Antoinette Tuff, One Tough, Saintly Woman
I was on the verge of tears on the drive home hearing this story of "the school shooting that did not end in tragedy" — 911 Call Captures School Employee Talking Down Gunman.
Impressive was the woman's calm handling of the situation. Heroic was her compassion. After the gunman, showing the light of his God-given conscience, tells her that "he should've just went to the mental hospital instead of doing this because he's not on his medication," and then mentions suicide, she says
- No. You don't want that. You gonna be okay. I thought the same thing. You know, I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me, but look at me now. I'm still working and everything is okay.
- It's gonna be all right, sweetheart. I just want you to know that I love you, though, okay? And I'm proud of you. That's a good thing that you're just giving up and don't worry about it. We all go through something in life.
You don't expect to hear such things on National(ist) Public Radio on the commute home. I had no doubt hearing her voice that she was a good Christian, Southern, Black woman, and I was right — Antoinette Tuff, Hailed as a Hero Hostage, Credits 'Grace of God' After Talking Down Georgia School Gunman. From the story:
- "My pastor, he just started this teaching on anchoring, and how you anchor yourself in the Lord," she said. "I just sat there and started praying. I just remembered the teaching and how he taught us (church members) how to consult people when they're bereaving and all that."
"I realized at that time that it was bigger than me," she added. "He was really a hurting young man so I just started praying for him. [I] just started talking to him and allowing him to know some of my life stories and what was going on with me, and that it was going to be OK and he could just give himself up."
When asked for her thoughts on why Hill was so compliant, Tuff said, "I have no idea. That was nobody but God. I can't even put that on myself. I was praying hard."
"I give it all to God," she repeated when a reporter suggested that she was a hero. Tuff insisted that she was no hero, and that it was "through (God's) grace and mercy" that she was able to maintain her composure.
As the Philosopher said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."