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.