The heroes of Sutherland Springs

In his interviews, Johnnie Langendorff, with a scraggly beard and a tattoo of a bull skull on his neck, invariably wears a cowboy hat. He is polite and matter of fact (“He said ‘chase him,’ and so that’s what I did — I just chased him”), implying that anyone would have done it.

This isn’t true, although it is almost certainly more true in America’s out-of-the-way places. Self-help is imperative in these areas because the alternative is no help, at least not on a timely basis.

Small towns might not even have a police department, and the police tend to be for after-the-fact investigations rather than real-time responses.