In a posting some time ago, I commented, opined, about the Mass Casualty School shooting in Uvalde, Texas. We all should recall the basic details of the incident, so I won’t rehash them. Death an injury occurred, stories of the terror experienced by the students, and by the families of the many children there. We also heard much about the desperate and panicked attempts by school officials to save the children and seek shelter, cover and concealment from the attacker. Again, I won’t re-tell that story. And there was the still today evolving story about the police/emergency responders on that fateful day.
This post is about that, the police response.
If you have read my posts in the past and my own story, you know that I come from a Law Enforcement and Intelligence background. My background is further influenced by a long association with the U.S. Military, specifically, with various military Special Operations entities, mostly in a training and support partnership, but also in the real world, in the fields/sands and cities around the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting I am some kind of Terminator, Jason Bourne, Jack Reacher kind of guy. But I do have some experience to lend to my opinions and analysis. So, please work with me on this.
The Uvalde Post. (Edited update of original May 27, 2022 Facebook Post)
We have heard recently that the City of Uvalde had a small police department. I Googled and checked their website and didn’t get an answer. Let’s presume that it is true, whatever the number. Because they are small in number, it is said that they do not have a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit. Given that, it would seem that their entire sworn (as in – authorized to carry weapons and enforce laws) force, be trained and capable of performing SWAT type response when necessary. Waiting is a luxury not always available in law enforcement.
Being required or saying they are required to wait for another agency to send a designated unit simply is not acceptable when lives are at risk. Particularly children! Particularly at our children’s schools!
Yes, it would require the cooperation of their local and state governments to make that happen, fine.
A single officer, armed with a handgun is at a disadvantage when facing an adversary with a rifle. No argument there. And yes, being a police officer is not meant to be a sacrificial lamb, or a suicide career. But as the designated law enforcement on duty, it is your sworn responsibility to Protect and Serve, to save lives, and to prevent crimes when present at a crime in progress. If none of that is your current capability, then…
Now, I’m not pretending that I am some bullet proof hero. I’m not! While I have had a career in law enforcement and served our country in the War on Terrorism, I am not a fearless hero with all the answers. Who and what I am, is a father, sworn (former) law enforcement, a trained and experienced operations officer, a man. This is not to suggest that those at the Uvalde shooting were anything less or not as skilled or prepared and professional, just clarifying my viewpoint with my experience.
Certainly, logistics and tactics are keys to a successful operation in all situations. News Flash…the public believes that we are already are so equipped and trained…even though many are not. And for that matter, many are no so funded by their local or state governments.
But those children in Uvalde new nothing of such requirements or issues. They simply showed up at school, assumed their role as student, young person tasked with learning, following the rules and instructions of their school officials…and expecting to go home to their families at the end of the day…every day! They simply need someone, anyone, to come and stop the killing.
That is the job, the sworn duty of Law Enforcement. And the responsibility of the community those kids live in, to be provided.
Were there particulars to the shooting in Uvalde that negatively impacted the situations…yes! There always are! That community, all communities must have authorized individuals readily present and available to keep the peace at our children’s schools. “Readily available” are keywords to apply to this and all such situations.
There-in is a problematic issue. First, there is a large number of our citizens and government officials, for that matter, who are against police in general, and specific to the issue of police in and on school campuses, are against that option. That includes teachers themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love our teachers. The are no other more essential people in our society than good teachers. They are underpaid, inadequately equipped and left alone and outnumbered in the classrooms. But far too many resists and reject the idea of authorized, armed security actively and always on campus.
Simple solution stop arguing, stop posturing, stop making “caring” support and sympathetic speeches…
I wasn’t there in Uvalde, so I am not blaming. Critical, but not blaming. I had not heard of Uvalde before this recent event.
In law enforcement tactical operations, there is never an operation that is conducted and the post op analysis does not find ways in which some things could have been done better, smoother, safer or more efficiently. That is the standard in special operations.
POLICING IS AN IMPERFECT SCIENCE!
And it always will be. This is true of big and small cities.
It evolves over time as obstacle and limitations confront their tasks.
Living in this world with division, politics, social, economic and cultural issues…not to mention wars and rumors of war always rumbling in the near and far horizon, living is challenging. Leading and serving is challenging. Trust is challenging.
There are laws and enforcement matter that MUST be addressed. Whether you are for or against guns, favor crime reduction or favor less rules and restrictions…where are children’s safety is concerned there should be NO debate.
There are approximately 340 million people, and increasing, in the U.S. And there are that many differing opinions on everything.
It is reported that approximately 26% of our adult population suffers from some form of mental illness…that’s just adult numbers. If you follow todays trends in the media that number may be doubling by the days. I tend to think it is much higher, just as our population is higher than estimated.
There can be no debate that a person who takes a gun and kills another innocent person must be sick. It must be acknowledged that criminally minded people do not follow the rules and laws…they will have guns as long as guns exist. And guns will always exist as long as we have crime, criminals, national borders, dictators and warlords and people without values, morals and conscious.
No matter…FIX IT!
Crime is a disease that needs to be eradicated like any other sickness. Enforce laws, heal and care for sick people. Stop pissing into the wind on the issue of guns in America. As the laws stand today, they are there. Find an agreed way of dealing with that reality.
School and Mass Casualty Shootings