Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tuff Enuff

Courage is Resistance to Fear,
Mastery of Fear,
Not Absence of Fear.
-Mark Twain

Just in case you find yourself today in need (desperate or otherwise) for proof of the existence of genuine, actual goodness among the most advanced yet sadistic of Earth's occupants.  Just in case you find yourself today struggling to understand why two presumably ne'er-do-well pieces of shit would set upon and beat Delbert Belton to death as the 88 year-old WW II Veteran (injured at the Battle of Okinawa) stood outside a lounge in Spokane, Washington minding his own business and waiting to escort a female friend home for he did not want her to walk alone.  If you find yourself in that place today, may I say it is a pleasure to see you.  I was where you are now when I woke up this morning and was reminded yet again what a Confederacy of Fucktards we appear to be devolving into here in these United States.  I was resigned to the fact that I would spend my entire day here. 

Then something extraordinary happened.  I received the psychic equivalent of a B-12 shot.  Talk about your PEDs.  Is there a name for this magical elixir you ask?  There is indeed.    

Her name is Antoinette Tuff.  She is the bookkeeper at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Center, which is an elementary school near Atlanta, Georgia.  Earlier this week, a disturbed young man named Michael Brandon Hill stormed his way into the school, armed with an automatic weapon and 500-plus rounds of ammunition.  His apparent intent was to do harm to someone - or to an indeterminate number of someones.  He did not.  

He did not because of what Antoinette Tuff did.  She disarmed him.  Not with force.  Not with physical strength.  With charm.  With sincerity.  She disarmed him because she displayed a genuine concern to him not only for her own welfare but for his and for all of the other people on the premises.  She never flinched.  She never ran.  She never wavered.  

The armed invasion at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Center ended in a way that such incidents never seem to end:  peacefully.  Antoinette Tuff prevailed upon Hill to put his weapon down and to lie down on the floor with his hands behind his back as part of his voluntary surrender to law enforcement.  Do yourself the favor of investing the thirteen-plus minutes necessary to listen to the 911 recording, which captured not only Ms. Tuff's interaction with officials but her conversation with Hill.  She was braver in those thirteen-plus minutes than I have been in forty-six-plus years.  An utterly amazing woman.

Shakespeare once penned the question, "What's in a name?"  Methinks that somewhere, someplace wherever he may be Willie the Shakes has been spending this week smiling ear-to-ear contemplating the way in which Antoinette Tuff has answered him.  

I know I have. 


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