So you’ve seen that some guy with a grudge and a gun shot up a school board meeting before killing himself. If you haven’t seen the video (and the standard macho posturing about how the guy had to be a horrid shot because he missed all the people and some dumbass blog commenters can hit a paper target while under no stress whatsoever), check out Greg’s post on the event.
Checking out the news coverage, I was struck a bit oddly by all the articles referring to school security chief Mike Jones as a hero.
Don’t get me wrong. The guy did his job and did it well from what’s being reported. He held off firing his gun until the board members were in more danger from the hostage taker than they would be from his bullets flying around the room. He kept his head and his aim and managed to fire at another human being, which is (and should be) much harder than gun nuts generally give credit for. He lived up to his training and his responsibilities.
However, there is also Ginger Littleton:
Ginger Littleton took about 30 seconds to decide she was going to use her hand-me-down purse to try to knock a gun out of the hands of the man threatening her colleagues on Tuesday.
In the hours afterward, she’d concede it probably wasn’t the best idea. But at the time, she worried she was the only person in position to stop a slaughter at the Bay District School Board meeting in Panama City, Florida.
So Littleton — the one board member the gunman had released, because she was a woman — re-entered the room, sneaked up from behind and swung.
This. This is heroism. Stopping and turning around to go back, totally unprepared, because you’re the only person in a position to make a difference. Taking action despite the risks. Doing what you can because you must.
Yet Littleton is only rarely being touted as a hero, while Jones is everywhere. Sure, Jones is what we’ve been told a hero is. He is male and armed and was generally successful. One of those is a good thing generally, but it does not a hero make.
So why isn’t Littleton being hailed as the hero she is?