USA Today

GOP presidential aspirant Ben Carson came in for some harsh criticism after speculating that if he’d been at Umpqua Community College, he would have led a charge to stop the shooter. He stood accused of insensitivity for supposedly “second-guessing” the victims and for arrogance in his hypothetical claim to bravery. Fair enough: It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Carson, just like the rest of us, doesn’t really know what he would do in such a situation, never having faced one just like it.

But we do know what Chris Mintz did that day in Oregon: He reversed course from the direction of safety and headed back toward the gunman, pulling an alarm and showing people how to get away safety, before being shot seven times while trying to prevent the gunman from entering a classroom.

Mintz was a true hero that day — as were three Americans and a Brit who leapt up to subdue a gunman on a train bound for Paris in August, saving countless lives. The same goes for the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 on 9/11 when they decided to try to take the plane back from the hijackers. So were the four gallant men no older than 27 who died shielding their girlfriends from the shooter in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater attack in 2012.