Saturday, 29 December 2007
I've been meaning to write this post for a little while now, just wanted to say something about James Alden's heroic tackling of an armed robber at Somerfield on Wednesday Dec 19.
Apparantly the chap had raided a number of locations in Withington and Didsbury and struck again at the Somerfield store in West Didsbury; poking a gun in James' back while grabbing cash from the till.
James waited for the guy to get distracted and then spun round; tackling him - though he quickly escaped and as far as I know hasn't yet been caught. And the gun was a non-functioning replica as far as we know.
I guess the key thing is that the way I look at it, it should be normal practice for people to respond to situations like that, as did the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 and part of the reason we don't is because our secular culture causes us to act as individuals: we see that a small minority of people are putting us in danger and that acting together they would be overcome, but the fact that 'I' am in danger means we don't act.
So why did James respond? My guess is that it's two things: firstly his eco-activism means he's used to doing what others don't have the guts to do - stand up to those in power when what they're doing isn't right. Secondly, his Christian faith gives him a different perspective on life, one where risking your life is sometimes reasonable, and which affects his psychology at a deep level.
As James said when he met us up at the pub a day later: "I almost met my maker yesterday" before casually starting on his pint.