The Civil War, and Uvalde, Texas. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
Good, timely post. My most military oriented friends have said we’ve been in a civil war for some time just unannounced. The natural inborn skepticism we citizens are supposed to possess must long ago have tipped us off to this reality. The tactics of a state bent on civil war are always recognizable if we’re looking. By the time the family unit is being disrupted by their tactics it is present. It is always about the imposition of tyranny and never about what they are telling you. Many Americans had long ago ancestors who fought and died in European civil wars among tyrants. They make you and me cannon fodder to fuel their dreams.
Bill, let's not be disingenuous here. The mayor of Uvalde criticized the media, as did the parents of the victims, for releasing the video before the families had a chance to see it. It was thrust upon the families at the same moment the world got to see it. Freedom of the press is one thing. Journalistic restraint in the interest of human respect is another.
I hadn't watched that video until now. Unbelievable, it shook me to my core. There is so much wrong in that short clip that I can't even wrap my head around how something that evil can even happen anywhere, let alone here. My heart aches for the kids and families that had to experience it. While there are many actions taken to address this from happening in the future, at the heart of it, is our deteriorating moral fabric as a country. This would never have been a thought "back in the day." My hope is that we as a country, can find the strength to rise above our political differences to address the underlying issues that lead to such a devastating event. We owe it to our kids. God help us.
I am shaking my head as I read the newsletter, thinking how this incident could’ve been handled so much better. Incredibly sad that so many lives were lost. At the very least, I can say that the handling of the incident can serve as a what not to do in this type of scenario.
I am not a fan of Monday morning quarterbacking, and I didn't intend to watch the video until now. I have now watched it doesn't change anything other than some strong emotion. Their are multiple problems here to think about, and work on. In my mind the problem that most people see with the police isn't the actions or lack of actions they took on that day in those minutes; the problem with the police is a longer term/deeper problem related to many other problems we have in society today; and it comes down to training and mental preparedness. While I don't want to live in a world where small town cops have a militarized mindset; I have learned through years of serious training and real world experience that the old saying (paraphrasing as I've heard/read it many different ways) that 'in an emergency we do not rise to the level or our expectations (or hopes/aspirations) in an emergency but that we tend to fall to the level of our training' is as true as ever.
I've read about a few Medal of Honor winners, and I have worked along side quite a few Silver & Bronze winners, and one of the common themes I have noted over the years is that nearly all of them don't think they were heroes, because they did what they were trained to do.
I also can't help but wonder how many of these officers had inclinations or thoughts to do something more proactive but didn't because either; they weren't (the one) in charge, or because there were so many others in the way/doing otherwise.
As much a travesty as this is; I ask any that would criticize the actions or lack of actions, are you ready to sign up, be a better cop than the one you are willing to criticize? That's not to say you shouldn't criticize; but if you aren't (never would have been) willing to put yourself in their shoes, put your life on the line then where do you get the idea of how they could/should do the job differently?
The most cruel and heartbreaking video of the Uvalde school shooting is when a police officer is seen casually using a wall mounted hand sanitizer while children are being massacred.
Did the Police Officers on site have any children attending the school?
Where any of the classrooms evacuated?
I can see that this was a difficult article to write…but I am grateful you did. Such a confusing and distressing time for those working to “serve and protect”. Seems like often these mass shootings become a scenario where “damned if you do, damned if you dont” for officers involved. Solving the problem of how do we prevent these events and then minimize the harm when they do occur will require a much more integrated and cohesive early detection willingness and consistent/practised response training. Sad state of affairs that these events keep happening.
I read Bill’s article, glanced at the pictures, and have no desire to watch even a moment of the video. These policemen failed. Whatever extenuating circumstances can be argued, they failed to save those children. What I think we all need to contend with, however, is that we have all failed. This is a societal sin — not merely because some 18 year old psychopath was able to get hold of a weapon, nor because the police held back rather than risk their own lives. This is on us because we are part of a society that has been cultivating a culture of death for the last 50 plus years, we’ve had a laissez fare, anything goes attitude about elevating the self above all else, and we do not cherish life. Why are we surprised by the violence? If we are, I would submit that we need to get out our echo chambers and see things for what they are. This isn’t a problem created by Second Amendment nut-jobs or liberal politicians, but by a retreat away from the true common good and personal responsibility, among other things. Shame on us. May God have mercy on us.
There are multiple stories about police failing to “protect and serve”. But the ones I see most are of police randomly shooting at anything. This behavior to actively avoid helping children and teachers in an elementary school is infuriating! And they have found their scapegoat when SO MANY were cowards..Why do we never see stories about brave cops. Surely there are such stories.
The actions of the Uvalde, Texas law enforcement members on this horrific day are so appalling that they defy description. Your comments are spot on!!!
I’m my admittedly limited experience and study, groups of people run towards guns because 1 person among them leads them to do so (by voice and action). If no one sets up to do so, all do nothing. Think of 9/11’s PA flight, or even Japanese bazar charges (with no officers, there was no charge), for example. No idea why no such 1 person did so here. No matter the reason, this is both sad and a police failure in leadership, in my opinion.
Shortly after this horrible tragedy, I thought about how difficult it is to teach/train/hire people with critical thinking skills who instinctively will exercise the best option despite rules, procedures, orders, and directives. In military and para-military organizations, this is particularly hard. Hierarchy and chain of command are intrinsic, yet we desire individual discernment, analysis, and assessment as core competencies. I am totally stunned by the number of law enforcement persons at this scene and that none of them felt compelled to override the orders--knowing that their were people (children) in need of their expertise. This should be a serious item of discussion in every organization. How do we balance the "order" of the organization against the risks that move us forward and are the right thing to do? Sometimes the right and logical thing means putting your life and career on the line.
I would like to link the two events in a slightly different way. Frontal attacks into a well-fortified defensive position led to several disasters for the offense in the Civil War. Add Fredericksburg, Pickett's charge, Cold Harbor, etc. to Fort Wagner. The Uvalde school was breached because parodical was not followed and the gunmen entered through an unlocked door. Once in, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. The whole event could have been avoided had the door been locked. I'm not defending the police. I'm just pointing out how vulnerable schools are if a gunman gets through the defense system.
It is my understanding Israel had similar problems until they armed the teachers, and the problem was solved. The schools became like Fort Wagner. I don't foresee the US arming all the teachers, but I do think arming some teachers or having an armed ex-military person on staff and having regular drills of defensive parodical would help.
The initial police reaction was poor. But are we unfairly comparing traffic cops, school resource officers and community patrol officers to well trained SWAT teams or the Special Forces teams we've seen in the movies? I saw fear, hesitation, uncertainty and poor leadership. I'd venture to say that the responders were not a Quick Reaction Force or trained in Close Quarters Combat. Should they be? Should every community patrol officer maintain the fighting skills of a Hostage Rescue Team? If so, that's going to take commitment, training and budget. It's also going to reduce the viable candidate pool. Most of them didnt even have adequate body armor/bullet proof vests. Most of them were carrying handguns. Every patrol vehicle should have a combat ready rifle and each officer should be trained in CQB tactics. Rambling thoughts from an observer.