Today 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.
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.