Jun 09, 2022
Our hearts have been pierced over and over by the horrific events that occurred at the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Especially heart wrenching were the phone call cries, "send the police," from that 10-year-old girl trapped in the room with the murderer and surrounded by the dead and dying bodies of her classmates. She made three 911 calls. See Breaking Points at about 7:30 mins. Apparently, she or another student, was told on a call to yell out, "We need help" perhaps with the idea that some of the nineteen heavily armed police just outside the door might hear and come to the rescue. Too bad for her, the only one who came to her was the shooter who promptly killed her.
No, the police won't save us; nor will hiring more police, renaming them "resource" officers, or equipping them with ever more powerful weapons. Police behavior at the Robb elementary school shows that they realized what they're up against.
As horrible as that was, the actions of the authorities and the lack of action by the police made matters much worse, sending us all powerful messages that we should heed.
The first message was that authorities in these situations tell lies over and over. One especially frustrating series of lies dealt with the school's "resource officer" (a policeman who worked for the school district). First, we were told that he had exchanged gunfire with the shooter outside the school. Then we were told he didn't exchange gun fire, but chased the gunman into the school. Then authorities admitted that didn't happen either. Turns out, the resource officer wasn't even at the school. See Breaking Points at about 4:10 mins.
The authorities' lied, not just to cover their asses. No, these lies were part of a standard delusional heroic narrative often dredged up at mass shootings, one that feeds the American male's dreams of individual heroic action and killing bad guys. The fantasy of course requires that every "real man" possess deadly weapons.
This fantasy narrative serves to divert attention from the tragedy of mass killings that are clearly caused mostly by the US's insane gun culture and the easy availability of super deadly assault weapons. The politicians, instead of talking about how to prevent widespread availability of deadly weapons, laud individual heroics at the scene and advocate arming even more people with guns.
A real hero on that day, by the way, was the woman who was handcuffed by police to prevent her from going into the school to do what the police wouldn't, namely save her children. Saagar Enjeti of Breaking Points reported that when she heard about the shooting at her kids' school, she drove 40 miles, tried to go inside, but was handcuffed by the police. Somehow, she got free, ran in to the school, and brought her kids out to safety. All that without an assault rifle. See Breaking Points at about 1:40
However, the well-armed police at the school, probably unintentionally, sent a very sobering message to the nation: 'We're not going to risk our lives to save you or your family from heavily armed killers.' The police have been accused of cowardice. I won't judge that. However, they do seem to have made a determination that they don't want to die because the people in power and those who profit from selling guns have deliberately encouraged widespread ownership of deadly assault weapons and then expect the police to risk their lives protecting society from the resulting carnage.
Years ago, when I was young, police usually out gunned any bad guys so the chances of them being killed were low. But today in this country, thanks to the idiotic Supreme Court rulings, the quasi-religious gun culture, and corrupt politicians in both parties, an 18-year-old man/boy can easily acquire fire power equal to or exceeding that which the police have.
I think all of this was well understood by the police at the Robb elementary school. They knew that nineteen well-armed officers could easily take out one lone gunman. But they also probably calculated that armed with a deadly assault weapon, the shooter might take out one or two of the officers before he went down. Which officer would want to be in the front of the pack that breaks into the room to face the well-armed killer? Raise your hand.
No, the police won't save us; nor will hiring more police, renaming them "resource" officers, or equipping them with ever more powerful weapons. Police behavior at the Robb elementary school shows that they realized what they're up against. Their behavior tells us they are not willing to die so that politicians can gain donations and votes by celebrating a heroic dead police officer. Are they wrong?
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