Tuesday, December 15, 2009

US quadriplegic man wins right to go hunting

A quadriplegic US hunter has won the right to use a 12-gauge shotgun which he operates with a breathing tube.

Jamie Cap, 46, was injured in an accident 30 years ago while playing American football. A head-on tackle resulted in a neck injury that left him a quadriplegic and robbed him of hunting, one of his passions.

But after a 2 1/2 year legal battle, Mr Cap has won the right - with the help of a partner - to use a 12-gauge shotgun fitted with a battery-powered machine that is operated by a breathing tube. He can adjust the angle by nudging a toggle switch.

He fired his first shot in three decades last week, describing the experience as priceless.

"I don't know if there are words," he said. "I'm so happy. When you find you can do something again after 30 years, you can't put a price on that. Some people think it's nothing, but try being paralysed for 30 years and then come talk to me."

Disabled hunters are far from uncommon in the US, but quadriplegic hunters are rare, experts say. That may be mostly due to a lack of awareness of technological advancements, since no states prohibit the disabled from owning firearms or from hunting, according to Vanessa Warner, director of disabled shooting services for the National Rifle Association.

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