Antoinette Tuff’s Lesson

by Brandon

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard Antoinette Tuff’s 911 call. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard how a potentially horrific event was averted Tuesday because Antoinette Tuff happened to be working that day.

Since Tuesday, I’ve seen all kinds of responses to this averted elementary school shooting.

I’ve seen people talk about how this is yet another example of how we need stronger gun laws. I’ve also seen people talk about how this is an example of why we need armed guards at schools.

Well, to the people using this event as a talking point in the gun debate, I have a humble request:

Leave this one alone.


Just leave it alone.

There are plenty of tragic and near-tragic events you can use when discussing the gun debate. I’m not suggesting that debate isn’t important. It obviously is.

I’m just asking you to leave this one alone.

Seriously… take the gun control debate to another arena and continue your fight there.

This one is about something else. Something significant.

What’s that, you ask?

It’s this:

Antoinette Tuff saved lives with love.

That’s what we should take away from this event.

Sorry to sound like a damn hippie here, but the truth is the truth.

And the truth is, Antoinette Tuff used love to save hundreds of lives.

Nobody at that school died Tuesday.

Think about that.

Nobody died.

Not even the gunman.

A young man walked into an elementary school with a gun, 500 rounds of ammo, and an intent to kill.

And yet…

Nobody died.


Because Antoinette Tuff stopped him.

And how did she stop him?

She didn’t give him a Captain Kirk style karate chop to the neck.

She didn’t use an official Rambo™ survival knife.

And no, she didn’t stop him with a gun.

She stopped him with love.

Yeah, I know how trite that sounds. And I’m not stupid. I know that under different circumstances, this wouldn’t have happened. Other shooters could have shot her in the head before she said the first word. I get that.

I also get that it’s not what happened this time. This time, circumstances came together in a way that allowed this woman to save lives with kindness.

People keep talking about how incredible Antoinette Tuff was because she didn’t fall apart and I agree, that’s amazing.

But she did something much more amazing.

She cared about the guy with the gun.

And it wasn’t that she was pretending to care about him. She really cared.

When this guy said he was going to kill himself, Antoinette Tuff did something very few people would have found the strength to do.

She talked him out of it.

She shared her own pain with him. She told him that suicide wasn’t the answer. She even explained that she had considered it herself a year earlier. She explained to him that it wasn’t too late to turn back.

And she told him she loved him.

Tonight, she gave an interview to Anderson Cooper. During that interview, she expressed her desire to see that gunman again. She sees him as a lost soul. She sees him as someone who needs help.

Now, I’m not saying this guy deserves compassion. I’m certainly not qualified to make that determination.

Besides, this isn’t about him. Whether or not he deserved her love is irrelevant.

This is about the fact that nobody died Tuesday because Antoinette Tuff chose to face this crisis with love.

I’m convinced that any other method of defense would have resulted in death, even if the only life lost was that of the gunman.

But because Antoinette Tuff used love as her weapon, nobody died.

That’s pretty damn amazing to me.

And it’s a testament to the power of love.

So let’s use other examples to argue about guns.

Just this once, let’s just bask in the fact that tragedy was averted because someone decided to combat violence with love.

It might not work all the time, but it worked this time.

So let’s just take a moment and bask.

Sorry for being a hippie.



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