Mike in Texas sends in today’s Q&A podcast voicemail asking about how to deal with the elderly and guns.
In Mike’s situation, someone handed his 85 year old Grandpa a loaded gun at his birthday party. Gramps checked out the pistol, and while his finger was off the trigger, he was flagging people at the party.
Mike stepped up, took the pistol from Gramps, and gave it back to the family member who had gotten it out.
I’ve got a problem with people handling loaded (or even unloaded) guns in the setting of a birthday party. If a couple people want to go out to the garage to check out the new blaster, and they clear it, and keep it pointed in a safe direction, I don’t have any problem with that, but handing someone (elderly or not) a loaded gun to check out during a party is irresponsible.
When I took Hunters Safety way back in the day with Ranger Rick at the Carl T. Johnson center in Cadillac, MI, one of the things he talked about during the class was the right and wrong time to show off your new deer rifle. He was teaching the class to a bunch of 14 year old kids, who would undoubtedly be getting new deer rifles soon, and he told us that there’s a time and a place to show off the new blaster, and it’s not in the middle of a Christmas party with everyone around. It’s with just a couple people, in a secluded area, after the gun has been cleared, preferably with the action open.
So, to answer the question about what to do in this situation, try to avoid it, but if it can’t be avoided, say something immediately. Safety is always #1, way, way above hurting someones feelings.