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Older Folks and Gun Control

February 14, 2023
Mike Sampson

While gun-control legislation has focused on raising the ages for firearms purchases and carry to at least 21, the tide sadly may be shifting in a different direction.

As a Second-Amendment proponent and a seasoned “baby boomer,” I see efforts to lower the age at which I could buy or carry a firearm. So why is this happening?

Two January firearms homicide incidents in California took the lives of 18.  I described this event in my Feb. 3 article on “Politics, Pro Sports, Celebrities & Gun Control” that involved two shooters, one aged 72 and the other 67. As liberal antigunners exploded, the expected pushback has arrived.

Bearing Arms reported that a “majority of Americans think there should be a maximum age requirement for the purchase of firearms, though they don’t agree on the age, according to an exclusive poll run by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on behalf of Newsweek.”

“The poll—conducted between January 28 and 29 among a sample of 1,500 eligible U.S. voters—found 52 percent of respondents supported the imposition of a maximum age requirement for the purchase of firearms. Among these, 20 percent of respondents thought the age limit should be set at 60, while 16 percent said that it should be set at 70.”

“Some 11 percent of respondents said the maximum age limit should be set at 80, while 6 percent said it should be set at 90.”

Reportedly, such age restrictions never will see daylight, but in today’s antigun climate, who knows? I would bet some states, such as California, will introduce legislation to mandate age limits.

A recent Chicago report involved an 80-year old resident who was able to defend himself against two home invaders because he had a gun. He apparently had all the legal Illinois requirements to possess a firearm, a major accomplishment in that state.

Bearing Arms also reported that, “Twice as many likely voters think it’s more important to control gun ownership than it is to protect gun rights, according to a survey released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.”

In the poll, those surveyed were asked what they thought was “more important — protecting the right of Americans to own guns, or controlling gun ownership.”

Likely voters favored gun control overwhelmingly, by 66% to 34%. Every demographic group agreed strongly except Republicans, 78% of whom favored gun rights. Among Democrats, 87% thought gun control was more important.

As we often see, gun control is focused on “controlling” who can own firearms and does not address the “need” and rights for firearms. Perhaps a quick read of the U.S Constitution and the Second Amendment, plus court rulings, might provide clarity.

Challenges to restrictive gun-control legislation in several states occupy the daily news, and rightfully so. Legal challenges in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and California come to mind after these states passed antigun and anti-Second Amendment laws

So do “seniors” such as I ever have a need to carry and possibly use a firearm for personal safety? I carry daily and have on three occasions encountered personal threats of violence in my small northwestern Arkansas town. The last thing I need is age-related gun control.

Not only do I have rights for firearms ownership and carry, I also have an established need. As near as I can tell, violence of all kinds is escalating, not lessening.

A Feb. 3 home invasion not far from me in Fort Smith, AR, resulted in a homeowner shooting the perpetrator.

The Fort Smith Police Department  said the homeowner, a 58-year-old man, called after shooting a man, armed with a knife, who allegedly had broken into his home. When police arrived, they found a 29-year-old man dead from a gunshot to the abdomen. The homeowner was wounded.

I still maintain that for me, gun control is using two hands. Increasing situational awareness also becomes more important as we age, particularly in today’s times.

Hopefully, seniors with firearms will not see more restrictions on our rights. All of us, regardless of age, must keep our fundamental rights to Stay safe, be prepared. ~ Mike

Mike Sampson
Mike now calls Northwestern Arkansas home, but has lived and worked in several states and internationally. He has been an independent contractor and consultant since 2006 specializing in risk management, emergency management and training. In addition to work as a law-enforcement planner and technical writer with the Boise, Idaho, Police Department, he has experience in journalism, crop and animal agriculture, dryland farming for 20 years in western Kansas, plant and animal diseases, pandemic influenza, agroterrorism, bioterrorism, food safety and healthcare marketing.

He has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and has newspaper and agency writing and editing experience. At Washington State University in Pullman, he earned a master’s degree emphasizing adult education and communications.

While living in Lander, WY, Mike provided photographic coverage of the One-Shot Antelope Hunt for three years, and got to meet and accompany folks such as Chuck Yeager, Carroll Shelby, Buzz Aldrin, Dale Robertson and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf on their hunts. He also worked as an outfitter’s guide.


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