Shooting: The Most Inclusive Sport

   11.30.15

Shooting: The Most Inclusive Sport
Matt Fields is a competitive steel shooter.
Matt Fields is a highly ranked steel shooter.
Hunter Cayll is a highly ranked three-gun shooter.
Hunter Cayll is a highly ranked three-gun shooter.

These men have one thing in common besides their drive to succeed and the ability to make that dream come true: they are both handicapped. Not disabled, just handicapped in reaching their goals–and reaching them despite the added challenges.

Matt's whole family shoots.
Matt and his son Connor, age10.

With one hand on the wheelchair needed to keep the balance, Matt shoots rifle one-handed and hits better and faster than most people do with both hands.

telescoping stock, pistol grip, detachable magazine semi-auto so hated by the anti-gun bigots...and so well suited for real-world use.
Axiom telescoping stock, pistol grip, detachable magazine semi-auto so hated by the anti-gun bigots…and so well suited for real-world use.

Hunter “Nubs” Cayle takes it a step further: he runs pistol, rifle, and shotgun without the use of thumbs or fingers, in finest tradition of Koolau!

Saiga 12
Saiga 12, now banned from import…
Glock pistol required a minor modification for handling.
Longslide Glock pistol required a minor modification for handling.

Hunter’s performance with these weapons is quite impressive by the standards of able-bodied shooters. He competes on par with everyone else. His attitude is best summed up by the shirt he offers on his web site: No Excuses.

Demonstrating an AR15 reload
Demonstrating an AR15 reload

What other physical sports can boast the inclusiveness of shooting matches?

Previously, I’ve written about Joshua Benson. He’s a country musician, an illustrator, and a shooting instructor–all that with one fully functional limb.

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Josh in 2008.

Again, awesome attitude and impressive ability. Watching him outshoot me and most other people with shotgun and rifle just underscored the liberating nature of firearms technology.

trap8685

Besides the recreational and sporting value, guns also give each of us an opportunity to be more independent. A friend who taught self-defense to dozens of wheelchair bound people says that they are frequent targets for criminals. His students have three effective defense episodes so far–all of them with .22 pistols and all resulting in death of the attacking criminal. Josh is well trained and isn’t limited to rimfire, and so his friends don’t have to worry for him much, even though he lives in Memphis.

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Personal arms and training allow us greater independence and higher quality of life. The three gentlemen shown here are just a few of the many who illustrate that.

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