The Republican Herald says that 74 year old retired Army colonel helped subdue Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner. He was apparently one of several members of the crowd who brought the shooting to an end.
Badger, 74, said he was standing in line to greet Giffords and was the first person standing next to a row of about 12 chairs leading to Giffords.
“There was a couple standing next to me and I was speaking to them. When he started to shoot, I remember stepping back a little. I would say he was about 25 feet away from me,” Badger said. “I turned and saw him running down the line of people on the chairs. He ran between me and the store. Someone hit him with a chair and he flinched a little. That’s when I grabbed his left arm. Someone grabbed his right arm and we got him to the ground. The other guy put his knee into the back of his neck and I grabbed him around the throat. We held him until police got there. While we had him on the ground I saw blood running and it wasn’t until then I realized it was coming from the back of my head.”
Earlier, Gabrielle Giffords’ intern, Daniel Hernandez, had been credited for the first aid which saved her life. “The University of Arizona junior was standing 30 feet away from the Democratic congresswoman when she was shot in the head at a meet-and-greet event in her district, and he immediately rushed to her side. As everyone on hand waited for emergency medical support to arrive, Hernandez held Giffords’s head in his lap and applied pressure to her wound.”
Both Hernandez and the members of the crowd probably acted without ever once thinking about their political affiliation. In situations like that, it is character, not partisan registration, which kicks in. It is as unlikely that Hernandez said to himself, “here’s my chance to show what a man with an Hispanic name can do” any more than Colonel Badger thought “right, now for the honor of the Army”. Those thoughts simply do not occur to people when lead is flying. They have other fish to fry.
But they do occur to the pundits and scribes. Maybe the farther you are from the gunpowder the closer your mind is to politics. As one blogger put it, “I guess it’s more newsworthy when the shooter is thought to be a veteran than one of the guys who ended the shooting is a veteran.” That observation is shameful, though possibly true. But that says more about the media than it says about the persons at the shooting.