Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns

Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns

Gun Rights

First of two parts With a bullet in her gut, her voice choked with pain, Dee Hill pleaded with the 911 dispatcher for help. “My husband accidentally shot me,” Hill, 75, of The Dalles, Ore., groaned on the May 16, 2015, call. “In the stomach, and he can’t talk, please … ” Less than four feet away, Hill’s husband, Darrell Hill, a former local police chief and two-term county sheriff, sat in his wheelchair with a discharged Glock handgun on the table in front of him, unaware that he’d nearly killed his wife of almost 57 years. The 76-year-old lawman had been diagnosed two years earlier with a form of rapidly progressive dementia, a disease that quickly stripped him of reasoning and memory. “He didn’t understand,” said Dee, who needed 30 pints of blood, three surgeries and seven weeks in the hospital to survive her injuries. As America copes with an epidemic of gun violence that kills 96 people each day, there has been vigorous debate about how to prevent people with mental illness from acquiring weapons. But a little-known problem is what to do about the vast cache of firearms in the homes of aging Americans with impaired or declining mental faculties. Darrell Hill, who died in 2016, was among the estimated 9 percent of Americans 65 and older diagnosed with dementia, a group of terminal diseases marked by mental decline and personality changes. Many, like the Hills, are gun owners and supporters of Second Amendment rights. Forty-five […]

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Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns

Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns

Gun News

Left out of the debate about how to prevent people with mental illness from acquiring weapons is what to do about the cache of those in the homes of aging Americans with impaired or declining mental faculties. | Getty Images With a bullet in her gut, her voice choked with pain, Dee Hill pleaded with the 911 dispatcher for help. “My husband accidentally shot me,” Hill, 75, of The Dalles, Oregon, groaned during the call May 16, 2015. “In the stomach, and he can’t talk, please …” Less than 4 feet away, Hill’s husband, Darrell, a former police chief and two-term county sheriff, sat in his wheelchair with a discharged Glock handgun on the table in front of him, unaware that he’d nearly killed his wife of almost 57 years. The 76-year-old lawman had been diagnosed two years earlier with a form of rapidly progressive dementia, a disease that quickly stripped him of reasoning and memory. “He didn’t understand,” said Dee, who needed 30 pints of blood, three surgeries and seven weeks in the hospital to survive her injuries. As America copes with an epidemic of gun violence that kills 96 people each day, there has been vigorous debate about how to prevent people with mental illness from acquiring weapons. But a little-known problem is what to do about the vast cache of firearms in the homes of aging Americans with impaired or declining mental faculties. Darrell Hill, who died in 2016, was among the estimated 9 percent of […]

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Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns

Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns

Gun Rights

With a bullet in her gut, her voice choked with pain, Dee Hill pleaded with the 911 dispatcher for help. “My husband accidentally shot me,” Hill, 75, of The Dalles, Oregon, groaned during the call May 16, 2015. “In the stomach, and he can’t talk, please …” Less than 4 feet away, Hill’s husband, Darrell, a former police chief and two-term county sheriff, sat in his wheelchair with a discharged Glock handgun on the table in front of him, unaware that he’d nearly killed his wife of almost 57 years. The 76-year-old lawman had been diagnosed two years earlier with a form of rapidly progressive dementia, a disease that quickly stripped him of reasoning and memory. “He didn’t understand,” said Dee, who needed 30 pints of blood, three surgeries and seven weeks in the hospital to survive her injuries. As America copes with an epidemic of gun violence that kills 96 people each day, there has been vigorous debate about how to prevent people with mental illness from acquiring weapons. But a little-known problem is what to do about the vast cache of firearms in the homes of aging Americans with impaired or declining mental faculties. Darrell Hill, who died in 2016, was among the estimated 9 percent of Americans 65 and older diagnosed with dementia, a group of terminal diseases marked by mental decline and personality changes. Many, like the Hills, are gun owners and supporters of Second Amendment rights. Forty-five percent of people 65 and older have […]

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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Unlocked And loaded: Families confront dementia and guns

Unlocked And loaded: Families confront dementia and guns

Gun News

With a bullet in her gut, her voice choked with pain, Dee Hill pleaded with the 911 dispatcher for help. “My husband accidentally shot me,” Hill, 75, of The Dalles, Ore., groaned on the May 16, 2015, call. “In the stomach, and he can’t talk, please …” Less than four feet away, Hill’s husband, Darrell Hill, a former local police chief and two-term county sheriff, sat in his wheelchair with a discharged Glock handgun on the table in front of him, unaware that he’d nearly killed his wife of almost 57 years. The 76-year-old lawman had been diagnosed two years earlier with a form of rapidly progressive dementia, a disease that quickly stripped him of reasoning and memory. “He didn’t understand,” said Dee, who needed 30 pints of blood, three surgeries and seven weeks in the hospital to survive her injuries. As America copes with an epidemic of gun violence that kills 96 people each day , there has been vigorous debate about how to prevent people with mental illness from acquiring weapons. But a little-known problem is what to do about the vast cache of firearms in the homes of aging Americans with impaired or declining mental faculties. Darrell Hill, who died in 2016, was among the estimated 9 percent of Americans 65 and older diagnosed with dementia , a group of terminal diseases marked by mental decline and personality changes. Many, like the Hills, are gun owners and supporters of Second Amendment rights. Forty-five percent of people […]

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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Unlocked And Loaded: Families Confront Dementia And Guns

Unlocked And Loaded: Families Confront Dementia And Guns

Gun News

With a bullet in her gut, her voice choked with pain, Dee Hill pleaded with the 911 dispatcher for help. “My husband accidentally shot me,” Hill, 75, of The Dalles, Ore., groaned on the May 16, 2015, call. “In the stomach, and he can’t talk, please …” Less than four feet away, Hill’s husband, Darrell Hill, a former local police chief and two-term county sheriff, sat in his wheelchair with a discharged Glock handgun on the table in front of him, unaware that he’d nearly killed his wife of almost 57 years. The 76-year-old lawman had been diagnosed two years earlier with a form of rapidly progressive dementia, a disease that quickly stripped him of reasoning and memory. “He didn’t understand,” said Dee, who needed 30 pints of blood, three surgeries and seven weeks in the hospital to survive her injuries. As America copes with an epidemic of gun violence that kills 96 people each day , there has been vigorous debate about how to prevent people with mental illness from acquiring weapons. But a little-known problem is what to do about the vast cache of firearms in the homes of aging Americans with impaired or declining mental faculties. Darrell Hill, a former local police chief and two-term county sheriff, was diagnosed in 2013 with a form of rapidly progressive dementia. (Frank Carlson/PBS NewsHour) Dee Hill examines the last of the guns that once belonged to her husband, Darrell Hill. “I no longer have any guns in my home,” […]

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