There’s a bear at the sliding glass door, again. Your children are playing inside with the dog. The door is closed. You don’t put out food for stray cats or wildlife. You’re careful with your trash and your groceries. You live in bear country. Indeed, much of America is bear country. At one time, all of America was bear country and today, despite enormous incursions of sub-divisions and highways, roads and farms, the bear population is once again expanding.
The bear pushes against the glass, which bends inward but does not shatter. The children back away. The dog erupts into barking. You reach for your pistol, but the bear moves off toward your car and, unaccountably, smashes the window and pokes its head inside. It reaches in and rips at the upholstery. You remember that the kids spilled ice cream on the seat a few days ago. You call the Bear Alert Hotline.
Two biologist/wardens and a deputy sheriff soon arrive. They locate the bear—now tipping over and rooting through trash cans in the neighbor’s yard—and tranquilize it. From its ear tag, they know they have tranquilized and relocated this bear before, more than once. They lift the bear into a cage, drive away, and ultimately decide this nuisance animal has to be euthanized. The event makes its way into the local media; perhaps you are even interviewed for the television coverage.
But now your telephone rings in the middle of the night. Unknown individuals park outside your house and take pictures of you and your children. They follow you to work; they cut you off in traffic. They post photos and false information on the Internet, send emails to your employer accusing you of a multitude of public and private sins. These people, whom you don’t know and can’t seem to identify, make your family life a living Hell. Then you begin receiving the death threats. You complain to the police, and while they are reassuring, they are not helpful.
Think this can’t happen to you?
Adrienne Evans of Lake Tahoe, Nevada didn’t think it could happen either. This is America, right? People don’t act that way…we settle disputes in a civil manner.
Adrienne teaches science at Carson City High School. In her spare time, she races mountain bikes under her maiden name: Schneider. She is good enough to make money at it. She’s a professional.
Not long ago, Adrienne and her husband called Nevada authorities to their condo after a bear broke into their vehicle. The bear had attempted similar break-ins twice in the weeks before. Nevada Dept. of Wildlife officials had previously tranquilized the same bear, captured it, and released it into the wild.
Because this bear was a repeat offender that continued to be aggressive toward humans, game wardens trapped it again—but this time, they euthanized it. Which is precisely when Adrienne’s family nightmare—including the death threats—began.
This would be an especially critical moment for concealed carry permit holders. The difficulty is to not give in to anger, to not lash out against the animal nuts who blame you for the death of the bear…or the dog…or whatever the current cause célèbre.
This is critical because you are going to be tested. Will you make good decisions? Can you distinguish between standard loudmouths and true threats? Your comfort lies in knowing that, in the final analysis, when one of these animal activists attempts to firebomb your home at night or assault you outside your workplace, you have the ability and training needed to protect yourself and your family if someone truly crosses the line between an anonymous threat and unreasonable action.
The wider issue is that America is a free society. The woods are full of groups that are certain they know “the truth,” which makes any actions right, correct, however abusive and illogical.