Member Is Offline
Mood: fact me
Post 476259 posted on 25-8-2013 at 22:20
...an amazing illustration of calm and brinkmanship by Tuff – all recorded on her call to emergency services – during which she
managed to successfully negotiate between Hill and the police.
"We're not going to hate you," she said, referring to him first as "sir" and later as "sweetie" and "baby". "My pastor, he just started this
teaching on anchoring, and how you anchor yourself in the Lord," recalled Tuff, who said she was terrified. "I just sat there and started
And so in between updates with the 911 dispatcher she shared her own travails with Hill, telling him about her divorce and disabled son, all the while
reassuring him. "I love you. I'm proud of you. We all go through something in life. You're gonna be OK. Sweetheart. I tried to commit suicide last
year after my husband left me." Eventually, while keeping police at a distance, she persuaded him to give up his weapons, lie on the floor and give
After the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, left 20 children and six adults dead, Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association,
insisted the incident was not evidence of the need for more gun control but more guns. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy
with a gun,'' he said.
Tuff's action shows neither guns nor guys are necessarily compulsory. A woman armed with emotional intelligence, immense poise and copious amounts of
empathy can do the job and leave everybody alive.
This incident raises a number of policy issues beyond its own drama: the availability of guns, healthcare (Hill was off his medication because his
Medicaid had expired) and mental health services (inadequate provision in the US makes prisons and jails the main facilities, effectively
criminalising mental illness). But it also raises two broader cultural points.
First, politicians cannot legislate to ensure the existence of people such as Tuff. And even if they could it would be unreasonable to expect such
heroism from anyone. They can, nonetheless, learn a great deal from her. For her generosity of spirit, capacity to humanise the potential shooter and
ability to identify with him through her own vulnerabilities do tell us a great deal about what is lacking in our politics.