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By Peter Rosenberger

An intruder recently received swift justice after breaking into an Atlanta home and threatening the occupant with knives. The homeowner produced a gun and shot the intruder, who had picked the wrong house and the wrong weapons. Even President Obama once opined on inadvisability of bringing a knife to a gunfight.

While home invasions and violent crime certainly seem commonplace in the dystopia that leftists seem eager to create, this incident had a different variable: a resident in the home who was confined to a wheelchair.

It’s one thing to defend oneself in the face of an attack, but when charged with caring for a disabled loved one, the stakes increase exponentially. Since fleeing while pushing a wheelchair or helping someone with a mobility impairment is virtually impossible, assaults leave caregivers no choice but to fight.

America’s increased lawlessness is on a collision course with the massive aging baby-boomer population. Scenarios like the home invasion in Atlanta are sure to be repeated – often. Vulnerable people with prescription medications, jewelry, and other valuables will attract the unwanted attention of predators.

The FBI recently released 2020 crime statistics and the picture appears grim. Of course, demonizing the police doesn’t help. Nor do ridiculous bail reform, “mostly peaceful” protests, tens of thousands breaking America’s immigration laws (without vaccinations), and a whole host of other issues painting a bleak picture. Is it any wonder that more Americans are feeling uneasy about their safety?

Personal safety concerns soar even higher when it comes to the vulnerable population of chronically impaired loved ones. In those cases, family caregivers are often the first and last line of defense. The issue for caregivers isn’t “What can I do,” but rather “What I am prepared to do.”

Long before ever hearing of a Mayor de Blasio, I recall pushing my wife in her wheelchair while we enjoyed Times Squares during a visit to New York City. But until the people of New York demand and receive better leadership, we will not be repeating that activity. The first step of preparation is to avoid known places of violence and lawlessness.

The US State Department lists travel warnings for locations worldwide based upon the potential of harm to American citizens. A Level 4 advisory includes such dire warning as “…travelers should not travel to the country due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health issues, kidnapping, and piracy.”

Those Level 4 warnings could easily apply to numerous sections of many major US cities, all coincidentally controlled by members of the Democrat party. Many sections of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Baltimore, Atlanta, Washington, DC, etc. have descended into chaos.

Avoiding places such as these, however, isn’t enough, particularly for those who live there.

Owning a firearm is a must for family caregivers. The criminal in Atlanta broke into the home and grabbed knives in the kitchen in order to attack the homeowner. If he’d been successful, that would have left the disabled resident completely vulnerable.

Just possessing a firearm, however, is not sufficient. One must also know how to store, quickly access, and wield the weapon safely. Education, training, and practice remain key to personal safety with a firearm.

For family caregivers, the journey extends beyond the use of a firearm. Securing firearms, particularly away from any children and loved ones with certain impairments, remains paramount. While many only think of caregivers as those who care for the elderly or those with dementia, caregivers care for addicts, alcoholics, children with special needs, and loved ones with mental illness, too. All of those and more require protection from assailants…and oftentimes, themselves.

Although an uncomfortable subject for some, deciding what to do must be made long before an assault or home invasion. All that stands between my severely disabled wife and an assailant – is me. The question has been asked and answered regarding preparation, vigilance, and willingness to do what is necessary for safety.

Planning, training, and awareness remain essential on a good day, but when political leaders demonize law enforcement while disregarding lawbreakers, the need for personal security and safety escalates. With rampant drug abuse, family caregivers must extend that vigilance to include home health aides (as well as their relatives and associates).

From home invasion to stealing a loved one’s medication to physical assault, the conditions continue to reinforce the need for family caregivers to remain alert, prepared, and armed.


Peter Rosenberger is a 35+ year caregiver for his wife, Gracie. He hosts the nationally syndicated radio program Hope for the Caregiver which is heard weekly on 200+ stations. www.hopeforthecaregiver.com

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  1. Leftist dystopia is here, and when the left realizes their “solutions” are nothing but, they’ll double-down on the insanity. It’s what they do.

    Good luck!

    • Your very good story is another aspect of protecting precious life. Everyone who intends to engage in self-defense must make that decision well before the act of self-defense too.

  2. I don’t know what it is about caring for a less-abled loved one, but it seems to flip a switch in people that makes them a *lot* less tolerant when dealing with someone perceived to be threatening them.

    ‘Homie don’t play’ is a way to put it… 🙁

    • It seems that a caregiver does not have the luxury of time to discuss things with a bad player or the freedom of movement while trying to protect the person confined to a wheelchair.

      • Technically, a caregiver can flee an attempted robbery, leaving the disabled behind. But if the disabled person is a close relative (child, spouse, parent), that option doesn’t really present itself; you really cannot run. Since you aren’t going to outrun anybody while pushing a wheel chair, there are only two options: victimhood (give them what they want) or fight.

        Fortunately, I have never been confronted with making such a choice. My wife is also confined to a wheel chair. Like the author, my wife and I don’t go places where this might be a problem, and we are lucky to live in a very safe town.

        • Kudos to you, Mark, for caring for your wife as a husband should. One of my coworkers is married to a woman who is wheelchair-bound, and they’re very happy together.

  3. Another example of a criminal using an improvised weapon found at the residence he was invading. I drew some criticism when I stated I was discontinuing usage of the butchers block on my kitchen countertop. It seems a quick property examination of possible improvised weapons sitting on your property isn’t a bad idea.


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