Archives

corrected vision

Sometime after 40, the human eye loses much of its ability to focus up close and far away at the same time. My rifle match scores are deteriorating because I can either see the front sight clearly without prescription lenses or the target clearly with my prescription lenses but I can no longer do both well enough to plant my bullets around the bull like I used to. Several competitors have suggested I get shooting glasses that are half-way between plain safety glasses and my distance prescription… or “half a diopter less” than that prescription.

After discussing this idea with two local eyeglass sellers, both told me it is against the law to do that … without first hiring them to re-examine my eyes and write a fresh prescription.

I have perfectly good glasses that give me a clear picture of a 600-yard target. My unaided eyes give me a perfectly clear picture of the front sight. I have a document that lays out the specifics of the distance prescription. They can easily and inexpensively build glasses that do exactly what I want. But they won’t.

It turns out that The State is protecting me from the horrors of wearing glasses based on a highly modified version of a prescription that was written four long years ago. These glasses that I would wear a few hours a month could, in the enlightened opinion of the state legislators and governor, cause irreparable damage to my eyes. If we modified a prescription that was only two years old, my health and well-being would be assured.

Gosh, what a comfort.

Only the most jaded cynic would theorize that this law was written to protect the optometry industry rather than me.

Hmmm. Perhaps I’ll adopt jade as my birthstone.

Meanwhile, the Internet is my friend. I have decided I won’t spend my shooting glasses money locally after all.

Mercantilist laws always seem so clever when the merchants dream them up, but they stifle markets and, in the end, destroy them.