Being one, I strongly believe that 99 times out of 100, blind people are much more competent in just about every aspect of life than the general public gives us credit for. Every day, blind people all over the world are completing tasks ranging from the mundane to the insane unhurt and without incident.
But of course, there is the matter of that pesky 100th time, and that’s where I must disagree with our friends from the National Rifle Association.
For some stupid reason or other, they wouldn’t mind all that much if I were allowed to carry a gun. Or maybe they would, since they seem to be trying to get this video disappeared from the internet. Good luck with that, by the way.
I get the part about not wanting to strip people of their rights just because of a disability, and there’s certainly value in the statement about falling on the side of freedom. But that doesn’t change the fact that we’re talking about blind people carrying guns. the mere thought of this, and keep in mind that this is coming from a blind guy, is completely batshit.
Let me ask you a question. Should I be allowed to drive a cab? I hope you immediately said “Of course not!”, because that’s the right answer. In my hands, a taxi is a dangerous weapon, even though I should be allowed to earn a living just like anyone else. Public safety and good old common sense basically say screw you blinky, go do something else for your money, and so they should.
Now let’s translate that logic to guns. In the hands of anyone, even those who are highly trained, guns are dangerous weapons. I say this leaving aside my personal belief that nobody who isn’t using a gun to kill her own food should be allowed to own one. Accidents happen. All it takes is a split second of panic for an innocent person to wind up injured or worse. And this is now, when folks like me aren’t allowed to legally cart one around town with us.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a blind person throw something, but I can tell you from experience it isn’t always pretty. For even the best of us, our aim can be pretty much crap. Just the other weekend, for example, Brother Brad and I were playing a few fun games with family that involved ball throwing. Even with somebody standing essentially where we were supposed to land it and making funny noises at us, we still managed to miss the target by miles and miles about 3 quarters of the time. And this is when we’re having fun. In a high stress situation, there’s no target yelling “I’m over here!”, and no time to set and fire, not that it matters since obviously we can’t be assured we’re going to hit it anyway.
And while it’s tempting to go along with the close range argument, what happens if our robber/rapist/murderer wrestles the gun away from us? We’re right back where we started. No, we’re actually worse off, because now the son of a bitch probably has 2 weapons to use on us. Thanks for helping me die faster, NRA. This isn’t even a blind vs. sighted issue, either. It applies to anybody. Your weapon gets stolen, you’d better be able to run quickly in the proper direction…another thing we blindies aren’t necessarily the best at, and for largely similar reasons to those which make gun ownership a spectacularly dumb idea.
So while I appreciate that the NRA wants to stand up for the rights of the disabled, it would be nice if just once they took a break from their usual business of making sure we can all kill each other because “Constitution, dammit!” and put some of that activist energy towards helping us break down some of the barriers we face that are…what’s the word I’m looking for here…important? Yes, important. We’ve got enough to worry about day to day in this society without the threat of the inevitable lawsuit or life sentence that’s going to crash down on us when we kill the wrong person in the name of safety.