Will I know the Time?

Will I know the Time?

Will I know the Time?

I recently read several articles about dementia and gun ownership. Quite a few of the comments were; “Substitute real bullets with fake ones!”, “Tell them either the gun goes or you go” (the caretaker – usually a sibling), and “demented people have no rights; therefore, they should not have a gun!”

While disturbed at most of the answers, I had to look inward and ask myself; “Will I know the time to put away my guns?” and “Will that decision be made for me and against my wishes should I become demented (more than I am)?”

One article described the five early-warning signs of dementia (aside from Alzheimer’s disease). I though that I would share my response to each.

Early sign of dementia #1: Personality change

Symptom:
A warm, friendly loved one may seem to morph into a bit of a grouch — at first occasionally, and then increasingly.

My Response:
The more I learn about people, the more I love my dog. The more I learn about politicians, the more I love any dog.

Symptom:
A gregarious person still jokes and talks a lot but begins to say inappropriate things or make odd accusations.

My Response:
Please do not read some of my posts.

Symptom:
A mild-mannered loved one begins cursing.

My Response:
I do not but the wife does. She must be demented.

Early sign of dementia #2: Problems with executive functioning

I have always had problems with functioning executives.

Early sign of dementia #3: Vision problems

Could nearsightedness and needing new glasses have something to do with that?

Early sign of dementia #4: Language problems
Well, gosh darn it! Speak English!

Early sign of dementia #5: Social withdrawal

Are there penalties associated with that, like with early withdrawal? How about that I am a dedicated introvert, you twit!

Not to make fun of dementia as it is, indeed, a serious set of conditions and many suffer directly and indirectly from the effect of dementia. I believe the once popular term for dementia was an “addled” mind.

In the 2001 movie “A Beautiful Mind”, actor Russell Crowe played the part of John Forbes Nash Jr, a quirky, socially inept, egoistical and a mathematical genius at Princeton University in 1947. The story line follows his bouts with schizophrenia and his struggles to overcome it.

Ronald Reagan’s physicians diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s approximately five years after he left office. Many claim that Alzheimer’s is a pre-cursor to dementia and some claim it to be a component of dementia. (It was Governor Ronald Reagan of California who signed the Mulford Act in 1967, “prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one’s person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street.” The law was aimed at stopping the Black Panthers, but affected all gun owners. Twenty-four years later, Reagan was still pushing gun control. “I support the Brady Bill,” he said in a March 28, 1991 speech, “and I urge the Congress to enact it without further delay.” ) There is a story about him saving a nurse with an unloaded revolver but any ownership of personal firearms is relatively unknown.

More recently, Glen Campbell, the 75-year-old musician admitted that he has Alzheimer’s disease and he is preparing one last album and a farewell tour. As one doctor put it, “In a few months, it’s likely that Mr. Campbell will have trouble remembering the lyrics to that same old song (Rhinestone Cowboy). After a year, he won’t recognize any of those cracks in the sidewalks along Broadway.” Recently California took away his driver’s license. It is unknown (to me) if he owns any personal firearms, but there was a report (supposedly around the time of filming “True Grit” with John Wayne) that he was shooting a .50 caliber rifle at a Southern California shooting range.

It was said that when Johnny Cash recording his last song “Hurt” that it was a reflection of the dementia that he was experiencing in the last segment of his life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVAWKfJ4Go. I had also recorded a version of the song but, (hopefully) I still have a ways to go: http://www.writeworksatl.org/Music/JustCountry.html and click Hurt.

For some of us, two points in our lives symbolized freedom: our first car and our first firearm. Nobody had to tell me when I was ready for both, as I sensed that it was time. I do not expect somebody to tell me when to hand over my vehicle keys or relinquish my firearms, as I will sense that also, if I have my wits about me.

Will I know the time.

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  • Jcmoffitt

    This is a good article that brings up some excellent points.  Very well written.  

    • hounddog

      I sometimes walk into a room and forget why I went there.  Does that mean I have dementia, or just too much on my mind?  If a punk was picking a victim, would he go for someone who appeared to be perfectly sharp, or someone who appears to not to have his elevator reach the top floor?  Who is more likely to need protection?

  • Chapinjs

    It is an excellent article.  And no government agency should take it upon themselves to make decisions that an individual or family should be making for themselves.  However, asking seniors to give up their car keys, or the keys to the gun safe is always difficult.  It is usually done too late, in response to some near miss.  There is no substitute for family that takes care of one another.  And the government can not and should not stand in for a lack of caring family.  The desire for perfect safety always ends some freedom.

  • Dj_ez

    As a member of the LDS faith, this article has brough forth sharp relief something that will scare me when it is time to give up my guns.  A Family: The Proclimation to the World tells me that presiding over family spiritual afairs, providing for, and PROTECTING my family are my responsibilities.  I am unable to carry my firearm due to prescription drug use for a little while and it bothers me.  I can not imagine how it will feel when I am just unable to mentally be able to safely carry or utilize my firearms.  Hopefully my family will have it in them to remind me that I have stood the watch, and am now relieved.

  • Jim Isbell

    Symptom:
    A warm, friendly loved one may seem to morph into a bit of a grouch — at first occasionally, and then increasingly.

    I have become a grouch but its because people are worse than they used to be.  When I was young I didnt always recognise the a** H***s.  Now I do.

    Symptom:
    A gregarious person still jokes and talks a lot but begins to say inappropriate things or make odd accusations.

    I say inappropriate things these days because I can.  At a younger age I would be vilified for saying things that today I can say and be excused for because I am just an old man.  I get to tell the truth now… I had to be politically correct before…

    Symptom:
    A mild-mannered loved one begins cursing.

    When the kids left home I knew I was no longer a role model.

    Early sign of dementia #3: Vision problems

    Ok, I guess after my cataract surgery I became safer????

    Early sign of dementia #4: Language problems

    Which language?

    Early sign of dementia #5: Social withdrawal

    People dont talk loud enough anymore is it any wonder I dont react socially?

  • Anonymous

    ok

  • Gem

    You wont know- in 15 years as a primary care provider I have had 2 people voluntarily give up driving- and none have given up guns.

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