Antoinette Tuff

We hear it after every mass shooting: "Guns don't kill, people kill," as though actually holding a pistol was in any way the emotional equal to cranking up the nerve to club someone to death. There's a reason we call those little actuators "triggers."
Giving yourself too much glory is being closed to God. Likewise, being humble is being open to God.
The first place he went to was the school's front office, where I happened to be filling in for the receptionist. For the next hour, the gunman and I were alone in that office. For much of that time, I was afraid I was going to die.
"I got up that morning just as normal, went in to have my prayer time and spend some time with the Lord, talking to him and
Antoinette Tuff, the woman who prevented a mass school shooting at an Atlanta elementary school this past August joins HuffPost Live to talk about her new book "Prepared for a Purpose," which details her inspiring true story.
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Demonstrating compassion doesn't always save lives as dramatically as it did in Antoinette Tuff's case, but the potential is real
Despite Antoinette Tuff's own personal challenges, she was grounded in her faith, and when she had the opportunity, was ready to shine her own light and make a difference in the lives of others.
Given our societal tendency to want to solve violence by ramping up our own violence in response, Tuff's authentic heroism reminds us that the best, lasting solutions to our challenges is by meeting violence and hatred with kindness, compassion, and unconditional love.
With quiet competence and courage, never having confronted this kind of horror before, Antoinette started talking to the young man, and surprisingly, he started talking back.
Ms. Tuff has some notion by now of the good she has done at Ronald E. McNair -- of the lives she saved and of the suffering that she averted. What she may not know is how her simple act of bravery and connectedness created its own ripples.
This week makes it obvious that the first-line of defense for kids wouldn't be the occasionally roaming security guard, it wouldn't be the principal or the teacher, it wouldn't be the custodians or volunteer dads; my kids' real lifeguards would be the front office staff.
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We may never fully understand how it was that Antoinette Tuff persuaded an emotionally troubled young man to lay down his weapon. Yet the mainstream media is mostly mute about the palpable force in her life that, by her own reckoning, helped protect the lives of hundreds of school children.
The big news this week was something that didn't happen. A heavily armed gunman entered a Georgia elementary school, fired several shots and took some front-office employees hostage, including school bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff. In an extraordinary act of heroism, she talked the gunman into giving himself up. How? With empathy. Along with proving that guns can be stopped by something other than more guns, the story demonstrated the value of highlighting things that are working. What if the entire media focused 24/7 on the power of empathy and what went right in that Georgia school, just as they would have if they'd gone horribly wrong? What the media chooses to feature influences our culture and our national conversation. It's one reason why HuffPost has launched Impact, Good News and What Is Working sections -- putting the spotlight on extraordinary "ordinary people" and unsung heroes like Antoinette Tuff.
Ms. Tuff is not a trained negotiator and she did not draw from any other experience with being face to face with such terror. Instead she turned to moments in her own story to express how hope is possible even in desperate times and that life is worth living.