A country short on heroes could be paying more attention to James Shaw

For a country that loves — and smothers– its heroes, James Shaw is getting stiffed.

He’s the guy who disarmed the gunman at a Waffle House in Nashville, during which six people were shot, four of them fatally.

“I don’t want people to think that I was the Terminator, or Superman or anybody like that. It was just, I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it,” he said, insisting that his was a selfish act.


That was five days ago and the country has mostly moved on.

But Shaw hasn’t. He started a GoFundMe page to help pay the funeral expenses of the dead. He set a $15,000 goal, which is far too low as decent funerals go, but it didn’t matter because by this afternoon, he’s raised $173,000.

Typically by now, we’d be pretty sick of seeing him on TV, but other than a news conference on Sunday and a ceremony honoring him at the Tennessee state house, the response seems comparatively muted. He got a tweet from the vice president, but that’s been pretty much it as far as the most visible American politicians, who generally flock to heroes like flies to light.

“Please don’t let someone like James Shaw Jr. fade so quickly from our memories,” former Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan said in a letter to the Star Tribune this week.

  • eat_swim_read

    There are two gofundme pages. One for victims and one for him – both are trending

    • He set up the one for victims. The one for him was set up by someone in New York.

      • eat_swim_read

        Yashar Ali –

  • MrE85

    The country has moved on? He’s all over my Twitter feed.

    • Any of it have anything to do with getting recognition outside of TN? No? I didn’t think so.

    • BJ

      Not on mine.

  • >>For a country that loves — and smothers– its heroes, James Shaw is getting stiffed<<

    Most likely reasons he's getting "stiffed":

    He wasn't that "good guy with a gun" and disarmed the shooter with basically just his bare hands and wits, and he's a black man in today's America.

  • Gary F

    He’s made it clear he’s not wanting the hype.

    I still think he’s a hero. Twice. I still wonder why anyone else in that restaurant didn’t chase the killer once he left the building.

    • // once he left the building

      I’ll go with (a) they didn’t want to get shot or (b) there were people to take care of in the store.

      I’m not going to shame someone in a mass shooting when I’ve never been in a mass shooting and have no clue what I’m talking about.

    • Jerry

      Because we don’t live in an action movie

    • >>I still wonder why anyone else in that restaurant didn’t chase the killer once he left the building.<<

      The shooter potentially had more firearms (he had one on him when captured).

  • Jerry

    Considering that heroes get torn down as quickly as they get built up, it’s probably best that he isn’t getting that much attention.

  • shleigh

    Apathetic response on the initial story translates into fewer clicks/likes/shares which signals media to find a more popular story.

    Also, I can almost guarantee that there are forces actively working in the shadows to squash the story. 2Aers & NRA don’t want to let another A15 mass shooting remind anyone who has already moved on from Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

  • lindblomeagles

    The one person that should have said something praiseworthy about Shaw to all of us is that guy sitting in the Oval Office. I believe it was THAT GUY who said on the 2016 campaign trail, “Black people, give me a chance. The Democrats haven’t done anything for you.” Well, here’s that chance to do something for a Black person.

    • Pillar

      THAT GUY should be praising the hell out of this guy for doing what he claimed he’d do if he was at a shooting.

  • Joe Gannon

    Please sign my White House petition demanding Trump recognize the amazing heroism of James Shaw Jr. He disarmed the killer at the shooting in Nashville. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recognition-incredible-heroism-james-shaw-jr

    • Thanks for the additional detail on who James Shaw Jr. is.