‘Don’t Say His Name’: Oregon Community Wants To Make Shooter Anonymous

Chris Mintz who? Several days ago, Mintz, 30, was a relatively unknown student at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. Now he is a national hero due to his efforts during the mass shooting for knowingly stepping into the line of fire and saving an untold number of his fellow students. Today, people are petitioning to get him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Man Getting Away With Murder Blocked By Hero Mintz

Man Getting Away With Murder

Mintz blocked the door when a fellow student tried to come inside with his firearms, and he suffered several gunshot wounds from a man intent upon getting away with murder. Then Mintz tried to talk the gunman down by telling him it was his son’s birthday. For his trouble, the hero suffered seven gunshot wounds in the back, abdomen and hands, and had two broken legs.

The Man With No Name

The investigating Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin told reporters:

“You will never hear me say his name.”

That was the start of a campaign to keep the mass murderer’s name anonymous was furthered by hashtags like #dontsayhisname. When reporters asked Keith Weikum, set builder and special effects for theater productions at the community college, he replied:

“I don’t know that name. I don’t use that name. Say: ‘the shooter.’ Let’s heal and move forward, and not focus on this guy.”

What this community has done makes sense to me. Rather than glorify a man whose only mark in history was getting away with murder to gain fame and encouraging copycats, why not recognize the hero?

Who Is Chris Mintz?

Mintz received seven gunshot wounds while trying to save other students during the deadly Oregon community college rampage. His aunt Sheila Brown told NBC news that her nephew:

“…tried to protect some people. We were told he did heroic things to protect some people. We’re not sure how his legs got broken. He was on the wrestling team and and he’s done cage-fighting so it does not surprise me that he would act heroically.”

Mintz served in the army from 2004 to 2007, according to his military records. He practices mixed martial arts fighting and dedicates himself to raising an autistic child. Mintz studies physical fitness at the community college and wants to be a personal trainer.

His partner, Jamie Meacham, is also a student at the college. She said:

“It didn’t surprise me to hear he would do anything. He’s the kind of guy who wouldn’t necessarily think about it and would just do what he had to do to buy time.”

Petition For Heroism Medal

The creator of the White House petition identifies himself, or herself, only as “B.G.,” and is asking for President Obama to formally award the medal for heroism. The Dothan, Ala., resident wrote in the petition:

“Mr. Mintz positively displayed the values of loyalty, duty, respect, honor, integrity, personal courage, and self-sacrifice to attempt to save as many of his fellow citizens as possible. I believe that awarding Mr. Mintz the Presidential Medal of Freedom will hold him up as a strong example to the rest of America that one person can make a difference.”

Doctors say veteran Mintz will survive, but he will likely have to re-learn how to walk. The man with no name was getting away with murder; he killed nine people before turning a gun upon himself. An additional nine people suffered wounds but are expected to live. How many more fatalities would there have been without Mintz’s courageous and unselfish acts?

Featured image by Chris Mintz via Facebook, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

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About Gloria Christie

Gloria Christie founded Gloria Christie Reports, a common sense column about liberal politics. She wrote for Addictinginfo.org, the Kansas City Star, Where High Technology Meets Politics for London’s IDG-Connect Blog and The Best Times. Her total readership is over 5 million. Christie has an MS in radio-TV-film and an MPA in business/government relations. She was a systemic problems consulting expert for Fortune 100/500 businesses here and off-shore. Christie invented and implemented the first computerized patient chart. She also worked on Howard Dean’s, John Kerry’s, and Barak Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is particularly interested in liberal politics, high-tech, complex systems, and change. Like her Facebook page, visit her website, and follow her onTwitter. Click here to buy Gloria Christie a vodka martini.


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