Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
It's funny.  Laugh. Government United States Politics

Texas Lawmaker Wants To Let the Blind Hunt 647

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-shoot dept.
IHC Navistar writes with a story from Reuters Oddly Enough. A Texas lawmaker has introduced a measure that would allow blind people to hunt any game that sighted people can currently pursue. The article notes that the bill may have clear sailing in the hunting-besotted state of Texas. An education outreach person from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department explained it this way: "A blind person can shoot a rifle by mounting an offset pistol scope on the side of the rifle instead of on top. This allows their companion behind them to peer over their shoulder and help them sight it, but the blind person can pull the trigger."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Texas Lawmaker Wants To Let the Blind Hunt

Comments Filter:
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:32PM (#17215118) Homepage Journal
    Texas Lawmaker Wants To Let the Blind Hunt

    It's not that big of a surprise. With Chuck Norris [youtube.com] prowling the area, they figure that everyone has a right to take their chances.

    Look on the bright side. They'll never see it coming! (The roundhouse kick to the face, that is...) :P
  • by hamburger lady (218108) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:32PM (#17215122)
    the number of incidents of people getting 'peppered' around the face will totally increase.

    bravo, guys.
    • by jasonla (211640)
      Only in Texas can something this asinine be proposed.
      • by creimer (824291)
        Don't worry. Someone in California will be propose a law to hunt the blind with paintball guns.
      • Re:i can imagine... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Reaperducer (871695) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:43PM (#17215316)
        It's not a Texas thing. It is legal for the blind to hunt in most (if not all) states. The only thing new is that Texas wants to let them be aided with lasers.

        15 other states allow the blind to use lasers to help them hunt.

        How is this an "Only in Texas" thing?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by stoolpigeon (454276) *
        yeah - blind people should sit at home, in the dark and leave everyone alone. what right have they got to go out and do things in the world around 'normal' people?
        • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:53PM (#17215524)
          Most things they want to do don't put other people at risk of dieing. A gun is a dangerous machine, and a blind person is incapable of using it properly. He could easily kill someone with it. This idea is inane.
        • by jasonla (211640) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:10PM (#17215800)
          Hyperbolize at your leisure. No one is implying blind people should be barred from all activities like you suggest. It is common sense, however, that we limit blind people from activities where they have a clear handicap and there is significant potential for them to injure themselves and other people. Do we allow blind people to drive unsupervised?
  • by Cyberax (705495) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:32PM (#17215126)
    How fitting.
  • by facelessnumber (613859) * <drew@nosPAm.pittman.ws> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:32PM (#17215132) Homepage
    See any serious problems with this story? Email our on-duty editor.

    Dear on-duy editor:

    Um, yes?
  • by Scaba (183684) <`moc.aicnarfeoj' `ta' `eoj'> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:33PM (#17215142)

    Shit. I can't think of any funny Dick Cheney jokes.

  • How many... (Score:2, Funny)

    by mandelbr0t (1015855)
    ...blind Texans does it take to shoot out a light bulb?

    (sorry, it's the best joke I could think of)

    mandelbr0t
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ExploHD (888637)
      Three; one blind man, one to set up the sight, and one to yell "It's coming straight for us!"
  • Next step (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jon Luckey (7563) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:33PM (#17215152)
    Does the law contain a "You killed it, you clean it!" provision?
  • Great idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by sentientbeing (688713) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:34PM (#17215168)
    What could possibly go wrong?
  • Trickery (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrSquishy (916581) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:35PM (#17215172)
    A blind person can shoot a rifle by mounting an offset pistol scope on the side of the rifle instead of on top. This allows their companion behind them to peer over their shoulder and help them sight it, but the blind person can pull the trigger.
    A less dangerous version could be:
    A blind person can "shoot" a rifle-shaped block of wood by mounting an offset pistol scope on the side of the rifle instead of on top. This allows their liar companion behind them to peer over their shoulder and tell them "Oh yeah, you totally got that one."
    • Re:Trickery (Score:5, Funny)

      by HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:44PM (#17215348)
      A less dangerous version could be:

      A blind person can "shoot" a rifle-shaped block of wood by mounting an offset pistol scope on the side of the rifle instead of on top. This allows their liar companion behind them to peer over their shoulder and tell them "Oh yeah, you totally got that one."

      Then you can stick the blind person's hand in spaghetti and peeled grapes and say it's the deer's intestines and eyeballs.
    • Re:Trickery (Score:5, Funny)

      by sessamoid (165542) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:41PM (#17216278)

      A less dangerous version could be:
      A blind person can "shoot" a rifle-shaped block of wood by mounting an offset pistol scope on the side of the rifle instead of on top. This allows their liar companion behind them to peer over their shoulder and tell them "Oh yeah, you totally got that one."
      You left out the part where the "companion" loads the gun with nothing. Then when the blind hunter, prompted by his companion, pulls the trigger, the companion yells "Bang!" really loudly.
  • by IAR80 (598046)
    Why not let them join the infantry sniper teams then.
    • by soft_guy (534437)

      Why not let them join the infantry sniper teams then.
      Sounds like a good idea to me. If they can do the job, why do people want to discriminate against the blind?
  • It's Funny - Laugh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:36PM (#17215192) Homepage Journal
    You think this is funny? I've got some incredible stories for you then. Get this. The other day - I'm in the grocery store and there is this guy walking around with a dog! In the store! Really, no kidding. A dog in the store and this guy is holding onto a harness the dog was wearing and the dog was leading the guy around. Can you believe it? Somebody should write up a funny post about dogs who shop for humans. That's a knee slapper.
     
    But that's not the funniest. A week before that I saw this lady out on the sidewalk waving this big white stick all over the place. Talk about from the "don't hit me dept.", she was wacking all kinds of stuff with that stick. Hide the kids! Oh man, I still laugh until I get tears in my eyes over this one.
     
    Last year my brother took a friend of ours with ALS on the last deer hunt of his life. My brother did everything for this guy but pull the trigger. Took a lot of time to rig things up to make that possible. And someone who is unfortunate enough to be blind should be able to go hunting with some assistance. The only reason anyone would find this funny is if they are willing to completely ignore what the hunting entails and just laugh at another's misfortune. Maybe I'm wrong to be bothered by this - but I think it is sad that I'm seeing it in so many places being presented as a humorous story.
    • by ArcherB (796902)
      You think this is funny? I've got some incredible stories for you then. Get this. The other day - I'm in the grocery store and there is this guy walking around with a dog! In the store! Really, no kidding. A dog in the store and this guy is holding onto a harness the dog was wearing and the dog was leading the guy around. Can you believe it? Somebody should write up a funny post about dogs who shop for humans. That's a knee slapper.

      And then the man picked up the dog and swung him around by his back legs. A
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by solevita (967690)
        How does the blind skydiver know when it's time to open his parachute?


        The dog's lead goes slack.

        On a serious note, I agree; this shouldn't be an object of mockery. Even if I can't understand the appeal of blind shooting.
    • by bobschneider8 (878023) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:45PM (#17215370)
      I don't think what people are making fun of here are blind people. What they're making fun of is Texas lawmakers who are so extreme on "gun rights" that they're willing to legalize such an obviously dangerous and stupid idea. You don't see them letting blind people get drivers licenses, but with guns, it's OK. I don't have a problem with what your brother did for his friend, but there are folks out there who seem to think there should be no regulations on guns, period. The only rational response to such people is to make fun of them, which they make very easy to do.
    • by prichardson (603676) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:46PM (#17215406) Journal
      Grocery shopping and walking down the sidewalk are required for participation in society. Hunting is not. Also, the set of circumstances where a blind person shopping could result in someone getting seriously injured are a lot harder to believe than for a blind hunter.

      We don't allow blind people to drive cars, either, but no one thinks this is prejudiced or an erosion of human rights.
    • by Astral Jung (450195) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:48PM (#17215448) Homepage

      Maybe I'm wrong to be bothered by this - but I think it is sad that I'm seeing it in so many places being presented as a humorous story.
      I would posit that if you can't see the humor in legislation allowing blind people to shoot potentially lethal firearms, that you have become too sensitive to the issue for your own good.

      I know for a fact that my friend who is wheelchair bound would laugh his ass off if he heard, for example, that the Olympics would allow people like him to compete by, say, strapping a wheelchair to a legged individual. For him and for me, part of the way we deal with the challenges he faces is by the ability to see the humor that presents itself.
    • by Kadin2048 (468275)
      I agree. I don't really see the humor in this. Blind people already do a lot of things that perhaps most folks wouldn't expect that blind people are able to do. I mean, you wouldn't think that a blind person could go mountain biking, and there's a guy doing that [worldacces...eblind.org], too. There's been a whole revolution in the past few years with people using human echolocation [wikipedia.org] (yes, echolocation; like dolphins) to navigate and "see" via sound reflections.

      Frankly the Texas law seems like a reasonable compromise between equal op
    • I guess I'm not tuned into the hunting scene, but what exactly is the point of hunting when all you do is pull the trigger? Hanging out with your buddies? Personally, I don't find this funny. I find it disturbingly scary that pulling a trigger with the sole of purpose of killing something has somehow been elevated to being as part of normal life as shopping for groceries or crossing streets.

      Somehow, this entire Iraq debacle makes a lot more sense right now.
      • hunting has been a part of the human experience for a long time. for many people the entire process holds very deep meaning. i find it disturbingly scary that having never experienced this you find it so easy to equate it with war and murder.

        if you are a vegan i guess you have some right to get upset about the death of the animal, but otherwise, you don't even make sense. the modern harvest of wild game is much more civilized than the methods that provide most of what the majority in this country
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bastian (66383)
      What's really funny to me is that people would go through such great lengths to allow someone to do something that seems strikingly dangerous simply because they feel it's their right to be able to kill for no reason other than the crass pleasure of it. It's not even like the "for food" argument really applies in this situation, since someone else needs to be around and it's probably much easier to acquire the food without all the extra effort that would go into two people coordinating a gun. There's real
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      What the hell is it with you people and shooting anything that move...or are you all starving and unable to go to the nearest grocery store?
    • by bigdavex (155746)

      Last year my brother took a friend of ours with ALS on the last deer hunt of his life. My brother did everything for this guy but pull the trigger. Took a lot of time to rig things up to make that possible. And someone who is unfortunate enough to be blind should be able to go hunting with some assistance. The only reason anyone would find this funny is if they are willing to completely ignore what the hunting entails and just laugh at another's misfortune. Maybe I'm wrong to be bothered by this - but I thi

    • by rhombic (140326) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:16PM (#17215888)
      Not making fun of anyone-- I grew up around firearms, and hunting is a way of life in much of the country, esp. where I come from. Not my personal choice, but I have no issue w/ it. The one thing that was drilled into my head, over and over and over again, is that when you pull the trigger of a firearm, you are personally responsible for whatever happens. You are personally and individually responsible for examining everything between you and the target, and everything you can see downrange of the target, to make sure that if you choose to pull that trigger, you are not going to hit anything you didn't mean to hit. Being told by someone else, "nope, nothing downrange, fire away" DOES NOT CUT IT. And I'm sorry for anyone who wants to hunt but can't, but if you can't see downrange, there is no way you should ever pull that trigger. What if what your buddy thinks is an old tree behind your target and a little to the left, is actually another hunter. And then you shoot, and miss high and to the left, and punch a hole in the guy's chest. Are you gonna feel o.k. for the rest of your life knowing that it's really your buddy's fault, he should have seen it?

      Nobody dies from walking around the store w/ a guide dog, or using a cane. When you pick up a firearm you're making life and death decisions for other people, and you have an ethical responsibility to personally know what that gun is pointed at.

  • Legally Blind (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jonsey (593310) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:38PM (#17215232) Journal
    I've got a good friend who's rapidly becoming a gun-nut... odd for a Canadan, I guess the states are finally seeping in to him.

    Anyway, he's legally blind, just invested a very nice new car's worth of money into a Guide Dog, and has better groupings than most of the first-time shooters I've yet met.

    This might be a problem for the totally blind, but there are a lot of folks considered blind by the state who are perfectly capable at IDing a target, and moving lead down-range in a manner at least as safe as a sighted person. Probably more-so when you consider the extra carefulness that the average legally blind person puts into doubting their visual input.

    Of course, there could be problems, but one thing I've found is most people aren't total dumb-asses. If you're unable to hunt safely, you probably won't actually want to hunt.

    (This isn't to discount the hijinks that ensue when you show up to an open range with a nice rifle, nice optics, and a guide dog in tow. That's a `priceless` moment that I hope to see again often in my life)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be rude, or mean. But seriously, if someone can't see well enough that they need a GUIDE DOG to guide them around, I really don't want them carrying a deadly weapon around. Even if they're VERY careful, its just not safe. There WILL be accidents where people are killed, and I don't think that the value of someone getting to kill an animal should outrank knowing that a human being will die as a result of this.

      Capitcha: Lawsuit. Thats what I imagine would be yet another outco
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zxnos (813588)
        i like to play this game where i change the topic of an argument to see if it makes sense... I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be rude, or mean. But seriously, if someone can't read a bus schedule well enough that they need their OWN CAR to get around, I really don't want them driving a deadly weapon around. Even if they're VERY careful, its just not safe. There WILL be accidents where people are killed, and I don't think that the value of someone getting to a location in a timely manner should outrank knowing
  • by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:39PM (#17215242) Homepage
    Did I hit anything?
  • by The_Wilschon (782534) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:40PM (#17215268) Homepage
    I am a Texan, and I seriously do object to the characterization of my state as "hunting-besotted". Note: this post is not intended to be humorous. I am aware that most (at least I hope) people will recognize this characterization as hyperbole, but from many other things that I have read and heard, there remain a significant number of people who will not. Therefore, while I am certainly not demanding that nobody ever say this about Texas, I do wish to speak up and be heard when I assert that this is, in fact, hyperbole. Hyperbole has its place in satire and parody (and other forms of mockery), but it should be countered (as opposed to censored or removed) unless it is known that everyone recognizes it as satire and parody. Texas is not "hunting-besotted".
    • Attention MODS (Score:2, Redundant)

      by LotsOfPhil (982823)
      Modding the parent post "Funny" would be funny.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shawnmchorse (442605)
      I'm a Texan as well, though I do live in Austin which is probably the most liberal city you'll find in Texas. I've heard our city described as being surrounded by an "asshole donut", referring to the fact that Austin is an island of liberal Democrats completely surrounded by conservative Republicans. Those of us who live in such islands don't necessarily realize that the majority of the state is in fact quite enamored of hunting, guns, pick-up trucks, country music, Republicans, etc. Even growing up in S
      • by The_Wilschon (782534) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:06AM (#17219076) Homepage
        I'm so glad that you can completely dismiss anyone who doesn't agree with you (apparently "conservative Republicans") as assholes. That definitely shows real wisdom and not a bit of prejudice. Isn't it nice when the world is so cleanly divided by a bright line into the good guys and the bad guys? It's almost like a comic book! Oh, and one anecdote. Gosh, that just floored me. I don't even know how to begin to respond to that.

        Perhaps since you live in such an "island", you simply haven't gotten out much, and therefore haven't realized that most of the state is not in fact like that. However, I know people from all over the state, and very few of them are "enamored of hunting, guns, pick-up trucks, country music, Republicans, etc." Many of them are Republican (as if that is some sort of deadly insult); most of them drive small economy cars (gas is expensive, and trucks use a lot of gas); most of them don't own a gun, have never owned a gun, and are not planning on purchasing a gun; a significant number of them (although less than half I would estimate) do prefer country music (is that so bad either?); most of them have never been hunting in their life, and wouldn't want to go even if someone invited them. So yes, many of them do fit one or maybe two aspects of your misguided stereotype, but nearly noone fits the entire profile. Perhaps it's time you got off your "Keep Austin weird, and to hell with everyone else" high horse. I always thought that the Democratic party was supposed to be populist, all for the common man, etc. Unless I'm completely wrong about that, maybe you'd better check your political stance and make sure you aren't rooting for the wrong team.
    • The damn Mule deer population is really bad there and a night drive on a back road is quite an experience trying to avoid herds of 10 to 50 every few miles. Texas rats.
  • This is all part of a larger plan to increase the pool of Iraq recruits.

    "No... don't you worry Bud, I'm right behind you .."

  • ... but I don't see the logic of it.
  • Lots of FUD here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheFlyingGoat (161967) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:42PM (#17215300) Homepage Journal
    I fail to see why a blind person shouldn't be able to hunt when they've got a non-blind person looking through the sights for them. Many of you that don't come from big hunting areas won't understand why a blind person would want to go hunting, but those of us in hunting states (WI here) know that hunting is more about family and friends than just shooting an animal. I don't hunt myself, but if I did, I wouldn't care if there were blind hunters out there observing proper safety techniques. No hunter should shoot without knowing what they're aiming at, and a blind hunter is no exception.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by microbee (682094)
      but those of us in hunting states (WI here) know that hunting is more about family and friends than just shooting an animal

      I read it as "(hunting is) more about shooting family and friends than just animal".

      No wonder.

  • Old Gallagher line (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eck011219 (851729)
    I think it was Gallagher who was talking about this years ago, and he said, "when you're walking through the forest, how do you make a sound that's NOT like a rabbit?"
  • "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."
  • I'm not a hunter. I think hunting is icky. I distrust anything that tends to celebrate the enjoyment of bloodshed, even animal bloodshed. I don't own a gun. I think the Second Amendment is talking about the state militia. OK?

    But I think that hunters have the right to hunt as long as they aren't harming other human beings. I don't care for it but there are lots of things people do that I don't like that fall under the heading of "none of my business."

    Now, letting the blind hunt sounds like a joke. But, given
  • by the same logic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tverbeek (457094) * on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:46PM (#17215408) Homepage
    Meanwhile, bills are being introduced that will allow middle-school drop-outs to teach high school as long as they are paired with someone with a teaching degree telling them what to say, allow 5-year-olds to drive cars as long as they have an adult to work the pedals for them, and formally entitle idiots to run for governor (and then president) as long as they "surround themselves with the right people".
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Loco Moped (996883)
      Meanwhile, bills are being introduced that will allow middle-school drop-outs to teach high school as long as they are paired with someone with a teaching degree telling them what to say,
      Most schools from 1776 up until mid 1950's did exactly that.
      allow 5-year-olds to drive cars as long as they have an adult to work the pedals for them,
      I drove an Army jeep that way when I was 6. Didn't hit anything.
      and formally entitle idiots to run for governor (and then president) as long as they "surround themselv
  • Why hunt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:48PM (#17215446) Homepage Journal
    Among hunters, hunting is a lot more than pulling a trigger and killing something. It's more about the very primal action of pursuing an animal for food. (Most hunters I know do in fact eat what they kill). It takes a lot of skill, and years to learn: where and when the animals gather, how to sit quietly and patiently, how to observe. All of those are skills you once had to develop if you wanted to eat.

    The ultimate kill with a rifle is only the very end of the process. It's kinder than the older methods, such as a bow and arrow, which often wound an animal without killing it, and you have to track it to put it out of its misery. A rifle can drop an animal immediately.

    If you eat meat, you can hardly claim that having somebody else kill your dinner puts you on a higher moral plane, especially if you've seen the way animals are treated in our factory-farms. Hunting puts you directly in touch with what you're eating, guts and blood and all.

    So it sounds silly at first blush, but the blind can be active participants in a hunt. They still have ears and even noses; they can still be outside; they still eat what they kill; they still have the camaraderie of a hunting party. If the technology lets them participate even more fully in the process, why not?

    There are, by the way, an awful lot of hunters who hunt for other reasons. Some will use a lot of high-tech to make it practically shooting fish in a barrel; they seem to care more about the kill than the hunt. I know they exist, but that does not describe most hunters in my experience.

    I myself do not hunt, but I limit my animal products when I can to ones I believed were raised and slaughtered humanely.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ruiner13 (527499)
      It takes a lot of skill, and years to learn: where and when the animals gather, how to sit quietly and patiently, how to observe.

      And this is something that someone without sight can do?

      So it sounds silly at first blush, but the blind can be active participants in a hunt.

      If someone is aiming for them, telling them when to fire, how are they really an active participant? That sounds pretty passive to me.
  • Killing creatures for *recreation* is fundamentally unethical because the hunter is inflicting suffering as a part of merely obtaining recreation.

    • by Indy1 (99447)
      I wanted to mod you flamebait, but figured a response would be better.

      Game hunting is about putting food on the table. When I took my hunter's ed a few months ago, the instructor was explicit about not taking (shooting) an animal if you would not be able to harvest it. In fact some states make it a crime to shoot a game animal (aka Deer, Elk, etc) and then not use the meat.

      On the other hand, varmint hunting (aka prairie dogs, rock chucks, coons, etc) is more "recreational", though it does serve a purpose
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chefmonkey (140671)
      Your position is a bit hard to support unless you also oppose eating meat in general.

      As long as the animal being shot (even recreationally) is eaten, then it represnts one less animal that lives its life in an unnatural and often vigorously inhumane environment, only to meet a very, very stressful and quite occasionally painful end.

      On the balance, the deer that lived free and was shot had a *far* better quality of life -- and, yes, quality of death -- than 99% of the animals that you find laid out nice and
  • Texas isn't the first state to allow blind hunting. Michigan has been doing this for quite some time, basically the same rules, except the blind guy needs a laser scope so the sighted companion can be sure where he's pointing. Incidentally, David Sedaris did a great comedy bit about this, and pointed out that Michigan was even crazier than Texas. Not any more.
  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:06PM (#17215754) Homepage
    Please don't think of this post as being heartless. I fully sympathize with people who have been robbed of their sight...but I'm sorry...there are just some things that your handicap prevents you from doing, and being out in the woods, where other people could be, pulling the trigger on a gun that you aren't aiming is NOT acceptable.

    Lets say they accidentally shot someone somehow...who is liable? The person who told the blind person to fire or the blind person for pulling the trigger?

    I'm sorry if I sound like a dick, but life isn't fair. Being blind means that hunting (as well as driving and a whole host of other things) is just one of those things that you are not going to be able to do.

    I'd be really curious as to what their motivation is as well...I mean, not trying to judge...but isn't the point of hunting the skill involved in tracking and bagging your kill? If someone else is doing all of that for you, really the only thing you're doing is pulling a trigger that kills an animal. I'd go so far as to say that the blind person would really just be doing the easy wrap-up of someone elses kill.

    But this brings up another point...if all they're doing is pulling the trigger since they can't sight targets...why not just let them loose in a room with some ambient forest noises, some animal noise sound board (complete with death sounds) and a fan or 2 to simulate wind and let them loose with a gun loaded with blanks?

"How do I love thee? My accumulator overflows."

Working...