This news story is found in more than a few online sources. The best account seems to be this one, from Juneau Empire: Armed 11-year-old boy saves fishing party from charging bear.
The boy was armed with a 20-gauge shot gun holding only four rounds. The first round was bird shot, used to scare away bears or to dispatch snakes or small pests. The other three rounds were slugs. Only one other member of their fishing party was armed, the boy’s uncle. He carried a rifle on a sling. The uncle couldn’t get his rifle off his shoulder quickly enough. The boy carried the gun in his hands, as he had no sling.
As the four of them, two adults and two youths, were walking, the bear charged them, rushing past the two adults. The boy, Elliot Clark, was now facing a large brown bear, with his unarmed cousin standing behind him. He shot the bear in the shoulder with the bird shot, to no effect. He then pumped the action and fired a round into the bear’s face. Then he pumped the shotgun again.
“The third shot went into the bear’s shoulder and his back, dropping it to the ground. The bear was so close when Elliot hit it with his third shot, there were powder burns on the bear’s mouth. Still alive, the bear then slid by Elliot’s feet.”
Elliot and his uncle then each fired another round, to kill the bear.
Shit. That kid has balls. How many adults could face down a charging bear and get off three shots, in quick succession? His father, Lucas Clark, credits two things to the kid’s survival: shooting practice and prayer.
It’s not enough to own a gun. You have to practice with your gun, until using it in self-defense is second nature. And you need to have your gun with you, when misfortune strikes. Gun control laws make it harder to own a gun, harder to practice, and harder to have it with you when you might need it.
What would have happened if Alaska had gun laws like California or Massachusetts? Fewer armed citizens, fewer guns. Less gun knowledge and skills among the population. You can own a pump action shotgun in any State (for now). But eventually the gun control crowd is going to find a way to take away our guns. And people are going to die for lack of the means to defend themselves, whether against bears or criminals or terrorists.
Alaskans have a spirit of survival in difficult circumstances, and a respect for the beauty and dangers of nature. Those qualities aren’t exclusive to the northernmost State. But some of the rest of us could learn a lesson or two from them.