Too Old to Carry?

This is a discussion on Too Old to Carry? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I had a discussion the other day with some friends who are not licensed and so don't carry, but who have no issue with those ...

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Thread: Too Old to Carry?

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Too Old to Carry?

    I had a discussion the other day with some friends who are not licensed and so don't carry, but who have no issue with those who do carry and are in no way anti-gun. We were talking about older people who have lost their driving skills to the point that they are dangerous on the road, but who refuse to accept this reality and will not give up their car keys. This is a somewhat common scenario in South Florida where I live. Since these friends know that I carry, and we are all "seniors," they asked whether I thought there was a reasonable analogy between that issue and "seniors" carrying, given that our reflexes, eyesight and conditioning are not what they were when we were younger, assuming the person is in otherwise good health. I was really caught off guard by the question as it was something I had never considered. I would be very interested in feedback on this from other members.
    Last edited by Ron; October 4th, 2006 at 09:04 PM.

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    Ron - it is something I have given thought to for sure.

    I am 61 - driving and still have pretty sharp reflexes, and eyesight tho less good for my sight picture is still close to 20/20 with glasses. I am 6.00 and 205 and told I am in fair shape - well, I can still move quickly if needed

    I do tho wonder where a breakpoint is - or if it can be defined - bearing in mind that us older guys are less capable re H2H type situations.

    I regard my piece as much more vital now than perhaps I might have done 20 and more years ago, that's for sure but then too I take (even) greater pains to avoid any perceived trouble.

    Being able to admit tho in the future, when driving is no longer responsibly safe and so maybe too responsible carry - well, that is a hard call for any of us. I stress tho the need to be able to for ourselves still utilize that word responsible and add too, proficient.

    The latter will be down to a maintained degree of practice - in my case refreshing skills long aquired, as against new ones. Sure I might be slower for sure but - as long as I have ability to react responsibly and well - I will continue to carry - possibly even in fact after I have ceased driving.

    Ahhh - that I should live that long
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    Ron,

    I believe strongly that some seniors really should give up thier car keys, however, to me, a gun is somewhat of a different story. It is to protect YOUR life, so the only reason you would have it out would be in self defense, or hopefully- in the security of your own home where any kind of AD would only put yourself in danger. (seems like a bad thing to say but you get what im saying) I know absolutely nothing about you sir, but from reading your post you seem very competent to operate a firearm. Yes, your reflexes arent as fast as they used to be, but you dont operate a firearm in self defense for hours at a time like driving. All in all I believe seniors should carry firearms as they are often targeted by gutless thugs or scum of some kind, but only under the condition of knowing the laws, when you can and cant shoot, etc.. Im sure I left plenty of thoughts out but Im sure others will finish what I have forgot now.

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    Member Array Hobbes's Avatar
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    hmmm, interesting. This is how I look at it, slow reflexes can kill other people when driving a car, but slow reflexes with a gun can only hurt a shooter which would be dead without a weapon anyways. Once mentally incompetent, that is a different story.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    ... given that our reflexes, eyesight and conditioning are not what they were when we were younger, assuming the person is in otherwise good health.
    IMO, so long as the mind is not going and the ability to control a deadly weapon is still there, it actually becomes more important to be able to fill the security void left when one's physical abilities decline. Beyond that point, though, when one no longer has the ability to reliably maintain effective control over a weapon, it's rough. In such situations, I'd fear it would be far too likely to be taken and used against the person.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    As one ages, one experiences the diseases of aging such as arthritis, gout, rheumatism, etc. Sometimes it becomes hard to shoot the gun because of pain and stiffness. When one becomes physically unable to fire a gun then I guess you just quit. Untill that day, as long as I am capable of clear thought I think I will continue to carry.

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    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    Something to factor in, as we get old we increasingly become a prime target to BG's. They thrive on the helplessness of victims. I hope my perception of helplessness will remain a mistaken observation. As long as I can still shoot well enough to hit a 10" circle at 7 yards, approx. COM size, I intend to carry.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

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    Member Array mstarn's Avatar
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    The older you get the MORE of a target you become for a bad guy. The more affluent you are the more target you become for a bad guy. You dress well, speak well, drive a decent vehicle, you probably have money or credit cards. Or so the the mind of a bad guy thinks.

    I feel this is the reason that the older person should carry a concealed handgun. Of course, any one carrying a handgun should be fully qualified from all aspects.
    Mark
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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstarn View Post
    The older you get the MORE of a target you become for a bad guy. The more affluent you are the more target you become for a bad guy. You dress well, speak well, drive a decent vehicle, you probably have money or credit cards. Or so the the mind of a bad guy thinks.

    I feel this is the reason that the older person should carry a concealed handgun. Of course, any one carrying a handgun should be fully qualified from all aspects.
    I think that Mark, and several others, have made important points in response to my post. Unfortunately, I suppose that older people are perceived as easy targets by BG. This would statistically increase their risk of being attacked, and thus arguably result in an even greater need for them to be armed then younger people, assuming that they are qualified.

    Ron

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    New Member Array Old_Painless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    I think that Mark, and several others, have made important points in response to my post. Unfortunately, I suppose that older people are perceived as easy targets by BG. This would statistically increase their risk of being attacked, and thus arguably result in an even greater need for them to be armed then younger people, assuming that they are qualified.

    Ron
    Ron, please don't take this personal, but your comment made me think.

    You seemed to say that older people ought to be able to carry a firearm,"assuming that they are qualified".

    How about my right to free speech? Do I need to be "qualified" by the government to speak freely?

    How about my freedom to worship God as I please? Do I need to be "qualified" by the gooberment to do that?

    Then why do I need to be "qualified" to exercise my God-given right to "keep and bear arms"?

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Painless View Post
    You seemed to say that older people ought to be able to carry a firearm,"assuming that they are qualified". Then why do I need to be "qualified" to exercise my God-given right to "keep and bear arms"?
    God didn't grant that. The framers of the U.S. Constitution did, though in acknowledgement as a "right" and something that preexisted. But, the granting of freedom of choice was done. The granting of choice to humans must allow that society's right to be free from unreasonable, uncontrollable misuse holds as much weight as one's right to defend one's self, particularly when such usage cannot be controlled and managed in a safe manner and directly puts everyone in range at risk of death. Hence, legal systems, which are in place to stop people at exactly that point where one "right" crosses the line and infringes on others' rights to freedom from such damages.

    Using a pencil is one thing, as only the individual and others' views of him can be damaged. Using a knife is one thing. But a firearm is a distance weapon. It requires a measure of skill and control in order to avoid negligent usage, striking the proverbial three-year old child in the background, etc. It's much like using a 3500-lb car: each can damage others, if they cannot be properly controlled. IMO, at the point where one can no longer adequately control use of a deadly weapon, society's right to be free from harm supercedes one's right to walk around with that weapon ... car, firearm, or otherwise. Doesn't mean that someone cannot defend himself, but it does mean that doing so in such a manner that severely risks others must meet minimum standards of physical/mental ability. Can't control a firearm? Get a knife. Can't use a knife? Get OC/spray. Can't control any of those? You're up a creek and probably in need of some 24x7 care. Sad but true.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Painless View Post
    Ron, please don't take this personal, but your comment made me think.

    You seemed to say that older people ought to be able to carry a firearm,"assuming that they are qualified".

    How about my right to free speech? Do I need to be "qualified" by the government to speak freely?

    How about my freedom to worship God as I please? Do I need to be "qualified" by the gooberment to do that?

    Then why do I need to be "qualified" to exercise my God-given right to "keep and bear arms"?

    I can see how my comments could be construed the way you construed them, but that was not my intent. I was responding to Mark's comments, in terms of the question I raised in my post, which is whether we reach a point where our ability to effectively use a weapon to protect ourselves and family has deteriorated to the point that we should voluntarily stop carrying, the emphasis being on voluntary. It was only in that context that I used the word "qualified."

    Ron

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    New Member Array Old_Painless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    God didn't grant that. The framers of the U.S. Constitution did, though in acknowledgement as a "right" and something that preexisted.
    The Founding Fathers would be the first to tell you that you were 100% wrong.

    They said, time and time again in their writings, that they did not "grant" any rights. They said that our rights are "unalienable", meaning "given by God", and that no government had the a legal authority to deny these rights.

    The Bill of Rights does not "grant" rights. Instead, it tells the government that it cannot violate these rights. Notice the First, "Congress shall make no law..."

    It restricts Congress, not me.

    The Second says, "shall not be infringed", a limitation on Congress, not me.

    My rights are "unalienable" rights.

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    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    The Bill of Rights does not "grant" rights. Instead, it tells the government that it cannot violate these rights. Notice the First, "Congress shall make no law..."

    It restricts Congress, not me.


    +1

    So long as the person who carries the weapon is mentally capable of doing so, their age should have no factor in them doing so.
    Fear No Evil.

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    The title of this thread will always stir strong feelings which will be motivated either by belief in one's rights, or those who fear that someone could abuse those rights. It is hard to compare the "right to bear arms" to something such as the "privilege of driving a motor vehicle", but I believe both situations require the exercise of common sense beyond looking at someone's chronological age. I have observed people who at age 80+ exhibited the alertness and responsiveness of someone half their age. Then again, I have observed others who in their sixties were dealing with infirmities brought on by genetic conditions beyond their control such as crippling arthritis, dementia, or God knows what else. I hope that each one of us can appreciate that fact and be blessed with the ability to self-determine when our capabilities no longer measure up to our desires.
    Last edited by gimpy; October 5th, 2006 at 04:41 PM. Reason: correct a word
    "Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual change; but this change is not [an improvement]. For everything that is given, something is taken."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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