Senior Center

The Senior Citizen Gun Control Debate

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - July 9, 2013

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The hot topic right now in the United States is that of gun control. Shootings have been happening frequently; not just mass shootings in movie theatres and schools, but senior living communities as well. Gun control at senior housing communities is another topic that is creating a large debate. Should seniors be able to carry guns with them in the senior living communities to protect themselves or is it dangerous to their possible mental disorders and memory loss?

Increase in Gun Violence

There has been a recent increase in violence, relating to shootings in particular, in the past year. Senior living communities are experiencing more violence by other seniors who may have bipolar disorder, severe depression, schizophrenia, dementia or Alzheimer’s. One such shooting occurred in Phoenix, Arizona when an elderly man in his 80s shot himself and his wife in a murder-suicide. This is only one of many stories of murder and gun violence occurring in supposedly safe senior communities which begs the question: should seniors be allowed to protect themselves, or will guns do more harm than good?

Pros of Gun Control for Senior Citizens

The split for gun control is about 50/50, with a good deal of people pushing for gun control in senior communities. One of the primary reasons to push gun control is that many seniors are suffering from mind-altering conditions like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. With these types of disorders, they can’t be trusted with weapons that might harm themselves or others. Furthermore, other seniors might have mental disorders that make having a gun in their rooms dangerous. This doesn’t even begin to mention that even if someone doesn’t have these conditions and have a gun, another senior might be able to access it.

Cons of Gun Control for Senior Citizens

The disadvantages of gun control are pretty obvious: not all seniors have lack of control and many of them will be losing personal freedoms and liberties by taking away their ability to have a gun. Plus, without guns, seniors can’t protect themselves from intruders or others who might get violent with them. The disadvantages of gun control for senior citizens is similar to that of the rest of the country. The difference being protecting yourself and causing more dangerous situations by having a gun. One debate topic is that if you are in a dangerous situation, you wouldn’t be able to access your gun fast enough to defend yourself. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t be able to carry one.

For now, there are no gun control laws in regards to senior citizens owning a permit to carry a weapon. However with the recent influx of shootings in senior communities, it might be a more serious decision in the future. Gun control remains to be a hot topic and many seniors are concerned that issues of violence in communities will lead to the next “poster children” for the gun control debate being their generation. This has worried many seniors and left others in a state of panic for how to protect themselves should certain gun laws go into effect.

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Comments (1) -

10/14/2013 12:16:27 PM #

I forward this article to my mother hope she reads it, thanks!  

Lenore Olivarez |