Getting away from it all is many people’s dream when it comes to rest and relaxation. And few activities offer the peace and quiet of a backwoods departure.
However, violent criminals and other dangers aren’t necessarily deterred by peace and quiet. Here are four occasions when armed Americans at cabins or lodges used their firearms to protect themselves and others.
Jerry Brown, 63, was outside his cabin when he spotted a large black bear. The bear first headed away from Brown, but then turned toward him and attacked. As Brown tried to escape, his brother, Randy, retrieved a firearm and shot at the bear, causing it to run off. Brown suffered extensive injuries to his face, including the loss of his left eye. (Grand Forks Herald, Shell Lake, Wis., 6/20/2013)
When William Losh and his girlfriend approached his cabin in Lake Wales, Fla., they saw the screen door was damaged. Thinking someone had broken into his home, Losh picked up his .22-cal. revolver and began to search the house. He discovered an intruder hiding in a closet and instructed him to “Freeze and show me your hands.” Losh then told his girlfriend to call the police. The suspect, James Eugene Birk, initially complied with Losh’s orders, but then began to taunt Losh, saying, “You might as well shoot me, because I’m not going back to prison.” Birk moved his hands down toward his waist and began moving out of the closet. Afraid that the intruder was reaching for a weapon, Losh shot Birk three times until he finally stopped advancing on him. Birk, who was charged with burglary, property damage and probation violations, had a long criminal record, according to Polk County law enforcement officials. (The Lake Wales News, Lake Wales, Fla., 10/11/2011)
Bill Hazen was in his cabin near Bakersfield, Calif., shortly after midnight when an intruder forced a sliding glass door. The Los Angeles minister was armed and ordered the man outside. During an ensuing scuffle the attacker ran, but an accomplice appeared in a pickup truck and tried to run down Hazen. The minister fired at the advancing truck and when the vehicle stopped, its occupant got out and said, “I counted six shots; you’re out and now I’m going to get you.” Hazen fired his large-capacity semi-automatic once more, dropping his adversary. Both men were taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies. (The Californian, Bakersfield, Calif., 10/25/1989)
J.L. Campbell, operator of Silver Falls Lodge near Silverton, Ore., was awakened by his wife who had heard noises in the main part of the lodge. Campbell, armed with a .22 pistol, surprised two burglars. He held them at gunpoint and had his wife call Harry Luckett, superintendent of Silver Falls Park. At this time Campbell was aware that confederates of the two he had captured were outside somewhere. Shortly after Luckett arrived, one of the two burglars jumped him in an attempted escape. Campbell wounded one and recaptured both. Police took the burglars into custody and later picked up three persons who had waited outside the lodge during the event. (Appeal Tribune, Silverton, Ore., 3/1/1965)