October 5th, 2017

Some of the heroes of Las Vegas

More stories emerge:

I am in awe of people who have the calm, the courage, and the skills to act this way in crises. I have often wondered how I would behave, and I doubt I would be anything other than frozen in fear or running away as fast as I could. One never knows, of course, and one never wants to find out.

Not all of the courageous and selfless people are off-duty cops, of course, although police officers and ex-military are trained to respond this way. But there are others who respond similarly without having that sort of background.

Here’s one (and by the way, this man was ultimately saved by one of the officers in that first video, Tom McGrath):

“I don’t know what made me turn back around; maybe it was the screams, I don’t know…I really can’t explain why or what made me turn around. I just felt, ‘You know what? If I can help one person or multiple people, at least that someone’s life that was spared’…I’m not a hero; I’m far from a hero. I think I just did what anybody would do.”

This is very typical of people who act heroically under fire. They often say they don’t know why they did it, and often modestly (and seemingly sincerely) minimize the heroic nature of their actions and describe them as ordinary and commonplace. I’ve noticed that time and again.

Also notice how, when the interviewer praises Smith, at first he looks down. It’s as though he doesn’t want the praise and certainly doesn’t bask in it. A true hero.

Please stay with that video to the end. He has a message on race.

9 Responses to “Some of the heroes of Las Vegas”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    After the fact, denial of heroism may be the most common reaction among heroes. ”I’m not a hero; I’m far from a hero. I think I just did what anybody would do.”

    I think there’s a clue to what it takes to be a hero in their common assumption that they only did “what anybody would do.” In a crisis, heroes don’t mentally struggle with what the right thing to do is, they just do it.

    They do it because it’s the right thing to do and their character is such that they can’t imagine anyone ‘not’ doing the right thing…

  2. mhj Says:

    Mr. Smith seems like a truly wonderful young man, with a story (and no doubt a backstory) worth telling.

    It is a shame that CNN inflicted a totally incompetent and unprepared interviewer on him while he is in pain and recovering from both physical and psychological trauma.

    Maybe this is unfair of me, but it being CNN I found myself wondering if the interviewer (and no doubt her editor through her earpiece) was incapable of asking any worthwhile questions or going in any interesting direction because there was no obvious racial or anti-gun or political angle, and her toolkit does not include relating to a black man as a fully developed person rather than a 1-dimensional liberal stereotype.

    Maybe that makes me a bad person, but it is CNN.

  3. steve walsh Says:

    Courage is not fearlessness, courage is acting in spite of your fears. I don’t know who said it but accept it as truth.

    I hope not to be in that sort of situation but if I am pray that I could do as they did.

    Truly heroes.

  4. Fractal Rabbit Says:

    Neo wrote,

    “Not all of the courageous and selfless people are off-duty cops, of course, although police officers and ex-military are trained to respond this way. But there are others who respond similarly without having that sort of background.”

    All true. But I can say that the flip side of this coin is that no amount of training can truly prepare you for certain situations. It goes for cops as well.

    I’ve seen cops buckle and go the other way when something occurs. We try to get rid of them and weed them out as soon as possible (there is a place for hazing but that’s another kettle of fish…) but sometimes we can’t.

    The long and short of it is, these people, especially Mr. Smith are impressive people. Acting in this manner is one of the things that separates us from the animals and the savages. It is not uniquely American. But American’s seem to have these qualities in higher doses than most.

    Mr. Smith’s story is the kind of small balm for the soul we need right now. He can be on my team any time.

  5. CapnRusty Says:

    There’s a GoFundMe page where we can help him pay his medical expenses.

  6. parker Says:

    This young man reminds me that I live amongst heroes, given the right circumstances, who are heroes that will not claim to be heroes. I can onlu hope that in similar circumstances I would act the same. My father and uncles in WW2 were heroes to me but they never claimed to be heroes.

    Trump needs to invite the heroes of LV to the WH to give them a national stage to point out the simple fact that heroes have no color. They all have only one thing in common, they are Americans.

  7. J.J. Says:

    Never underestimate the value of training. Some of the civilians who jumped in may have been Boy Scouts or members of churches that have a mind set of service. It is that mind set that helps. Like a Boy Scout, you remember instantaneously the oath:
    “On my honor, I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”

    That said, when one comes under fire unexpectedly like this, it can panic even trained professionals. The heroic deeds performed during this awful carnage were truly amazing and worthy of praise.

  8. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Not all of the heroes were professionals, or even amateurs, at the business.
    As I have reason to know, former military keep their gear about them, mentally speaking, and can do first aid to wounds the Red Cross doesn’t visualize in its classes for civilians.

  9. Ymar Sakar Says:

    This isn’t training, since it wasn’t planned response, but merely a social conditioning trigger. Humans who are socialized to care about their society, to help enforce Law and Order, will take the initiative to get things done if there is a threat to the social body. It’s a herd mechanic or a pack defense mechanic. As such, it is more unconscious or subconscious, than conscious.

    They often think everyone would do this, because they consider humanity at large or perhaps just this American national sub group, as people socially conditioned to the same ethos or ethics as they themselves belong to. This is an extension of the clan/tribal bond humans were supposedly evolved with. It doesn’t answer why some people prefer to defend the tribe while others prefer to attack strangers or exploit their clan, however. It doesn’t explain the instinct, just the benefit of the greater social behavior.

    ‘You know what? If I can help one person or multiple people, at least that someone’s life that was spared’…I’m not a hero; I’m far from a hero. I think I just did what anybody would do.”

    In African or third world cultures, the clan or tribe comes first. So while they might run in to save their extended family’s women and children, they won’t take inordinate risks to save strangers. Japan is the same way, although their “family” can extend to pretty much anyone they know, depending on how far they let people get inside.

    First world nations tend to have the broadest circle of what they consider family or their tribe. Basically their entire nation.

    Thus Americans might continue their duty and jobs on 9/11, to save strangers, but a Japanese in post WW2 Japan would have had an extreme resistance to helping orphans that weren’t related to them. And Africans or tribalists on 9/11, often said that they wouldn’t have taken additional risks, and would have just left the building without waiting for the evacuation orders, on the moment they first heard there might be danger, they were out of there and back to their safe houses. These second or third world tribalists, are family and territorial based, that is where their loyalties rest.

    The American loyalty, is slightly broader, or rather was slightly broader at a certain point, due to Civil War 1, WW1, WW2, that created this exceptional nationalistic pride. It was a unification, as such, people will risk their lives for Americans because society has conditioned them that the nation takes care of its own. Family takes care of its own, so biologically one might help the family at their own personal risk because when the family survives, it will be able to help all individuals later on. Retirement, medical benefits, and other things for a job, are coincidental with the national unity of America, as it provides a future for people who lose their lives in the service of the country.

    The problem with this is that the number of workers vs the parasites, tends to get unbalanced once the parasites start getting political majority power. If you dump all of the world’s problems, or just the nation or family’s problems, unto a few people (the super hero archetype), what will happen when the hero needs someone to save them? Nobody will lend them a hand, because everybody is conditioned to being a free rider, parasite, or dependent.

    The casualty rate for these types of people are rather high. They used to be trained for hunting, survival, spiritual leadership, political leadership, war leadership, but now a days that isn’t the case in the First World. When 50% of the tribe were hunters, you had a large reserve where even if half of your “heroes” died, the other half could take up the slack if possible. Now a significant portion are the elite rulers of Demoncrat strongholds like New Orleans or Chicago or Puerto Rico, that is on the “give me” line of parasitism. If you don’t give into their selfish demands, they’ll make you pay. They also get in the way of people who can rescue others in society. If they had been in Texas, half the citizen relief first responders, would have been denied entry, raided, suppressed, or gotten rid of via bureaucratic red tape.

    Once the parasites get into power, they start purging competent spiritual, military, and political leaders who are unselfish or self sacrificing for the Unity of the Cause or Nation or Family. That’s because parasites can’t compete with that level of competition. That’s what it means to be a parasite, or a Demoncrat.

    In Japan, there’s a theory that in every unit, you have to have people who slack off, in order to motivate the rest to pull their weight. This sounds strange, but to a stratified society like Japan, the group puts the slackers and incompetents into a lower social order, and uses them as a sort of example of what happens to people who don’t pull their own weight. It’s a kind of national shaming. If you want to be treated as a normal citizen, you had better at least achieve mediocrity, and not be put with the failures.

    When a stratified society becomes unable to find some lower class to blame, they will implode, or find an external enemy to blame. The US unites either by finding external enemies to bomb or liberate, or they find internal minorities to suppress. Because humans are in the US, they aren’t invulnerable to the normal sociological benefits and detriments of human organizations. If there are no external or internal enemies… just make them up.

    As for training, there are two types of general purpose instincts that can’t be trained via external sources. The first is the person that walks towards the fire, not away from the fight or conflict. Secondly, it’s the person that has access to combat mindsets and other cheat/hack level abilities such as time slowdown, hyper processing, and berserker modes. The second group has natural warrior genes that have been activated or obtained through stimulus. While it never usually gets to the level of the Matrix, where one can dodge/see bullets, the advantage of accelerated visual processing which slows down time perception, is very useful in tactical situations that require split second reactions.

    On external sources of abilities, such as training, the most popular are visualization, dry runs, and scenario based training. Visualization is putting the steps to an action, and running through them, while moving or not moving, according to the plan. This is closer to mental training and trigger conditioning of the human mind. Dry runs are where people simulate the operation, short of actually concluding the final consequences. Such as evacuations or hijackings. Scenario based training is replicating realism with a bunch of “what if” scenes where people simulate attacks, and others simulate responses. Scenario based training usually requires multiple training partners, whereas dry runs and visualization can still be done solo.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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