Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Professional Shooter Uses ‘Gun Therapy’ To Lessen Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

Fox News:

David Smith had long been a competitive shooter, and he wasn’t going to allow a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease to end his hobby.

The 46-year-old, now considered by Guns.com a “powerhouse on the competitive circuit,” and who just scored a spot at the 2019 World Rifle Shoot in Sweden, was first diagnosed with the crippling nervous system disorder eight years ago.

But rather than shrinking away, Smith confronted Parkinson’s head-on and developed what he calls “gun therapy” as a means to control the tremors that come with the illness.

And when he lifts his firearm to the ready, those debilitating shakes disperse. In the gun world, he is the “Parkinson’s Shooter.”

“The disease had taken away everything from me in terms of my ability to eat and drink or do anything without help. Shooting was all I had left, it was all I could do,” Smith told Fox News Thursday. “It made me feel normal.”

At the time of the diagnosis, Smith considered himself to have a strong “body-builder type” physique and good health – but that twitch in his finger wasn’t going away. For some time, the feeling of doom was debilitating and he ended up in a wheelchair. Although those around him kept cautioning him to “take it easy” and enjoy not working, Smith wasn’t willing to stop pushing boundaries.

Before Parkinson’s surfaced, Smith – who worked in the scrap metal business – had been going to the range a few times a month for most of his life, but stepping it up changed his life.

“I now shoot 5000 to 6000 rounds a day, treating it as an eight-hour workday,” he explained.

Smith’s “gun therapy” is focused on neuroplasticity, where he can shoot repetitiously using intense focus, hand movement, control, and agility training, which entails running with his firearm and fast firing. His preference is shooting rifles rather than handguns, but he says both come with the benefits of steadying his hand.

According to New York-based psychologist Dr. Norman Fried, while the label “gun therapy” may leave some Americans uncomfortable, a movement called “competitive shooting” may be implicated in healing some side effects for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

“Through extreme dedication and long hours of practice, David Smith may have found a way to help his brain rebuild neural pathways – or reroute cortical connections – that were impacted by his disease. The dopamine rush that comes from this exercise may indeed be at the core of a movement to help some sufferers of brain injury to heal,” he said.

And folks, this man is good.  Make sure to watch the video at Guns.com.  I’m not embedding the video because it’s a Facebook video.  This is a heartwarming story.  God bless him, and I hope he keeps it up.  He is an inspiration.


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