The Green Hope Falcon

What Does it Take to Be a Hero?

Guns+don%27t+save+people%2C+people+do.
Guns don't save people, people do.

Guns don't save people, people do.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Guns don't save people, people do.

Alex Price, Staff Writer

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One of the main arguments against gun control is that people need guns to protect themselves from the people with guns who are trying to hurt them. The Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting in November of 2017 is offered as argumentative support. In this shooting, a man went into a rural church and shot 47 people, killing 27. As the gunman was leaving the church, a civilian confronted him with a firearm, shot him twice and chased him in a truck until the perpetrator ran off the road and died before the police arrived. This civilian, Stephen Willeford, is a hero- this is indisputable, but the conclusion that because Mr. Willeford was armed with his own AR-15 and was able to save the town from further casualties, then gun regulation is unnecessary is short-sighted, misguided, and ultimately, wrong.

In Nashville, Tennessee on the morning of Sunday, April 23, a man walked into a Waffle House with a semi-automatic AR-15 (the gun responsible for many mass shootings) and at least one other weapon the police know about and started shooting dining patrons. Three people died on the scene and one person later died in the hospital. Before the gunman could continue, he was stopped. Not by a gun owner, not by a police officer, but by a man who wanted to see his four-year-old daughter again. This man, James Shaw Jr., decided he wanted to live and he attacked the shooter with nothing but his bare hands. He was able to take the rifle and throw it behind the counter. His elbow was grazed by a bullet. After his disarming, the shooter fled the scene.

This heroic story is not an argument for gun control, rather it is a counter to the circular refrain of the necessity of having guns in order to protect from guns. People can protect themselves without the use of firearms. Ask James Shaw Jr. The bravery and courage he displayed at the Waffle House saved people’s lives, not a gun. Similarly, in the Sutherland Springs church shooting it wasn’t the gun that saved people, it was the bravery of Stephen Willeford.

Both situations involve heroes who placed others before themselves. They thought about the people surrounding them, physically, emotionally, and familially, and decided that those people were more important than themselves. This attitude is what saves lives. The belief that the greater good benefits others more than any single person. This same attitude, if applied in situations beyond dire, immediate, life-or-death events has the power to change society. Having the bravery to stand up, to place others ahead of yourself and help when someone is in need is a powerful skill. And it takes a real hero to have this attitude.

About the Writer
Alex Price, Staff Writer
Alex is a sophomore an is new to the Falcon News Feed. He enjoys playing video games and other normal things like that. He also enjoys sleeping and eating, but he likes eating pizza more than other foods.
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What Does it Take to Be a Hero?