Monday, January 10, 2011

W.F. Price - Amidst Arizona Gunfire and Chaos, Young Man Comes to the Rescue

I found this post at The Spearhead, a generally anti-feminist, male rights oriented blog that I tend to avoid promoting. But I read them pretty much daily, and there are sometimes very good posts there - this is one of those times. Price has written a thoughtful and inspirational post on one of the heroes from Saturday's tragedy here in Tucson. [I posted on this horrible event here and here.]

Here is a video of Hernandez talking about his reaction when Giffords was shot.

I hope Price will not be offended, but I am posting his whole article here. Follow the title link to go to the blog.

When a mentally deranged man went on a shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, killing and wounding a number of people at a political event at a grocery store, 20-year-old intern Daniel Hernandez rushed into the fray. His boss US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, apparently the main target, was shot through the head, and wounded and dead victims were scattered about. Hernandez kept his cool, grabbed cloth from the store’s meat department to make bandages, and administered first aid to Representative Giffords, which may be why she is still alive.

Hernandez held the stricken representative’s hand, talked to her, and accompanied her in the ambulance to the hospital. He tended to her and comforted her, maintaining his composure and offering crucial support to the helpless, critically wounded woman.

Although the political finger-pointing has already begun, and some are unfortunately using the tragedy as an opportunity to disparage men, Hernandez’s actions speak more about men’s nature than those of suspect Jared Lee Loughner, who was displaying signs of incipient mental illness in the months prior to the shooting.

Men are more aggressive and physically violent than women, but we more than make up for it through a capacity for selflessness and heroism, often when it is clearly hazardous to our own lives. Although Mr. Hernandez’s actions are clearly heroic, they are not atypical; it is perfectly normal for ordinary men to rise to the occasion when needed.

If you pay attention to the local news, acts of heroism occur all the time. Men appear out of nowhere to pull a child from a burning car, they jump into lakes to save drowning people, they rescue stranded flood victims, and they do so without any expectation of reward. These things happen every single day, and are taken for granted in all but the most spectacular or newsworthy events, but if you add them all together they make a mountain of difference. All most of us have to do is think of our own lives, and we can remember some time a man made a big difference, and possibly saved us. For example, when I was a toddler, some stranger pulled me out of harm’s way when I wandered into a busy street. As a child, I was once swept away by a river (a terrifying sensation), and my stepfather ran downstream, grabbed an overhanging branch, then pulled me out of the swift current. Without these men around, a lot of us would be dead or crippled — we were helpless without them.

Perhaps we take this quality of men for granted just because it is so ordinary that it simply doesn’t invite comment, but we shouldn’t. If women’s nurturing instinct is to be celebrated across the land, then the selfless, heroic part of men’s nature should be given its due recognition. That nameless man whose strong hands carry a child to safety, that brave stranger, is always among us. We are made safer and reassured by those ordinary men we scarcely notice in our day to day lives. They are our safety net, comfort in adversity and bulwark against harm. We should show them respect and affection — not fear and hatred.

At this point, doctors think Mrs. Giffords might actually pull through. Despite taking a 9mm through her brain, she was responsive and alert. Despite the horrific injury she suffered, Giffords may have some chance at recovery. According to statistics, the most critical factor in surviving these types of wounds is the ability to make it through the first hours, and Mr. Hernandez’s support and care probably made a big difference in that regard.

Daniel Hernandez is a hero and an ordinary man. These men are all around us, and our lives are much better for it.

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