This story has received a lot of national attention but I feel like a main point has been lost: when is it time to take away mom or dad’s guns?
In Texas, a 93-year-old woman who failed a driver’s license exam became so upset when her nephew tried to take away her driving privileges she picked up a revolver.
The nephew said the woman, Pearlie Golden, threatened him so he called police in Hearne, Texas, which is located near the middle of the triangle formed by Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
The arriving officer saw Golden waving a gun around in her yard and asked her to put down her weapon, but eventually he shot at her at least five times. CNN reports she was struck twice. Golden died at a hospital Wednesday night.
Right now everyone is focusing on whether the officer, who was subsequently fired, was right to shoot the woman. I think it’s debatable either way without seeing video. What I want to know is, if a 93-year-old woman isn’t able to operate a motor vehicle without endangering public safety, why did anyone think she was capable of handling a firearm? Based on how this story unfolded, clearly she was not.
I’ve read lots of stories about elderly people inappropriately brandishing firearms and either getting shot or shooting someone else. Just yesterday a 75-year-old South Carolina man pulled a gun on emergency responders at the scene of a car accident.
We talk a lot about when it’s time to take mom and dad’s car keys away from them. It’s just common sense that at a certain point you’re going to need to take their guns away, too. But, as this Texas case makes clear, do it carefully.