Here's an actual hero: Antoinette Tuff, a clerk at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia, who talked Michael Brandon Hill into laying down his semiautomatic rifle and abandoning his plan to commit suicide by cop yesterday. Hill had come to the school expecting to shoot up the school and then to die in a shootout with police; instead, Tuff talked to him for an hour while teachers, staff, and 870 children waited in the locked-down building. Hill eventually surrendered and the school was evacuated; nobody was injured.

Tuff explained that when Hill came into the school office, he told her he had nothing to live for and expected to die. At one point, Hill began to move outside, where children were, but Tuff called him back and began telling him about her life and problems, saying, "OK, we all have situations in our lives. I went through a tragedy myself." Tuff said that a pastor's advice about "anchoring yourself in the Lord" and listening to people when they're bereaved:

"It was bigger than me, he was really a hurting young man, and so I just started praying for him. And I just started talking with him and allowing him to know some of my life story and what was going on with me and that it was going to be ok, and then let him know that he could just give himself up."

Nope, we aren't even going to snark about what the NRA would say the better course of action would have been. We'll side with the elementary school teachers on this one: sometimes you really just need to use your words. And of course, in a better world, the Michael Hills of the world would stay on their meds and wouldn't be carrying assault rifles.

We'll still take a single Antoinette Tuff over a bucketload of Wayne LaPierres.


Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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