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