Monday, January 10, 2011

They Ran Towards The Gun

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

That certainly applies to four people this weekend. When the shots rang out this Saturday in Tuscon, AZ they rose to the occasion and showed themselves to be heroic.

Daniel Hernandez Jr. is a 20yr old political science major who is working as an aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. When the shots rang out, he ran towards Gabby his friend. He ran towards the violence. He assisted the wounded before he reached Gabby. He made sure she would not suffocate on her own blood, tried to stem the bleeding, held her hand, and promised Gabby to call her family.

Then there is grandmother Patricia Maisch. She was in line to get her picture taken with Giffords when the shooting started. She dropped to ground seeking cover while the woman next in line was shot. And when the struggle to subdue Loughner came close to her, without prompting she acted. She grabbed one of the extra magazines and kept it out of Jared's grasp. Who knows how many more people would have died if she had not done that.

Roger Sulzebar was also waiting in line to meet with Giffords. When the gunfire erupted, he acted. He rushed the shooter though unarmed and Loughner had a Glock 9mm. He wrestled the shooter to the ground and tried to immobilize him.

Last but certainly not the least is Joseph Zimudie. He was in the Walgreens nearby purchasing cigarettes when shots erupted. He rushed out of the store and unsnapped his own gun. But he never fired the gun as he helped Sulzebar physically subdue Loughner long enough for police to arrive and take the shooter into custody.

As long as we have ordinary citizens who can do such heroic things in a split second, this country will always remain great. Let us keep the dead and wounded in our prayers along with all others who have been impacted by this tragedy.

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