The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 15, 2013, 09:25 AM   #1
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 5,386
Question about gun safety and mental deterioration with age

Got a question for anyone familiar with mental deterioration with age.
And older fellow at our club, in his late seventies, is having some difficulties with his semi autos.
Kind of brain farts with the safeties, loading, unloading, the sort of the things new shooters do.
But he's very experienced with them and was, at one time, one of the best shooters at the club matches.
No problem with his repeaters, revolvers, bolt, lever and pump actions, though.
His skills with the repeaters came at an earlier age than the semi autos.
He said that he didn't really get into semis until much later in life.
He has reluctantly put the semis aside and has gone back to the repeaters.
And he's much more comfortable and safer to be around.
So, the question is:
Are his skills with the repeaters better because he acquired them earlier in life, or because they are simpler to operate and understand?
Do the things we learn and know from our earlier years stay with us longer as we get older?
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.

Last edited by g.willikers; April 15, 2013 at 09:31 AM.
g.willikers is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 09:32 AM   #2
Skadoosh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,776
My mother in law lived with my wife and me for the last ten years of her life. As her mind deteriorated she could not remember three random words and repeat them back after being shown a picture of a puppy dog...or draw an analog clock to show 10:15 (all the numbers 1 through 12 were bunched up from the 1 to 3 oclock positions). But she could remember the name, address and which bus/train to take to visit every member of her Philadelphia Italian family. She could remember every city and country she visited during her time as a 20-something-year-old hairdresser on the SS United States during the 1950's.
__________________
NRA Life Member (2003)
USN Retired
I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
Skadoosh is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 09:42 AM   #3
psyfly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 783
As a (really roughly approximated) rule of thumb on aging and memory:

"First learned, last lost."

Tempered even more, of course, with a large dose of wildly individual variation.

W
__________________
Show me the data
psyfly is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 09:48 AM   #4
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 5,386
Thanks for the rapid replies.
So, is the same thing in store for us older guys, who grew up with revolvers and repeating long guns, long before learning to use semi autos?
Might be something to ponder.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 10:24 AM   #5
Vanya
Staff
 
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 4,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
Do the things we learn and know from our earlier years stay with us longer as we get older?
Well, in general, yes.

But the kind of mental deterioration you're describing isn't something that happens automatically as part of the aging process. It's a symptom of some underlying condition: Alzheimer's, a stroke, changes related to alcohol consumption... quite a few other possibilities.

So it's not something to fear as inevitable, but it's good to be aware of the possibility, and to seek medical attention if you think something's amiss. A friend did this last year after she ran a couple of stop lights, had a couple of other "brain farts." She talked to her doc, who referred her to a neurologist and a shrink. They found she was a teeny bit impaired (likely the result of a concussion and aftereffects of general anesthesia she'd had a few months back). Put her on some meds, suggested some changes in her diet... several months later, she's fine.

Lesson: be aware of any changes (and listen to friends and family if they're concerned), and don't be afraid to go to the doctor.
__________________
"Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."
(Milan Kundera, Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1980)
Vanya is offline  
Old April 15, 2013, 01:39 PM   #6
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,685
I give the gentleman credit for being aware enough to recognize the lapses and to set aside the semi-autos. Many people either wouldn't notice the oopses, or wouldn't be willing to admit to them and take positive action in response thereto.

As has been commented, these types of lapses are not guaranteed for everyone. They are symptoms of Alzheimers, adult dementia, stroke (or mini-stroke, which often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed). Not everyone has such problems. My grandfather died at the age of 84. He voluntarily stopped driving several years before that, not because of any problems or accidents or near-misses, but because he had always been an excellent driver, and when slowing reflexes reduced him to being merely a "good" driver he felt it was time to fold up his tent. He maintained his driver's license and kept the car in the garage in the event of an emergency, but he didn't drive.

His son (my uncle) lived longer, but for a number of years was a menace to society because he DID have lapses, and he was involved in a number of fender-benders. Naturally, he ascribed them all to the other driver, but a clear pattern emerged. The problem was, my uncle was not as responsible or as self-aware as his father, so he refused to stop driving. He kept at it right up until a few months before his death, when he finally became physically unable to drive.

Each person and each case is unique.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07296 seconds with 7 queries