There is a plethora of articles, discussion threads and other resources that presume to give advice on the issue of floor loading with heavy gun safes. Some of them even provide professional engineering counsel, even if they don’t say so. For instance, some articles I have seen mention the typical and customary floor design loading limit of 40 pounds per square foot (PSF) and then opine something like “but even though the load for a safe is concentrated in a small space, since the total [read more]
During the first week of summer camp in 1992, a Scoutmaster approached me at registration and told me he had a young Scout in his troop who suffered from muscular dystrophy. The Scout was adamant about getting his rifle merit badge.
“I’m afraid he is just too crippled to shoot a rifle,” the Scoutmaster explained. “He can’t walk and he doesn’t have the arm strength to use crutches to walk. He is confined to a wheelchair, and we will have to carry him up to the shooting range.”
He also went on to explain that he had promised his parents that he would take good care of him if they would let him go with the troop to Scout camp.
The next day the troop up the hill with Tim on the Scoutmaster’s shoulders. I quickly ascertained that Tim could sit at the shooting bench and use his hands to stabilize himself and shift his position right or left as needed. A smile came over his face as I told him that in a way, it was a blessing that he didn’t have the strength to hold the rifle up himself. That was because I was going to teach the boys to use a sling to support the rifle. All that was needed was his arm bone structure. The sling would hold the rifle for him and was perfectly in keeping with the requirements for the merit badge he sought.
It was a tough week for Tim, but he knew it would be and never complained or asked for any special treatment. On Monday, he learned the basics and only got a couple of shots to hit the paper. Tuesday was a little better. His Scoutmaster understood what I was trying to do with him, and he coached him when I had to attend to other shooters. On Wednesday, he was able to get every shot to hit on the target, but the group still wasn’t tight enough to earn the merit badge. Thursday was better still, as he settled down, followed instructions and got a score that was only five points less than the score required for the rifle merit badge.
Friday was his last chance to qualify. I reminded him that he knew the basics and had been improving all week. I told him to relax, take his time, concentrate on sight picture, let the rifle go off when it went off, and to hold the sight picture for a moment after each shot. His entire Scout troop was there to give him silent support. I think his Scoutmaster crossed his fingers behind his back as Tim got himself in position and began to shoot.
After he finished, I went up to his target to see how he had done. After looking at the target for about 30 seconds, I turned back and called out to Tim.
“OK, here is what I want you to do this time — tell your Scoutmaster and those other not-so-quiet hooligans behind you that you just earned your Shooting Merit Badge.”
The gallery erupted in uncontrolled clapping and screaming and carrying on that simply isn’t acceptable on a rifle range. Tim collapsed across the shooting bench and actually cried a little.
When the troop returned to camp, Tim called his parents and begged them to come see him get his merit badge that evening, which they gladly said they would do.
We cannot base our gun control regulations on an anomaly like this guy. Severely handicapped people are a danger to themselves and others when armed.
As if handicapped people have gone to Mikeb and asked for help in whatever he concludes is being safe. Mikeb wants to be important and isn’t. To Mikeb and all eugenicists of the world, I see the image of God in the boy in the story. How sad for you that your view of life is so bleak and dark. I pity you. But only up to a point.
Perhaps after reading the report above, your heart will soften. If not, I hope your head explodes. In the mean time, I thought I would help the author of the story, Smokey Merkley, with a concluding sentence for the article.
And God smiled.