WEST SALEM, Wis. (WXOW) – Physical limitations didn’t get in the way of four marksmen. Some may be blind, others have physical disabilities, and they had the chance to practice their shooting skills at Rod and Gun Club.
On Saturday, the North American Squirrel Association (NASA) broke down barriers, hosting their first annual clinic that teaches adults with physical disabilities how to fire off a rifle for recreation or self-defense.
“This is a really good way to find out some of the different abilities that people with disabilities have,” NASA Rifle Marksmanship Clinic for Adults with Physical Disabilities designer Amy Burns said.
Each of the participants learned how to use .22 rifles from their mentors. Each mentor helped set up their participants with the shot, but the participants got to pull the trigger.
“If you know somebody has disabilities, you’re like ‘Oh, let me be extra careful and extra sensitive’, which isn’t a bad thing but also people with disabilities sometimes don’t like that,” Burns said.
Clinic participant John Fritz has been blind his entire life, and appreciates a clinic like Saturday’s because he loves to hunt.
“Just visiting with other people and learning some new techniques that they use that I can incorporate,” Fritz said.
Fritz said the program is quite the learning curve as well. “This gave me an opportunity to go to a range like this and work on accuracy and marksmanship and working out directions with my spotter, who keeps me on target,” Fritz said.
A safe way to give those who may be limited endless opportunities to aim and fire away.
Burns said NASA has already scheduled a second clinic for next year, and said as there as there are participants in future years, NASA plans to make this clinic a yearly event.
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