Senior citizens number about 46.2 million and represent 14.55 of the U.S population. With medical advancements, it is estimated that there will be 98 million senior citizens by the year 2060.
Senior citizens are often the targets of home invasions and robberies because they are perceived to be easy targets. Many have physical issues that make it hard for them to run away or stand and put up a fight. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are not capable of self-defense.
The state of Florida likely has the largest elderly population of any state in the U.S. over 1 million residents in Florida have an active concealed carry permit. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, men over the age of 66 comprise over two thirds of the registered concealed carriers.
Two intruders broke into the home a 91 year-old man and his wife. One held the wife, who was wheelchair bound, at gunpoint while the other ripped the phone off the wall to prevent them from calling police. The elderly man grabbed hi .38 revolver and fired at the intruder holding his wife at gunpoint while the other intruder took off running.
Just because a senior cannot move as fast as a twenty something is no reason that a senior citizen cannot be a concealed carry permit holder.
Concealed carry training can benefit you as a senior by making you more aware of your surroundings and focusing on the basics of marksmanship.
Be sure you have the right weapon. Don’t try to buy the biggest gun. You also don’t want to buy the smallest gun. Instead you will want to have a gun that you can handle easily. Can you hold the gun in position and keep it under control? Can you handle the recoil of the gun? Make sure the trigger pull is smooth. Try out the gun and be sure it has a good fit to your hand.
Get a good holster. Carrying a loaded gun in your pocket or just tucked down in your waistband is a recipe for disaster. While you are fumbling to get a grip on your gun, your attacker can overpower you and use your gun on you. A holster keeps your gun safe and ready for use, making it easier to draw.
Many seniors have limited motion in back, hips, shoulders or knees. Instead of trying to make a shoulder holster or a bra holster work, opt instead for a snap-on or clip outside the waistband holster or a purse holster.
Practice. That old saying “Practice makes perfect” most definitely still applies. You want to be confident that you can draw your weapon and hit your target.
You will also need to make some accommodation in your shooting method and train to overcome some of the obstacles that come with age.
Range of Motion
I’m not a senior citizen but I have noticed that as I have gotten older, I am not as flexible as I once was. Senior citizens may have less than optimal range of motion as their joints and muscles have aged. Can you draw your weapon and hold it at eye level? For how long?
Practice your range of motion so you know what it is. You may not be able to hold a pistol eye level in the traditional shooter’s stance but there are lots of different shooting positions that you can try until you find one that you can hold and maintain. With training, you will build up your ability to hold that position.
Reduced Reaction Time
As an individual ages, their reaction time may slow. This could be considered a drawback to some because you will not likely win any speed draw competitions. However, which is more important, speed or accuracy? You can be the fastest draw in the county but still not be able to hit the side of a barn. The big question is can you hit your target?
If your reaction time has slowed, consider using an outside the waistband concealed carry holster because it is a lot easier to draw from. Focus on practicing your draw and your accuracy in hitting the target. Age will not matter much if you are an ace marksman.
For self-defense, concealed carry can be a great option for seniors.