Monday, April 29, 2019

Book Review: A Shooting Guide for the Blind by Carry McWilliams 142 pages, 2018 Page Publishing

I first became aware of Carey McWilliams in 2018. Carey has been completely blind since age 10. He distinguished himself by acquiring carry permits in several states, and by successfully hunting big game and birds with firearms.

I met Carey at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in 2018. He graciously gave me a copy of A Shooting Guide for the Blind to review.

The book is a practical guide for blind people to become familiar with and use firearms for self defense, recreation, and hunting.

Carey, while completely blind, has done all of these things. He gives explicit instructions aimed at blind people, to overcome their disability and to be able to use firearms effectively and safely.

There are a few quibbles. I disagree with Carey's reporting of a grizzly bear attack on page 28.  But then, Carey did not have the advantage of reading my research on the effectiveness of pistols for bear defense at the time he wrote this, his second book.

I like Carey's style of writing. It is entertaining and not politically correct.

A Shooting Guide for the Blind covers a very broad range, from how to obtain a hunting license, to choosing a hunting guide, to using a bird dog, buying firearms, cleaning them, and using acoustic techniques for hunting and self defense.  There is good advice on obtaining concealed carry permits, the law of self defense, and reciprocity between states. 

There are excellent descriptions and instructions on how to load and unload revolvers , various rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic firearms.

I was fascinated by Carey's account of wingshooting by a blind person. It made perfect sense, and shows us a disability can be overcome with thought, practice, and technique. He recommends that a blind person adopt a defensive posture when a dog retrieves a bird. The bird may be combative, and that may not be obvious to the blind hunter.

It is obvious Carey has personally experimented and refined the techniques he describes and recommends.  Carey's example is worth much to any people with visual disabilities that are considering the value of owning and using firearms.

I found a few homophone errors, which are not as much distracting as charming. All of us have had problems with the ubiquitous spell checkers. They are even more difficult for someone who is blind to deal with, such as the difference between "fare" and "fair".

As a fellow writer, I know how easy it is to have a typo creep in or a spell checker change a spelling to one not wanted.

The detailed descriptions of technique for blind people overwhelm the occasional error (Lee Harvey Oswald did not use a 30-06).

I highly recommend this book to all who are interested in overcoming difficulties, and of course, to all those who have less than perfect vision.

Most of us have disabilities of one kind or another, physical, mental, or simple ignorance.  All have various strengths and weaknesses.

Many shooters have impaired hearing. Many blind people have excellent hearing.

Most defensive shootings occur with poor lighting and limited visibility.

Constitutional rights are not lost because of a physical disabilily. Physical disabilities can be overcome.

Carey McWilliams has  done all of us a service in his continuing push to defend the Second Amendment rights of visually impaired people.

©2019 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

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