Fort Hood Hero Who Stopped Shooter Is the One We Should Be Talking About

fort hoodThere is a lot of talk today about Ivan Lopez, the soldier who has been identified as the suspect in the mass shooting at Fort Hood on Wednesday afternoon. His name is bound to remain in the press for days -- maybe even weeks to come. But I'm not here to talk about the Fort Hood shooter. I'm here to talk about the Fort Hood hero ... or one of them anyway.

She's a member of the military police, a female MP who came face-to-face with a mass murderer armed with a .45 Smith & Wesson and put an end to the shooting spree. Calling her a hero is not overstating it. Lt Gen Mark A. Milley, the head of the Killeen, Texas Army base, himself used the word.

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"It was clearly heroic, what she did," we heard Milley say in a briefing for the press, "exactly what we would expect from a United States military police."

Expectation or not, what this unidentified officer did surely stopped a massive tragedy from being tragic on an even greater scale.

So why talk about her right now? Why not dissect the story of the shooter?

Well, because this is a sad week for America. People died at Fort Hood this week, innocent folks gunned down.

And now we have to figure out how to move on, how to come to terms with yet another mass shooting in America. Sure, we have to address what it is that the shooter did so we can -- hopefully -- prevent future tragedies. And sure, we have to look into how he managed to do what he did for the sake of emergency response in the future lest, God forbid, this happens again.

But even as we do so, we also must be careful how we frame the conversation. We don't want to be salacious. We don't want to give the shooter rent in our heads. We don't want to risk making him some sort of martyr for other folks with sick thoughts.

After the last Fort Hood shooting, after Virginia Tech, after Sandy Hook, and so many others, the shooters' names and faces have been plastered across so many newspapers and websites. And each time it happens, a pit forms in my stomach. A portion of me wants to know, wants to understand, but the other part of me feels like their 15 minutes of fame is somehow unfair to the victims, somehow a win for the monsters instead of the good guys.

So today, I refuse to focus on the shooter. I'll let someone else do that.

Instead I will focus on what remains good and pure in this country -- heroes like this MP who heard the call of duty and went running right into the face of danger, heroes who put their lives on the line so that others could live.

They are why America is a place worth fighting and dying for, after all.

What was your first thought when you heard the news of another shooting at Fort Hood?

 

Image via Expert Infantry/Flickr

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