So, the other day, I was refusing to join in condemning the Florida deputy who stayed outside the school during the shooting, on the grounds that you never know how you'll react until you're actually on the spot ^1. Here, then, is the opposite extreme - a French policeman traded himself for a hostage, and ended up gravely wounded, perhaps mortally, as a result. The woman whose freedom he bought is safe and unharned, so I have to think that if he knows, he's satisfied with the exchange. God bless the man.
^1 Plus, in his case, I tend to wonder if there was a leadership failure in the department, in that all of the first responders seemed more intent on setting up a defensive perimeter than in counter-attacking.
Last edited by Ginger : 03-23-2018 at 09:36 PM.
Reason: Forgot URL
Unfortunately, he passed away the next day. A heroic deed, if there ever was one, although I assume that this is little consolation for his family and loved ones.
The comparison with the armed guard at Parkland is a valid one and I can see the argument that both made a decision that very moment that they thought to be the correct one. The french policeman thought he would have a reasonable chance of getting out of that situation because we can assume that he had training for such situations. A better chance of getting out of it than a civilian anyways and he made the decision that moment based on that. Likewise, the Parkland guard had similar training, was probably aware that he had a service pistol coming up against what sounded like a machine gun and made the decision that he would probably not survive the encounter.
Generally, I am hesitant to judge people on how they react in life-and-death situations because you unlikely to know until you ARE in life-and-death situations. The one exception is probably when your own children are involved as such a situation should be clear cut (am I contradicting myself here? Hm....)
It's lazy, cheap thinking to brag about 'what I would have done'. That's considered thinking from a place of safety. Things usually happen fast, and such situations provoke the fight or flight response, over which I'm told, we have no more conscious control than the startle or flinch response.
Which is not to demean the actions of the police officer, truly a selfless individual. Like those people in the Boston Marathon bombing who ran TOWARD the explosion, the courage that people find is remarkable.
I read something fascinating about war recently. A significant number of trained soldiers didn't actually fire their weapons, even in a battle. I take it this means the orders to take a life were overridden by some deeper instinct not to.