I’d like to know who they are

I’m sure you’ve already heard about the shootingin a Tennessee church:  a lone gunman walked in during a children’s production of Annie and began shooting.  The shooting, however, did not end with a lengthy stand-off.  Instead, “Two congregants tackled the gunman.”  Wouldn’t you like to know more about those two?  I would.

I know that they’re the same kind of people who kept United Flight 93 from turning into another building-bomb.  I know they’re the same people who leap in front of subway trains to rescue someone who has fallen onto the tracks.  I know they’re the same type of people who fall onto grenades.  And every time I read about people like this, I wonder who are they?  What special thing do they have inside of them that enables them to display such selfish heroism?

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  • pondering penguin

    It’s a bizarre story, that’s for sure. The tacklers are heroes, though I haven’t heard about them, either. And, at a Unitarian-Universalist church. Interesting. My husband and I were married in a U-U church in Indiana. We’ll be celebrating 25 years Wednesday. The congregations tend to be so laid back and passive – you’ll note they were doing “Annie” on Sunday morning!

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    You’d love the South, Bookworm.

    Not perfection, but a lot more like I remember California when I was growing up in the ’50s.

    Just stay out of Tennessee in July and August (gasp).

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    I loved living in Texas, Earl, but the summers did me in. Three of them (especially since I owned a car w/o A/C) had me scurrying back to my temperate Bay Area climate.

  • pondering penguin

    The last I heard, the shooter was a 58 year old church member. It is awful. And strange.

  • Ymarsakar


    That’s a link you should read, as it addresses your question, although not directly.

  • Ymarsakar


    This also provides part of the answer to your question about what kind of thinking is involved in such situations.

  • Al

    I’m willing to be that the heroes were/are military/police/firefighters.
    Call them Firstreponders. The real hero was the first man killed, shielding the kids.

  • Ozzie

    This USA Today article sheds some light:

    “Owen said at a Monday news conference that police had recovered a four-page letter in which accused gunman Jim Adkisson, 58, expresses his hatred of liberals and indicated he would keep shooting until police killed him.

    “It appears the church has received some publicity in the recent past concerning its liberal stance,” Owen said. “There was an indication he was not targeting the children.”

    Church member Barbara Kemper said the gunman shouted as he opened fire. “He was saying hateful things,” she said, but refused to elaborate.

    The slain man was identified as Greg McKendry, 60, a longtime church member and usher. Kemper told the Associated Press that McKendry “stood in the front of the gunman and took the blast to protect the rest of us.”

    Church members had already tackled the shooter by the time police arrived at the church three minutes after the first 911 call, Owen said.

    “We’re thankful for them for without (them), this situation, as horrible as it is, could’ve been even worse,” Mayor Bill Haslam said.

    The church, like many other Unitarian Universalist churches, promotes progressive social work, such as desegregation and fighting for the rights of women and gays. The Knoxville congregation has provided sanctuary for political refugees, fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its website.”