In Defense of the Elderly

Survival for the “Seasoned Citizen”
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The scientific term is entropy. This is a quantifiable measure of the amount of disorder in a system. Everything naturally descends into a greater state of entropy. This simply means we inevitably get old.

Aging is not for sissies. Mundane things like turning my head when I back up the car can now be an ordeal. A foolish youth, spent relentlessly driving my body, has taken its inevitable toll. Now past the half-century mark I have come to appreciate there are some serious considerations when you wish to remain prickly after a Certain Age.

Fitness And The Physiology Of Aging

As we age our bones become brittle and we lose muscle mass. This leaves us more susceptible to younger, stronger predators. However, it doesn’t mean we have to just roll over and die. We can still mitigate these effects.

Keep your machine properly maintained. This means eating sensibly and avoiding tobacco and alcohol. Being out of shape is typically a choice. Eat the right stuff and in reasonable quantities.

With each passing year it gets tougher to stay lean and hard. My long-suffering knees won’t let me run, but my wife and I walk vigorously for an hour four days a week. It’s great fellowship.
An old back injury keeps me from doing pushups. I therefore did a perfect pushup on a bathroom scale and put the same weight on a bar. Now I can knock out my daily regimen via bench presses without stressing my back.

Most people eat a light breakfast, a modest lunch, and a massive supper but we have it all wrong. We are designed to eat a generous breakfast, a modest lunch, and minimal supper.
Staying strong and hard is still attainable in your later years but you have to want it. Keeping fit is a lifestyle. There are many aspects of aging over which you have no control but this is not necessarily one of them.

Staying prickly into serious adulthood is a way of life. You don’t need to be John or
Jenny Rambo to defend yourself capably in your Golden Years. Just make wise life choices.


It’s called presbyopia, and I hate it. As you age the lens in your eye stiffens. This means most older people can no longer focus up close. My reading glasses are now an unfortunate part of my wardrobe. The really sucky bit is I can no longer clearly see my sights.

I cannot approach the degree of precision I enjoyed in my youth. However, there are tools to help overcome these disabilities. Electro-optical sights are the great equalizers.

Most everybody makes combat handguns with slide cutouts for a micro red dot sight nowadays. My favorite comes from Holosun. Holosun sights incorporate small solar cells along with conventional battery power. This dual-fuel design offers just stupid-long run times. Holosun sights are the only red dots in the collection I intentionally leave on all the time. It takes a little experience to bring the optic into your line of sight without conscious thought but it’s not like practicing with a gun is actually work.

Presbyopia and reading glasses are inevitable for most people’s aging process
but a micro red dot sight like the Holosun can even the field.

Rock Island Armory produces 1911 pistols chambered in their blistering .22 TCM round.
These guns can also fire 9mm simply by swapping out the barrel and recoil spring.

Arthritis And Armaments

The joint pain associated with arthritis is a natural — though sucky — aspect of aging. This makes it tougher to jack the slide on a handgun. Working the action of a Desert Eagle is butt-whooping for a 20-year-old. As we get older even a GLOCK can become a challenge.

The 9mm Walther CCP sports a novel reverse gas piston design offering a very mild racking force. The 1911 pistols in .22TCM from Rock Island Armory are also comically light to charge. Some pistoleros will poo-poo the idea of carrying a gun throwing a tiny 40-gr. JHP bullet at 2,000 feet per second for defensive purposes. I’d be willing to bet those skeptics have never been shot with one.


The zippy little .22 TCM (left) alongside the 9mm might not be your first choice for a
defensive handgun cartridge but it shoots like a laser and veritably explodes on impact.


As we get older our skin thins. Many seasoned Americans take blood thinners as well, even if it is just aspirin. This means you could be quick to bleed … a lot.

If you get hurt just put pressure on the wound as soon as the tactical situation allows. A typical healthy adult human has about five liters of blood. Lose one liter in 20 minutes and you get woozy. Two liters can be lethal. However, this amount is a lot of blood. Don’t freak out about it.

If you hit your head substantially you need to report to an emergency room, not a clinic. You’ll need a CT scan to rule out a bleed, and you usually cannot get one at your local urgent care. Take significant head injuries seriously, particularly in older people.

Be wary, treat your body respectfully, train hard and regularly, and choose your hardware carefully. Everybody gets old, but it doesn’t mean you have to do so gracefully. By properly maintaining your machine and packing the right iron you can remain tactically viable well into your golden years.

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