One of the most fascinating, and for many people, frustrating things about disability is that it breaks your argument. Regardless of what your argument is.
You have yourself a nice simple world view like, for example, the establishment of national educational standards, and suddenly you have to contend with a range of cognitive issues, which make a simple issue complex. Obviously, that’s very hard for you.
Or you might have a nice clear ethical principle about suicide and you find that various of the disability-related aspects around right-to-die might make your position really quite uncomfortable. I’m slowly developing a career around the complexities with privacy control and disability…
Abortion is always a can of worms regardless of the consequences, but both pro-choice and pro-life positions (as they are generally presented) have nasty consequences for various disability issues.
The point is that because people are different, solutions for many people can’t be simple. Never has this been more apparent than this story from just before Christmas:
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.
Reports earlier this year that Iowa was licensing blind gun owners to carry concealed firearms stirred controversy, with some critics saying it wasn’t safe, including the disabled executive director of Iowans for Gun Safety. By law, blind gun owners could already hunt with restrictions in Iowa and several other states, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Texas.
Ennis and others insist that all citizens have the right to bear arms, and disabled citizens often have an even greater need for weapons for self-defense.
That’s right, someone has raised the (sensible) issue that if you are banning guns based on the type of grip they have (which is pretty strange gun-control from a British point of view anyway), then you are disproportionately causing problems for people with disabilities… Gun control becomes yet more complex and people should be able to accept that many issues are complex and maybe 144 characters doesn’t quite cover the nuances…
For your interest – I’ve written about the issue of blind Iowans owning guns before….
(page image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disabled_parking_place.jpg)