Family Gun Control for Mentally Impaired

Discussion in 'Firearm Related' started by gunsmoker, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    If you reasonably think somebody has Alzheimer's disease, or some other form of senile dementia, at what point should they (the person affected) voluntarily give up their guns or put them in storage, not keep them loaded and easily accessible?

    What if a responsible gun owner has had a stroke, a serious head injury, brain damage due to some other medical condition or incident? And what if this person has had their thinking and reasoning abilities greatly diminished? What if their emotions are less stable and they react inappropriately to others and to events?

    At some point should such an impaired person give up their firearms? If they do not, would it be appropriate to have a family "intervention" of sorts and push the issue, insisting that Grandma's revolver go into attic storage, or that Uncle Felix no longer keep that loaded shotgun behind the kitchen door?

    There are many articles that have been written about when an elderly person may be too old to drive.

    There have been many legal articles written about the law of incapacity and guardianship-- when it is appropriate to have a court declare a person incompetent.

    But I don't think I've ever seen or heard anyone talk about whether diminished mental capacity can be or should be a reason for the gun owner or his or her family (NOT the GOVERNMENT !!) to give up their right to keep and bear arms, because for such a person under those circumstances a gun kept handy for self-protection REALLY DOES represent an unacceptable risk of being wrongly used to hurt some innocent person.

    Again, I'm NOT talking about "the State" or "the Courts" or any government agency taking away the rights of the people.
    Call this FAMILY-BASED gun control. Where the person in question and his or her immediate family and guardians and caretakers (who have the best insight on the person's condition and the risks / benefits analysis of having a deadly weapon) make a private decision about a course of action that the government never needs to know about.


    What do y'all think?
     
  2. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019

  3. CoffeeMate

    CoffeeMate Junior Butt Warmer

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    Well, if the issue is impaired mental capacity, then why pick on just firearms? Wouldn't all the kitchen knives and power tools and sundry blunt objects around the residence be just as dangerous to have around?

    (Don't get me started on running with a scissors)
     
  4. ChipM

    ChipM Active Member

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    There is definitely a time to have this discussion, and it is probably very similar to the driving discussion. I recall my mother, aunt, and uncle going through this with my grandfather as he was battling Parkinson's.
     
  5. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    was that supposed to be an intelligent and thoughtful post, Coffeemate?
    Really?
    So are you saying that unless a person is so far gone that they need to wear a strait jacket and live in padded rooms in a mental hosptial, they should live at home and sit with a loaded shotgun across their lap while they watch TV?
    Sleep with a .45 under their pillow as the Ambien along with their nightly dose of Oxycodone works its way through their bloodstream?

    You don't think that a loaded gun in the sock drawer is more dangerous in the wrong hands than the steak knife in the kitchen drawer or the 9-iron in the basement would be in the wrong hands? Really?

    :roll:
     
  6. CoffeeMate

    CoffeeMate Junior Butt Warmer

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    (Feeling a little snarky this morning, are we?) :lol:


    I'm not certain that is the same question, 'Smoker.

    I believe that if a person isn't mentally impaired to the point that a kitchen knife poses a danger, then neither does the handgun in the sock drawer pose a danger, (or for that matter, the socks).
     
  7. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Other THREADS and POSTS that relate to this issue:

    One year ago TecRsq started this thread, about having to suddenly care for a mentally-impaired relative and thus having to keep his own guns out of this person's reach.

    https://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=40968&p=574503&hilit=alzheimers#p574503


    Here's a thread about "no guns" polcies in nursing homes. Shamalama speculated that open carry isn't a good idea in the Alzheimer's / Dementia area because one of the people there might see the gun and have a mental flashback and attempt to grab the gun.
    https://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=22800&hilit=dementia

    Back in 2007, Misawa answered a question about how your spouse feels about guns by telling this story:
    QUOTE: "... things turned down the day her grandmother was shot and killed by her grandfather. We were originally told it happened while he was cleaning his gun, but that was just a story to get the family through the funeral. In reality, Grandpa had been suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's for nearly a year, but in the past several months would just get angry for no reason. So my father-in-law and his brothers (7 of them!) decided to get the guns out of the house, but they didn't know about that one.
    It's suspected that he was having a little rage incident, Granny told him to calm down, and he shot her." END QUOTE

    In Nov. 2009, Idiocracy made this observation in a thread that was about the effects of hypnotic sleep aids, insomnia, prescription drugs:
    QUOTE: "So, what is "rendered incapable of possessing or discharging safely?"
    Someone can in fact be dangerously impaired, yet defend themselves with a firearm. There have been senile elderly folks that use walkers cleared of shooting invaders. They may have even had their drivers license revoked for being incapable of controlling a vehicle. How would this scenario any different?" END QUOTE.

    Legal Standards of Mental Incapacity: (As used in the involuntary hospitalization law, Title 37, chapter 3):
    "Inpatient" means a person who is mentally ill (defined as "having a disorder of thought or mood which significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life")

    and...who presents a substantial risk of imminent harm to that person or others, as manifested by either recent overt acts or recent expressed threats of violence which present a probability of physical injury to that person or other persons; or

    (ii) Who is so unable to care for that person's own physical health and safety as to create an imminently life-endangering crisis; and

    (B) Who is in need of involuntary inpatient treatment.

    ..
     
  8. CoffeeMate

    CoffeeMate Junior Butt Warmer

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    As opposed to stabbing her with a chef's knife, or braining her with a golf club, or stuffing some socks down her throat, or just squeezing her neck until she stopped struggling... right?
     
  9. drtybykr

    drtybykr New Member

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    Just cut off their hands when the dementia sets in. Everyone will be safer that way, even the children :roll:
     
  10. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    If they are that far gone, they likely aren't living alone and have some form of caretaker. Just remove all the ammo. Let them have their guns if it means that much to them.

    Obviously, if they are showing violent tendencies then remove the guns (and the kitchen knives, scissors, gold clubs, crayons, toothpicks).
     
  11. SYN ACK

    SYN ACK New Member

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    We had to do this with my grandmother after she ran down the street with a loaded revolver. It's tough watching a family member decline so rapidly. :(
     
  12. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    Of course there is a time to have this conversation with the family. Maybe it doesn't come up in conversation much because its just common sense. We had to disconnect the lighter for the gas stove in Grandma's later years. She would turn the stove on and forget it. Once it wouldn't light for her we told her it was broke problem fixed.

    Generally by the time folks shouldn't have guns they are not living alone. This is the way it should be. If they are not capable of taking care of themselves they shouldn't be left alone. Doesn't matter if they are 8 or 80.
     
  13. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Guns are a straw man here. If we don't trust somebody to have [guns|knives|cars|matches] because of what they could do to themselves or others, then why are they unsupervised in the first place?

    Think long and hard about that, as it should apply similarly to felons, children, elderly, those with chemical imbalances, and those with brain injuries.
     
  14. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    And poor vision, don't forget to add poor vision to that list.
     
  15. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    So it's all or nothing, when it comes to guns. If you can feed yourself and wipe your own butt after using the toilet, you not only RETAIN all your Second Amendment rights, but you better exercise them and actually keep that loaded gun handy at all times. No need to evaluate or consider the risks. Guns are good. Long live the Second Amendment !!! Hip-hip, Hoooray!

    And until crazy Aunt Edna gets to the point that she needs to be institutionalized, it's perfectly fine, healthy, responsible, and safe for her to have a killing machine tucked in the side pouch of her Laz-E-boy recliner?

    Would you say the same thing about age limits for firearms? If it were legal, would you give your kid a pistol at age 9 because he can feed himself, bathe himself, keep his room clean, take out the trash and pick up the mail?
    If not, then why would you trust a disabled adult with the mental capacity of a 9 year old with that gun?
     
  16. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Poor vision or even blindness do not equate to a lack of understanding or caring about consequences.
     
  17. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    gunsmoker, you refer to guns as killing machines. You use words like GUN CONTROL. Your agenda, it sucks and I deplore it.

    My oldest son was 10 when I bought him his own rifle. He's two month's shy of 13 now and he knows how to use it for self defense should he need to. Elderly folks with Alzheimer disease do not literally have the minds of 9 year olds. Maybe in terms of general mental capacity, but not in terms of awareness of one's self, reasoning, and critical thinking. You argument in that respect is most invalid.

    If you're for gun control, just come out and say it once and for all instead of always talking in circles about it.
     
  18. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    Poor vision or even blindness do not equate to a lack of understanding or caring about consequences.[/quote:206ksvyl]
    That was tongue-in-cheek. The post I linked to should have made that obvious.
     
  19. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    ...and .08 BAC is impairment for everybody? How do you codify mental maturity or impairment?

    I'm not sure what today's exercise is, but my opinion on the matter is that if one does not understand (or care) that one's actions could end another's life and one is incapable of handling the great responsibility that comes with such actions, maybe one's ability to perform such actions should be limited.
     
  20. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Oops, logical error involving free will.

    I do not endorse things like suicide or self mutilation, but they are at their extents the far limits of self determination. While I generally oppose both actions, I cannot exactly stand on a soap box of personal responsibility and free will while at the same time preventing a person of sound mind a choice of either.