John Hopkins University’s Shannon Frattaroli sees danger in gun ownership among senior citizens, and pointed out Thursday that California’s Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) provide a way that families can have guns confiscated from older relatives.
Senior citizens have been among the most adamant Second Amendment advocates in recent years, such as the late Otis McDonald (above), who challenged Chicago’s handgun ban at the U.S. Supreme Court — and won.
But Frattaroli, who works at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has expressed concern over what an grandparent with a gun might do to him or herself via suicide, or the danger that may befall a grandchild who finds the gun.
According to New America Media, Frattaroli said:
So much of the dialogue around guns in this country has been around crime, and lately, mass shootings. And the older population is not part of that. But when you look at the suicide issue, it’s impossible to ignore older Americans. With that in mind, any conversation about guns has to include a conversation [about] gun ownership among older adults. There’s definitely more to be done on that issue in the United States.
She indicates lawmakers in many states have enacted laws requiring older Americans to show proficiency before being allowed to continue driving, but points out that laws requiring proficiency in firearms are not a topic of discussion. Instead, such citizens continue to own guns and cite self-defense as a common reason for so doing.
But Frattaroli believes the dangers posed by armed older citizens far outweighs any safety they otherwise gain by owning firearms. She said:
Older adults need to consider the risk whether an actual home invasion is likely to occur, versus the likelihood that the [older] person would use that gun to do harm to themselves, or a grandchild would find that gun, or they would harm someone coming into the home who’s not there for a home invasion, someone there for a legitimate purpose like a caretaker.
She ultimately cites California’s GVROs as a way that concerned family members can have guns taken from older family members.
Breitbart News previously reported that GVROs can be issued without the gun owner having any say in the process. KPCC reported, “[GVROs] could be issued without prior knowledge of the person. In other words, a judge could issue the order without ever hearing from the person in question, if there are reasonable grounds to believe the person is a threat based on accounts from the family and police.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.