The Uvalde shooting was not the first U.S. massacre when the authorities inexplicably failed to act, Robert Bridge writes.
Americans are up in arms following yet another mass shooting where local police forces appeared, once again, clueless as to how to deal with an active shooter. This is an unforgivable oversight in a country where police forces have largely been militarized and the people are experiencing a fierce political showdown over gun rights.
Last week, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, locked himself in a fourth-grade classroom where, over the course of an hour, killed 19 children and two teachers before he was taken out by a special tactical team. It was the third-deadliest U.S. school shooting, after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, and comes just days after a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo that left 10 people dead. These senseless massacres needn’t had happened, and the Democrats and Republicans have their own reasons as to why that is so. More on that later.
First, it is necessary to ask how it was possible that police failed to neutralize a lone gunman as fully armed police units remained frozen outside in a stupor of indecisiveness.
According to a timeline of the event, at 11:28 a.m. Ramos crashed his pickup truck into a ditch behind the Robb Elementary School and emerged from the vehicle brandishing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. He then scaled a fence and entered the parking lot of the school from where he fired off rounds from his gun for 12 minutes. With no armed security on duty, Ramos entered the facility, eventually locking himself into a classroom where the massacre of 19 school children took place.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the standoff came to an end after members of a tactical team entered the school and neutralized Ramos almost 90 minutes later, at 12:45 p.m. This leads to the obvious question: how was it possible for the gunman to have been allotted so much time to carry out this heinous crime? Part of the answer is that the Uvalde Police appeared to be more concerned clashing in the parking lot with the distraught parents, who were begging the police to enter the school and confront the shooter.
Cellphone footage shows unbelievable scenes of despair and pandemonium, where at one point the police are seen wrestling on the ground with one of the individuals, thought to be a parent. Although the details of the incident are still sketchy, it is hard to justify police on the scene refusing to enter the facility when many of them are videotaped wearing bullet-proof vests and helmets, while carrying top-of-the-line assault rifles.
One parent, Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter Jacklyn was among the victims, said when he got to the school the police were just standing around.
“There were five or six of [us] fathers, hearing the gunshots, and [police officers] were telling us to move back,” Cazares told the Washington Post. “We didn’t care about us. We wanted to storm the building. We were saying, ‘Let’s go’ because that is how worried we were, and we wanted to get our babies out.”
In an ‘active shooter’ event, as opposed to a drawn-out hostage situation, where it may be possible to negotiate for the lives of the captives, police officers are supposed to ‘run to the gun’ no matter what. It would seem they failed miserably on this day.
At 12:16, a student who is trapped inside of the classroom with the killer managed to place a 9/11 call to say that 8-9 of her fellow students were alive in the classroom. Yet the police did nothing, even though at 12:21 three more shots are heard from inside of the school.
At this point, it should have been obvious to the officers in command that this deranged individual had no intention of speaking to the authorities; his goal, judging by the available information, was to kill as many innocent kids as possible. What motivated him — and so many other gunmen in the past — to commit such a vicious act against innocent schoolchildren is another question altogether. Almost 30 more minutes go by until a Border Patrol tactical unit arrives, with protective shields, to enter the classroom (the story becomes even more fantastic when current reports say that a key to the besieged classroom was given to the team by a school official; why this key was not available earlier we are not told) and neutralize the shooter.
The Uvalde shooting was not the first U.S. massacre when the authorities inexplicably failed to act. On February 14, 2018, a 19-year-old gunman entered Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida and murdered 17 people. A political firestorm erupted when it was later revealed that four sheriff deputies who arrived during the melee failed to enter the building to neutralize the shooter.
Aside from the unnecessary deaths that such hesitancy on the part of the authorities causes, there is also the problem that it poses for the Second Amendment, which becomes more endangered with every mass killing. For the Democrats, the belief is that gun-related deaths can be eliminated by simply getting rid of the firearms. Yet that argument conveniently ignores the U.S. Constitution, which clearly states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Considering that Americans have been carrying firearms for many years, and that only recently has the epidemic of gun-related deaths become a major issue, it would seem that other factors are contributing to these shooting sprees, including the breakdown of the nuclear family, drug abuse, the debilitating effects of social media, and the daily violence being shown on television. Yet the left would rather ignore those contributing factors, reducing the problem to the firearm.
Part of the solution to this issue, which the left has dismissed out of hand, is to place armed guards at many public places – schools, churches, and the like – to discourage such acts of violence in the first place. In fact, that may be a nice way of offsetting another problem coming down the rusty pipe, which is mass unemployment. The Republicans foolproof midterm motto should be: ‘A chicken in every pot and an armed guard at every public place.’