The events in Tucson last weekend were horrible. It was scary, terrible, awful and unforgivable. No matter how bad it was though Jared Loughner did not win.
Yes, he shot and killed people. Yes, people suffered and died. But he didn’t win. He didn’t win because there were brave people who stood up to him and stopped him from killing or hurting more than he did. As he tried to reload, one of the victims wounded by gunfire approached him and wrestled the clip away. He didn’t win because two other people tackled him and others sat on him to keep him from firing again. He didn’t win because people gave first aid to the wounded. He didn’t win because first responders rushed in to treat the wounded. He didn’t win because doctors and nurses did everything in their power to save lives.
Whatever his motivation, hate was involved. Hate did not win that because love prevailed. Dorwin Stoddard, 76, heroically shielded his wife. She was shot but survived. He died saving her life. No matter how much hate the shooter had, his hate was trumped by Mr. Stoddard’s act of bravery.
Loughner did not succeed in dividing the people of Tucson. They are standing up for their town and their victims and will not allow their community to be defined by this heinous act. He does not get to destroy this beautiful town. They simply won’t allow it.
We don’t know yet why he did this. We may never know. The reasons don’t matter because they are his. We defeat him by pulling together to support the families of the victims, We defeat him by refusing to allow this to divide us. We defeat him by standing up for the people of Tucson. We defeat him by stepping in front of bullets for people we love.
Mr. Loughner, you lose. We win.