The Green Valley Gun Show Field Trip

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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Christina Rose
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The Green Valley Gun Show Field Trip

Post by Christina Rose » 01 Mar 2018, 10:17

Stan Mason’s father was a resident at the Senior Citizen home, Green Valley. One day, Stan’s 89-year-old father started shooting other residents in the dining room until he was shot himself by the security guard. Before this, Green Valley had taken a field trip to a nearby gun show. Stan’s father purchased two guns with extended magazines. What are your thoughts on Green Valley making such a trip to the gun show? How do you feel about the residents having access to firearms at the home?

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Post by SPasciuti » 01 Mar 2018, 12:55

I have a pretty strong opinion on this. After extensive reading on the subject, I still just don’t understand how people seem to think they need guns. At the end of the day, these weapons cause more harm than good and I frankly think it’s disturbing and ridiculous that he was permitted to buy guns and bring them back to a communal setting.

Naturally, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but there are times and places for guns and a Senior Citizen’s Home is not one of them.

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Post by JessNWheeler » 01 Mar 2018, 13:21

I’m surprised that the care home was okay with the possibility of have heavily armed residents. Clearly, it was a terrible idea. If my family member was living there, I would have had a huge problem with this field trip.
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Post by jessinikkip » 01 Mar 2018, 18:16

With the fact that the book emphasizes that discount for all AARP members and the NRA is really pushing guns on seniors, it didn't surprise me like I'd expected it to. What did surprise me about it was that they were allowed to keep their guns and ammo with them and that no one recorded who bought something that day. I was surprised the center hadn't written down like "Okay, this person bought these two and this much ammo. This person bought this." Just so they'd have an idea who was armed...

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Post by Smaug » 01 Mar 2018, 19:13

My initial reaction to this is "No! Don't take them to a gun show!" But really I don't get to dictate that kind of stuff. I do think though that having guns in a place where people live communally like old age facilities, hospice centres, etc. shouldn't be allowed. My mind immediately goes to people with dementia or alzheimer's who might, through no fault of their own, have some kind of episode with a gun.

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Post by jennyd2003 » 01 Mar 2018, 21:22

I didn't like the fact that they took them to the show, but failed to keep track of who bought the guns. I would have a list of who had what and perhaps have it put away for safe-keeping. I wouldn't want a dementia patient to get a gun accidentally and hurt anyone.

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Post by Kat Berg » 01 Mar 2018, 22:39

This seems like such a strange "field trip" for a resident home of any kind, much less for those who may have dementia issues. Forget them getting ahold of someone else's gun, and an accident happening. Guns are dangerous and need to be handled carefully, cleaned carefully, to keep them operating with safety. That does not mix well with memory issues. It seems beyond bizarre that anyone could think this is an appropriate thing to have in an elder care facility.

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Post by Van F » 01 Mar 2018, 23:43

Hi: Hopefully the Green Valley field trip really was fiction but during my research I attended a gun show. The number of seniors was surprising and the taser tipped canes are real! The finding in Final Notice that "People Over 65 Have Highest Rates Of (Gun) Ownership And Dementia" is true. Accidental gun events where bullets penetrate walls and injure people in adjacent apartments and even across the street are real. I wouldn't want to live in an apartment building or stay at a hotel where there may be people with guns next door.

I've lived almost half my life in countries where guns are illegal and curiously, the criminals didn't have them either.

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Post by Vickie Noel » 02 Mar 2018, 08:47

Why would they take such Seniors to a gun show? How edifying would that actually be to them? As seniors, shouldn't they be more interested in shows that would help them relax and have fun, aging peacefully and gracefully, rather than those that may invoke fear in their hearts? Even if they should go for such a show, however odd it might be (to me though) it should have been more of an exhibition, where you get to look, not touch and definitely not purchase.

I also think it's the height of negligence on the part of the home's caregivers not to be distinctly away of what's going on with those under their custody. Someone bought a gun, and not only that they didn't confiscate it, they were totally unaware. Of course there's bound to be a random shooting. People have problems and most times need an outlet to vent. Whatever they feel is available for that purpose will be utilized.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 02 Mar 2018, 10:15

I was really thrown off by the idea of the field trip too. I have mixed feelings about this. On the pro side I would say that any mentally capable adult in the community should be able to choose his or her activities and guns may have been a lifelong interest for some residents. They may have been military, police, or gun collectors. Nothing wrong with engaging in this type of show. My hesitation is with those who were not mentally capable and even so, the idea of them going to the show is not such a big deal, but the idea of them having the approval to make purchases and then keep them at the retirement community is a huge problem. I don't happen to know anyone living in this type of situation so I don't know if guns would be allowed or not, but I would not be at all surprised for them to be banned. The issue of mental capacity here is really the defining point for me. Rational decision making is essential. You wouldn't allow a 6 year old to buy a gun because they don't have the maturity to make "adult" decisions about its use.

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Post by Spirit Wandering » 02 Mar 2018, 11:43

Kat Berg wrote:
01 Mar 2018, 22:39
This seems like such a strange "field trip" for a resident home of any kind, much less for those who may have dementia issues.
I have worked with a number of organizations in the social services sector. These have covered a range of residential settings, including those for the elderly. This type of field trip is not one I have come across in any of those facilities. I would have remembered if I had, as I would have found it disturbing. I'm not sure if it happens but I wouldn't think it is common. So, that leaves me wondering if this was just a plot device the author used to set up later events in the book?
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Post by melissy370 » 02 Mar 2018, 16:02

Spirit Wandering wrote:
02 Mar 2018, 11:43
Kat Berg wrote:
01 Mar 2018, 22:39
This seems like such a strange "field trip" for a resident home of any kind, much less for those who may have dementia issues.
I have worked with a number of organizations in the social services sector. These have covered a range of residential settings, including those for the elderly. This type of field trip is not one I have come across in any of those facilities. I would have remembered if I had, as I would have found it disturbing. I'm not sure if it happens but I wouldn't think it is common. So, that leaves me wondering if this was just a plot device the author used to set up later events in the book?
I was thinking the same thing about a plot device. As a Social Worker I have never heard of any facility doing such a stupid thing because of the declining mental state of some residents. They would be be liable for lawsuits and could lose their credentials. In speaking of the book the senior facility should have been culpable of the murders. The elderly man pulled the trigger but he was in their care when he did it.

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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Mar 2018, 20:48

I am kind of against the idea of taking assisted living residents or nursing home residents to buy guns. I see no reason they should have guns in those type of cases.
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Post by Christina Rose » 03 Mar 2018, 01:51

JessNWheeler wrote:
01 Mar 2018, 13:21
I’m surprised that the care home was okay with the possibility of have heavily armed residents. Clearly, it was a terrible idea. If my family member was living there, I would have had a huge problem with this field trip.
I worked at a nursing facility, and I have to say that I would not have been comfortable at all knowing that some of the residents had easy access to firearms. So, I completely understand when you say you'd have a huge problem if you had family living there.

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Post by Christina Rose » 03 Mar 2018, 02:00

jessinikkip wrote:
01 Mar 2018, 18:16
With the fact that the book emphasizes that discount for all AARP members and the NRA is really pushing guns on seniors, it didn't surprise me like I'd expected it to. What did surprise me about it was that they were allowed to keep their guns and ammo with them and that no one recorded who bought something that day. I was surprised the center hadn't written down like "Okay, this person bought these two and this much ammo. This person bought this." Just so they'd have an idea who was armed...
I agree. I don't foresee a nursing facility truly allowing a resident to keep firearms and ammo is his room. There's too much that can go wrong, and it's a huge liability. You're are also right about it being odd that the guns were not recorded. Nursing homes typically keep a record of a resident's possessions just in case, so this shouldn't be any different.

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