“A 77-minute video recording [of the Uvalde school shooting] shows in excruciating detail dozens of sworn officers, local, state and federal — heavily armed, clad in body armor, with helmets, some with protective shields — walking back and forth in the hallway…Officers finally rushed into the classroom and killed the gunman an hour and 14 minutes after police first arrived on the scene” —Austin American-Statesman, 7/12/22
By now, you might’ve seen the horrific footage from the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas. If you haven’t, all you need to know is that there’s an editor’s note on the video that says “the sound of children screaming has been removed.” That pretty much sums it up.
After this gruesome incident, one thing is clear: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun standing around nearby while the bad guy finishes doing his thing.
If, after watching this video, you still don’t believe that arming as many people as humanly possible is the only way to prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening, then I don’t know what to tell you. Just imagine how much worse it could have been if the police hadn’t arrived three minutes after the shooting began, then waited over an hour to engage the shooter before finally killing him. Had there not been a SWAT team of heavily-armed cops in body armor and shields to kill that sicko 77 minutes after he started slaughtering kids, that monster could’ve easily gone on slaying youngsters for 10 or even 15 more minutes before he ran out of ammo. Luckily all of these good guys with guns were there to stop him before things got even more out of hand.
This terrible tragedy should serve as a template for how we approach gun control and public safety in the future. The more people we can equip with deadly weapons so they can rush in when something bad is happening—then kind of stand around hoping the shooter eventually wears himself out—the greater the likelihood we’ll be able to limit atrocities like this to 15 or 20 casualties instead of 25 or 30. That’s the only way things are ever going to get slightly less awful.
The only course of action we have is to give police departments a gigantic pile of cash so they can buy tactical gear to look badass while they walk up and down the hallway passively observing whatever school shooting happens next.
It also reinforces why we so desperately need a militarized police force to be able to quickly swoop in to this exact scenario, spend 60-plus minutes assessing the situation to make sure no officer has even a remote chance of getting hurt, and then promptly deal with the assailant once he’s gotten all tuckered out. That’s why the U.S. spends the entire GDP of a South American country on policing each year. When you’re nominally willing to put your life on the line after virtually all danger has passed, you deserve to earn the big bucks.
If anything, it’s proof that we should be expanding policing to make sure there’s armed personnel at every single school to listen for gunshots, then flee from the building and warn other law enforcement officers so that they too can stand outside the school waiting for the bullets to stop.
Increasing the police budget would also give officers more time to crack down on public safety scourges that are more dangerous to the public than guns like loud car stereos, dirt bikes, minor traffic violations, and being unarmed and Black. Who knows, they might even manage to solve more than half of all murders!
As we saw in Japan recently, gun violence is just as bad there as it is here, which proves basic restrictions on who can own what types of guns just doesn’t work. So the only course of action we have is to give police departments a gigantic pile of cash so they can buy tactical gear to look badass while they walk up and down the hallway passively observing whatever school shooting happens next. All that gear has the upside of making it way easier to protect the public from dangerous protestors when they get out of hand, which is arguably even more important than preventing little kids from getting shot.
And, of course, more money for the po-po means we can continue to lock up the demographic that’s the real number one threat to America: Black teens who occasionally smoke weed.