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Standards for "Heroes" Are Going Way Down:

You're 17 years old. You discover that some of your high school buddies are plotting a Columbine-style massacre at your school. You go home, tell your mom about it, and then report it to the authorities, who arrest the suspects and discover that they had stockpiled a cache of weapons. Good work! But does that make you a "hero?" Hardly. Doing what any sensible, decent person would do under similar circumstances, at no physical risk to yourself, doesn't make you a hero.

AppSocRes (mail):
Unless, of course, there is the possibility of retaliation. And my understanding of today's adolescents and high schools suggests that this not impossible.
9.21.2006 10:21am
anonVCfan:
Chris Rock makes this point in one of his books...
9.21.2006 10:29am
cirby (mail):
Hell, some kids would retaliate because they didn't get to ditch classes for the rest of the day after the incident...
9.21.2006 10:34am
Angus:
We've gotten so lazy as a society and lowered our expectations so far that nearly everyone who does something decent is a hero.

Firefighters fight fires. It is a difficult and dangerous job and we as a society should show our appreciation for them, but not all firefighters automatically qualify as heroes. Same goes for police, soldiers, sailors, paramedics, etc. All can make fantastic contributions to society, but just because individuals have chosen a given difficult profession should not automatically grant them the title of hero.

"Hero" should be reserved for someone who does something truly awe-inspiring and unbelievable.
9.21.2006 10:36am
arthur (mail):
Reporting the identities of people known to stockpile weapons crates a serious personal risk. At the time of the reprot, the reporter doesn't know whether the culprits will be arrested before they can turn their firepower on the reporter. If the plot had more than three members, he's still at risk.
9.21.2006 10:46am
Revonna LaShatze:
Doing what any sensible, decent person would do under similar circumstances,

You don't know many of your average American teens, eh Dave? They tend to conform to the group, stick with their buddies, and not narc each other out. Ever hear of the Snitch movement?

This kid has cojones, don't downplay what it took to speak up. (Agree that "hero" is waaaaaaaaay overused, but if we've fallen to minimal qualifications in acknowledging others, this kid qualifies.)
9.21.2006 11:00am
LeftLeaningVolokhReader:
You're right... He was just at the right place at the right time, and did what was "ordinary." Who cares if he ended up saving the lives of dozens and preventing a historical tragidy that could tear a community to shreds. Screw that person.
9.21.2006 11:08am
Medis:
This just in: a "hero" is often just someone who happened to be at the right place at the right time and did the right thing.
9.21.2006 11:09am
Medis:
And I see LLVR beat me to the punch by a minute.

Great--now LLVR gets to be the "hero" of this thread.
9.21.2006 11:10am
ksd:

Reporting the identities of people known to stockpile weapons crates a serious personal risk.


Hmmm. What's a "stockpile" of weapons? Is it anything like an "arsenal" (another favorite word of the media)? I know lots of people with quite a few weapons. Should I be "reporting their identities"? Would that put me at risk? What is someone reports my identity to the authorites, and tells them I have a "stockpile of weapons"? Am I now a threat to that person?

The issue is not that someone had weapons. It's that they had a plan to commit violent acts. The fact that they had access to weapons just shows that it wasn't an empty threat.
9.21.2006 11:13am
DummydaDhimmi:
David,

Didn't you get the memo? Standards for heroics have plummeted just like the Real Estate market. (OK, bad analogy).

Nowadays, merely not doing the heinous thing, (like if the young guy had kept the news of the impending massacre to himself), is heroic!
9.21.2006 11:18am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
Does dying in the line of duty--with full knowledge of the potential dangers of the job--make one a hero? Is the hero profile more likely to be raised if the circumstances are particularly tragic? What of the people who do not die under the same circumstances, despite putting themselves at the same risk? Are they heroes? Does following inane and criminal orders before succumbing to the deadly circumstances make one a hero? Does it require dying for a cause? If so, does the cause have to be morally supportable in the absolutist sense or simply exist in the would-be hero's mind? In the military or militia circumstances, does the number of "kills" before getting killed increase the status of a hero? Certainly, national military establishment have always recognized the number of kills as a measure of heroism in time of wars, but does this apply more generally?

Think about all these measures of heroism and then remember the reaction that Bill Maher got for his comments.

Yup, the standards for heroism are certainly slipping... but not in the way you think.
9.21.2006 11:27am
JosephSlater (mail):
Stephen Colbert referring to the people that watch "The Colbert Report" as "the heroes" is one of the many great running bits in that show.
9.21.2006 11:34am
Maniakes:
At least he actually did something constructive. For a long time, "hero" has seemed to mean just that something bad has happened to you.
9.21.2006 11:35am
MnZ (mail):
Based on the articles that I read, it sounded like the teen might not have known about the weapons cache nor felt under any danger himself. He just thought that he was turning in friends before they did something horrible.

If my understanding is correct, I really don't see how this is heroic. Shouldn't everyone put protecting innocent lives ahead of friendship? Shouldn't this be your obligation as a human being? Conversely, do we think that everyone is obligated to be a hero?
9.21.2006 11:37am
arthur (mail):
Yes, ksd,if you call the police with information that could lead to the arrest of someone with a large amount of weaons, whether they're a cache (per AP), a stockpile (per Bernstein) or an arsenal, you're putting yourself at significant risk. If you tip off the police about a criminal who has no weapons the danger to yourself is diminished. Keep your knowledge of your friends' crimes to yourself.
9.21.2006 11:46am
PeterH:
Did I miss the memo where there was ceiling put on the number of hero awards available?

I see your point, and yeah, absolutely true that having mom call the cops is not as heroic as running into a burning building to save an infant, or facing down the gunmen while everyone else slips out the back.

But are we really in danger of confusing the two? This kid will get the "good job" that he truly deserves, and fade into obscurity, while someone who does something "truly heroic" will be remembered longer. And so what? Do we need to come up with "Hero, Grade 3" sorts of distinctions?

I don't have a problem with this kid being called a hero. He actually did something good that he didn't have to do, and it probably felt very risky.

The "heroes" that torque me are the people who get killed, usually accidentally, while just doing their jobs, and instantly become "heroes." The bus driver who dies in a tragic collision might have been a great guy and deserve to be remembered, but just showing up for work doesn't make him a hero.

As far as the cop, soldier, or firefighter, yes, everyone who puts themselves in harm's way for someone else is doing something heroic. And, understandably, the "hero" bar ends up set higher for them. Should it? Maybe, maybe not. But they certainly deserve our thanks, at the very least.
9.21.2006 11:46am
DJR:
When this subject comes up I like to remind people of Arland Williams, a passenger on Air Florida flight 90, which crashed into the 14th St. Bridge in Washington D.C. during a blizzard in 1982. He was one of six passengers to survive the crash, and passed off life vests and flotation devices that were thrown into the freezing water to the other survivors. He also passed off the helicopter lifeline to others so that they could be towed to safety. He drowned before the helicopter could get back after all the other survivors were rescued.
9.21.2006 12:09pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
He's a mensch. On the dimension of "at great personal risk" he's not that far, but on the dimension of "saved many people" he's there, and as others have pointed out, well worthy of the hearty attaboy he is receiving. If not a hero, he is at least the wing beneath somebody's wings.
9.21.2006 12:10pm
Bork Fan:
DJR's account of Arland Williams reminds us that there is a fine line between hero and idiot.
9.21.2006 12:15pm
Medis:
To build on PeterH's point, there is social value in the public praise of those who may simply have done the right thing, because such praise reinforces the relevant norms among the rest of the public. And since this really isn't a zero-sum game, I see no reason for society not to use this norm-reinforcing mechanism whenever the occasion arises.
9.21.2006 12:18pm
markm (mail):
Medis: the trick is to use this norm-reinforcing mechanism without overusing it so it dilutes the impact, like those gold stars your elementary school teacher gave to everyone.
9.21.2006 12:41pm
Medis:
markm,

Are you sure that those gold stars didn't achieve their purpose?

In general, surveys indicate that in a variety of ways, a majority of Americans think that they are above-average. Logically, of course, that cannot be the case, but many Americans seem to think it must be the other guy who is overrating himself (or to use your metaphor, people might think it is the other guy who didn't deserve the gold star).

And these trends can cause some problems in special cases, but generally I think they are a good thing. For example, I think that feeling better-than-average tends to make people feel happy and optimistic, which leads to people being healthier, more productive, and even more law-abiding.

And I think that for similar reasons, "dilution" of the social benefits of praise may not occur as quickly as it ought to from a logical standpoint. That would be true, for example, insofar as different people identified themselves with different moral exemplars, in which case they could again think that it is just the other guy's heroes who are overrated.

In any event, I certainly think that we shouldn't actually TRY to diminish the positive effects of praising people for doing the right thing. So, I'd suggest that even if we strict logicians know that not everyone can be a "hero", we shouldn't insist on reminding everyone around us of that fact.
9.21.2006 12:56pm
Jeek:
I guess the media could have taken the "nobody likes a snitcher" approach, and done a special on "Matt Atkinson: Portrait of a Rat" - but would that really encourage others to follow his example?
9.21.2006 12:57pm
Jeek:
police arrested students William Cornell and Shawn Sturtz, both 17, and searched their homes, where they found a cache of guns, makeshift bombs and other gear, authorities said.

And the other thing I never understand in these cases... where did these guys get the money to buy a "cache" of guns and bombs and such? My after-school job barely paid for the occasional movie or trip to the video arcade. Not to mention, I am very certain that if I started building bombs in my house, my mom would have instantly found out about it. I don't feel like I was under an abnormally intense level of supervision, but were the parents of these guys paying even the slightest attention to them?
9.21.2006 1:00pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Jeez, people, are you all culturally illiterate?
So, do you think I have a case?

Homer, I don't use the word "hero" very often, but you are the greatest hero in American history.

Woohoo!
9.21.2006 1:12pm
Philistine (mail):
As to "arsenal":


Police found nine rifles and shotguns, a handgun, about 20 "crudely made" explosive devices, camouflage clothing, gas masks, two-way radios and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at Cornell's house, Police Capt. Lisa Sterr said. She said Cornell had made several of the improvised explosive devices about two months ago.


Link

Especially when you're 17--I'd say that constitutes an arsenal, cache or stockpile. I agree with Jeek--did this kid's parents never go into his room?

--Philistine
9.21.2006 1:23pm
Medis:
Jeek,

Ebay?
9.21.2006 1:26pm
Gordo:
What a quibbling, nitpicky, load of nonsense. If calling this guy a hero means that other teens will decide to be heroes themselves, that's fine with me.
9.21.2006 1:29pm
Cato:
There is a cartoon series for children called "Higglytown Heroes". It kills me. Who is a hero? As it turns out, everybody.

The postman is a hero for delivering the mail.

The waitress is a hero for bringing you eggs. Etc., etc., etc.

IT DRIVES ME CRAZY.
9.21.2006 1:31pm
Luke 1152 (mail):
Hero overinflation is rampant.

The number of medals awarded to soldiers is apparently way up over historic levels. I saw footage for some highway patrol guy who got killed when he walked into traffic while investigating a car accident and they kept referring to him as a hero.

And don't even get me started on 9/11. Most of the firefighters killed in the towers were't doing anything except clogging up the stairways as people tried to evacuate down.
9.21.2006 1:33pm
curious (mail):
this is seriously the funniest post, and funniest ensuing discussion, that i've read on the internet in a good long while.
9.21.2006 1:33pm
Jeek:
Medis - nah, I don't think you can buy guns on eBay. There are online gun auctions, but they're not cheap, either (and a credit card is required - I sure as hell didn't have a credit card when I was 17).
9.21.2006 1:33pm
Shawn Levasseur (mail) (www):
Better that the media focus on and celebrate the person that reported the crime than turning the criminals into celebrities.
9.21.2006 1:34pm
Huh:
This is a really important issue and a vital debate. I'm glad to see it's finally getting the serious discussion the subject obviously merits.
9.21.2006 1:41pm
CB:
Just a thought:
If the account has the words "told his mom" in it, it is probably not describing heroic action.
9.21.2006 1:42pm
Medis:
Jeek,

But maybe they got their money through Ebay.
9.21.2006 1:44pm
BCN (mail):
In Greenbay Wisconsin 9 rifles and shotguns plus 1 handgun and 100's of rounds of ammunition among 3 people is not an arsenal. This is a part of the country where there are lots of hunters of all kinds and to get 9 long guns together would not be hard to do. It is interesting that there was only one handgun, this leads me to believe that this is not an arsenal but a collection of hunting weapons.

One more note, 100's of rounds of ammunition is not very much. I mean please, a 250 round box of cheap 9mil ammo cost $35 that would not even come close to filling a shoe box. If you want to really scare people you could tell them you have 1,000's of rounds of ammo, being that a 1,000 rounds of .22lr costs $25. This lasts about an hour if you go out plinking with a couple of friends. I think the media just likes reporting the "big" numbers for ammo because most people don't have any idea about that type of thing.

BCN
9.21.2006 1:45pm
Joshua (www):
DJR's account of Arland Williams reminds us that there is a fine line between hero and idiot.

Or maybe Williams just had a death wish.

Anyhoo, considering that pro athletes and action movie stars still get called heroes on a regular basis, the kids in Mr. Bernstein's hypothetical should certainly qualify as well.
9.21.2006 1:45pm
Jimmy (mail):
This is part of the symptoms of bad parenting - Columbine and these other issues are able to be prevented with when parents are in touch with their children. Not just on a "I know what you are doing all the time" sort of way, but in reading a child's moods and emotions and mental health.

Did these same events occur 50 years ago? Any thoughts as to why they've increased? I still think most of the anti-social behavior, while enabled with video-games and the internet, are still laid at the door of the parents.

I was harassed all the time through high school as a geeky kid, but I never felt that the apocalypse was needed to fix the issues. My parents kept an eye on me and made their concerns known whenever things were going poorly, and so I made the effort to keep the lines of communication open.

My mom always knew when I was sneaking around and doing things I shouldn't, and I never would have been able to hide any of that crap! nine guns?? 20 "bombs"?! Did they build a storage locker or something? The sheer volume amazes me.

Maybe it would have been easier to hide in a wooded or rural area outside perhaps, but this situation smacks of parental neglect and ignorance that appears to be the emerging problem with parenting this century.
9.21.2006 1:53pm
Joshua (www):
Just a thought:
If the account has the words "told his mom" in it, it is probably not describing heroic action.


Then again, if the kids are called heroes for this, once the mom gets involved shouldn't she be called a hero too? She is putting herself at the same risk of retaliation as the kids, is she not?

Come to think of it, depending on how ruthless the would-be retaliators are, the mom and the kids doing the ratting may not even be the only ones at risk. For all they know, the retaliators could take a cue from gangster movies and go after the dad, younger siblings, best friend, family dog, or some other uninvolved party that the "rat" cares about. Are they heroes too?
9.21.2006 1:56pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
In Greenbay Wisconsin 9 rifles and shotguns plus 1 handgun and 100's of rounds of ammunition among 3 people is not an arsenal.


Maybe but the suspects in this case also had pipe bombs and homemade napalm.

Just to clarify one point, the young man in this case did tell his mother first because he wasn't sure if they were serious and then he told the authorities. The fact that he told his mother first IMO does not detract from the credit he deserves for going to the authorities (apparently he wasn't sure if they were serious or not). If anything the fact that the parents of the would-be killers didn't have a clue what was going on with their sons while the young man who turned them in was able to talk to his mother about his concerns ought to serve as a valuable lesson to other parents to pay attention to what kind of relationship they have their kids.
9.21.2006 2:11pm
DummydaDhimmi:
If he hadn't told anyone, he'd be a monster. So the kid avoided being a monster.
9.21.2006 2:36pm
Medis:
Jimmy,

As an aside, I believe the worst school massacre in U.S. history remains the one which occurred in Bath, Michigan, in 1927, but that was by a deranged school board member.

Anyway, my impression from what I have read on this subject is that there has always been a significant amount of student-on-student violence in American schools, and the overall rate of such violence actually has not increased, but rather has decreased, in recent years. But fatal incidents in schools in particular are very rare (and as an aside, many, many more children are victims of homicide outside of school), so it is hard to identify any meaningful trends.
9.21.2006 2:42pm
Suzy:
Those of you who are worried about the slipping standards for "heroes"--how do you define heroism? Would a hero be a person who displays courage and wisdom even in the face of unpleasant consequences and risks?

Some of you might accept this definition but then specify "only in very rare, extremely difficult circumstances". Is that difference really such a big deal? Sure, if we call someone a hero every single time they display courage and any risk is involved, the concept would be totally diluted and the world crammed full of everyday heroes. Not such a terrible thing really. Maybe saving many innocent lives is one of those rare circumstances, even if the act of heroism required was not horribly difficult?
9.21.2006 2:48pm
LeftLeaningVolokhReader:
Fact pattern: In Tel Aviv, an American (let's say black and Baptist) accidentally walks into the wrong hotel room and sees a dynamite vest on the bed. It's his last day in Israel, and he was planning on heading to the airport in an hour. He calls the police reports what he sees and catches his flight. Is he a hero? I say yes (and leave out the retaliation by a network of international terrorists aspect).
9.21.2006 2:52pm
Anon1ms (mail):
I think this downward spiral was initiated by the television series "Greatest American Hero," in which our so-called hero only reluctantly accepts the super-power suit given him by aliens, and then promptly loses the instructions.

Just think of the number of youths who watched this show and now gauge their estimation of heroism by that standard.

We need more posts on this subject!
9.21.2006 2:57pm
Joe7 (mail):
You're all heroes to me for posting your comments. I weap.
9.21.2006 3:14pm
Revonna LaSchatze:
"Most of the firefighters killed in the towers were't doing anything except clogging up the stairways as people tried to evacuate down."

Hmm... let's all think of a word for "Luke", shall we?
9.21.2006 3:41pm
Revonna LaSchatze:
DJR's account of Arland Williams reminds us that there is a fine line between hero and idiot.

Or maybe Williams just had a death wish.



More likely, he overestimated his own endurance.
Don't smear the dead "Joshua". It's ugly.

Remember Lenny Skutnik?
9.21.2006 3:44pm
Houston Lawyer:
All standards have been lowered. My first graduation was from High School. To get an award in sports, I had to actually win, place or show. There were no rules in place saying everyone had to play. Somehow, we survived with a lot more grace than I see from children these days.
9.21.2006 3:48pm
ksd:
arthur:

Yes, ksd,if you call the police with information that could lead to the arrest of someone with a large amount of weaons, whether they're a cache (per AP), a stockpile (per Bernstein) or an arsenal, you're putting yourself at significant risk. If you tip off the police about a criminal who has no weapons the danger to yourself is diminished. Keep your knowledge of your friends' crimes to yourself.

First of all, your initial statement was that "reporting the identity" of someone with a "stockpile of weapons" is dangerous. If you want to qualify your statement by saying you're referring only to "criminals" or only to information that "could lead to an arrest", then we have no disagreement. The mere fact that someone has weapons -- whether a "stockpile" or "cache" or "arsenal" or just a hunting rifle or two -- does not make that person a danger to you or anyone else.

Second, please explain your last sentence. I have no knowledge of crimes committed or planned by my friends, and wouldn't keep such knowledge to myself. I do, however, have what I expect you and some others would call a "stockpile of weapons", or an "arsenal." So do many of my friends. And my brother. And my father. None of us are criminals, nor will we ever be. In fact, my brother is police officer and I'm an attorney, so I think we tend to be pretty cognizant of the law and how to stay within it. You're perfectly safe from us.
9.21.2006 3:56pm
Joshua (www):
DJR's account of Arland Williams reminds us that there is a fine line between hero and idiot.

Or maybe Williams just had a death wish.


More likely, he overestimated his own endurance.
Don't smear the dead "Joshua". It's ugly.


No more ugly than calling him an idiot.
9.21.2006 3:57pm
Dick King:
Actually, this is an aside and not germane to the tread, but with the right distribution it is possible for most people to be above average.

For example, in 40 years of driving I've never had an at-fault accident, and I've avoided several accidents that would have been considered someone else's fault if they had occurred, and that makes me a safer driver than average, because the country has a non-zero number of accidents each year. I'm guessing that most people never have any accidents, despite the fact that accidents happen and some people have quite a few.

If average = mean [the usual definition] it's possible for most people to be better than average if a few people are spectacularly bad. If average = median, then of course only half the people can be better than average although more than half the people can be at or better than average.

-dk
9.21.2006 4:36pm
Mikeyes (mail):
This was an incident that made the news in our area that, if the TV images were of any value, caused a lot of consternation in Green Bay. The two that were arrested not only had guns and pipe bombs but black trench coats, a plan to explode the bombs and block the escape routes, and full intention to carry out the act according to the news. This followed an anniversary of Columbine and the Montreal incident was just the week before.

Now this poor kid is being castigated for being called a hero by the mayor of Green Bay (who looked very shaken by the incident when he said it as did the police who must have read all the plans and seen the weapons) who was keeping the identity of the child secret "for safety reasons." In addition what he said is that this person should be treated as a hero if he or she ever decides to own up to the act. Apparently there was fear on the part of both the teen and the police at the time that some retaliation would occur. The mayor also alluded to the code of silence in high schools and how the information given to the police stopped a tragedy.

The appellation of "hero" was given under these stressful circumstances. I think that the authorities were forever grateful that their city did not suffer a tragedy similar to Montreal and Columbine especially since both of those incidents had been on the news just days before.

Is he or she a hero? I would be proud of either of my sons if he had the maturity to recognize a situation, discuss it with me, and then turn to the authorities. To me he'd be a hero.

As for the parents of the perpetrators, they stated during a TV interview that they had no clue that anything was going on or that their child had all the bombs and weapons available. I think there was a disparity in parenting styles between the informer's parents and the other's parents, to be kind.
9.21.2006 4:51pm
Joshua (www):
After all this discussion, I can only conclude that the definition of a hero is any person whom a critical mass of people (or at least influential people) in the culture, for whatever reason or lack thereof, accept as being a hero.

Actually if you substitute "hero" in the above for, well, just about any other abstract concept, it works equally well.
9.21.2006 5:15pm
Revonna LaShatze:
"No more ugly than calling him an idiot."

Fine. You're both ugly. Better?
9.21.2006 7:13pm
Joshua (www):
"No more ugly than calling him an idiot."

Fine. You're both ugly. Better?


Not quite. I'm at least giving Williams credit for knowing what he was doing, and not hurting (indeed, actually helping) other people in the process.
9.22.2006 10:15am
Joshua (www):
Oh and Revonna, I might add that if we're going to talk about whether or not someone was a hero, we have to consider all the other alternatives. Including (especially?) the kinda-sorta unseemly ones.
9.22.2006 10:23am
DJR:
Williams put the safety of others before his own. This could have been a tragic miscalculation if he thought he could endure more than an hour in the freezing water, but must have involved the understanding that he was increasing his own risk by giving the tow line to others first. His death was tragic, but his acts were heroic.
9.22.2006 11:19am
Ken Arromdee:
After all this discussion, I can only conclude that the definition of a hero is any person whom a critical mass of people (or at least influential people) in the culture, for whatever reason or lack thereof, accept as being a hero.


Any definition is subject to this objection. The classic example is "chair"; trying to define it to include beanbag chairs, three legged chairs, dollhouse chairs, the chair Abe Lincoln's sculpture is sitting on, etc. becomes nigh impossible. But that doesn't really mean we don't know what a chair is.

"Hero" isn't being defined any more vaguely than "chair"
here. A hero is someone who accepts bad personal consequences or the risk of them to help other people. There may be corner cases that don't exactly fit the definition, but that doesn't mean the definition is anything at all that we want to call a hero. (It's also true that a lot of the general public calls, say, people with a disease "heroes" but we aren't the general public. We know better.)

Personally, I'd say the guy is a hero. Reporting a dangerous group of classmates to the police will have negative personal consequences, both on a social level as you get treated like a snitch, and on a physical level as you find your safety in danger. The idea that the guy faces no risk to himself is absurd. He's going to have to watch his back and hope nobody beats him to a pulp or shoots him all the way up until graduation.
9.22.2006 12:47pm
Lawstsoul:
"Most of the firefighters killed in the towers were't doing anything except clogging up the stairways as people tried to evacuate down."

"Hmm... let's all think of a word for "Luke", shall we?"

Coulter's Bitch. Sorry, that was two words.
9.22.2006 5:34pm
Revonna LaShatze:
I'm at least giving Williams credit for knowing what he was doing, and not hurting (indeed, actually helping) other people in the process.

You said the man had a "death wish", implying he committed suicide. Unless you have some special knowledge, that's smearing the dead in a way I find more repulsive than someone suggesting his actins turned out to be "stupid" in retrospect, because he died waiting his turn to be rescued... How old are you; still a chance maturity will kick in?

I might add that if we're going to talk about whether or not someone was a hero, we have to consider all the other alternatives.

No, no we don't. The fact that the man saved lives does not mean you must smear him in death to bring down his achievements. There's a big difference in not thinking someone a "hero", and casting ugly allegations about his behavior, "Joshua".
9.22.2006 9:55pm