What are the features of a good marksman? Most of all – a stable grasp and good sight. Well, not necessarily. Both in Poland and in the world, shooting is more and more often trained by blind and partially sighted people. They are even taking part in various competitions. How is it even possible, that someone lacking sight can shoot and do it properly?
When it comes to blind and partially sighted people, marksmanship is heavily connected to both laser and pneumatic shooting. Such techniques allow them to use their hearing instead of sight. It is worth noting that in case of losing one of senses, others are extraordinary developing to compensate. That’s why blind and partially sighted people ale typically equipped with exceptional hearing. Initially a system for laser shooting was developed. Target was connected to a computer, which converted light signal coming from the laser to a sound. The louder the sound, the closer to target, shooter was. For a person not accustomed to such aiming it may be initially difficult to adapt, but thanks to that, blind people could successfully aim toward the middle of a target.
Nowadays, pneumatic shooting is not only possible but more and more popular in case of this group of people. The principles are very similar. Gun is equipped with scope and target has it’s own lamp. Scope is processing the light, changing it to sounds, which are leading the shooter to the middle of a target. Such sport is so popular, that there are plans to include it in Paralympics in the future.
We believe that it is worth it, mainly because it gives blind people a huge amount of joy. Above all it allows them to train something, that would be considered impossible otherwise because of their illness. This works greatly towards their self-confidence. Especially for the people not born blind, but rather losing their sight in accident or due to the illness. Such events are often followed by apathy or depression. Training on the shooting range, with either laser or pneumatic techniques can help in the long and hard process of returning to joyful lifestyle. They stand for a hope of not resigning from healthy competition. And with first successes, such enthusiasm may only grow bigger.
It is also worth noting that although the system is created for a people physically restricted, it is as challenging as classical shooting. You still have to work hours on maintaining shooting stance, or coordinating your breath with your weapon. It is almost impossible to have any success otherwise. Additionally training involve hard work with using the trigger or simply aiming to do it quicker. Therefore masters in blind shooting have to work hard to achieve perfection. Regular trainings are as irreplaceable as in normal sports.
Of course, the sole existence of such competitions and techniques does not mean, that blind people can shoot outside of prepared shooting ranges. No matter how excellent someone is in such competitions, he is automatically excluded from the possibility of possessing a license for gun. Here, the procedures are as clear as it is possible – healthy, confirmed by specialists, profile is crucial and irreplaceable.