Remember the heroes, and that good exists in the world

It is a shame, but once again we have been reminded of the commonplace heroism so many people hold quietly at the ready out of their compassion for others.

This week, two armed teenagers bent on carrying out a massacre invaded STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado.

Life-saving courage enough was shown by a school security guard who ran toward the sound of gunfire and apprehended one of the assailants.

But teenaged students Kendrick Castillo, Brendan Bialy and Joshua Jones were unarmed when the second thug entered their classroom. They leapt up from their desks and rushed the assailant, a classmate.

They disarmed him, beyond any doubt saving many lives.

In the process, Jones was shot twice. Castillo was killed.

It all happened less than 10 days after another murderer engaged in a shooting spree at the University of North Carolina. There, college student Riley Howell saved lives, too.

And he, too, perished.

The loss by violence of any human being is a terrible thing. Precious lives are taken away forever.

But Bialy, the Colorado hero who escaped being shot, had an interesting, profound take on what happened. In comments to a reporter, he referred repeatedly to the attackers as cowards.

Then, he said this: “They lost. They completely and utterly lost to good people.”

In important ways, he is correct.

First, Castillo, Jones and Bialy — not the assailants — quickly became the big story of what happened at the Highlands Ranch school.

Second, they and the security guard prevented the attackers from carrying out the much bloodier slaughter they appeared to have planned.

Third — and most important — they, Howell and other heroes of similar events remind us that while evil exists in our midst, compassion and courage are far more common.

The Colorado assailants’ names have been reported in news stories. But not here. Who they are is entirely irrelevant.

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