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Shooting Clinic for the Blind

Visually impaired adults learn to fire guns at Major Waldron's Sportsmen's Association in Barrington, NH

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    Visually impaired adults learn to fire guns at Major Waldron's Sportsmen's Association in Barrington, New Hampshire. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014)

    A group of visually impaired New Hampshire residents put firearms into their hands and learned to shoot on Tuesday.

    It was a shooting clinic at Major Waldron's Sportsmen's Association, instructed by Chandler Bullard.

    Bullard works with Northeast Passage, a non-profit agency giving people with disabilities the ability to try something new. He knows what it is like to have to work harder than able-bodied people, because he has struggles of his own.

    "I was in a car accident when I was 16 years old," Bullard said.

    He is a paraplegic who has dedicated his life to teaching adaptive sports to people with certain limitations.

    "I am a person that uses a wheelchair, why do I want to go skiing? I don't use my legs, why would I want to go skiing? Because I can, because they can," Bullard explained.

    And Stephanie Hurd of Portsmouth did.

    "It was empowering," she said.

    Hurd has always been visually impaired, but could see better as a child.

    "I could play hide and seek and actually find people," Hurd said, laughing.

    She was at Major Waldron's Tuesday with seven friends, including Exeter resident Dana Trahan.

    "I lost my eyesight four years ago," Trahan explained.

    The group hopes this story will help people see what they can see so clearly.

    "We might do things differently, but we can do most everything everyone else can," Hurd said.

    Trahan, who lost her eyesight to a brain tumor, says this isn't just about learning to shoot, it's about taking your best shot at life.

    "Take on new adventures, you never know how much you might enjoy something new," Trahan said, "Don't let anything stop you."

    This isn't the first time the group has tried what it calls, "out-of-the-box activities." They've been kayaking, surfing, and even skydiving. They will now turn their attention to horseback riding next month.

    In case you're wondering, there are no restrictions in New Hampshire preventing blind people from purchasing and using firearms.

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