By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Armed and Aging: Should Seniors Face Tighter Gun Controls?” a rhetorical question headlining an article at the Silver Century Foundation asks. We know how those who are intent on disarming all — one divide-and-conquer category at a time — would answer.
Is it any surprise that Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, associate professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, comes up with a resounding “Yes”? Does anyone think Michael Bloomberg would invest over a billion dollars and accept anything less?
“There’s definitely more to be done on that issue in the United States,” Frattaroli asserts, citing elderly suicide statistics as justification for a gun-grab. And this is hardly the only citizen disarmament lobby attempt to cut that segment of gun owners away from what they view as the rest of the herd – under force of law.
Another way is to use Social Security “impairments” to disqualify citizens from gun ownership via the National Instant Check System. But not to worry, the administration assures us in its rule, “we also propose to establish a program that permits individuals to request relief from the Federal firearms prohibitions based on our adjudication.”
Who thinks their “adjudication” offers the same protections for fundamental individual rights as a jury trial (as opposed to being judgments handed down by those with their own subjective political sympathies and biases)? Why not flesh out what requesting — and importantly, receiving — relief looks like? How will equitable treatment be assured for all, and what’s the likelihood that those hostile to guns will reverse their earlier recommendations?
We’ve seen the same impulses employed against veterans. Per Gun Owners of America:
[A]t least 260,000 veterans had their gun rights revoked by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs since December 2015 … they’ve been reporting veterans who have a fiduciary trustee to act on their behalf for legal or financial matters. All veterans with this arrangement are being automatically declared “mentally defective” according to Guns.com, and are having their second amendment rights revoked.
Speaking of people with issues, joining in the gun grab chorus is Tom Arnold, a professional pretender of being someone he’s not, which at least puts him on par with Bloomberg beneficiaries pretending to be impartial social scientists. Arnold’s singular talent has perhaps been best described by “shock jock” Howard Stern. Tellingly, his drug addiction would have made him a “prohibited person.”
“Every day, 20 veterans commit suicide,” Arnold writes in a Hollywood Reporter plea for more citizen disarmament, following the self-inflicted death of his substance-abusing neo-Nazi nephew. “It's not just veterans; 44,000 Americans committed suicide in 2015.”
As long as that’s the litmus test being used to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms, it would at least be consistent to acknowledge data from recent years such as:
National law enforcement suicide rates run between 18 and 22 per 100,000; the general population's rate is about 11 per 100,000.
And it would be remiss to not at least mention “gun-free” Japan, including suicides among schoolchildren.
It’d also be remiss – just like the anti-gunners intentionally are – if we neglected to recognize that guns are also used by seniors (as they are by all of us) to save lives.
Back to Frattaroli’s premise, that age-based discrimination is an acceptable solution, one point needs to be emphasized. It's a truism all but ignored by a “justice” system that can leave the most dangerous free to walk among us:
Anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian.
After all, the greatest mass murder in this country’s history was committed with tactics and weapons unknown (which included an eyewitness report of boxcutters), the second most lethal ostensibly with fuel oil and fertilizer, and the third highest death toll was enabled with a match and a plastic container of gasoline.
How does it make sense to allow free access to these materials to anyone who has been deemed too dangerous to own a gun? And that includes possession by released criminal convicts that have “served their time” yet still remain on the “No Buy” list. If they’re truly still dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his classic “Gun Control,” equating their release with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger.
We’re not supposed to be limiting anyone's freedom without full due process considerations. If a person is then ‘adjudicated” a danger to himself and others, that needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and the appropriate degree of humane custodial protections and treatments must be provided. Importantly, that can’t expire until the danger is no more. Anything less is just denial.
No argument, the growing population of elderly presents many dilemmas. People are living longer and modern medicine can prolong life beyond what some are prepared to endure. It’s tragic, and results in difficult moral and ethical considerations for individuals and for society as a whole. The question “Whose life is it?” is answered and decided by each of us based on our secular and religious convictions.
Acknowledging there are no easy answers, it’s nonetheless curious that “progressives” in general are supportive of a right to choose assisted suicide. So in this case, it’s not so much the act they object to as the tool. And that makes it fair to question if their goal is truly to reduce “success” rates of those wishing to die, or if it’s simply another partial step to disarm those determined to live.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.