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Posted: 3/27/2009 3:10:53 PM EDT
A few months ago I was contacted by a young chap who was interested in learning to shoot and taking the sport up.

Following a brief discussion about what type of shooting he wanted to do, I directed him towards our local indoor range and suggested he try shooting a .22 rimfire to start with and learn the ropes as part of his probationary period under the supervision of the experienced shooters in the club. He's now 3 months in to his probationary period, has taken to the sport really well, is keen, sensible and of good character. He's getting on well with the other members and listens and learns well. I have mentored him and advised him as best as possible and other members of the club have taken a lot of time to help him through the probationary and he's doing well.

One of the issues that has arisen is that he suffers from Muscular Distrophy (MD). This means that while he can walk and talk with the rest of us and enjoy the banter, he doesn't have the strength of people like you and me who are not MD sufferers. For example, he can shoot off a bipod while prone or at a bench without a problem but he cannot physically support the weight of a rifle while free standing. He's never been able to play football, rugby or other sports like the rest of us and shooting is one of the few sports he can do as an equal.

The lad in question is 21 years old, and a few years ago he was told that the nature of his MD mean that there was a chance that he might not reach his late 30's as his heart could be affected eventually. Naturally for anybody, this news was not particularly welcome and had affected his overall happiness. The doctors managing his conditon prescribed some mild anti-depresants to help lift his spirits.

The depression he suffers from is NOT clinical depression, and he is not suffering from any form of psychosis, he is not violent or suicidal. In fact he is anything but and serves as an inspiration to all he seems to meet. He is basically suffering from the same sort of pissed off feeling any of us may feel when we get given bad news and in order to reduce the stress on what is already a weakened physique the doctors have chosen to help him feel more confident and capable with some mild medication.

He's about to start the application process for his FAC and he is deeply concerned that being prescribed anti-depresants might go against him. Just as he has finally found a sport he can participate in, enjoy the benefits that go with getting out with a bunch of blokes and having a laugh and for the first time feeling like part of something he can share with likeminded people he is fearful that he may have it taken from him.

He has asked me several times about this and I really don't have any experience of this type of thing other than an understanding that his mild depression is as a result of a natural and healthy reaction to the restrictions imposed by being handicapped. His mild depression is not clinical depression, and the very fact that he has found a sport he can enjoy and meet friends through has done him the world of good. Denying him this opportunity would be a pretty devastating blow.

I suspect that the lad is probably putting more emphasis on this that it warrants however he has asked that I post a message up on this forum to see if anyone out there has any info on how such a situation would be perceived or if anyone has come across something similar with regard to applying for an FAC. He is a member of BASC and has sought some advice, and it seem that this would probably not cause his application to be refused, but he is still pretty worried and I'm looking to help put him at ease.

Any advice or info would be gratefully received and passed on... please feel free to IM me if need be.

Cheers in advance for your help.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:24:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:34:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2009 3:35:39 PM EDT by vito113]
Anti-Depressants are basically a no-no but it's worth him having a talk with the FEO face to face to explain the situation. If it was just a short course of mild ones to help him after the bad news it may be OK.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:34:57 PM EDT
Perhaps it would be better to encourage the shooting but not the assurance of an FAC

Don't make the FAC the goal but the participation of shooting may be a better goal in itself / approach.

Just my 2 cents

Cheers
Taffy

BTW
I helped a friend through MND to his death....it aint easy. And when I used to take him shopping the looks we got realy bothered me.
Only because the looks were founded upon misconceptions. A funny sidenote was I never reaslised how many high street shops actualy have lifts
for the disabled, normaly hidden out of the way. We always took full advantage of them but I never knew they existed.

Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:34:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2009 3:45:07 PM EDT by Taffy223]
double tap

Edited to add

I was taken under the wing when I was a wee nipper and introduced to shooting.
Dad used to shoot the bunnies and mam would prepare and cook em. We gladly ate them.
I was a teenager when I was introduced to riding motorcycles.
I took to it like a duck to water, and my life revolved around motorcycles.

I pretty much feel a resposibility to carry on that interest.
and to encourage others to follow that.
I have taken 2 very close friends and they now ride bikes far beyond my finances.
I feel a great debt to encourage new shooters even if my local club wants to keep a low profile.
The youth of today need encouragement in our sports.
It's how I learnt

Taffy

Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:41:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By streetfighter:
My advice would be to keep his gob shut during the application process

Would a letter from his Doctors help any?


Would have thought so, and his GP doesn't have a problem with it cos he went for a medical a week or so ago and raised it then.

I reckon the best thing is to put his application in and see how it goes...... he'll probably be OK. Problem is that there's a question about mental health on there and the context is wooly.... he doesn't want to say nothing because he doesn't want to be accused of hiding or denying something, but he's concerned that if he raises it the FLO might not fully appreciate the nature.

Best thing would be if his Doc would sign as a referee, but I know some practices won't allow that for reasons of liability and gun fear.

Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:45:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Taffy223:
Perhaps it would be better to encourage the shooting but not the assurance of an FAC

Don't make the FAC the goal but the participation of shooting may be a better goal in itself / approach.

Just my 2 cents

Cheers
Taffy

BTW
I helped a friend through MND to his death....it aint easy. And when I used to take him shopping the looks we got realy bothered me.
Only because the looks were founded upon misconceptions. A funny sidenote was I never reaslised how many high street shops actualy have lifts
for the disabled, normaly hidden out of the way. We always took full advantage of them but I never knew they existed.



Cheers Taffy

That's what I've been saying, enjoy it and deal with these things as and when they come along.

His Uncle works for BASC and thet have looked into it for him and seem to think he should be OK.

Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:46:18 PM EDT
Do not with hold medical details… If you do you're terminally fucked if they find out.

Declare it and make the case, the Police are pretty reasonable on these things as long as you are honest… been there, doe that, although it was because I was disabled in my case. Got the usual questions, can you hold the gat and deal with the recoil, do you get depressed because of your condition, what meds are you on, can they make you feel down…
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 3:51:13 PM EDT
Again I question the ultimate goal here.

Is it to be trusted to shoot, and enjoy it


Or to obtain an FAC

Coz they aint the same....and the enjoyment may differ.




I'd like to add. I'm impressed you have taken the time to help your friend.
I think it is honourable you want to do right by him.

But being realistic .....let him realise realistic goals.
I dont mean to de-mean him or you.

I just worry you may be building him up for a fall..I'd rather he/you continue to shoot without additional influences.

Cheers
Taffy
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:00:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By vito113:
Do not with hold medical details… If you do you're terminally fucked if they find out.

Declare it and make the case, the Police are pretty reasonable on these things as long as you are honest… been there, doe that, although it was because I was disabled in my case. Got the usual questions, can you hold the gat and deal with the recoil, do you get depressed because of your condition, what meds are you on, can they make you feel down…


Cheers Vito.

The licensing Authority are pretty good where he is, and I hope they'll delve a bit deeper before making a final decision. The lad is churning up about it though cos he's finally found something he really enjoys and it could all go up in smoke cos of some bloody silly little pills.

He went to his doc to ask if he still needed them, his doc askied him how he felt, he said he felt great and his doc said "why bother changing anything then?"

He's a pretty straight up kid so I know he won't hide anything. He will be getting his membership sorted at the 22 club soon and then we'll take him up to a range for bigger calibres and see how he finds the .308 prone while under supervision......if he can handle it then he should be OK..... he's shot .357MAG underlever without any problems and I'm sure he'll manage a .308.

He's working himself up about it and it's the not knowing that is keeping his brain ticking over....... he's a bright kid who's planning what disciplines he wants to shoot but has this thing nagging in the back of his mind that he might not get it.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:15:58 PM EDT
As regards depression, they're not too worried about you topping yourself with a gat, after all, seems a lot of work to wait 6-12mths and spend a small fortune to do something you could do with a 50p packet of paracetamol. What they DO worry about is you feeling depressed, getting wound up, going postal and going on a rampage. To be brutally honest, someone with MS is not really going to be going all Rambo and shooting up the town unless his carer lends a hand.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:17:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Taffy223:
Again I question the ultimate goal here.

Is it to be trusted to shoot, and enjoy it


Or to obtain an FAC

Coz they aint the same....and the enjoyment may differ.




I'd like to add. I'm impressed you have taken the time to help your friend.
I think it is honourable you want to do right by him.

But being realistic .....let him realise realistic goals.
I dont mean to de-mean him or you.

I just worry you may be building him up for a fall..I'd rather he/you continue to shoot without additional influences.

Cheers
Taffy




It's the trust and enjoyment that matters to him from what he's saying. as it gets him out into a sociable environment doing a sport he clearly enjoys...... he seems to see the FAC as a part of due process what will allow him to be less reliant on the kindness of others and give him the independance to be able to compete with his own kit on his own terms.

Basically someone has told him that he's fucked if he has any form of psychological medication and it's got him worried and he's questioning whether he's setting himself up for a fall.

I share your views, get on with it and enjoy it...... I'd like to see him place less emphasis on the FAC and more on having some fun...... First step for him is to get his scores up and shoot against himself for fun.....His membership will probably be up for consideration soon so he has to get that sorted first. I keep reassuring him to learn to walk before trying to run......

The future of our sport is dependant on how we look after and mentor new starters.....so I'm keen to help the lad out and make the whole thing fun for him and make him feel welcome....... Unfortunately I have little experience of this sort of issue so I can't really offer anything to put it into perspective.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:26:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Agent_Funky:
Originally Posted By Taffy223:
Again I question the ultimate goal here.

Is it to be trusted to shoot, and enjoy it


Or to obtain an FAC

Coz they aint the same....and the enjoyment may differ.




I'd like to add. I'm impressed you have taken the time to help your friend.
I think it is honourable you want to do right by him.

But being realistic .....let him realise realistic goals.
I dont mean to de-mean him or you.

I just worry you may be building him up for a fall..I'd rather he/you continue to shoot without additional influences.

Cheers
Taffy




It's the trust and enjoyment that matters to him from what he's saying. as it gets him out into a sociable environment doing a sport he clearly enjoys...... he seems to see the FAC as a part of due process what will allow him to be less reliant on the kindness of others and give him the independance to be able to compete with his own kit on his own terms.

Basically someone has told him that he's fucked if he has any form of psychological medication and it's got him worried and he's questioning whether he's setting himself up for a fall.

I share your views, get on with it and enjoy it...... I'd like to see him place less emphasis on the FAC and more on having some fun...... First step for him is to get his scores up and shoot against himself for fun.....His membership will probably be up for consideration soon so he has to get that sorted first. I keep reassuring him to learn to walk before trying to run......

The future of our sport is dependant on how we look after and mentor new starters.....so I'm keen to help the lad out and make the whole thing fun for him and make him feel welcome....... Unfortunately I have little experience of this sort of issue so I can't really offer anything to put it into perspective.



You have good grasp on the benefits and the pitfalls
Only you can make the next call.
I hope you continue to mentor your friend and lead him down the right path
It's easy for me to say that an fac should not be his goal but I sympathise with his cause.
And I understand how he would feel if he is deemed responsible to hold an FAC
It will be more difficult as you grow closer to this chap and yearn to help him expand his needs.

I admire you and in the same breath I would be weary as you will become emotionaly involved.
You will want him to succeed and while there is nothing wrong with that...it has consequences.

Good luck
I wish you well

Cheers
Taffy
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:27:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By vito113:
As regards depression, they're not too worried about you topping yourself with a gat, after all, seems a lot of work to wait 6-12mths and spend a small fortune to do something you could do with a 50p packet of paracetamol. What they DO worry about is you feeling depressed, getting wound up, going postal and going on a rampage. To be brutally honest, someone with MS is not really going to be going all Rambo and shooting up the town unless his carer lends a hand.


Hexackerly.

My dick is heavier than this kid. He can handle recoil but his muscles arn't equiped to carry load for any period of time in the way that we would do. The lad NEEDS a bipod to shoot and couldn't hold a gun fee-standing cos there might be a risk that he'd drop it. He held my AR15 for about 30 seconds and then had to put it down because his muscles could be damaged by the prolonged strain and the constriction in his left arm prevented him from bringing it up to a comfortable firing position. So it's prone or bench and a bipod or nothing fo the lad.....
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:34:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:39:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Taffy223:
Originally Posted By Agent_Funky:
Originally Posted By Taffy223:
Again I question the ultimate goal here.

Is it to be trusted to shoot, and enjoy it


Or to obtain an FAC

Coz they aint the same....and the enjoyment may differ.



I'd like to add. I'm impressed you have taken the time to help your friend.
I think it is honourable you want to do right by him.

But being realistic .....let him realise realistic goals.
I dont mean to de-mean him or you.

I just worry you may be building him up for a fall..I'd rather he/you continue to shoot without additional influences.

Cheers
Taffy



It's the trust and enjoyment that matters to him from what he's saying. as it gets him out into a sociable environment doing a sport he clearly enjoys...... he seems to see the FAC as a part of due process what will allow him to be less reliant on the kindness of others and give him the independance to be able to compete with his own kit on his own terms.

Basically someone has told him that he's fucked if he has any form of psychological medication and it's got him worried and he's questioning whether he's setting himself up for a fall.

I share your views, get on with it and enjoy it...... I'd like to see him place less emphasis on the FAC and more on having some fun...... First step for him is to get his scores up and shoot against himself for fun.....His membership will probably be up for consideration soon so he has to get that sorted first. I keep reassuring him to learn to walk before trying to run......

The future of our sport is dependant on how we look after and mentor new starters.....so I'm keen to help the lad out and make the whole thing fun for him and make him feel welcome....... Unfortunately I have little experience of this sort of issue so I can't really offer anything to put it into perspective.



You have good grasp on the benefits and the pitfalls
Only you can make the next call.
I hope you continue to mentor your friend and lead him down the right path
It's easy for me to say that an fac should not be his goal but I sympathise with his cause.
And I understand how he would feel if he is deemed responsible to hold an FAC
It will be more difficult as you grow closer to this chap and yearn to help him expand his needs.

I admire you and in the same breath I would be weary as you will become emotionaly involved.
You will want him to succeed and while there is nothing wrong with that...it has consequences.

Good luck
I wish you well

Cheers
Taffy


Cheers for the heads up Taffy.....

There's a few of us looking after him and it's not a burden in any way.... he's got quite a few mates outside shooting circles so there isn't the dependancy on us. I've know the lad for about three months and I see him down at the club about twice a month.

The next call is for him to make really. We can only guide him and help him along the way. He's pretty independent but is looking for some reasurances that I'm not qualified to give. Your experiences and the advice of Vito, Streetfighter and others is really helpful in offering a different perspective for him to consider.

He seems to have his head screwed on anyway.... he thinks AgBBS is shit and couldn't get his head round the UKPSA thing at all

Cheers mate.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:40:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 4:45:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By streetfighter:
Originally Posted By Agent_Funky:
..but has this thing nagging in the back of his mind that he might not get it.

Haven't we all been there?



Good point.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 5:11:19 PM EDT
Social Services bring some profoundly disabled people to our club to do some shooting from time to time. They have a great time. Most of them shoot off a bench rest.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 12:00:55 AM EDT
I think the anti-depressant side of things is not the issue you/he might believe it to be. In any case the support of his doctor would be crucial in this area. I have known a couple of shooters with history of depression and current medication for same be granted FAC's. What might be more of an issue is his physical ability to safely handle a firearm. An FAC holder normally has to be able to take full responsibility which includes the handling. If physical assistance from another is required that might be a problem. As ever, take the whole issue to his FEO and see what they say.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 10:54:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By IcarusY625:
I think the anti-depressant side of things is not the issue you/he might believe it to be. In any case the support of his doctor would be crucial in this area. I have known a couple of shooters with history of depression and current medication for same be granted FAC's. What might be more of an issue is his physical ability to safely handle a firearm. An FAC holder normally has to be able to take full responsibility which includes the handling. If physical assistance from another is required that might be a problem. As ever, take the whole issue to his FEO and see what they say.


Cheers Icarus.

His physical ability when prone or off a bench is OK.....it's just a case of making sure he can handle the recoil from a.308 which is what he would like to shoot if he can take up some long range stuff.

Standing, kneeling or sitting might be a problem but I think it's something he appreciates already and doesn't have any intention of trying CSR type shooting.

I'll pass on your advice.

Much appreciated
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 11:04:35 AM EDT
Hi,

I was treated for depression many years ago and everything was Ok until my GP (an anti shootini limp-wristed Bazophile) decided that I was unsuitable - It took a year of arguing letters and a day on court to get my FAC granted.
(Was worth it to watch my solicitor rip him n the constabularies case to pieces)

PM if you wish and I will pass on my details so we can chat further if you feel it would be useful. If push comes to shove, i have details of a very savvy firearms lawyer based inChester

trying to help

andy
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 1:19:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ajayen:
Hi,

I was treated for depression many years ago and everything was Ok until my GP (an anti shootini limp-wristed Bazophile) decided that I was unsuitable - It took a year of arguing letters and a day on court to get my FAC granted.
(Was worth it to watch my solicitor rip him n the constabularies case to pieces)

PM if you wish and I will pass on my details so we can chat further if you feel it would be useful. If push comes to shove, i have details of a very savvy firearms lawyer based inChester

trying to help

andy


Thanks Andy......

I'll keep you in mind....

It's not my battle to fight, but I'll pass the information on to the lad involved and let him know that there is presedence.

Cheers
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:50:36 AM EDT
An interesting thread, I take my hat off to you for what you are doing.

We've had a couple of guys at our club in a similar situation, both were denied FAC's on medical reasons. One left shooting, the other has carried on using club guns and enjoys every minute of it.
It really is down to what the guy wants, an FAC or the fun of shooting with a great bunch of people?


Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:23:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2009 7:25:30 AM EDT by MiloPorter]
kudos for helping the lad.......

and kudos for helping the sport....new members are always helpful.

this thread for me highlights something I have often felt very strongly about......the fact that shooting is extremely accommodating for many different types of disabled people, and I have often wondered why this is not encouraged or publicised?

I hope this lad gets what he wants....
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 10:50:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Agent_Funky:
His physical ability when prone or off a bench is OK.....it's just a case of making sure he can handle the recoil from a.308 which is what he would like to shoot if he can take up some long range stuff.

Standing, kneeling or sitting might be a problem but I think it's something he appreciates already and doesn't have any intention of trying CSR type shooting.



how about F class prone shot off bipod or rest.

I hope he has luck getting his Ticket.

Nick
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 11:04:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2009 2:24:28 PM EDT by Ajayen]
Would suggest getting GP or Doc on side by playing up benefits to your friend in shooting, if they are onside then things should run smoothly and club support helps too
tryin to help

Andy

PS this page is mine - woohoo
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