Uvalde and the American Condition

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, May 26, 2022.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Certain details defy comprehension:

    • Shooter met out front by police, passes by police.

    • Police fall back as shooting starts. One aspect that makes details unclear is a number of extraordinary statements from law enforcement. Early inaccurate claims about the shooter wearing body armor were apparently an excuse to cover for inaction.

    • Some law enforcers enter the school to remove their own children, leave other students in place.

    • While some accounts say the shooter locked himself inside a classroom, at least one version from law enforcement claims police contained him there, and left him to kill children inside.

    • Law enforcers (Border Patrol) are apparently unable to open a locked classroom door, a skill many students learn in middle school if they live that long. Instead of getting a key from school officials, they send a school official to unlock the door for them.

    • During the period of containment, as parents begged law enforcers to enter the school, police threatened and attacked parents, restrained them from attempting to help the children inside.​

    There is nothing about the law enforcement response to the Uvalde massacre that is not unacceptable. A certain burden now falls on police: This was not botchery; this was not failure; law enforcers deliberately chose to aid and abet a mass killer.

    Think of it this way: The police had even trained at Robb School recently, for just such an event, and in the moment law enforcers handled circumstances so poorly that the instructions they gave the children actually resulted in the death of a child. We can only wonder if that was part of the training.

    Nevaeh Bravo | Jackie Cazares | Makenna Lee Elrod | Jose Flores | Ellie Garcia | Uziyah Garcia | Amerie Joe Garza | Xavier Lopez | Jayce Carmelo Luevanos | Tess Mata | Miranda Mathis | Alithia Ramirez | Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez | Maite Rodriguez | Alexandra Aniyah Rubio | Layla Salazar | Jailah Silguero | Eliahana Cruz Torres | Rojelio Torres | Irma Garcia | Eva Mireles

    The children were mostly 9 and 10 years old; Miranda Mathis was 11, Uziyah Garcia 8.

    And children observe such striking details: One boy described seeing his best friend killed, shot in the nose. These survivors will carry their witness with them forever; and they will know the police were willing to trade them away.

    †​

    It was a strange moment when the chyron updated; the news host had let slip that it was two children among fifteen dead. But then the chyron changed again: Fourteen children, one adult.

    That moment stands out because if I felt nothing, no, I do not mean numb with shock. After she said two children among fifteen dead, we were probably expecting what came; but there isn't really anything left to feel. But when we saw fourteen children, I don't think I actually said, "Because, of course it is," but, yeah, that's about it goes in these United States.

    When we got the final count, nineteen children and two adults dead, I think I actually said, "Oh, hey, it's even worse."

    I worry enough about how unsurprised we are. But questions about the actual timeline sear, and the videos of police disputing with parents while refusing to enter the school seem ineffably through the looking glass. Right now, people feel absurdly awful, because there is nothing left to feel, and we recognize how awful that is.

    †​

    Take a moment to let this statement sink in: It's not just the fact of this extraordinary mass murder.

    No, really: Wait, what? It's not just? As in, merely? Yes, that is correct.

    And, an extraordinary mass murder? What, compared to a mundane mass murder? Yes, that is correct.

    So, it's not merely the fact that someone has gunned down nineteen children between the ages of eight and eleven, and two of their teachers? Ayuh.

    How is that merely? Well, that's the thing; the right wing trying to blame illegal immigrants or some random transgender person who doesn't even look like the shooter ought to be more significant just for its indecency, but the reason we're not taking much time for that is the overall grimness of the American circumstance.

    We can't harden the schools; or rely on law enforcement; conservatives are down to one-door schoolhouses and homeschooling, because regulating the firearm supply in the United States is somehow out of the question.

    We feel our grief as we learn the names of the dead, and compared to a mundane mass murder perhaps our souls are pierced by requisite poignancy, but this is going to happen again, and, moreover, we must countenance not simply that law enforcement cannot help, but are willing to sacrifice children because that is the priority of the badge.

    The sickness in our conscience defies our comprehension; an echo of awfulness feels like futility, and resounds through the body.

    Hope. That's what it is. So many people feel hopeless, today, and most won't get over it until they must.

    Or haven't you heard? A student was arrested in Richardson, Texas, after approaching his high school with a rifle. Yesterday. That is, the day after the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

    Oh, also, in Fort Worth, Texas, a middle school student is under arrest after bringing a firearm to school. That happened, too.

    Still, try it this way: Yesterday, neither gunner actually wanted to shoot, which is lucky. But it also raises the possibility of mass murder as a symbol of crying out for help, and nothing about that prospect is hopeful. If this is really what it comes to, what does that say about how we got here?

    What are we going to say if it's all of next week before the next extraordinary mass murder? Will we have anything new to feel? Are we supposed to feel any less badly if it's just a mundane mass murder?

    The survivors need all our love. In this, we cannot afford to falter.
     
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  3. Bells Staff Member

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    I have spent way too long trying to wrap my head around how in the absolute fuck, could they have stood around outside, for over 40 minutes, as gunfire rang out in that classroom? And with each passing second, my rage builds.

    How?

    They expended more energy threatening and restraining desperate parents screaming for them to do something, then they actually did to stop the shooter.

    How?

    If that wasn't bad enough, when they approached the classroom, they yelled out to any of the kids hiding inside, to yell for help if they needed help. To kids who were locked in that room and trying to hide. One child who survived that room of horror said that one girl yelled help, which alerted the gunman to where she was hiding and she was then shot. It was then that police entered the room. Presumably after they found a key to the door...

    "When the cops came, the cop said: 'Yell if you need help!' And one of the persons in my class said 'help.' The guy overheard and he came in and shot her," the boy said.

    "The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting," he said. The boy and his friends stayed hidden until the shooting was over
    .
    "Yell if you need help!"..

    They are trapped in a room with a gunman. These kids would have had it drilled into their brains to hide and not make any noise and the police told the kids to yell if they needed help before they secured the goddamn room?

    This is either incompetence or they were using those kids as bait.

    40 goddamn minutes as those parents had to sit there and listen to their children dying. 40 minutes.

    I've heard people saying they weren't prepared and they had to wait for SWAT, that the town didn't have a SWAT team.. Which is blatantly false: https://www.facebook.com/uvaldepd/posts/2986630521370285

    Police officers armed to the teeth, wearing near combat gear, chased a gunman, let him barricade himself in a classroom, then sat and did nothing as he killed 19 children and their teachers for 40 minutes. Then made sure to get another child shot, by urging the kids to call out for help before they secured the room.

    I honestly have no words that I can print to describe how I feel about this.

    Thus far we have changing and contradictory stories from law enforcement, a hurried press conference and no clear idea of what the hell they were doing for that entire time and why they had to send in a staff member to unlock the door for them. What? They didn't think to do that within the first few minutes? The well armed "good guys with guns" outside didn't think to do this? And my rage builds even more when I consider how politicians were praising the first responders..

    Here's the thing about being a first responder. They are meant to actually respond.
     
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    These problems are only going to get worse (it seems). Populism isn't good and it's even worse now with mass media.

    What do we have here? We have "enraged" citizens, media reporting before they have all of the facts, armchair quarterbacks. This isn't a good background for any meaningful change.

    There is an underlying problem with lack of reasonable gun regulations and nothing seems to be done on that front There is the bigger issue of why 18 year old males are even wanting to go into a elementary school and kill kids?

    This didn't happen years ago even though the guns were still there. That's irrelevant now of course because this problem is here and has to be dealt with. If the gun regulations that are needed were to be passed, the problem still wouldn't go away.

    It has always been possible for someone to grab a pistol and a few clips and to go into a school and kill a lot of people in a short period of time. It's just that no one had any desire to do it.

    There was a period where suddenly we had a lot of airline hijackings but no one got away with it and it waned for a while. Then the more radicalized hijackers came in, those who were on suicide missions and that is a lot harder to stop.

    That's kind of what is happening here. People who don't seem to care about their own lives either.

    Regarding the facts in this case, it's a mixed bag, and all of it is frustrating. School guards (armed or otherwise) aren't really effective against this kind of thing...neither are mall security guards or even bank guards. They never really provide much security.

    The two that "took cover" were also reportedly (I don't know if that is factual though). That wasn't initially mentioned. I don't know how much standing around was done as kids were shot. The shooting may have been done immediately before the real cops arrived.

    At that point, if you run in and more kids are killed, you are blamed and if you try to set up a perimeter, try to communicate, etc. and it turns out more kids were killed, you get blamed for that as well.

    Of course you can't have every parent calling the shots on the other hand who can blame any parent for acting. The lady who was originally handcuffed and then let go, then climbed a fence and ran into the school and retrieved her two kids...good for her. Who could argue with that?

    It's a small town, the local cops seem to not have reacted well in hindsight but we don't really know all of the details. Why did they have to wait for Border Patrol? The active duty police force that day may have been 4 people with 2 shot? Who knows? I went to college in a small town. You could speed in your car if you wanted and the chances of being stopped by a cop were almost nonexistent. The school was large and the existing town was small. There were only a few cops in total.

    The whole concept of having to arm schools is fu*cked up in the first place.

    I hope that some meaningful gun laws will be passed, higher ages to purchase guns, less or no access to AR 15 type weapons but it's also time to dial down the outrage and to dial up some more effective solutions than the usual "feel good" regulations like smaller magazines or home gun lock requirements that seem to make some people feel like they have accomplished something when that isn't the case. Regulation by populism isn't the answer. Look at Seattle. The City Counsel decided to "defund the police" a few years ago and partially did just that. Now the crime rate has gone way up and the city is trying to hire more cops (with less even being interested to be a cop here anymore). It's a predictable result of making policy by populism.

    We need to start looking at two problems, lax gun regulations and realizing that even with all the realistic gun regulation in the world we will still have this problem unless we get serious about the other aspects whether that's mental health, radicalization of the population in general or whatever. The whole Republican Party is nuts at the moment so among some groups there is always a head start at radicalization, add the mass media and things that wouldn't have happened years ago, do happen today.

    It's not just about guns and inept cops even though it's about that as well.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2022
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I am beginning to lean toward "All you Americans (even you outraged ones) who are not actually out marching on Washington with torches and pitchforks today have these deaths on your hands as well."

    I am also beginning to lean toward "If you Americans can't save your own children from the firing squad, maybe it's time some more capable nations stepped in and took care of that for you."

    FFS.
     
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  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    It's a big country. How long is the rally? Flight costs can be managed for many, but hotel costs might be prohibitive for the working class.

    And, yeah, sleeping in the street? No, this is not the time to be fucking with American cops like that.

    However, state capitals and police departments are plentiful, and much more local. It probably takes less research time to find the nearest U.S. Attorney's office than it does a local congressional office. In the end, though, there isn't much point in marching against, say, Sens. Murray and Cantwell, except to say, "Damn it, set your Republican colleagues straight, and right now!" If New Yorkers would be so kind as to beset Mr. Schumer, however, we would greatly appreciate it; folks from the Pacific states shouldn't have to fly out to the Atlantic coast in order to do those people's jobs for them.

    Some leftists are calling for a general strike, and, yes, it's probably about time.

    Oh, what a fascinating prospect: Give my American neighbors someone else to shoot at; if they kill enough fuckall out of everyone else, they might actually calm down for a while. We'll send our thoughts and prayers, and then use the peacekeeprs' bones to build a memorial.

    Because, after all, we already know we can't kill our way out of this killing field.
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Biden's speech was a tipping point for me, I think. If anyone could have acted, it was him. Who TF was he appealing to in that speech? Who does The Leader of the Free World have to blow to get change in his own country? I mean, that's what Executive Orders are for, right? I really thought he was going to pass an Executive Order. Then I hoped maybe the next day. Now, my hopes are waning fast, and all that's remaining is a disgust for - not just gun lobbyists - but every American who didn't act sooner, when it was obvious the whole country was imploding.
     
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  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think you understand Executive Orders and our system. He isn't King.

    Actually, when you have a gridlocked system, the best place for change is outside the system.

    If the people want more gun control then they can quit buying guns from places that sell AK 15's and from stores that sell to 18 year olds. Hit stores in the pocketbook and that will potentially do more than a "rally" or saber-rattling.
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,115
    The impression that many are getting is that the cops arrived and didn't do anything and just watched while 19 kids were shot. Two cops arrived within 12 minutes and took 4 minutes to access the situation before going in.

    Why second guess that? They called for backup, a SWAT team and all the rest but it's a small town. In the mean time they evacuated the rest of the kids and teachers. I think I read somewhere that it was a large school with hundreds of students. That's what anyone would do.

    I'm sure that everyone didn't react with no mistakes but there is a lot of armchair quarterbacking going on here. Everyone is "outraged" but no one is actually doing anything constructive. It's the same after every shooting.

    If we quit looking for a scapegoat or some stupid conspiracy theory and just worked toward actual (complicated) solutions we might actually progress.
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    17,306
    King?? I think maybe you don't understand EOs.

    EOs are immediate but short term. They can be overturned, canceled, revoked, adjudicated unlawful, or simply expire.

    The effect though is, to reverse the onus of action. Now, the deed is done, and it's up the critics to roll it back by whatever means. That takes time and effort. But now, if the gears of change get fouled and slow, it works in favour of the gun control faction.
     
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  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    This is what I fear. I fear the narrative is going to be bent to become about what the cops did or didn't do.

    That's a distraction. Concentrating what might or might not have happened at the incident keeps focus on circumstantial tactics, and plays right into the hands of those suggesting we simply beef of the defenses of the schools - arm the teachers or whatever.

    It is designed to draw focus away from the core gun issue.
     
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  14. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

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    Until I was around 10-11 I wished I was born in the US.
    Then I began becoming aware of the amount of people dying to preventable bullshit because the US is basically owned by "special interests".
    At that point I became grateful I lived in boring little regulated by common sense Denmark.
    Even if we've become (always were?) a somewhat shitty country we've never pretended it's ok for everyone to own fucking assault weapons.
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    The EO still has to be something within the purview of the Executive Branch.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Enactment of H.R. 8?
     
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    That would be the Legislative Branch.
     
  18. Bells Staff Member

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    When it happened, the police stated how the school resources officer took fire, was injured, as were two officers who apparently chased the shooter.

    Then that changed to the resources officer was not even on campus and the officers arrived minutes later and were injured.. Injuries that apparently turned out to be a graze..

    During one press stint, one said they didn't respond or act and they waited, because they could have been shot at or even killed, after declaring they didn't know where he was in the school to a few seconds later, declaring they had contained him to one classroom (that he was killing 21 people in said classroom was apparently neither here nor there)..

    Then they changed the story again, and finally admitted that the call to not enter the classroom was a mistake.

    Now the guy who made the call to not enter the room asap has admitted he made an error in judgement, because he thought it was a barricade situation and he didn't think the kids were in danger - despite numerous 911 calls from the room begging for help, had advised people had been killed, etc, during the entire hour or so they sat outside, threatening parents for begging them to do something.

    We are taking the words of the officers involved at face value.
     
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,115
    OK, great, the cops didn't react as we would have liked. The problem is still with the 18 year old who killed all of the children. Let's fix that... We already know that cops are dummies. Who would want to be a cop?

    Your argument is almost falling into the NRA trap of "We need good guys with a gun to stop bad guys with a gun".

    Once someone walks into a classroom with an AR15 and the intent to kill as many kids as possible...it doesn't matter what the cops do. It's already too late.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2022
  20. Bells Staff Member

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    24,146
    If that's how you want to see it, you do you.

    It's one of the problems.

    Okay. Let's do that.. We'll touch on this in a bit.

    You're conferring incompetence, cowardice with being a dummy?

    Many people. Unfortunately, they aren't hiring the best, are they?
    Quite the contrary.

    I don't know how you got that from my posts in this thread, and I really don't care.
    Right..

    Here is a list of mass shootings for 2022 in the US.. So far..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mass_shootings_in_the_United_States_in_2022

    So you want to fix this?

    Stop the guy and all the other people from having access to the AR15 and semi-automatics to begin with.

    Mind...

    Blown!
     
  21. Bells Staff Member

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    24,146
    I beg to differ.

    The narrative from the right and pro-gun people has always been the 'good guy with a gun to stop the bad guy with the gun' narrative. They pushed for police resources in schools, etc.

    Here we have a perfect example of just why this narrative was designed to fail. Not only was the school resources officer who was meant to be there, not there, but trained and armed police, the so called 'good guys with guns' not only failed to stop a shooter from slaughtering more children, but refused to engage because they were afraid that they would be shot at and in at least one instance, may have ensured one more child was shot, when they yelled for the kids to identify if they needed help, while locked in a room with an active shooter and had been hiding in there for over an hour and we know this, because some of these kids had managed to call 911 begging for help..

    One of their core responses to the gun issue, has been the good guy with a gun narrative. That this is what is needed instead of gun control.
     
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  22. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,115
    That would be fine with me (no AR15). Now what?
     

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