Chris Mintz was shot seven times while attempting to save fellow students at Roseburg, Oregon, based Umpqua Community College, and now there is a petition calling on President Barack Obama to award the hero with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mintz is currently recovering from wounds to his hands, legs, back, and stomach, and Time reports that the Army veteran will likely have to re-learn how to walk. As his injuries were sustained while attempting to block a gunman from entering a classroom to save his fellow students, Mintz has received a tremendous outpouring of support for his actions.
A GoFundMe campaign set up in Mintz’s name has already raised over $700,000 to help with the ongoing expenses of medical care, rehab, and lost wages while he recovers from his wounds. And now, a petition has been created calling on President Barack Obama to bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the Oregon shooting hero.
The petition was created on the White House’s petition site, where petitions that reach 100,000 signatures are able to attract the president’s attention. It cites Chris Mintz’s heroism in attempting to save his fellow students as the reasoning behind awarding the Army vet with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Mr. Mintz positively displayed the values of loyalty, duty, respect, honor, integrity, personal courage, and self-sacrifice to attempt to save as many of his fellow citizens as possible. I believe that awarding Mr. Mintz the Presidential Medal of Freedom will hold him up as a strong example to the rest of America that one person can make a difference.”
The petition was posted on Friday, and it has until November 1, 2015, to obtain 100,000 signatures. As of Sunday, it had already drawn over 2,000 signatures. As Chris Mintz’s GoFundMe campaign has recorded actual donations from over 22,000 people in just two days, the petition may stand a chance of reaching 100,000 signatures by the deadline.
Dead serious: he doesn’t qualify for the Medal of Honor but Chris Mintz ABSOLUTELY should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom
— 95Sports (@95Sports) October 2, 2015
Meanwhile, a similar Change.org petition has attracted over 40,000 signatures.
— Rose Q (@QRosecorrie607) October 3, 2015
Previous petitions that have hit the 100,000 signature mark have drawn presidential consideration, even if they were somewhat less than serious. According to Oregon Live, the Obama administration looked at and rejected a petition to build a Death Star, from the Star Wars franchise, citing the amount that it would cost to construct.
President Obama’s response to this petition will remain unknown until November, when it either meets or misses the 100,000 signature requirement. At the moment, Obama’s response to the shooting has involved calling for more gun control, rather than addressing Mintz’s heroism.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the single highest civilian award bestowed in the United States, and it has been handed out to an average of about 11 people each year since 1993, according to Senate.gov.
When the Presidential Medal of Freedom was created by executive order in 1963, the reasons for awarding it were laid out.
“An especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Last year, a number of politicians received the honor, along with celebrities like Tom Brokaw, Stevie Wonder, and Meryl Streep. Former Presidents, like Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan have also received the award, although Reagan’s was actually the much less common Presidential Medal of Freedom With Distinction.
Do you believe that Chris Mintz’s heroism during the Oregon school shooting rises to the level of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and what do you think President Obama’s response will be if the petition reaches 100,000 signatures by November?
[Photos courtesy Chris Mintz / GoFundMe, Chris Mintz / Facebook, White House / Public Domain]