Too Young or Too Old… To Own a Gun?

Second Amendment


Fairfax, VA – -( A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all Americans, those opposed to the Second Amendment create fictional arguments about why certain types of firearms, ammunition, or even accessories should be eliminated.

In the 70s, the goal was to ban handguns.  Since they could be carried concealed for personal protection, they were seen as being “too small.”  That argument fell out of fashion as more and more states passed Right-to-Carry laws that recognized the right to personal protection.

One subset of the anti-handgun hysteria included inexpensive handguns (so-called “Saturday Night Specials”), which were deemed “too cheap.”  When NRA and others pointed out this was an obvious attempt to disarm lower income citizens (who are often at higher risk to being victims of violent crime), the term “Saturday Night Special” faded from the gun-ban lexicon.

Another subset of the attack on handguns came with the introduction of Glocks, and other handguns that used polymers as part of their construction.  These were falsely claimed to be able to pass through metal detectors and x-ray machines undetected, and, thus, “too invisible” to be screened where firearm are prohibited (think airports).  Of course, this canard was quickly dispelled.

Ammunition has been attacked as “too lethal,” “too untraceable,” “too bad for the environment (lead),” “too inexpensive (so tax it),” and any number of other “toos.”

Rifles have been called “too powerful,” “too modifiable,” “too accurate,” “too similar to actual military arms,” and the list goes on.

Boiled down to its essence, after wading through myriad “too this” and “too that” arguments, the just-right “Goldilocks” of guns would likely be a break action .22 rifle, although finding acceptable lead-free ammunition might be a bit difficult.  But anti-gun extremists can still claim they don’t want to ban “all” guns.

The latest approach to “Goldilocks-style Gun Control,” though, seems to be focusing less on what you can own, and focusing more on who can own firearms.  And we don’t mean people with criminal records.

After the horrific tragedy that took place in Parkland, Florida, this year, age became the new battle cry for those seeking to limit gun ownership.  Rather than focusing on the obvious failures at various levels of government to identify the copious warning signs exhibited by the alleged perpetrator, extremists decided to focus on the fact that law-abiding citizens are able to exercise their rights protected under the Second Amendment when they reach the age of 18.  Although responsible young adults regularly leave home, join the military, get married, and begin voting at this age, the anti-gun community has decided this age is too young for one to exercise the right of gun ownership.

Eighteen-year-olds have not been prohibited from purchasing and possessing rifles and shotguns at the federal level, and in the vast majority of states, since the founding of our country.  Nonetheless, because of the violent acts of one individual, we have seen an onslaught of legislation throughout the country that seeks to raise the minimum age to purchase and/or possess rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21.  Because common sense has taken a back seat to raw emotionalism in today’s gun control debate, some of these efforts have seen success.

But being deemed “too young” to own firearms isn’t the only threat to face the pro-Second Amendment community.  There may be a new approach beginning to form.  You might soon be deemed “too old.”

An article by JoNel Aleccia and Melissa Bailey, published by Kaiser Health News (KHN) and PBS NewsHour, has begun making the rounds with a number of media outlets, such as CNN, and it discusses the issue of gun owners who may be suffering from dementia.  Sort of.

Dementia can be a devastating disorder.  It is a category of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, that affects the brain, and its impact on individuals varies widely.  Mild forms can lead to simple cognitive declines, such as slight memory loss, that are little different than one would experience during the normal aging process.  More severe and advanced cases of dementia, on the other hand, can lead to dramatic changes in those afflicted that would require professional health care, and perhaps even commitment to a dedicate healthcare facility.

Of course, discussing the problem of dementia is a conversation worthy of having.  Unfortunately, the KHN/PBS article is riddled with language that sounds like it came straight from one of the gun-ban groups being funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg.  We can only presume it is likely to be used to promote anti-gun policies that focus on prohibition, and ignore reason and constitutional considerations.

The tone of the article (a lengthy one) is set early, when it inaccurately describes our nation with the all-too-commonly heard inflammatory claim that, today, “America copes with an epidemic of gun violence….”  In fact, America’s murder rate has fallen to a near all-time low.  If anything, we have been doing remarkably well since the violent crime peak in the early 90s, with violent crime and murder rates decreasing by about half.

But repeating anti-gun rhetoric is just the start.

Aleccia and Bailey go on to refer to an analysis of Washington state survey data that claims approximately 54,000 residents who are 65 and older have “some cognitive decline” as well as a firearm in the home.  Is this really important to note?  No, because two key facts are ignored.

First, cognitive decline is common among the elderly, and can manifest itself as simply slight memory loss.  It does not mean dementia is present.  In fact, the epidemiologist who analyzed the survey data even “cautions that the answers are self-reported and that people who’ve actually been diagnosed with dementia likely are unable to respond to the survey.”  So now, rather than dementia being the concern, it’s simply old age.

Second, the story refers to these people (again, likely just elderly folks with no known mental disorder) having “access to weapons,” as if that is a concern.  However, they may not even have access.  The survey apparently asked if there was a firearm in the home.  The person surveyed could very well be living in a home that has firearms in it, but not have access to the firearm.  A son or daughter who takes in a parent, for example, could be the person who owns the firearm in the home, and may not allow others access to it.

The authors also seem to lament, “Only five states have laws allowing families to petition a court to temporarily seize weapons from people who exhibit dangerous behavior.”  These are the so-called “red flag” or “extreme risk protection order” laws that are being promoted nationwide.  They generally lack sufficient due process protections necessary for deprivation of a constitutional right and are often rife for abuse.

Furthermore, dementia is not a “temporary” disease.  It has no cure.  If an individual is exhibiting “dangerous behavior,” it is, in all likelihood, going to continue, and probably increase.  All states have a process to seek to have someone’s competency adjudicated or be involuntarily committed, which could result in a more permanent firearm prohibition. And, these laws generally protect due process by allowing individuals to put on their own defense and challenge the allegation before having their rights infringed by the state.

To make matters worse, Aleccia and Bailey also spoke with long-time anti-gun researcher Garen Wintemute, as part of their parroting of the false argument that NRA has stopped “public health research into the effects of gun violence.”  Wintemute is the director of the anti-gun University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, so it is clear that there is research going on.

Ultimately, while the subject of treatment for dementia patients is a very serious issue that deserves more scientific inquiry, using such a terrible disease as a pretext to preemptively disarm elderly Americans is unacceptable.  As we have said many times before, NRA supports any reasonable steps to fix America’s broken mental health system. But if the debate is going to move towards one more Goldilocks argument suggesting that just getting “too old” is reason enough to confiscate firearms, as this article might suggest, then that is a debate we will not bear.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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  1. I am willing to bet that a larger percentage of all gun grabbers either live in gated communities with guards with guns at the gate or have guns in their homes. Democrats and ignorance. I wonder where they would run if they had the chance?? U guessed it to there neighbor who has a LEGAL firearm

    1. They have wanted to do that for decades where do you think the book/movie came up with the idea in the first place. The writer simply followed the direction political winds were heading or had actually arrived in certain nations.

  2. I’m sick, and tired of hearing about gun bans/gun confiscation. First: they are firearms not guns. Second: people go to work or travel to different parts ou the US. They are crazy people out there with knives, rocks, baseball bats, and other assorted instruments of destruction, and people need protection from them. Third: I like so many other law abiding citizens have spend hard earned money to buy a firearm or more for self protection, and preservation. On this I will speak for myself. If they come to my door I will shoot them for trying to steal what I have worked hard, and paid for!! They can have mine one round at a time!! I’m sure millions of other law abiding citizens feel the same way. Firearms are the last true freedom we law abiding citizens have left, and must fight to keep that right! God granted us the right to protect ourselves. Gods laws are higher than mans laws.

    1. I agree 100%. I feel the same way we must never give in or give up to the un-Constitutional ideals of the extremely liberal left wing Democratic Party. God gave us the right to self-defense that man can never take away, man does not know better than God our creator.

  3. So I guess that all our dedicated military individuals (and I thank them all for their service, seriously), will have to take desk jobs until they’re 21 yrs. old. Yeah, that’s gonna go over REAL BIG !
    Fight the enemy with pens and pencils – and be careful of the fully automatic erasers, they’re deadly in close range combat.

  4. Of the twenty-seven words contained in our Second Amendment nowhere do I see any caveats allowing for the government, any government state or local the ability or responsibility to restrict my God given and constitutionally protected right of self preservation. I see plenty of elected officials who would just as soon try and TAKE our God given right by usurpetive fiat while at the same time refusing to abide by their oaths of office.

    It should be apparent to everyone that we have far too many statutes that are IGNORED while blaming victims and everyone else when the blame lies squarely on their shoulders. These Anti-gun crusaders are merely attempting to deflect from their failures as civic public and government “leaders” so they needn’t answer for their malfeasance.

    We all know there are statutes against murdering people however, those statutes don’t seem to matter when the media goes off full tilt on their anti-gun platform when a firearm is involved. All one needs to realize that the media always over-involves themselves to the point of being hyper stupid. After a bombing the media will blame the bomber, however after a shooting they blame the gun

    The media further perpetuates this carnage by giving these depraved individuals what they sought in the first place their fifteen minutes of fame however with Cruz it’s more than a week!! They are not smart enough to realize by doing so they are inspiring others to act in a similar fashion.

    We already have laws on the books to curb violence yet you Leftopathic Deep State Globalists REFUSE to be realistic and adopt and implement REAL solutions. The reason they don’t is because if there were to actually be any solution for these problems there would be nothing left for them to politicize and we know the Leftopathic Deep State Globalist platform would be irrelevant and we definitely cannot have that now can we??

    The solution to protect our most valuable assets (our children) which cannot be replaced the Leftopathic Deep State Globalists want herded into DEFENSELESS Target Rich environments AKA Gun free zones which might as well post signage stating “Attention Criminals -This is a personal defense-free zone. All Law-abiding citizens at this establishment have been disarmed for your convenience and safety”

    On the reciprocal since MONEY is all the Leftopathic Deep State Globalists care for and all but DEMAND that the worthless script (which can be replaced) they idolize be guarded, stored, and transported having 24/7 security and ARMED GUARDS which speaks volumes.

    With that said the Leftopathic Deep State Globalists MORONS keep enacting more and more laws while NEVER enforcing them We have laws against murder yet you bleeding heart Leftopathic Deep State Globalists REFUSE to apply the appropriate punishment then ALLOW these criminals to repeat their heinous actions now that’s not only irresponsible but INSANE!!! ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛABE.

    At the time it was enacted the Second Amendment applied to all types of arms and was specifically intended to guarantee that private citizens could never be outgunned by the government. Anyone who claims otherwise is either stupid or lying.

    For those of you that say we can’t go up against the government because they have tanks and fighter aircraft I need to remind you that the government does not have these things. The military has them. Big difference.

    1. Aristotle said it best over 2200 years ago:
      Those who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. Thus, there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people.

  5. I just retired after a 38 year career in law enforcement. I can tell you with a great degree of confidence that nearly all of the cases I was involved in, where a home owner or other citizen used a firearm to protect themselves, the citizen was a person over the age of 65. Now I won’t go so far as to say that most defensive handgun cases in our nation involve older folks, but in our community that was the case.

    Most crimes perpetrated against older folks are committed by much younger, bigger and strong bad guys who see our older neighbors as easy pickins’. What our anti-gun pissants want is to deny them their God given right to protect themselves… pretty pathetic.

  6. A few weeks after my 18th Birthday, I was issued a high powered (,30-06 cal.) semiautomatic rifle. About a year later, I was issued a fully automatic .30 cal. carbine. About two months after I was released from active duty, I purchased my first handgun. In a few months I will have owned at least one firearm for 60 years. I keep most loaded, but without a round chambered. I have never had an accidental discharge, except on the range, have never injured anyone, or damaged anything of value to anyone with a firearm, but if anyone ever breaks down my door, I will not hesitate to shoot.

    I have given a lot of thought to what I would do if the gun grabbers should succeed in outlawing private firearm ownership, and have decided that I would become an outlaw and risk spending my remaining years in prison.

  7. I will be 71 the 27th of July this year … I am in full control of my faculties … I am disabled with stage 4 cancer & my Husband is disabled … I own several guns & WILL use them against any intruder … I have been around guns all my life , never an accident … If the GOVERNMENT wants my guns , they can pry them from my cold dead hands !!!!!

  8. I have about 30 firearms. I live in Illinois where they require a firearms owners identifacation card. I have had one every since they started required one back in the 90s. I also have a conseal carrier permit. Im 73 yers old and my FOID card expired last month on the 31st. I applied for a new card on the 22nd. About 17 days ago. I have been waiting for my new card to come in because I have 3 firearms all paid for waiting for me to pick up at my ffl dealer.. But I cant pick them up until I get my new card. Normally , it only takes 2 weeks. I logged into Illinois web site only to find out that its under investagation. Now I read this artical about to old to own firearms . Now im worried. If this is the case. Can the state conficate my firearms? If so. Im screwed. What should I do

    1. Shoot first and don’t stop.or simply move to another state.In all reality I would contact the NRA , tell your story and ask for assistance on this matter.

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