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.