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News & Editorials

AARP: Why Would You Kill Your Own Members?
by Angel Shamaya
Reprint permissions explained below.

To: AARP Executive Director, Horace Deets
601 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20049
Phone: 1-800-424-3410

Copies to:

Dear Director Deets,

Before you begin to read this heartful letter, I am respectfully letting you know that it is published on the internet at a prominent location and has already been read by tens of thousands of Americans--many of them your own members. I wanted you to know that up front, and I will publish every word of your thoughtful reply and distribute it widely in the same manner with which I have carefully made certain this letter was read.

Sir, I applaud you for championing the distinguished and all-too-often shortchanged members of our society through your work with AARP. Many good things have come from AARP over the years; many lives have been positively affected by the tireless work of the people leading your organization. The senior citizen community in America deserves undying respect and devotion, but sadly they are often met with quite the opposite. Yours is a noble mission--and one of great merit on many levels. I sincerely thank you with all my heart.

But somehow, somewhere, someone holding the reigns in your fine organization has dropped the ball in what I can only describe as criminal, and I am writing you today to reach you with information of which you must be wholly unaware. Please hear me out, sir; please take painstaking care to understand what I have to say to you. Many lives depend on your choices, as you know, and a choice your organization has made could cost the lives of a great many of the people I know in my heart you seek to serve.

So you will understand what I have at stake in this conversation, I submit to you the attached image. Though this may look to you like "just some other old lady member," to me, this is the REAL Angel. My grandmother saved my life several times over; she is the life-saving apple of my eye. This picture was taken for her church membership directory in 1995, and she's 50 times more beautiful in person. Even though her time is not long on this earth, I would jump in front of a freight train or take on a mountain lion barehanded to save her life.

And I now come to find out that a position you've taken with your organization could lead to my dear Grandma's early death, sir, and I take that very seriously.

As you may have guessed by my title, I am writing to you today about your policy on guns. These self-defense devices have taken center stage in a politically-motivated battle, and some of your positions--while surely well-intended--are poor choices, indeed. Grant me the time to elaborate, and I believe you will see exactly why what I say is true.

In your Public Policy Agenda 2000, Chapter 12, Pages, 19-22, you take a couple of positions that, if followed through in the form of legislation, would ultimately get a lot of your members killed. Even without legislation, if your own precious members take your promotion against firearms as valid, good elderly people will die.


Your publication states:

"Congress should eliminate the 1998 expiration date for the Brady bill’s five-day waiting period and should leave in place the assault Brady bill’s five-day waiting period..."

Mr. Deets, I understand your organization's desire to play a role in curbing violence, and I respect the essence of your reason for being so inclined to take such a position, but you need to take a good look at the reality of the situation regarding mandatory waiting periods for the purchase of firearms:

First, as in the case of the LA riots, waiting periods hamper the ability of lawful people under siege to procure the very self-defense devices the criminals already possess and are actively using against them. Furthermore, forcing a woman who is being stalked by a gun-toting estranged ex-husband to wait several days to be able to defend her own life against his gun not only infringes on her right to life, many cases precisely as described above have gotten innocent women killed--even after police were put on notice that the women's lives were being threatened.

Second, criminals who purchase guns illegally on the street do not have any waiting periods at all. For a clear example, I was approached in my own city by a man selling fully automatic machine guns illegally--immediately deliverable--for a sum 1/5 of the price of a legally-purchased weapon. Lawful citizens whose states allow the ownership of such a weapon have a process that takes 4 to 8 months or longer to get a weapon that I could have had in 5 minutes, for an 80% discount. Waiting periods do not hamper criminals; they get their guns on the black market.

Third, when someone realizes a need for a gun and seeks to purchase it for a reason of clear and present danger, making them wait can be and often has been a death sentence. While they wait for the means to protect their precious lives, they are beaten, raped and even slain, all in the name of "common sense gun control." Is this what you want for the elders of our society, sir? Is this what my grandmother gets in return for faithfully paying her dues for so many years?

In your same report on the above-mentioned pages, you state:

"...the fear of crime affects many older persons' behavior and national surveys show that many older persons protect themselves by not leaving their homes..."

You are correct in your assessment. Many elderly people, my own sweet Grandma included, sit in their homes in fear. In their minds, going outside the fortresses their homes have become is risky business; these beautiful human beings who've done their time in the workforce and at the helms of families cower behind locked doors and pray nobody comes barging in to do them harm. The cream of our societal crop lives, far too often, in fear. You got that right.

In the cases of members of your own organization being threatened with bodily injury or death by someone who means to commit a violent crime against them, asking these esteemed members of our society to wait five days to defend against a criminal who is coming back tonight, armed and ready to kill, is not only poor judgment, it is a move against life itself and in direct violation of the stated mission of AARP.

Criminals do not wait five days to plunder. In the town where my precious grandmother lives, an 89-year-old woman was raped, brutally beaten, and murdered--then relieved of her gold fillings with pliers. The cause of death was: "run over with her own car several times." Asking an 89-year-old woman to wait 5 days to defend herself against a 29 year old "man" is wrong, sir. Can you see please take an honest, hard look at that and respond? I beseech you for a humane answer, and one that comes from your heart.


Your report goes on to say:

"Handguns continue to pose a serious threat to citizens of all ages. In 1995, 11,283 people were killed with handguns. At least $1 Billion is spent annually on medical costs associated with treating shooting victims."

There are some facts not mentioned in your report that I believe you do not even know. If you did, you would about face immediately and cease the detrimental slander campaign against self-defense devices. Perhaps these facts will assist you in making a more informed platform from which to support our age-wisened citizens:

First, more people use guns to defend themselves against criminals than are shot, each year. According to the Department of Justice, "On average in 1987-92 about 83,000 crime victims per year used a firearm to defend themselves or their property. Three-fourths of the victims who used a firearm for defense did so during a violent crime; a fourth, during a theft, household burglary, or motor vehicle theft." Bear in mind that these are only the reported cases. According to all available resources on the issue of firearms used in self-defense, the lowest suggested number of self-defense cases involving firearms numbers over 300,000, and the highest is over 2,000,000. Most of the time firearms are used for self-defense there is no shot fired. Why would you slanderize and demonize the device that lets those 83,000+ people use to save their own tender lives? Is this how you wish to be known?

Second, the numbers of people reported as "killed with a handgun" include the people shot by police officers in the line of duty. These numbers also include gang members shooting other gang members AND the self-defense shootings, as well. In most cases, the people shot by police are behaving in a criminal manner and have earned their bullet wounds, and the same is true in self-defense shootings. Adding the gang-on-gang shootings to the equation is also quite a stretch. Although it is sad indeed that gang violence exists, expecting the PROVEN 83,000 average annual REPORTED cases of self-defense to buy into "guns pose a threat to citizens of all ages" is irresponsible at best, and dangerously misleading at a glance. Guns, sir, pose a threat to criminals, and this is a GOOD thing.

Third, since you mentioned the horrendous number of $1 Billion in handgun-related medical costs with a number of 11,283 deaths thrown in, do some quick calculations in your head as to how much higher that number would be if the other 83,000 people who successfully defend their lives with firearms were to end up in the hospital or morgue. But this conversation isn't about money, sir, it is about LIVES--and how many we can save.

Taking guns away from people by scaring them into disarming so they pose no threat to criminals will get innocent MISLED people killed. Reporting partial facts to your members and the citizenry at large could cause your trusting members to simply disarm, making them easy targets to rape, rob, beat, stab, shoot, suffocate, and kill. How many deaths and other violent atrocities do you wish to have on your hands each year so you can fly the politically-correct but morally-bankrupt flag of "guns are bad"? Do you care about your members who use firearms to defend their lives each year? What say you, sir? I ask you as a grandson for a response, because I would like to keep my belief that you care about your members' lives and safety with all the sincerity I see in your own materials.


I must also commend you for hitting one nail so squarely on the head it sunk all the way in with a thud. In this same report, you say:

"States should encourage and sponsor community crime prevention programs to inform older adults how...[they] can reduce...the risk of victimization."

Bravo, AARP! I am so PLEASED to hear you at least give honorable mention to the empowerment of our elderly, special, important, paved-the-way-for-us citizens!! You are SO RIGHT! We need to do everything we can to empower our senior citizens to be so risky to victimize that criminals will not even CONSIDER approaching them in the commission of a crime! I am with you ALL THE WAY. The only difference in our platforms as organizations is that you would like them to do it without guns, and we need to get rid of that insane notion while it's still just a virus--before it becomes a full blown disease! Hear me out, and I'll let you get back to your busy day, please:

First, the handgun is the cheapest, lightest, easiest-to-use, most convenient, most concealable, most cost-efficient method of self-defense that a one-day-training can provide. A senior citizen who is wheelchair-bound and only has use of one hand is defensible, all by him or herself, with a handgun! Two criminals with knives and clubs are in TROUBLE if they try to harm one of our grandmothers or grandfathers when he or she is armed and properly trained!

Second, the sense of empowerment that comes when one of our dear, older American brothers or sisters finally takes their lives into the realm of UNVICTIMIZABLE is profound. As self-preservation is a natural (God-given) instinct and an inalienable right under the United States Constitution, when you provide the only means an individual can use to assure their life preservation if faced with an armed criminal, the sense of peace, safety, and well-being afforded them is worthy beyond measure. Pride, self-respect, and dignity are returned and preserved. Mobility, freedom of movement and all that comes with these freedoms are so valuable to someone who has all the time in the world. Fear washes away into a freedom that, in many cases, disappeared long ago.

Third, the only alternatives to being armed and trained are to be victimized or to hermit away and live in fear. Without a handgun, meeting a tough, large, muscular criminal on the streets, what chance does a frail old woman have? Next to none, and you know it. Let's also face the fact that senior citizens are not the criminals. By and large, people who meet your age requirements for membership are the most lawful people as an age group in America today. If you can tell me just ONE good reason why these lawful, peaceable, tax-paying, paid-their-dues, fought-in-wars-to-defend-liberty citizens should give up the one tool that could give them the needed edge should they, God forbid, meet up with a violent criminal bent on doing them harm I WILL BE SHOCKED; there is not ONE good reason why ANY senior citizen should be WITHOUT a HANDGUN! It is time for a massive campaign to raise awareness of the safe and effective use of these helpful devices in our unified commitment to preserve the remaining years of our elders.

Your entire organization, in my opinion, seems to have taken a "the government will take care of us" stance. Though I will not address the many other ways your service to the community of elders in our society could improve, I will speak to this issue in three sentences and then close:

The government (including all police forces) cannot protect each citizen in our society, or even each member of your organization, and you know this to be true; self-defense is up to each "self." The right of the people, old and young, to keep and bear arms is an individual, God-given, Constitution-recognized right--a right to Life Itself. Any infringement upon any human being's right to life is a shameful, disgraceful act of violence, and this includes any support of the infringement of this precious, sacred, life-saving right. (See attached cartoon.)

Reshaping the AARP's stance on the self-defense devices being systematically demonized in our media today will take a courageous leap forward on the part of yourself and many other people, and I trust in my heart you have that courage within you, or you would not have so many people's lives in your care. Please, Brother Deets, choose wisely. I'm asking you to do some deep soul-searching on this Lifesized issue, for all of our grandmothers and grandfathers, and I am asking you to do so for your own soul.

Respectfully, and in full sobriety,

Angel Shamaya
American Defender of My Elders with All of My Heart



You are cordially invited to join an email discussion list called KABA Seniors. The discussion revolves around helping raise public awareness in the Senior Community about the sacred right to life aided by these handy little self-defense tools called firearms. Go to and sign yourself up. The discussion is underway, and your input, ideas, time, energy, passion, experience, devotion, creativity, brainstorming, and listening are most welcome and deeply appreciated.

Angel Shamaya is the Executive Director of, a membership-funded internet grassroots organization dedicated to stopping the assault on American Liberty being perpetrated by political tyrants, self-proclaimed television gurus, misguided mothers, history-ignorant sheeple, mentally-handicapped toy distribution chains, and the general lack of understanding of the fundamental, God-given right to Keep And Bear Arms--resulting in a return to the American Constitutional Republic. Reprint permission granted provided attribution is given including the following link: Copyright 2000. All ownership rights reserved, but spread this one far and wide through all channels; you don't even need to ask. To become a member of, click here. We require assistance to press on.

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All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. — Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

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