A compassionate, Tuff hero
Thursday August 22nd 2013, 11:31 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Knit

Took it easy today, knit just a few rows, and the hands are much better off.

But I did get to show Rachel at knit night the colors of her yarn coming together in that baby blankie, all but the last one in there. She loved how it was coming out. Made my day.

Meantime, if you didn’t see the story, I highly recommend scrolling down near the bottom of this page to see the longer version of the interview with Antoinette Tuff.

A mentally ill young man with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammo in his pockets got through the locked doors at an elementary school as a parent walked in and Ms. Tuff found herself face to face with him. His face showed his intent.

She felt the fate of hundreds of children and teachers on her, that one wrong word and they and she and the gunman and who knows how many cops would all be dead. She started talking to the guy while silently praying–not just for all the innocents but for him, too. “I put it all to God.”

She found an opening when he told her his name: that was her mother’s maiden name. “We could be family!” He was cool with that.

She told him some of the things she’d gone through to show that one could come out okay even after really bad experiences, that she wanted him to go forward and experience the parts of life that were to come for him, that the good to come would prove it was worth it, and she eventually talked him into emptying his pockets onto her desk, all the ammo, the gun, everything, and into lying down on the floor with his hands behind him while she sat at the desk so that the cops could know she was okay. So he would be too.

And thus it ended peacefully. He’d shot some shots earlier, but nobody was hurt.

I have never wanted so badly for someone to be awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom. I want Antoinette Tuff to get to see the whole country cheering her for who she is and for what she did. I was the tenth signer of the petition; will you join me?

7 Comments so far
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Hi, Allison….I’m number 32.

Yes, that young woman deserves every honor we can give her…. She….saved those babies. And also honored what was still good about that young man. But why did he have all those clips? We need gun control along with honors.

Barbara M. In NH

Comment by Barbara Meyers 08.23.13 @ 6:14 am

Thanks for the link to the petition!

Comment by Channon 08.23.13 @ 7:57 am

Wow! What a brave woman! Absolutely astonishing!
Looks like I was #55.

Comment by Donald Meyer 08.23.13 @ 9:02 am

She is my new hero! Thanks so much, Alison, for the pointer. It’s on my FB page.

Comment by carol telsey 08.23.13 @ 12:34 pm


While we may not cross paths with it, it sure would be interesting to learn where this story leads. What will this man be doing in 15, 20 years? What will Ms. Tuff be doing?

Comment by twinsetellen 08.23.13 @ 4:38 pm

This is the kind of world I want to live in! (not the part where people have guns and want to do this, but the one where people prayerfully talk to them and peacefully defuse the situation)

Comment by kmom 08.23.13 @ 5:43 pm

Thank you for sharing this, Alison. I signed this morning, #49. She is an inspiration. One only hopes to keep that calm in the face of such possible fear. Bravo!

Comment by DebbieR 08.23.13 @ 7:00 pm

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