doesn't it? Blind shooter next to me? So long as he's got a good head on his shoulders and only shoots who attacks him ... more power to him.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array PapaScout's Avatar
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    Well, it pains me to report that I have lost several games of pool to a guy who is legally blind. Fuzzy shapes and colors were enough for him to hand my hat to me on a silver platter.

    Most attacks happen at night when it's hard to see anyway. At contact ranges is he really that much worse off than those of us who are sighted?
    "If you so much as bunny hop I'll cut your heart out!" Billy Bob Thornton in The Last Real Cowboys

    "I carry a gun for the same reason that I carry health insurance and a cell phone - be prepared."

  4. #4
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    The blind, the deaf, the mute, the crippled... they all have their full mental capabilities and it always AMAZES me how well they adjust to being in their condition.

    They can do INCREDIBLE things and they can be the most innovative and amazing people and INTELLIGENT. I have no problem with a blind person having a gun as long as he has the mental capacity to understand what he's doing, why he's doing it and has trained with it to accommodate for his loss of sight.

  5. #5
    Member Array Sonic Misfit's Avatar
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    He can still probably shoot better than half the people I see on the range.

    Rights are rights...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not limited by a person's handicaps.

  6. #6
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    I'm glad everyone (so far) approves of this, it made me happy to read the article.

    But I do feel sorry for him that he doesn't get to see his guns, I like just looking at guns.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs down Sorry - Totally Blind - No Way.

    If this guy is totally blind then no way on Earth would I issue him a license to carry a deadly weapon.

    In fact whoever issued him a LTC should be sued in court.

    It sounds real cute and politically correct but it's an insane idea.

    He would not be able to tell what other innocent people are in the immediate vicinity.

    He would not be able to tell if there were a group of little kids standing right behind his attacker.

    He would not be able to make a qualified "Shoot - No Shoot" determination.

    He would not be qualified to make a ricochet determination.

    He would not be able to tell if there was a tanker truck filled with Gasoline or Hydrogen rolling down the street.

    Those are extreme examples but, I could think of 100 other examples where eyesight would be critical in a deadly threat self~defensive situation.

    Yeah...Great! - Point Blank Range Only and the bullet completely sails through the perp and into a school bus window.

    Let's say there was a mad dog running around attacking people and the dog started heading toward the blind guy - a passerby with only moments to react runs over and grabs the blind dude to quickly move him to safety...do you think the passerby - a Good Samaritan should catch a bullet in the heart (point blank) for his trouble?...I don't.
    The blind person (with only seconds to react) would only know that he was being grabbed/accosted and would likely react by presenting his firearm and pulling the trigger in a panic situation.

    There are way too many scenarios where eyesight is absolutely critical to the proper and responsible use of deadly force.

    No Thanks and please do not be offended...Mr. Blind Guy - Nothing Personal but, Stick with a stun gun or anything else less than lethal.

    If the guy is totally blind and wants to shoot supervised at the range then I'm 100% cool with that.
    Out in public...I can't (in good conscience) bite on saying OK to it.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  8. #8
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Sorry but NO WAY I want this guy having a gun in public and even attempting to use it in self defense.

  9. #9
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    The only question I have right now is was he given a chance to show his skills on the range as required by the law?

    Sorry, two questions......... How'd he do?

    Answer those and then come back and discuss whether he gets a permit. I've seen blind folks do some amazing things using sound as a substitute.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  10. #10
    Member Array plblark's Avatar
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    I know his instructor. The instructor is a stand up guy and a good instructor. I have not asked him for details as it's none of my business and it should be confidential.
    For MN specific carry information and a great shooting community, check out forum.twincitiescarry.com

  11. #11
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    I'm all for human beings with less than all 5 senses doing whatever it is they want to do as long as it's not a potential danger to other innocent persons.

    So...my intention is not to "rock the boat" in this thread by voicing unreasonable concerns.

    Hey I would be all for a person with no arm/hands using a firearm with his feet for self defense as long as he could identify his intended target and scope the environment.

    Some things just require an acceptable level of eyesight - our most important sense. That's just the way it is for now until advanced technology might overcome that obstacle .

    I have nothing personal against sightless folks but, I would not ever get operated on by a blind heart surgeon either - and no matter how great and sophisticated auto-pilot may be I would not fly in a commercial jet liner with a blind pilot and co-pilot.

    Sorry - Call me a closed-minded mean guy...it's OK.
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  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    I'm interested to know what these special rounds that he uses are, and just what their limitations are. For now, though, I'll take them at face value, and assume that they are only lethal at contact ranges.

    McWilliams said he uses special low-range, hollow-point bullets that are effective only in tight quarters.
    I have no problem whatsoever with a blind person utilizing lethal force to defend his life, as long as he understands the situations in which he may responsibly use it. This goes for any of us, btw; the only difference is that he has different requirements to ensure a good shoot.

    Let's change the weapon a bit. Let's say that he chooses to carry a fixed blade fighting knife and trains to be competant with it. If he is responsible about his threat assessment, how would this be any different than a pistol using contact-range ammo?

    QKShooter - Your example of the good samaritan can be applied to any one of us, if we're taken by surprise. Are you prepared to give up your right to defend yourself just in case you are surprised and make a bad call?

    This guy is not Helen Keller. He has other senses, he's clearly intelligent and able to function in the world, and he should be allowed to protect himself using the most effective weapon he can responsibly use. Now, he absolutely does have different requirements than us. But if he can use his weapon responsibly, I see no reason for him not to carry it.

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle View Post
    The only question I have right now is was he given a chance to show his skills on the range as required by the law?

    Sorry, two questions......... How'd he do?

    Answer those and then come back and discuss whether he gets a permit. I've seen blind folks do some amazing things using sound as a substitute.
    Standing in front of a paper target that is a set distance away and discerning between a threat and an innocent in a slow motion, adrenaline pumping moment with no eyesight are two different things.

  14. #14
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    I agree with QK and azchevy on this.

    Life dealt Mr. McWilliams a bad hand by robbing him of his sight. That's unfortunate, but *stuff* happens, and we just have to accept it. Mr. McWilliams has obviously not come to grips with this fact.

    Shooting a firearm, driving a motor vehicle and performing surgery all require visual acuity to be accomplished safely. A blind person cannot do these things. They say that loss of sight enhances & strengthens the other senses. Does Mr. McWilliams want us to believe he can identify a deadly threat by sound or smell?

    "The shooter at Virginia Tech had really good eyesight and he killed 32 people."
    So what?

    "If I use a gun it will be at point-blank range, period,"
    How will Mr. McWilliams know it will be at "point-blank" range? By hearing? By touch? By the BG's body odor?

    "It's nobody business that I'm blind,"
    Oh, yes it is.

    "But never fear, with my extensive experience in firearms, I have take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of others."
    He's blind, and he takes "all reasonable measures" to ensure the safety of others? Oh, please.

    No, Mr. McWilliams, you cannot, and should not, carry a firearm because you cannot do it safely and responsibly. You are deluding yourself by thinking you can.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed QK Shooter.
    Common sense needs to prevail here, this is not about restricting peoples freedoms. It's a matter of public safety.
    I'm sure he does not have a motor vehicle operators license either and that would be for good and plainly obvious reasons.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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