Hero Doesn't Consider Himself a Hero

‘It was life or death’: Hero bystander jumped gunman, snatched AR-15 at Nashville Waffle House

I’m sure what this guy says is technically true, but nonetheless, many people in his situation wouldn’t have the ability to do anything other than cower in fear or try to hide, despite whatever their head told them. The fact that this guy had both the presence of mind and the mental fortitude to take action the way he did apparently saved the lives of other people. That’s good enough for me. And the fact that he’s not looking to play up his “hero” status only adds to it.

Absolutely, James Shaw Jr. is a hero no matter what he thinks. A lot of heroes say they only did what anyone else would have done. Except that no one else was doing it.

Now why was his heroism even necessary? Why are four people still dead?

Because it’s possible to kill four people before anyone can react.
Even the most amateur shooter can get off several rounds per second on semi-auto.

I meant “why” in a slightly deeper sense than that.

I pretty much agree with him. To me, someone acting heroicly is someone puts their life in danger when they have the choice of walking away safely. If your life is on the line too, it is rational self-interest.

The gunman was possibly reloading or having a stoppage. Mr Shaw could have taken the opportunity to run the other way and save himself. Instead he went towards the gun that he could have made operational at any time. He ran towards the danger and put himself between a murderer and others. There is no other criteria for heroism.

Heh, I wonder how many ordinary folks who have performed heroic acts, men or women who selflessly risked their lives to save others, have subsequently told the media in post-heroics interviews “yeah, I guess I’m an honest-to-God hero now”. :smiley:

My guess is most wouldn’t say it, even if they thought it, because it sounds like boasting - even though it is objectively true.

Though I’d also guess, by reading their accounts, that most ordinary folks who performed heroic acts simply reacted in the heat of the moment - in the ‘fight, flight, freeze’ range of reactions, they instinctively chose ‘fight’ where most of us would choose ‘flight’ or ‘freeze’. So they genuinely don’t feel any more brave, selfless or heroic than before.

None of which undermines the respect they are due, of course.

Definitely a hero no matter what he says. The shooter could have had another gun or a knife.

Where would he have those hidden? :eek:


Most people wouldn’t say “I’m a hero” but they wouldn’t say “hey, I was just doing it to save myself”, even it was also true. Playing up the “I saved all these people!” aspect plays along with other people saying you’re a hero without you having to directly claim the glory yourself.

Funny part is, we can’t really be sure if that even was true. It could merely be an expression of modesty - ‘I’m no hero, I just acted to save myself’.

No reason heroism needs to be purely altruistic. You can heroically save yourself, and save others as a side effect, but the end result is still the same.