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Gabriel Suarez
01-14-2004, 10:39 AM
OK, this topic came up on another thread. Its an important thing to study, so I'm opening a new thread on the issue.

karl johnson
01-14-2004, 12:10 PM
I think our elder Lions need to be taught awareness and avoidance before anything else.

Taking my father as an example, I know that he was quite a tough guy in the logging camps and merchant marine of his youth, but he feels every year of his active life, and he feels extremely vulnerable in his present, weakened state. His understanding of the threats he faces now is extremely unrealistic, and based on the TV news and on inflated and unsubstantiated internet rumors. An elderly man, liike my father, can justify shooting someone far sooner than I can, but, frankly, a shut in's ability to identify a threat correctly is seriously suspect.

Education about the current threats, the ways they tend to develop, and avoidance strategies puts the decision whether to fight or not back in their hands, like it was in their youths. They are back in control, or at least as much as any of us are.

Once this is done, and assuming they still own the physical ability to operate it, teaching handguning skills adapted to their individual ailments and disabilities becomes an option. Can they manipulate a slide? Can they manage a double action trigger? Can they clearly identify a threat at greater than arm's length? I am assuming, of course, that the student is still mentally clear.

In the wild, older lions play a game of bluff and roar when the younger, stronger lions come round the pride. No lion can afford to be badly hurt, the older one even less than the younger, but often the older lion's experience allows him to stand up to the stronger, younger animals, even, sometimes, when blows are exchanged.

Those of us who intend to be old someday are fortunate that we will have access to firearms as equalizers against the young and strong, but we will, even more than now, have to know how to fight smart.

Vig Creed
01-14-2004, 12:36 PM
Like KJ suggests, combat for the elderly is necessarily going to be limited to shooting or cane work.

In SASS competition there are lots of senior citizens who can do pretty darn good with their cowboy guns. But I doubt that many could go H2H with youngsters.

Ruger Vaquero .32 mags are lightweight, low recoiling and especially easy to shoot. And safe for beginners as well.

creed

Geezer
01-14-2004, 01:29 PM
Gabe, thank you so much for this thread.

I will be thinking of different things as this goes along. I think it is best if I post them one at a time.

Vision. I carry J-frames, and I was not able to find the front sight anymore, until I painted them with dayglo red paint. Now they are much easier to find, and my shooting has improved significantly. My everyday J-frame has lasergrips, but they are ineffective in bright sunlight.

God bless and y'all be careful out there.:cool:

Sam Spade
01-14-2004, 01:39 PM
I think that gunfighting is pretty well developed, and teaching the elderly poses no special problems. Are some weak, with poor vision, poor reflexes and any or all of the other infirmities? Sure. But we still see plenty of that in the general population, and good trainers can adapt and overcome.

Combatives. Ah, there's a whole 'nother can of worms. First, there's no typical profile for an elder, and the variation on physical condition leads to a huge number of what-ifs. We need to be able to address each of them as individuals, and that leads to almost a personal, rather than group lesson. That tends to go against the principle of simplicity.

Next, we quickly get to the point where the training can be injurious. For instance, how do I teach someone with osteoporosis to escape from a grab? She can't hit me--it's ineffective, and she'll injure herself. Even supposing that there's some physical technique that works, I can't put a realistic attack on her without snapping something. While disparity of force may mean that she can go to guns early, that's not a realistic answer. There's a huge reluctance to do so (I know...) and more importantly, she has to first break free of the physical attack to access the weapon. The more I work with things like this, the more I'm convinced that the answer is a tool that's yet to be invented. (Sci-fi wish list--a taser whose two leads are on two rings, one worn on each hand or two fingers of the same hand. Always ready, touch and zap. Now, back to 2004...)

Karl hit the nail on the head as pertains to mindset. I'd argue with his lion analogy, though. Lions don't have our sociopaths among them, and too many thugs will take the "challenge" presented by the roar so that they don't lose face in front of their homies.

karl johnson
01-14-2004, 08:20 PM
Karl hit the nail on the head as pertains to mindset. I'd argue with his lion analogy, though. Lions don't have our sociopaths among them, and too many thugs will take the "challenge" presented by the roar so that they don't lose face in front of their homies.

Thank you for the comment, but I disagree about one thing.

Motivation of the attack doesn't really matter in this example. Whether it is a sociopathalogical person, or a young lion that calls the bluff, the outcome is the same. The vast majority of human bad guys are opportunistic and will find an easier looking target, especially in a state with a liberal CCW law.

KarlJ

michael
01-14-2004, 08:52 PM
I think it depends on the age, mental function and conditioning of the individual. I've seen some 70 and 80 year olds that are in great shape, run marathons and train daily in martial arts. I've seen others that are so decrepit they can hardly move. The point has already been made that much of the training would have to be on a one on one basis. As already mentioned, awareness and simple things like keeping the doors locked, don't open them to strangers, etc. are necessary. Many of the elderly have to be constantly reminded of these things due to their age. But once the physical ability is almost gone, the only hope they have to prevail is mindset, good training and a firearm. Only the firearm can make up for the disparity of force between a young, determined attacker and a physically weak and frail elderly person.

Geezer
01-14-2004, 09:46 PM
Here comes the curve ball.

Here in Simi Valley, where I live, for the next three weeks anyway, the most common threat to old folks is the possibilty of running into a stray dog, or much more common, a dog that the yuppie owner can't control. Many of the geezers that walk in the park carry golf irons for that purpose, others, like myself, carry canes.

Although I have no problem with shooting a dog that is threatening me, then I have to deal with an out-of-control yuppie, unable to accept his own rsponsibility in the matter, who will likely attack me to 1., assuage his guilt, and 2., affirm his yuppie honor, 3., gain an easy victory over an old guy. . So, I shoot him too?

I know that there are way too many yuppies in the world, but still, we aren't supposed to shoot them over trifles.

So, combatives for the elderly has to start with what is probably the most likely scenario, a dog threat, either unleashed with the owner chasing the dog and yelling ineffectively, or on a leash with an inept owner in tow.

This scenario is getting more common as the yuppies, out of fear, or to compensate for their own inadequacies, buy dogs that are far more warlike than their owners, and much more dominant.

OK, no easy answers now brothers, think this one through! How are you going to train me for this?

God bless and y'all be careful out there. :cool:

michael
01-15-2004, 07:34 AM
This one is actually pretty simple. I will assume that if this person is fit enough to walk the neighborhood that they are fit enough for a little training in pepper spray usage. OC works great on both 2 and 4 legged critters, and I always carry it with me when I walk the neighborhood and have zapped several pooches with it. They usually run off yelping the entire way. Most people here that walk in the neighborhoods also carry a "walking stick", which with a little training, works well for dogs and human defense. I would advise using both.

Ted T.
01-15-2004, 08:11 AM
You guys got it easy, :) here in Canada, you can't give your elderly father a handgun no matter how bad his neighborhood is, even pepper spray is prohibited. He'll have to use sticks and knives and h2h and count on the element of surprise.


. feature seems to be broken...

"Like KJ suggests, combat for the elderly is necessarily going to be limited to shooting or cane work.
...
But I doubt that many could go H2H with youngsters."

Larry is my a 74 year old student who has a chin jab to envy. He's short on endurance but if he gets in one hit, he's well on his way to finish it. We were doing knife work and changed the attack drill to a low line defense so my assistant took off his goggles. Larry repeated the last defense, a crow hop back , hollowing out his belly with double finger strikes to the eyes and he hit Joe in the eye and put him down to his knees.

I live in the retirement capital of Canada and the number of elderly that are physically attacked is low, way low. And most often it is another codger they mess it up with and no one is hurt. Or abusive husbands / boyfriends.

Anthony
01-15-2004, 09:21 AM
A few comments. My 0.02 cents, but I'm no-way an expert on this subject.

My first suggestion is that we have to identify the more common type of attacks suffered by the elderly.
Geezer started that one off with his post about Yuppies & their dogs in his area.

Are the elderly commonly robbed at gun-point, or do the thugs use their youth/strength to intimidate & rob ? - I'm ASKING !
We need more info, to be better able to plan a defensive stratagy.
An example: Where I live, one or two street punks ( unarmed ) would not even look at me as a possible target. - 43 going on 44, 5ft 11". They know they'd have a fight on their hands. This type of scum will target the elderly, or women alone. Perhaps a young teenager too.

A swift draw of a snub revolver from the pocket would send these thugs running.

In Britain the elderly are commonly targeted in the home. A better home-defense stratagy perhaps ?
For you there in the US, in areas where a CCW is difficult, maybe a home gun isn't ?

Weapons:
michael mentioned correctly, - for the elderly, a firearm is the only tool that will resolve the disparity of Force issue. Gabe mentioned on another thread that the elderly can far more acceptably use leathal force than he or I, in say an agressive threat from an 18 year old thug, - simply demanding our wallet !

I would suggest revolvers would be a better choice. Simpler. No heavy recoil springs ( racking slides/malfunction drills etc.)
The newer revolvers coming out of S & W and Taurus these days are fantastic. Lighter weight. 7-shot mid frame models. Mid frame 5-shot snubs in .45 Colt/44 spl etc etc. And many elderly were/are probably more accostumed to revolvers. Most men/women who were police, & left 20 years ago, didn't probably carry a pistol.
A can of OC spray seems a good idea too. 'Spraying' a yuppy's dog instead of shooting it will leave him ( the yuppy ) less pissed ! ( Spray him too for good measure :D )

Just a few thoughts gents. I'll be there one day too ( I hope.)

Regards,
Anthony.

Jim Conway
01-15-2004, 10:13 AM
I have been lurking here for a while and this is, I think, my first post. I am 66 years old and very much like the "elder lions" description used in a previous post. Over the past five years or so I have worked quite hard at my firearm training. After attending the defensive handgun courses at Front sight and Gunsite, I had all but given up attaining Graduate status. This past November at Frontsight, I finally made Graduate and was only a few points from Distinguished Graduate. In my case it took a bit of hard work and dry fire practice and, more important, ignoring a bit of shoulder soreness and believing that it could be done.
While us elder lions will never be as fast as you young pups, there is no reason that we can not be as accurate.
We also have one major advantage over you pups. No one expects us to be armed and even more important no one expects us to know how to properly use a weapon. This can be a deadly combination for any BG.

Anthony
01-15-2004, 10:53 AM
Good for you jimcon. Great !
I think that your comment at the end of your post can be summed up in one word: - SURPRISE !
A very important factor for any warrior, in any situation.
I smile at the thought of a street punk demanding an elderly persons wallet, to stand there waiting to recieve it as the elderly person ( apparently complying ) reaches to get it............and a snub revolver 'appears' and is in his face ! "You want my wallet" ? "So take it you MF" ? :D

Regards,
Anthony.

Jim Conway
01-16-2004, 10:13 AM
Anthony:
The only thing that you got wrong was the weapon that would appear. I carry a GSP Commander loaded with Ranger XT 230G hollow points. I excect, and hope, that it will cease all hostilities.

Ted T.
01-16-2004, 11:47 AM
I read in the local paper this morning that an 80 yr old woman was knocked down and her purse stolen last night. She's ok from the ordeal. Her attacker? A 44 yr old woman who was caught and held for the police by witnesses.

We've had gang swarmings here too and once they targeted an older couple (in their 50's, wrong place, wrong time), quite a few couples around 35 yrs but mostly other young adults, 18 to 25. More knives are being seen too. Death and serious injury result from these gang swarmings on the 20 yr olds but not on the older folks (and from pimps and pushers doing each other).

On the whole I'd say that situational awareness and good common sense is working just fine in our town for the seniors - they know where to go and not to go and when not to go there. It's so peaceful I have a hard time building my senior's cane fighting classes! :)

DaveJames
01-16-2004, 08:22 PM
ONe of the hot problems here in the summer months are gyspies, they tend to target the older crowd, and don't seem the lest bit worried about going into a home after what they want

billcameron
01-18-2004, 01:48 PM
I don't know how old you consider elderly or the physical impairments you believe typical of the elderly. I certainly agree that youth has an advantage in any hand to hand confrontation, esp if it is not over quickly. But some elderly have been shooting since at least their early teens and have developed a lot of "grooved moves", "muscle memory" call it what you will. For people with this background once the decision to act is made things happen "automatically". So I believe an older person who has been shooting for some time and has no major physical impairments is a more formidable gunfighter than your average and I emphasize average off duty police officer. Now I agree with the emphasize Gabe and others put on the need for training in close contact gunfighting. The positive to the fact most threats are at close quarters is the lack of a need for a crystal clear sight picture (something that is hard to achieve as you grow older). And for those who have a problem with getting a decent sight picture quickly, I would urge you to try ashley big dot.

Now I think a different situation is the older person who never had any prior interest or experience with firearms. It may be true its tough to teach an old dog new tricks, but when the motivation is there things can happen. And again I think we have to evaluate the potential threat. In this regard the potential threat is going to be what 98% under 20 feet or something like that. So train according both in terms of range and types of draw, carrying methods. I think to start an elderly person with no experience on an NRA bulleyes type course is foolish and will only discourage the person. Start them on big targets at close range. If they have an interest then introduce them to bullseye shooting. And also don't bore the elderly/new shooter with a lot of "gun talk" about bullet weights, velocity,etc. Start them out with something that has a good track record and they can handle. I agree with other posters that for the new shooter or "non gun person" a revolver has a lot to offer.

Bodfish
01-18-2004, 07:54 PM
As David James mentioned above, gypsies will indeed enter a house without much hesitation. Most of the time it will be two gypsy females who enter a house. If confronted, they will often try to confuse the homeowner by shouting at them in their foreign language. The critical aspects of this type of encounter are, of course, to disregard their verbalizations, watch their hands and not allow them to get close. They almost always carry knives, and are quite skilled with them. In short, these folks can be very dangerous, and should be treated accordingly.

mballai
02-02-2004, 07:02 PM
I think there is an entirely uncharted area of training and it starts less with the elderly--it really starts for anyone much past 40. Stuff happens along with the gray and/or receding hair. I think this is actually a real plus--whatever works has to be simple, direct and effective without great strength.

Geezer
02-17-2004, 09:15 PM
Lot's of good stuff. I had gotten out of the habit of carrying OC spray, have to put that back into my pocket. I think y'all solved the dog/yuppie problem, for anyone who wanted a solution.

Awareness is good, is essential, in fact, but stuff still happens. A momentary lapse (senior moment we call them), or a dedicated BG who is stalking prey selected for its apparent vulnerability.

Consider the parking lot. Assume that the encounter happens so suddenly that our poor old guy is in the grasp of the BG or BGs before he can pull his firearm. (I didn't say or she because my wife walks to her car with her hand on the pistol in her purse. Grab it or her and get shot, doofus!).

In the grasp of the BG, trapped between two cars, car door open blocking retreat, probably on blood thinners, arthritic, poor hand strength, limited endurance, keys in one hand. In my case, you can add cane in the right hand, but not all old folks carry canes. Assume not enough time to do much more than perhaps raise the cane and turn the body sideways to absorb any blows.

Get me out of this one intact and my hat is off to you.

God bless and y'all be careful out there. :cool:

oct_97
06-11-2004, 01:27 PM
I'm 62 years old, an IDPA 4 gun club marksman, have a Glock 19 in my car, a Kel Tec 380 in my pocket (Cor Bons in both), a knife, Pepper Spray, and a Baton. At home I have security bars on the windows & sliding doors and a couple of guns stashed where I can get to them in a hurry. Most importantly, I am always very aware of what is going on around me.

P.D.
06-11-2004, 11:31 PM
Oct97,

Please don't take this personally, but having retired from federal service in which I spent some time working in and around FCIs, local lock-ups, and state prisons, I will NEVER live anywhere with bars on MY windows and doors.

I'll move first no matter what.

Dale Fricke
06-11-2004, 11:35 PM
Consider the parking lot. Assume that the encounter happens so suddenly that our poor old guy is in the grasp of the BG or BGs before he can pull his firearm. (I didn't say or she because my wife walks to her car with her hand on the pistol in her purse. Grab it or her and get shot, doofus!).

In the grasp of the BG, trapped between two cars, car door open blocking retreat, probably on blood thinners, arthritic, poor hand strength, limited endurance, keys in one hand. In my case, you can add cane in the right hand, but not all old folks carry canes. Assume not enough time to do much more than perhaps raise the cane and turn the body sideways to absorb any blows.

Get me out of this one intact and my hat is off to you.

God bless and y'all be careful out there. :cool:

As you walk keep a firm grasp w/thumb and forefinger on the longest key on your chain and stick it in his eye as hard, far in as you can!!!
Or
My team uses this it will take a little training but well worth it, Great tool.

The Key Defender OC is lightweight, low profile and easily carried on its own key ring. It provides two million Scoville Heat Units of Oleoresin Capsicum protection. (As do all my sprays). The Key Defender also acts as a traditional kubaton weapon, allowing you to hold the unit and jab the attacker or slash him with the keys.
http://www.selfdefenseproducts.com/defender.htm


Or maybe a Sword cane
http://www.allswords.com/cane_swords_s/22.htm

Find encouragement in Joshua 14:10-11 And now, behold, Jehovah has kept me alive these forty-five years as He said, even since Jehovah spoke this word to Moses, while Israel wandered in the wilderness. And now, lo, I am eighty-five years old today. As yet I am as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me. As my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out and to come in. :cool:

Moms 81 and 5’nothing :D and still keeps her S&W m36/3”hb with her at all times.
DEF
out

oct_97
06-12-2004, 07:39 AM
Hey P.D., no offense taken.

My use of the word bars was misleading. All of the windows slide to the left as do both sliding doors. I have mounted brackets on either side of each about half way up and slip a single length of pipe in them to prevent them from being opened. Similiar to what you find in many motels with sliding doors.

We have lived the sub division for 22 years, there has never been a crime in the neighborhood, of any type, in all that time. However, I do not leave any stone unturned when it comes to being safe, anywhere.

cxm
07-01-2004, 10:07 AM
First off, these comments need to be footnoted that what I say is not not neccessarily true in your state... you need to KNOW what you can or can not do where you live.

I teach Texas (and two other) state CHL courses. The oldest student I have had was 89. She was fairly slow, but fairly accurate... she passed the Texas CHL qualification with no problems. Her reloads were fairly slow, but that isn't a part of the test and not often needed in a real life situation.

I try to teach my students mind set first. First off, the concept that if you carry you MUST be willing to shoot...otherwise you shouldn't carry. Second, we teach the Texas CHL laws and regulations... basically teach them WHEN you can shoot (and the difference between can and should) When we look at the AOP matrix it is different for an elderly (or disabled) student. Retreat is seldom an opton and the disparity of force is great. For example, with the 89 year old lady, the 21 foot rule became the 50-60 foot rule...which of course requires a lot of adaptation on her part.

The point of all this is simply to point out an older person can successfully adapt to armed self defense... it just takes planning, adpatation and MINDSET. Like anyone else, a mindset that says you may lose a fight, but you WILL go down fighting pays off for older people too.

For the trainer, it involves being aware of the differences in the ability of the older student and planning to address those differences in the training, adapting to the different speeds etc. Often the older student will need more time to absorb information and more time to perform tasks. Dealing with those needs often produces VERY satisfied students.

FWIW

Chuck


Here comes the curve ball.

Here in Simi Valley, where I live, for the next three weeks anyway, the most common threat to old folks is the possibilty of running into a stray dog, or much more common, a dog that the yuppie owner can't control. Many of the geezers that walk in the park carry golf irons for that purpose, others, like myself, carry canes.

Although I have no problem with shooting a dog that is threatening me, then I have to deal with an out-of-control yuppie, unable to accept his own rsponsibility in the matter, who will likely attack me to 1., assuage his guilt, and 2., affirm his yuppie honor, 3., gain an easy victory over an old guy. . So, I shoot him too?

I know that there are way too many yuppies in the world, but still, we aren't supposed to shoot them over trifles.

So, combatives for the elderly has to start with what is probably the most likely scenario, a dog threat, either unleashed with the owner chasing the dog and yelling ineffectively, or on a leash with an inept owner in tow.

This scenario is getting more common as the yuppies, out of fear, or to compensate for their own inadequacies, buy dogs that are far more warlike than their owners, and much more dominant.

OK, no easy answers now brothers, think this one through! How are you going to train me for this?

God bless and y'all be careful out there. :cool:

Lawrence Keeney
07-01-2004, 02:40 PM
What do you do about someone with bad arthritis in their hands?

A double action revolver is probably out, as is an auto, unless someone loads it for them.

I was wondering about arming someone like that with a piece like a Ruger Single Six with a 22 magnum cylinder. I know it would be slow to reload, however, it is very easy to cock, and simple to de cock. Wouldnt a 22 mag hollow point hunting load in a handgun they could actually control be better than nothing?

RFrier
07-03-2004, 10:17 AM
I had a 60 y/o female unable to rack the slide on a pistol nor did she really have strength enough to pull the trigger on a snubbie at that time. What she ended up with was a Taraus .22 cal with a tip-up barrel which she could load and fire. Although she takes the trigger fingers of both hands to fire, there is no noticible recoil and she is getting better each time on the range. Hopefully she can continue to strengten her wrists to the point she can get and fire a 2" snubbie.

JWnTN
07-04-2004, 11:53 AM
I was wondering about arming someone like that with a piece like a Ruger Single Six with a 22 magnum cylinder. I know it would be slow to reload, however, it is very easy to cock, and simple to de cock. Wouldnt a 22 mag hollow point hunting load in a handgun they could actually control be better than nothing?
There are safety issues with a uncocking the revolver under stress. Plus, follow-up shots could be a problem, unless the user was well practiced. Before autos were adopted, several large PD's used double-action-only revolvers, due to the fear of unintended discharges.

Beretta makes (or used to) a .380 with a pop-up barrel, just like its .22, .25 and .32 autos. A lady in my permit class had one. She would release the barrel, load the chamber, close the barrel, insert a magazine and she was ready to go. I don't know how much hand strength closing the barrel required, but it looked like less effort than using the slide.