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Discussion Starter #1
Many Baby Boomers already dread “the talk” –- suggesting their aging parents surrender car keys
–- but now two geriatric experts say another thorny, family question must be asked of some
elderly folks.

Is it time to give up your gun?

In a recently published paper, the two physicians offer a five-point checklist meant
to help caregivers assess whether firearms remain safe in the hands and homes of older
Americans, particularly if the gun owners are exhibiting unclear thinking or depression.

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“Just like with some (older) people, it’s not if you should stop driving, but when,”
said Dr. Ellen M. Pinholt, a co-author and former chief of geriatric medicine at
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “If we find some dementia present in a patient,
it can be about when to lock up the weapon or whether we have the family take it away.

When Should Gramps Should Give Up His Firearms?
NBCNews.com

“But nothing else has really been out there to help families to begin that conversation,”
added Pinholt, a retired Army colonel who practices medicine in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Her recommendations were informed by past home-health visits, including: one grandparent
who kept a loaded handgun under a bed, a 97-year-old woman who didn’t know how to unload
her weapon, and an older firearm owner who appeared confused.

The paper, published June 4 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, lists “5 Ls”
to ask an older gun owner: Is his or her gun “loaded” and “locked;” do “little” children
visit the home; is the owner feeling “low,” and is he or she “learned” about proper use?

Pinholt, a firearm owner, said she and her co-author, a retired Army Ranger,
“are not against guns,” and simply are seeking to reduce suicide risk and boost safety for
visitors –- including home-health professionals. Some gun-rights advocates assert, however,
the paper’s focus on the elderly is another attempt to try to chip away constitutional freedoms.

“The ‘5 ‘L’s’ suggest that senior citizens must automatically be considered safety risks
if they are firearms owners –- a notion we find rather insulting if not preposterous."

“The ‘5 ‘L’s’ suggest that senior citizens must automatically be considered safety risks if
they are firearms owners –- a notion we find rather insulting if not preposterous,”
said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, based in Bellevue, Washington.

“Should we prevent people from serving in public office into their 70s or 80s? Decisions
they make could affect millions of citizens,” Gottlieb added. “Simply because someone is older
does not mean they should begin to lose their firearms rights … One doesn’t lose his or her
civil rights merely because we turn the page of a calendar."

Warren Johnson John Makely / NBC News
Warren Johnson, 65, holding his Smith and Wesson M&P .40 pistol, talks about the issue of whether
there should be a standard assessment that lets families or care givers determine whether older
Americans should continue owning firearms.

About three hours north of New York City, former paramedic and gun owner Warren Johnson, 65,
said he would become instantly leery should any medical professional delve into a line of
questioning regarding firearms.

“If I go to a doctor’s office and the first thing out of his mouth is: ‘So, do you own a gun?’
the first thing that goes through my mind is: He is being coerced (to ask that) by a government
agency, whether that’s Medicare, Medicaid,” Johnson said. “It's none of his business.

“It's a family matter. It doesn’t belong within the government context, and it doesn’t belong
within the healthcare context,” he said.

In the green wilds near his home, Johnson enjoys the age-old process of loading and shooting his
.45 flintlock rifle, which exudes a hot burst of orange when fired. Flintlocks were used by
American soldiers during the Revolutionary War –- and Johnson espouses ownership rights as
vintage as his favorite weapon.

In fact, his affection for black-powder rifles ultimately led him to research the birth and
purpose of the Second Amendment, which states: “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
shall not be infringed."

“Now, when you try to compare gun ownership to driving, gun ownership is a guaranteed
constitutional right. And I don’t know of any (age) qualification statements in the
Second Amendment,” Johnson said. “Driving is a privilege, whether you’re young or old.”

Older Americans are more likely to own firearms, according to aggregated Gallup surveys
conducted between 2007 and 2012. Those polls found that 32 percent of people age 65 and
above have guns.

In fact, a clear demographic dividing line exists on this issue. Among Americans who are
50 and above, two-thirds own firearms, Gallup pollsters found. Among Americans between the
ages of 18 and 49, about half own guns.

Does age have a place in the broader national conversation on gun ownership?

“From a practical standpoint, sure. I don’t think that a 5 year old has the experience or wisdom
to own a firearm,” Johnson said.

“On the other end of the life scale, do you think it would be worthy to deny a 67 year old the
right to own and use a firearm against home invaders who are in their 30s?” Johnson asked.
“A gun is probably the only tool available to the elderly that equalizes the danger a
30-year-old perpetrator represents to them.”
Got this off msnbc, another "problem" needing a solution?
Bob
 

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What I hate is when well intentioned people go off on imagined dangers, and end up making a mess for no good reason.

How many deaths per year are attributed to demented old people with guns?

And I don't buy that 'even one is too much'. Human life DOES have a monetary value, and if the cost of a program is too high per life saved, it just is not worth it to try and fix.

Said another way, there are certain cost thresholds where if you have resources to spend on a problem, there are a lot of other more important or more impactful problems you could be spending those resources on.

I mean, has anyone here ever even heard of an unintended firearm death caused by age related mental issues?
 

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The movement, by politicians, to allow Doctors to become the "Ruler of the Subjects" is a concern to me. For many years a Doctor has always been looked upon as a pillar of the community. Virtually overnight (With Obamacare) anyone in the medical community can make a decision that will have far reaching effects on a person and their family.

We have a Governor, who is a Doctor by profession, John Kitzhaber. From a "governing" perspective, he has made some very poor decisions. We had something called "Cover Oregon" that was the state run program for Obamacare. After spending $300 million, the program was scrapped. This was the Governor's baby.

I want my Doctor to be a Doctor........ not a puppet for the Federal Government.

Hobo
 

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I can't recall one scenario like this, ever. Now, the getting lost while driving scenario - oh yeah. So, I'm gonna call B.S. on this 'helpful' article.


Rich
 

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When my grandpa got too feeble to drive, I gently convinced him to give up his license to drive. I am 100% for the family handling it, and 100% against the government, Fed state local, having anything to say about it. Period. Having the Gov't handle it opens the subject to abuse. If the person has no family, it is up to the community to handle it. If the community can't or won't handle it, then we are lost as a nation.
 

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My poor old Grandpa that raised me had a 28 Chevy he bought new and babied for over 30 years. When he got old my father and uncle kept secretly sabotaging the car and Grandpa kept trying to fix it and it drove the poor old guy crazy. They should have just set it on fire. One time when I was 7 or 8 I opened the rear suicide door when we we were flying along at 20 mph and got throwed in the ditch and landed on my head . Haven't been quite right since. That is why I got a little off topic.
 

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Don't have a right to drive.

Government can take it away

Granny does have a right to her 70s colt python and sp1.


PeRIOD!
 

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I live in the city during the week, but like to go out to our family's farm on the weekends.

Just yesterday while there, I heard a story from a neighbor about two other neighbors, let's call them Mike and Sam. Mike had purchased some land from Sam, who had gotten too old to farm it himself. Some time afterward, Mike was working late in the fields spraying. It was at night. Sam appears on the scene with a double barrel shotgun. He put it in Mike's face, wanting to know who Mike was, and what in the hell was he doing on Sam's property. There were accusations about ruining the property by spraying. Sam was also asking about what those Mexicans were doing there (no one else was there). It was clearly a case of dementia.

As the story went, it took about 45 minutes of talking to get the old guy to lower the shotgun and go back to his house.

Mike called the law and reported what happened. Sam is now in a "home." He has lost a lot more than his guns. Maybe he should have anyway, for his own good.

Like most of you, my first reaction to the news item was, "The gun-grabbers- there they go again." But even so, if we have some family members who are getting on in years, we should do the responsible thing by asking ourselves some of the hard questions.
 

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What if he's a wood worker? too old to handle sharp chisels, planers, power tools.....typical More Sh!t Now By Commies!
 
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Dementia

I live in the city during the week, but like to go out to our family's farm on the weekends.

Just yesterday while there, I heard a story from a neighbor about two other neighbors, let's call them Mike and Sam. Mike had purchased some land from Sam, who had gotten too old to farm it himself. Some time afterward, Mike was working late in the fields spraying. It was at night. Sam appears on the scene with a double barrel shotgun. He put it in Mike's face, wanting to know who Mike was, and what in the hell was he doing on Sam's property. There were accusations about ruining the property by spraying. Sam was also asking about what those Mexicans were doing there (no one else was there). It was clearly a case of dementia.

As the story went, it took about 45 minutes of talking to get the old guy to lower the shotgun and go back to his house.

Mike called the law and reported what happened. Sam is now in a "home." He has lost a lot more than his guns. Maybe he should have anyway, for his own good.

Like most of you, my first reaction to the news item was, "The gun-grabbers- there they go again." But even so, if we have some family members who are getting on in years, we should do the responsible thing by asking ourselves some of the hard questions.
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As a family we are dealing first hand with a very close relative with dementia. To date, I can not see where the Government could have done a better job with her than the family. As a community, those around us also deal with the old timers better than the Government. The more advanced our society gets ..... the more it reverts back to tribal customs.

Hobo
 

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I have already had the talk with my father and father in law, both initiated by them. It is a personal preference. A few heirloom firearms will be given to those selected before I get too old, but the rest will be just like my Harley, my daughter's can figure out what to do with them after I'm dead. We need a smaller federal government and less government intrusion into our personal lives.
 

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Been through this with my grandfather , we saw the early stages of dimensia coming, took him to the dr. Who confirmed it . He later became upset with the dr and showed up at his office accusing us and the dr of conspiring against him . Dr stated he saw a pistol bulge in his pocket , where he always carried . Dr called my dad and stated either we do something or he would .
We removed his firearms , and he began living with family members , eventually a home. It sucks but sometimes you gotta do tough CENSOREDGI
 

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Like most of you, my first reaction to the news item was, "The gun-grabbers- there they go again." But even so, if we have some family members who are getting on in years, we should do the responsible thing by asking ourselves some of the hard questions.
Absolutely. But it should be a family matter, and not another contrived "public health issue" for doctors.

Tim
 

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Guys I can tell you from long experience as a police officer that not all families can take the car keys away from the ones who brought them into this world and loved and nurtured them. I've had to go into homes and talk with older citizens, at the behest of family members about the old timer never getting behind the wheel ever again. It's not a pleasant thing to do but somebody has got to do it and if the family can't I took it upon myself to do it.

There were numerous times through the years where I would get a call from relatives or they would even come to my office at the PD about one of their older members. They would tell me about a family member who had reached the point where they were a hazzard to other motorists on the road. In some other cases we'd stop a vehicle that was all over the road and the driver would be sober as a judge but unable to drive correctly due to advanced years. There were times where the old folks would get on the interstate going against the flow of traffic and we'd have to get out there and try and get them stopped before they had a head on collision.

Then there were other times when we'd stop them and they would have no idea where they were going or where they were from or even what city they were in. We'd try and get in touch with their people to come and get them. We'd lock their car up in a parking lot or in a safe place on the side of the road and transport them back to the PD where they'd sit in side with waiting on a family member to come from out of town and get them.

I could go on for hours remembering these types of calls I handled and many of them were sad beyond belief and gave me a preview of what possbly lies in store for all of us. I would try to treat the confused old timers as gently as possible and put as little stress on them as I could.

There was one old guy that I went to his house at the request of his wife and tell him that he never put his automobile back on the street due to complaints about his deterioated driving ability. He looked me in the eye and told me "chief I won't ever drive another car on the streets". A few weeks later he was headed to the store on his riding lawnmower when he was hit by a car. He wasn't killed but he was banged up and I then had to go back and tell him not to drive anything on the highway. He was later put in a home for the aged and that was the end of it as far as we were concerned.

These kinds of incidents have real life ramifications for real people and somebody in a position of autority has got to step up to the plate and take care of it. Be it the police or family members, someone has got to do it because the potential for death and destruction is simply too great to ignore. Just put yourself in the place of the police officer who has to come knock on your front door to advise you that your loved ones will not be coming home. Because they were just killed by an older person driving the wrong way on the interstate. Don't say it can't happen because I know for a fact that it can and has happened and the same applies doubly for drunk drivers which is a whole another can of worms.

7th
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Seventh. My Dad has alzheimers real bad. What is sad is he is healthy as a horse, but now that him and Mom are retired and should be enjoying life he just sets home and plays on the computer. Mom can't go anywhere because of him. I don't know if he would get violent but I guess its time to talk with Mom about getting his hunting gun's out. One question, should I find out if Mom is comfortable with a firearm for self defense for her?
Dreading the talk, have to get my siblings involved I guess.
Bob
 

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I intentionally did not touch the firearms thing in the home due to how much all of us here place on the value of fine firearms and the importance they have played in all of our lives. Frankly I rue the day that my sons and wife come to me and ask me for the keys to my gun room. I pray that the Lord will give me the wisdom and maturity to take the news with the grace befitting the occassion and to realize just how tough it will be for my loved ones.

I mean I'm on the wrong side of seventy one years now and I can't have all that much longer. My dad died at 75 and his mind was as keen and as sharp as it ever was right up until the time he went into a coma and passed a few days later. So perhaps I will be spared the pain of going through the ordeal of having my beloved firearms taken from me. Guns have always played a major part in my life and I even made my living wearing a gun, so I don't relish the idea of anyone trying to convince me to give them up.

7th
 
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