COLUMN: Texas Shootout: A Failure on Multiple Levels | opinion | Wender Mind Kids

There are no adjectives that can describe the gruesome act committed by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He killed 19 children and two teachers. “Evil” is about as close as it gets.

President Biden and some other Democrats, as expected, called for more gun control laws without explaining why the current laws are not being followed by people who want to break them.

Texas State’s John Whitmire (D) and Roland Gutierrez (D) said Ramos had one of the assault rifles on May 17, a day after turning 18, he bought 375 rounds of ammunition. Then, on May 20, he reportedly bought his second assault rifle.

At a news conference, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Ramos posted on Facebook his intent to shoot his grandmother, reposted after shooting her, and then posted that he was going to shoot down an elementary school. Why didn’t anyone contact the police?

The most important question is, could this tragedy have been prevented?

The initial narrative of a swift law enforcement response is now being questioned. The Associated Press reported that police waited at least 40 minutes and maybe an hour outside the school while parents and bystanders urged them to do something. Authorities said Ramos lingered outside the school building for 12 minutes and fired shots before entering. That should have been enough for the police to stop him.

Before the shooting, Ramos tagged a Los Angeles girl on Instagram, hinting at his intentions. The girl said she never met him. Why didn’t she contact the authorities? News reports quoted her as “fearful,” but after the shooting, she regretted not having done so. Ramos had snapped a photo of two AR-15 style guns he had purchased and posted it on social media. You can support the Second Amendment and still advocate bans on war weapons. There should be at least a waiting period, a full background check, a mental assessment, and an investigation into instances of antisocial and erratic behavior and family structure.

The Uvalde School District’s website says there are “proponents to contain and/or eliminate elements of “violence, vandalism, disturbance and fear” in its schools” in order to “create a safe environment for all”.

That clearly failed. At a press conference held on Thursday, it was reported that Ramos was allowed into Robb Primary School without resistance, contradicting previous reports that Uvalde police officers had “hired” the killer.

The website says “advocates” consist of four officers, including two in the school district…security personnel patrolling doorways and parking lots on secondary campuses…dog detection services, advanced detectors and alarm systems; Fencing at Robb and other schools and outside of buzz-in systems; Security cameras, a locked classroom door policy… and a threat detection system.”

That sounds good, but investigators, parents, and relatives will want to know which, if any, of these didn’t work or malfunctioned?

Parents have a right to schools protecting their children from harm. Not so long ago, parents could send their children to school with the expectation that they would come back safely. Back then, schools were considered as safe as your own home. Faculty and staff saw it as their duty to protect students from injury. Even walking down the hallway could result in a child staying after school as a punishment or meeting with the principal.

Today it seems that only homeschooling can guarantee a safe environment for children. While some people in Uvalde and elsewhere choose this option, most will not or, for various reasons, cannot.

Every time one of these evil deeds occurs, we hear from politicians that we cannot go on like this. OK, then tell us how to stop it. Laws alone were not enough. Again, closer scrutiny of potential buyers could help, along with waiting times and stricter background checks.

There is also a moral element to this and other school shootings that should not be overlooked. Preachers, please note.

Readers can email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com. Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book, America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States (HarperCollins/Zondervan).

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