David French at National Review has written a great piece, The Hero Solution to the Mass-Shooting Contagion. In short, he recommends we remember the heroes from these tragedies, not the evil-doers. I couldn’t agree more.
It’s why I go out of my way not to mention the names of spree killers. If I quote a news story, I’ll paste “[scumbag’s name redacted]” or something like that every time I see the loser’s name. If I use their likeness, it’s only be to cast ridicule upon them.
Lots of media outlets, however, take a different approach to mass murderers.
Let’s face it, many of society’s dregs who commit these acts of unspeakable evil do so to achieve fame and immortality. The two miscreants from Columbine High School stand as prime examples.
Both their names and images have been burned into the minds of millions. If they had instead suck-started their illegally-obtained guns that fateful day before killing innocent students and staff at Columbine, nobody would remember them. Neither was likely to find a cure for cancer, let alone hemorrhoids.
David French agrees. suggesting we memorialize the victims, and especially the heroes.
Here’s a snippet from French’s piece from The National Review.
As governments try to solve a crisis, heroes take matters into their own hands
Between April 27 and May 7, there were three prominent attempted massacres in the United States. The first was at a synagogue in Poway, Calif. The shooter used an AR-type rifle and killed one person and wounded three. Three days later, a shooter walked into a classroom at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and opened fire, killing two people and wounding four. Finally, on May 7, another shooter opened fire at a school, this time in Highland Ranch, Colo. He killed one student and injured eight.
These deaths are horrifying. The incidents are terrifying. But notice something important. We are blessed that the numbers of fatalities are far lower than they were at places such as Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, or Santa Fe High School in Texas. And a big part of that lower death toll can be summed up in one word: heroes. In fact, of the four total fatalities in the three incidents, three of the dead were people who took heroic action. Two of the dead were young men who directly charged their attackers.
What’s more, we’re now remembering the heroes’ names more than the shooters. The shooters failed in two of their core missions — to kill large numbers of victims and achieve enduring fame. And if they keep failing, I wonder . . . could the mass-shooting contagion finally start to break?
But first, let’s remember and honor the names that truly matter. In Poway, the lone fatality — a brave woman named Lori Gilbert-Kaye — died shielding her rabbi. At the same time, an Iraq vet named Oscar Stewart charged straight at the shooter, yelling that he was going to kill him. The shooter fled the scene with Stewart at his heels, until Jonathan Morales, an off-duty Border Patrol agent, engaged the shooter with a firearm.
At UNC-Charlotte, a young man named Riley Howell was shot three times as he charged the shooter, yet he still managed to tackle him “so forcefully that the suspect complained to first responders after his arrest of internal injuries.” Howell gave his life to stop the attack.
Finally, in Colorado, a young man named Kendrick Castillo immediately lunged for the gunman when the shooting started. He gave his life, but his charge gave his classmates time to hide or flee, and then three other students also charged and subdued the shooter.
These brave Americans are joining an increasing honor roll of heroes, men like James Shaw, Jr., who disarmed a mass killer at a Waffle House in Nashville. Or Juan Carlos Nazario and Bryan Whittle, two armed citizens who gunned down a shooter outside an Oklahoma City restaurant. These men rightly have far more fame than the killers they faced. Their names are the names we remember.
Read the whole thing.
I’ve spoken with Stephen Willeford a number of times. He’s a genuinely nice, humble man. He could be any of the hundreds of people I see at our Guns Save Life meetings all across Illinois. Or most any of the 81,000 people at this year’s NRA Convention in Indianapolis.
In case you missed it, Willeford engaged the Southerland Springs mass murderer while barefoot – with less than ten rounds in his AR magazine. Willeford sent his daughter back to his house to get another magazine when she initially started to go after the shooter with him.
He didn’t need the magazine. He gave her something to do because he didn’t want her to see him get hurt or killed if he failed to stop the murderer, and he didn’t want her endangered either.
Here’s his story in his own words to NRATV.
So yes, let’s remember and honor the heroes, and deprive the evil-doers of the oxygen of media attention most of them want so badly.