May 17th, 2009

NRA Showcases Programs for Juniors and Disabled Shooters

One of the most popular activities at the 2009 NRA Annual Meeting was target shooting at an on-site air rifle range at the Phoenix Convention Center. There, shooters of all ages (and abilities) lined up to try a variety of air rifles and pistols at 10 meters (about 33 feet). Airguns were provided by Crosman, Beeman and other manufacturers.

air rifle shooting juniors NRA

From elementary school kids to senior citizens, a wide cross-section of visitors came to the air rifle range. It was great to see three and even four generations on the firing line. For many of the youngsters, this was their first opportunity to shoot a quality air rifle. A dedicated crew of volunteer range assistants provided instruction and ensured that safety was paramount.

NRA Disabled Shooting Services
In addition to the able-bodied, a number of shooters with disabilities or impairments joined the fun at the air rifle range. The NRA provided adaptive equipment that allowed shooters in wheelchairs or with limited arm strength to get (and stay) “on target”. Our friend Vanessa Warner, Manager of Disabled Shooting Services for the NRA, was helping out at the airgun range. When we arrived on Saturday morning with the cameras, Vanessa was helping Wayne, a wheelchair-bound, disabled veteran. Due to health problems, Wayne, a natural righty, was learning to aim with his left eye and pull the trigger with his left index finger. Switching from righty to left isn’t easy, but Wayne pulled it off.

Using a rifle rest, Wayne shot superbly, ripping out the center of the target. It turns out Wayne had learned a thing or two about marksmanship in his younger days — while in the military in the ’60s Wayne qualified as expert with four different weapons. He certainly demonstrated that even disabled shooters can enjoy the shooting sports, given the kind of adaptive support the NRA is providing under Warner’s leadership. In the video below, Vanessa explains what the NRA offers for disabled shooters.

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