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Hmmm.....Gun Bans & the ADA

Subdeacon Joe

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More disabled people oppose assault-weapon restrictions


The group Disabled Americans for Firearms Rights, formed before the

December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., saw its membership

quadruple to 19,000 after the event, energizing its lobbying on behalf

of gun owners. Many disabled citizens have difficulty wielding

traditional pistols and rifles, which has prompted some to become

vociferous allies in the campaign to block new restrictions on

assault-style weapons.

"They're banning these weapons for arbitrary reasons — because it has

a certain grip or stock — when in reality those are the features that

someone with a disability like me needs to operate a firearm," said

Scott Ennis, a hemophiliac who started the Connecticut-based disabled

firearm-owners group and serves as its president. Like Foti, Ennis

suffered joint damage that makes it difficult for him to grip and shoot.




He grew up to become a liberal Democrat who supported gun control.

But six years ago, reports of a horrific family murder dominated the

local news where he lives with his wife and children in Pennsylvania: A

Connecticut mother and two daughters were murdered during a home

invasion. Only the father escaped. Foti noticed that the man was about a

foot taller and 50 pounds heavier than he was.

"I'm watching television and seeing this man, 6 foot 2 and probably

250 pounds, and thinking if that ever happened to my family, what would I

do?" he said.

Foti, by then retired, decided to take a firearms safety class. "I was feeling very vulnerable," he recalled.

He thought he was prepared for the class. Before he arrived, he

rented a 9-millimeter handgun. But when the instructor told him to

assume a military stance — feet apart, arms lifted — Foti had trouble

holding the gun and the pose.

"He said to me, 'Sal, stand like this,' and I said, 'I can't,'" Foti recalled. "I felt very out of place."

He returned the next day, taking the instructor aside to explain his problems. "The arthritis

didn't just affect my hips and knees — it's my hands and neck and

shoulders. When I'm shooting at the range, I can't hold up my gun to

sight and aim at the target," he said. The instructor had Foti sit on a

stool as he fired. He advised using laser sights and a lighter-weight


Foti bought five pistols — four semiautomatics and a .357 revolver.

He bought a range membership, taught his two children — Laura, 23, and

Parker, 20 — to shoot, and he researched devices to modify guns, such as

laser sights, improved grips and trigger-finger braces.

He rented an AR-15-style rifle and marveled at how lightweight it was, how easy to modify.



"For someone who's handicapped, an AR-15 is probably the easiest type of weapon to shoot at the range," Foti said.





Interesting new avenue to strike at gun bans - they may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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