In a video posted on the Popular Front Instagram page, a man completely disabled from the neck down is seen shooting an AR15-patterned rifle from a mobile rest. Patrick Bronte was disabled when he was 16 years old in a tragic accident but has continued his involvement in the shooting sports by improvising, adapting, and overcoming. In the video Patrick is seen sitting in his wheelchair outside of his disability-enabled van at the range. His rifle is mounted in a rest that is actually connected to what appears to be the chassis of his wheelchair.
What he is using to pull the trigger of his AR15 is a popular device that is designed for those who cannot use their appendages otherwise. It is essentially an electric straw that a person puts in their mouth. Activating the “straw” is done by either sucking air from it, or by blowing into it. Either of these actions is correlated to a device which can be programmed to complete a pre-designated action. An example of just one commercially available item is the “Sip &Puff Switch” from Smile Smart Technology. The devices have been in use all over the world for some time now for a variety of purposes with disabled individuals. Whether or not Patrick’s particular piece has been programmed for more than pressing the trigger, we cannot tell. The second option could be something like zooming in with the scope, as there isn’t any mechanism that is hooked up to the charging handle or magazine release.
In addition to the suck and blow device, Patrick also has an LCD screen hooked up to the focal lens of his scope which allows him to see his target clearly.
Other examples of disabled shooters we’ve written about on TFB have been similarly paralyzed individuals working from wheelchairs, but also ones with no arms and using their feet to manipulate a handgun!