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Max Begley

antoinette tuff, michael brandon hill

Throat Punch Thursday,Antoinette Tuff, Michael Brandon Hill, Atlanta, armed gunmanToday I want to introduce you to a real life hero Antoinette Tuff because I decided that the world needs one less Throat Punch today. In light of recent events, I feel the need to clarify that you all know that my Throat Punches are not literal, right? I mean, I am not some caped, unitard wearing crusader running around the streets of the world LITERALLY throat punching bad guys.It.is.Hyperbole. Most of you are writers, you know what this means. I am not the Throat Punching Dexter of the Midwest. It’s a figure of speech people. Okay, now that that’s been clarified, let’s move along to some hero-worship.

I looked at my list and there are plenty of people in the world who deserve to be called out for their bullshit. But today, a common thread in all of these stories is that none of them would exist if there were just a little bit of compassion and human kindness in the world. Today, I am highlighting the caring and compassion of Antoinette Tuff.

antoinette tuff, michael brandon hill, atlanta, gunman

Yesterday, a 20-year-old man in need of a mental health intervention, Michael Brandon Hill, allegedly slipped into a Georgia elementary school, Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, with a high-powered rifle and nearly five hundred rounds of ammunition. A terrified but colossally brave, Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper in the front office, physically positioned herself between him and the 800 innocent children inside. Then, Tuff called 911 and for 25 minutes, spoke to Hill, like a person not a criminal, and saved the day. I have no idea how she kept her cool but I think she is amazing for doing so.

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“He said he don’t care if he dies, he don’t have nothing to live for,” Tuff told the operator. “He said he’s not mentally stable.”

“should have just went to the mental hospital instead of doing this because he is not on his medication”

She bravely spoke openly about her own struggles with depression over the past year and convinced him to remove his weapons and turn himself in. She was the negotiator between the shooter and the police. She never belittled him or tried to run, she showed human compassion and saved a school full of children from being injured or killed. She saved his life too.

I am in awe of Antoinette Tuff’s bravery. I can’t say what many of us would do in that same situation; probably run unless it was one of our own children locked inside in harms way. I’d like to think I’d be able to stand my ground and show some compassion and protect the children, maybe even stop the situation from going any further.  But I don’t know that many of us would. I think most of us would run out of sheer terror our legs would be going before our brain could stop them.

This could very easily have been another Sandy Hook. Thank God for good people like Antoinette Tuff. She stopped what could have been a massacre by simply extending some human compassion and quick thinking. This Thursday, Antoinette Tuff is my hero.

We are all human; black, white, brown, gay, straight, single, married, parent, childless or childfree, Christian, Jew, man, woman, pretty, ugly, able, disabled, mentally ill, genius, educated, uneducated, democrat or republican. We share the same fears and insecurities and we all have to get up, live in this world and try to find happiness within our own heart. We all deserve respect and human kindness because we are all just trying to survive the day.

I was going to write a Throat Punch Thursday but I already wrote a post on Tuesday about the asshole neighbor who wrote an anonymous letter to the family of an autistic teen suggesting his parents euthanize him and you all know that I am not the violent type. I’m a hugger not a mean girl. Every Thursday, I just like to call out those who are worthy.

Then I considered giving Forbes Magazine my Throat Punch because honestly, they deserve it. Forbes either thinks very little of women to think that GOMI is a top site for women, they didn’t research at all or they think all women are mean girls. We all know GOMI and choose to, for the most part, ignore it because come on people, we can switch the channel. I believe in freedom of speech. I just hate that Forbes listed it as a great site for women with its success built on reducing women to a punch line. But I won’t write that post because my friend Morgan at the 818 already wrote NO, YOU GET OFF MY INTERNET .

So, what do you think? Do I offend you with my use of the term Throat Punch Thursday? Have you been living in fear that I might show up at a blog conference and karate chop you to the neck? Rest assured. I will not. I promise.Who knew people who lived in glass houses were so sensitive? Let’s move on, my unitard is starting to itch.




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max begley, autism, autistic teen, hate letter, Ontario

max begley,autistic teen


WTF is wrong with people? I have seen some pretty crazy shit in my lifetime but nothing compares to the disturbing letter written by an anonymous Newcastle, Ontario neighbor calling herself, “One Pissed Off Mother” urging the parents of a 13-year-old autistic teen, Max Begley, to “…take whatever non-retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science…” Going so far as to write the words,

Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!!

If you read the above letter and your jaw did not hit the ground, I’m not sure that we can be friends. When I read this letter for the first time, first I was in shock, then my heart was broken that someone would say something like this about another human being, never mind a special needs child and lastly, I was pissed off and that is where I am this morning.Hey, anonymous asshole, you are not the only pissed off mother today. I’m pissed off too. Pissed off that animals like you are not kept in cages. Let’s be clear, Max Begley has a disability that he was born with. He has no control over it. YOU.CHOSE.TO.BE.AN.ASSHOLE!!!!!!

The even crazier part is that police won’t be able to pursue hate crime charges for the anonymous letter.

“Despite the hateful language used … the content of the letter falls below the threshold for a hate crime,” police said in a statement Tuesday.


Police are asking anyone with information regarding the case should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS and they are still moving ahead with a criminal investigation. This cannot be swept under the rug. These actions were too heinous and reprehensible.

If that is not dripping with hatred, I don’t know what is. This letter is the epitome of hatred.The one good thing to come out of this whole awful ordeal is that the community is rallying around Max and supporting his family. Tolerance and kindness are filling the space where hatred once was.

We all have bad days. Maybe this one pissed off cretin was having a bad day. Maybe her “normal” kids were being monsters and she was trying to get everything around for back-to-school, maybe her husband’s a drunk who beats her, maybe her daddy didn’t love her, maybe she can’t find a job, maybe she’s not slept in 9 years and she’s about to lose her house and maybe she took all her frustration with the world and her life and put it into this letter, viciously attacking and wishing death on a child. Maybe she needs mental help? Even taking all of these conditions into consideration, that is NO excuse to call a child names and tell his parents to do the world a favor and euthanize their son.

As a mother, I am appalled that any other mother would not only lack the compassion it takes to write such a disgusting letter but be so callous in her disregard for this child’s life and for the struggles of his parents. Let me be clear, this “one pissed off mother” is a C You Next Thursday in the worst way and I kinda hope her identity is revealed and the neighbors ostracize her ass right out of the neighborhood. This woman should have her children taken away and her uterus removed because she does not deserve to have children, be around children or humans; big or small.

I am still in shock that any “mother” would ever think such things, never mind, write them down and send them to someone.Why would she think that these parents of Max Begley should take their child and move to a trailer in the woods? Just because he was born with a disability, does that make him less deserving of medical attention and love and life? He has done nothing to deserve this hatred from her other than being vocal in his neighborhood.

This is everything that is wrong with this world. So called “normal” people wanting to lock those of us who are different away in a tower, an institution, a trailer in the woods or a deserted island hidden from the world like some kind of monsters. Just because you don’t see us doesn’t mean that we don’t exist. Just because you ignore us doesn’t mean that we don’t feel and your cruelty cuts deep. You, one pissed of mother, you are the monster!

Anyone who can write the below line has their own set of problems beyond a autistic teen being a vocal “nuisance.”

I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!!

They do not want special treatment. That is the entire point. They want to be treated like any other family. They want to live in a neighborhood and be a family. It is monsters like one pissed off mother who make this impossible by being cruel, unkind and lacking of human compassion and understanding.

What do you think of this One Pissed Off Mother? What would you do if you were Max Begley’s parents?

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