Blind man shoots in competition matches

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SHERMAN, TX -- One Texoma man is proving it's possible to overcome any obstacle--If you just don't give up. He shows us how he's taken what some view as a handicap, and turned it into motivation to achieve his goals.

Competitive shooting. It's a sport that's popular across Texoma, with all sorts of people. John Flyum is one of them. But this durant resident's not your average shooter.

"I only see small portions of the target," Flyum said. "That's why it takes me longer to figure out what I need to shoot and what not to shoot."

Ten years ago, John was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle wreck, leaving him 95 percent blind.

While some people may see John's blindness as a handicap, through these doors he's just another one of the guys.

"After he showed safety and everything, and was safe on the range, he was good to go," said Jason Webb owner of Red River Firearms.

"There were some initial apprehensions, since he's blind. Within the first few minutes able to see he was a safe shooter, he had good handling skills, we went from there," said Howe Police Sergeant James Doyle.

John's pistol is equipped with special sights, and he memorizes the locations of the targets. He's shot in International Defensive Pistol Assocation, or IDPA matches, at ranges from Alaska to Ada, Paris, and Sherman, for more than a year.

His fellow shooters like Sergeant James Doyle, and Red River Firearms owner Jason Webb, say they know he's safe.

But for those who still question letting a blind man shoot a gun...

"I just take 'em out and show 'em I'm as safe as everyone else," Flyum said.

"He has a very good skill. Obviously his speed is slower because of his eyesight. Don't let it fool you for a minute, he's still a strong shooter," Doyle said.

John says shooting has become the light at the end of his tunnel.
And he got there by never considering his blindness as a handicap, and never giving up. The same advice he gives to everyone.

"I'm slower than the other shooters, but I hit my targets," Flyum said.

If you'd like more information about the IDPA, you can stop by Red River Firearms on Texoma Parkway in Sherman.

They're holding another match on Sunday afternoon, and of course, John Flyum will be there.