As is always the case after a terrible incident like what just occurred in Aurora, Colorado, a clearer picture begins to emerge in the days and weeks that follow. And while much attention will be paid to the mass murderer who committed this horrific crime – why he did it, what his background was, what the warning signs were – and while other attention will be paid (and should be) to the way the media handled the situation, jumping to conclusions and unjustly impugning innocent people without thorough investigation, there’s another side that needs even more attention.
My friend Micah Clark sent me this email this morning:
In a society which often seems to be at war with masculinity to the point of mocking it or painting men as buffonish Homer Simpson types and elevating the effeminate male . .this story of three young men who took bullets to save their girlfriends at the Colorado shooting is noteworthy and a reminder of true manhood, which protects women...even in the line of fire.
Micah then linked to a story that highlighted the heroic actions of Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves – men whose names deserve to be learned and repeated as models of what it really means to be a man. Here’s what they did:
Three survivors of the Colorado movie-theater massacre escaped with minor wounds, but were left with broken hearts because their heroic boyfriends died saving them.
In final acts of valor, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves used their bodies to shield their girlfriends as accused madman James Holmes turned the Aurora cineplex into a shooting gallery.
Blunk’s girlfriend, Jansen Young; McQuinn’s girlfriend, Samantha Yowler; and Teves’ gal pal Amanda Lindgren made it out of the bloodbath — but they would have been killed had it not been for the loves of their lives.
“He’s a hero, and he’ll never be forgotten,” a tearful Jansen Young told the Daily News of Blunk. “Jon took a bullet for me.”
She was too distraught to speak more, but her mother called Blunk, 25, who had two young children from a previous relationship, “a gentleman.”
“He was loving, the kind of guy you want your daughter to be with, and ultimately, she’s alive because of this, because he protected her,” Shellie Young said.
He pushed Jansen on the ground and under her seat, then threw his body on top of her, the mother said. “He was 6-feet-2, in incredible shape, which is why he was able to push her down under the seats of the theater,” the mother said. “He pushed her down on the floor and laid down on top of her and he died there.”
Equally heroic was the 24-year-old Teves, who hurled his girlfriend to the floor as bullets whizzed through the theater.
“He pushed her to the floor to save her and he ended up getting a bullet,” said his aunt, Barbara Slivinske, 57. “He was gonna hit the floor himself, but he never made it.”
Samantha Yowler had a similar story of horror and heroism about her boyfriend, Matt McQuinn, whose last living act was to shield her from death. Yowler, 26, survived with a gunshot wound to the knee and is in fair condition after undergoing surgery.
McQuinn’s family credited his quick actions for saving Samantha’s life. Witnesses said he dove on top of his girlfriend as the shooting started and that Samantha’s brother, Nick, who was also in the theater, helped get her out of harm’s way.
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In an age where we too often yield to the idiotic sniveling of modern feminism that suggests there is no place in our enlightened society for men to act as “protectors” of women – indeed, they suggest that it is insulting and demeaning for them to do so – I am quite confident that Samantha Yowler, Jansen Young, and Amanda Lindgren would have a different view.
I am sure that the personal details of the lives of these three heroes would reveal fallen men who had made plenty of mistakes, just like all of us. But in the moments that mattered most, they demonstrated the very kind of man I want to be, and the kind I pray my two young daughters will someday meet. May God bless the memory of their sacrifice.