disabilities

Meet Yuri Sivitski – The Soviet-Born Shooting Enthusiast with Muscular Dystrophy

How One Disabled USSR-Born Shooting Enthusiast is Chasing the American Dream

YuriSivitski_ARIf you are surfing GunLink, then chances are good that you are a shooting enthusiast or, at least, have some interest in self defense, hunting, plinking, or other shooting sports.  For many of us, picking up a firearm and hitting the range is a perfect way to spend a weekend.  For others, however, as enjoyable as it sounds, that is not a possibility.  Such is the case for Yuri Sivitski.

We recently made the online acquaintance of Yuri through Twitter.  Yuri was born and grew up in the Soviet Union – in the Belorussian Soviet Socialistic Republic, now known as the Republic of Belarus.  There, he was diagnosed at a very young age with muscular dystrophy – a disease without specific treatment or cure that weakens the musculoskeletal system and hampers movement.  You can see how this would be problematic for someone interested in the shooting sports.  Yuri has shared more of his story here on the GunLink Forums, where he has opened himself for an Ask Me Anything (within reason) Q&A session.

Yuri notes the irony of being a 46 year old man who is still working with “the rest of the same muscles I was born with” – which continue to deteriorate.  Although he has never been able to walk, and could never lift objects weighing much more than one pound, he has a great interest in firearms and the shooting sports.

I cannot remember, how it started, but everything about firearms has always been one of top interest in my life.  As you can imagine, in the Soviet Union access to guns for citizens was, let’s put it softly, restricted.

Given the nature of the Soviets’ harsh restrictions on firearm ownership by the general public and Mr. Sivitski’s condition, he did not have much opportunity to enjoy the shooting sports that he dreamed of, or even to go to a library to learn more about the subject that he loved.  For years, a meager selection of a few books and magazines were his only source of information on the topic, so he read and re-read them over and over.  And then… the internet came.  With this nearly limitless supply of information and knowledge now available to him via the internet through the use of assistive technologies, Yuri described himself as a “dimensionless sponge” to soak up information.  He was finally able to pursue knowledge about his passion, even if he was not able to put it into practice on the firing line.   Continue reading

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