Now that it’s August, it won’t be long before the chill hits the air and the school buses hit the road. It’s only natural to want to take one final getaway. But as a handful of armed citizens have learned, regardless of whether you’re packing up, kicking back or heading home, there’s no getting away from the possibility of being targeted by criminals.
Julius Billy and his wife were making plans for a family vacation when they heard someone trying to kick open the back door of their Fort Worth, Texas, home. Billy retrieved his 9 mm handgun and went outside to confront the intruder as his wife dialed 911. The intruder stood in the Billy’s back yard, and, despite Billy’s repeated warnings to get down on the ground, kept advancing towards the house until Billy shot him in the shoulder. Police arrived soon after and took the intruder into custody. Noting that his children were in bed nearby at the time, Billy commented, “If he got past me, who would be around to stop him? The main thing for me was that I was the last line of defense for my family.” (The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas, 3/17/08)
Tiffany and Adrian McKinnon returned from vacation to find their Montgomery, Ala., home ransacked. “Tears just rolled down my face as I walked in and saw everything gone and piles of trash all over my home,” recalled Tiffany. Adrian was surveying the damage when, incredibly, a man walked through the back door wearing Adrian's hat! Police say Adrian pointed a gun at the suspect and told him to lie on the floor. Then Adrian got an idea: He forced the suspect to clean up the mess. When police arrived, the suspect griped about his treatment. “The police officer laughed at him when he complained and said anybody else would have shot him dead,” said Tiffany. (Associated Press [Ala.], 10/18/07)
North Carolina resident Patti Davis credited an NRA gun safety and self-defense course with giving her the ability to save herself when an armed robber attempted to shoot her. Davis, her mother-in-law and another family member were walking from a restaurant while vacationing in Florida when the bandit jumped from the shadows. To protect her 77-year-old mother-in-law, Davis pushed her to the ground. Davis then knocked her attacker's arm skyward just as he fired a shot that took off half her left index finger. But the move gave her time to pull her .38 from her purse and drive off the attacker and an accomplice with a couple of shots. (The Times, Apalachicola, Fla., 1/5/95)
Awaking early one morning to the sound of someone driving up the dirt lane to his rural Lancaster, Calif., vacation home, Dick Wilson watched as two men scaled a fence and headed for his shed. Retrieving his rifle, Wilson confronted the men and then walked them to a neighbor's home to call police. (The Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, Calif., 9/3/91)
A vacationing Texas policeman and his wife were parked on a New Orleans street looking at a map when they were approached by three men. The trio walked away after asking Rudolpho Salazar for the time, but one returned with a gun when Salazar got out of his car. The gunman tried to rob him and threatened his life. The policeman waited for the would-be burglar to repeat the demand several times, then drew a pistol from his pocket and fatally wounded the gunman. (The State-Times, Baton Rouge, La., 11/24/86)
A proposed fishing trip to their rural Deschutes County, Ore., vacation property netted Ken Trinklein and Art Daley an unexpected catch. Upon arrival they were faced with a pick-up making off with a load of personal belongings. They blocked the getaway with their own vehicle, and while Daley went to summon the sheriff, Trinklein stood guard over a pair of youthful criminals, a .357 Mag. revolver stuck in his belt. (The Bulletin, Bend, Ore., 6/5/83)