Need some advice


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Stickjockey
February 17, 2004, 05:08 PM
I need some advice concerning how to deal with a friend's stiuation. His father is suffering from an advanced case of Huntington's. My friend and his brother have "borrowed" dad's guns (with his knowledge and permission) due to the nature of the disease and because Mom felt better knowing they were in a safe place somewhere else. The problem: Dad now wants his guns back.

Friend wants advice; I've never dealt with this type of situation before. How would one handle this?

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Mark Tyson
February 17, 2004, 05:12 PM
Can you describe "Huntington's" condition for those of us who do not know?

jsalcedo
February 17, 2004, 05:13 PM
Huntington's:

The clinical features of Huntington's disease can be thought of as a triad of emotional, cognitive and motor disturbances. Symptoms include chorea (dance-like involuntary movements), clumsiness, slurred speech, depression, irritability and apathy. Cognitive losses include intellectual speed, attention and short-term memory.

Huntington's disease affects people in different ways. One member of a family may have more trouble with clumsiness while another may have emotional outbursts. Moreover, symptoms of Huntington's disease in the same individual change over time.



Remove the firing pins or otherwise temporarily disable the guns Then give The guns back if you must.

If the family can be talked to about this matter they make want the guns out of reach permanently

I'm sorry to hear about your friends father.

Ala Dan
February 17, 2004, 05:32 PM
Greeting's All-

You are talking about a very touchy situation! :( I
can understand the familys concerns; but I also
think that we are dealing with a person that has
presented NO THREAT (that I know of) to himself
or other's. Taking away his firearms could very
well motivate him to committ other acts, with
violence towards family member's. Disabling his
firearms and returning them is as wrong as a
person trying to wear two left shoes! :mad:

I think a better alternative would be to secure
the firearms on the premises, and a responsible
person to remain in possession of the key. This
way, the gentleman would know that his guns
are taken care of; and when (if ?) he gets able,
he will be allowed use of them again. :cool: :D

FWIW, put the shoe on the other foot! Would
you want someone to take your firearms away,
and allow another person(s) to have them in
their possession? Not me my friend, in this old
world of worldly possessions that would be the
LAST THING that I would want!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

shermacman
February 17, 2004, 05:36 PM
Yeah, I second the touchy situation scenario.
The guns mean something to him. They remind him of what he once was and what he is no longer. I wouldn't borrow them, I wouldn't look to buy them or anything. This is a terrible situation and one that I had with my father before he died two years ago. If it is Huntington's he will not get better and he knows it. Leave him with what he has left for the short time he has it.

jsalcedo
February 17, 2004, 05:37 PM
If I had advanced Huntingtons and could not be counted on to act in a rational manner at all times I would hope somone cared enough for me and my family to keep the guns out of my reach.

cidirkona
February 17, 2004, 05:40 PM
For me, that'd be about the time I passed them on to friends or family... or if the family needed it, sold them.

-Colin

Josey
February 17, 2004, 05:46 PM
Do not under any circumstances let a person with diminished capacity have a firearm. No way, no how. He may want to kill himself. Suicidal is only 4 letters away from homicide.

AJ Dual
February 17, 2004, 05:49 PM
Darn, that is touchy.

On one hand, he's impaired, on the other, he loves his guns, and wants to have a little time with something he enjoyed before his mind is gone completely.

If he's not too far gone, I'd bring the guns back and let him have them, but with some kind of supervision by the sons. If done properly, it could be a very good memory to cherish, instead of adult day care.

Stickjockey
February 17, 2004, 11:50 PM
Thanks for the replies, all. This is a touchy situation as the Huntington's causes "Dad" to have these massive mood swings that can go just about any which way. I guess he wants the guns back so he can go hunting with his cousin in the Fall. Of course, by that time, he may have completely changed his mind. He's even said that he'd be willing to let his cousin keep the gun for him. I guess I'll recommend going that route for the time being with the caveat that under no circumstance is "Dad" to be left alone with the guns and they are not to go home with him.

I gave TheHighRoad.org website to my friend; he may be along later to add something to this.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
February 18, 2004, 12:19 AM
ummm...if this is Huntington's Chorea, it's a progressive neurological disease of genetic origin that will be very, very bad. It is not something one recovers from. When I was in my clinical rotations I had two Huntington's patients.

(from WebMD)

Huntington's Disease is a genetic, progressive, neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the gradual development of involuntary muscle movements affecting the hands, feet, face, and trunk and progressive deterioration of cognitive processes and memory (dementia). Neurologic movement abnormalities may include uncontrolled, irregular, rapid, jerky movements (chorea) and athetosis, a condition characterized by relatively slow, writhing involuntary movements. Dementia is typically associated with progressive disorientation and confusion, personality disintegration, impairment of memory control, restlessness, agitation, and other symptoms and findings. In individuals with the disorder, disease duration may range from approximately 10 years up to 25 years or more. Life-threatening complications may result from pneumonia or other infections, injuries related to falls, or other associated developments.


Huntington's Disease Society of America
http://hdsa.org

I think it's best he keep his father's firearms in a safe place outside his home, unfortunately.

Regards and good luck,
Rabbit.

Stickjockey
February 18, 2004, 12:23 AM
The very beast, SA. I think that right now the plan is to keep the gun(s) at the cousin's where if he wants to handle them he can be closely supervised.

Tom Bri
February 18, 2004, 12:52 AM
My Granpa had mental deterioration as he aged. He owned and handled guns all his life, was an active reloader, etc etc. When his mind began to fail, a family member checked his shotguns and found he had put 20 gauge shells in his 12! Very dangerous. We were fortunate that he never hurt himself or anyone else, but I am thinking that was just luck.

The suggestion that someone made, of removing the firing pins before returning the guns sounds wise to me. If he is capable of hunting this fall, that is wonderful, but in the meantime the lives of others should be considered.

NRA Instructor
February 18, 2004, 08:30 AM
A question - does he still drive?

penguinista
February 18, 2004, 12:00 PM
Dad has been deteriorating lately, to the point that he has trouble walking more than a block or so. He's also been threatening to smash the china cabinet if mom doesn't do what he wants. Stickjockey and I are worried that he is a danger to himself and others at this point.

I'm afraid we are not only looking at whether or not its time to get the guns away from him before he hurts himself or someone else, we are at the point where we might be needing to get him into a facility before he hurts mom. She wants to keep him at home as long as possible, buuut...

thanks for all the ideas and support gang. I really appreciate it. This is really hard for our family, and the decisions we need to make I hope none of you need to either.

La Penguinista

Stickjockey
February 18, 2004, 04:16 PM
Glad to see you posted, LP!

NRA Instructor
February 18, 2004, 05:08 PM
These are difficult times and you and your mother are in our prayers. God Blessings on you.

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