Guns & Roses: How Firearm Control Affects the Disabled


There’s no doubt in my mind that Congress is going to get into a shootout over gun control in the coming weeks and months. As is all too common, the disabled probably won’t have much of a voice even though firearm legislation affects them more than most.

The reality is that the disabled are especially vulnerable to violence, gun-related or otherwise. On the other hand, they also stand more to gain from the protection of a personal weapon like a firearm.

The controversy on Capitol Hill hasn’t prompted me to rush to the nearest gun store so I can start packing heat, however.

I remember target practice with a .45 caliber automatic pistol when I was younger. It packed quite a punch! At this age, seated on a mobility scooter, I doubt I’d survive my first shot.

Somehow, I can’t imagine realistically being able to draw and fire a gun against someone approaching me, gun-in-hand. Besides, where would I stash a pistol (even a small .22) where you could draw and shoot before being overcome?

I have seen several articles favoring concealed carry permits for wheelchair riders. Still, you have to deal with the kick of a weapon when you are poised over two large, easily rolled wheels.

It takes a special kind of criminal to go after the disabled, and perhaps a gun is the only thing they fear. But that’s a lot of theoreticals. Having that protection might save your life, but it is not a decision you should take lightly.

When you get into your seventies and are mobility-challenged, living life more safely and avoiding dangerous situations is usually a better option.

For instance, avoid unlit parking lots if you are on you own along with the bad areas of your city or town. I can’t imagine myself heading into an area like this on my own, and definitely wouldn’t be packing a pistol as a deterrent.

I think pepper spays and stun guns are a lot more effective and less dangerous for everyone involved. They are not as expensive, don’t require a permit and don’t provide a reactive injury to the disabled user.

A pepper spray has a 12-foot effective range and one spurt; swinging the spay in an arc can incapacitate four or five attackers in seconds. The great thing about using pepper spray is that there are no lasting effects from it and it is not fatal. No need to worry about causing serious physical harm or death to anyone you use it on. Self-defense sprays are legal in all 50 states; however some cities within in certain states have different laws governing the use of pepper spray.

A stun gun will not produce permanent damage to an attacker, but they will give you time to escape, up to five minutes.

Stun guns have power enough to penetrate heavy, winter clothing. The downside to using stun guns is that you have to physically touch the attacker with the device.

Self-defense has always been somewhat controversial. My own opinion draws guidance from the Ten Commandments; namely, “Thou shall not kill.” It doesn’t provide a special exception for the disabled, so I’m going to avoid carrying a weapon that’s directly and purposefully lethal.

How about you? How do you feel about carrying a gun, pepper spray or stun gun? Do you think the current gun control debate will make it easier or more difficult to protect yourself being mobility challenged?

This entry was posted in In the News, Lifestyle and tagged , , by Reg Hardy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Reg Hardy

Reg Hardy is a candid 73 year old Navy veteran who lives with Multiple Sclerosis. Years of using a wheelchair gives him a unique insight into the challenges faced by those with mobility issues. He lends his distinctive voice to two websites that share his passions– scale modeling and helping others meet their mobility challenges. Reg is now writing exclusive content for AMS.

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