Doctor “hero” at Giffords shooting says he and others are just “normal people”

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...
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I heard this quote on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” today and I really liked it. Choking back tears, Dr. David Bowman, who was shopping with his wife at the Safeway store in Tuscon, Arizona where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot and six others were killed by an alleged lone gunman, including a 9-year-old girl who was born on September 11, 2001, said he is not particularly comfortable with being called a “hero:”

“I think that there were maybe heroic things done by normal people. That means we’re human beings. And I think that’s, to me, one of the lasting impressions, is to see what people were doing for someone else – injured people – helping someone else more injured. Not concerned about themselves. And not screaming and not yelling, “Medic! Medic!,” and helping the person next to them. It gives you a lot of hope that we are doing it the right way, somehow.”

-Dr. David Bowman, aided Rep.Gifford at shooting, on being called hero

We have a hero culture now. Anyone and everyone who acts is, by default, a hero. A woman, who also is being called a hero for yanking the second gun clip out of the alleged shooter’s hands, said if she is a hero then the retired Colonel who tackled the gunman to the ground is a “super hero.” She said that her son told her that Tuscon needs heroes right now and that she needs to embrace the moniker.

I think we needed “normal people” that day – and that is what we got. Calling everyone a “hero” makes it sound like only “heroes” respond to desperate situations like that. Do you consider yourself a hero? I don’t think I am a hero. I bet you don’t either. But, I believe I would try to help in a situation like that. And I’m just a normal guy.

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

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