Disciplining School Shootings After Uvalde – The Authorities

In the previous post, we discussed the role of parents in school shootings and the idea that while they aren’t pulling the trigger themselves, that doesn’t exclude them from fault. Much like how you can hold people criminally responsible for neglect or compliance in other crimes, the same needs to be done in the case of school shootings.

Beyond the parents and parental figures in the shooter’s life who could be at fault, are the elected, under oath, and publicly funded authority figures who still don’t seem prepared or willing to put themselves on the line to protect our children. Anyone down the line who has made a commitment, or an oath, to protect the public and then who fails to do so in these events is at this point being negligent of the world we live in. 

Requiring More of Our Police and How They Handle School Shootings

Changing politicians and laws aside, the response of those on the ground in Uvalde seemed inept. One school resource officer apparently encountered the shooter before he entered the school. Details on that part of the investigation have yet to be released, but he hasn’t been reported injured and didn’t stop the shooter or seem to hinder him in any way. At that point, isn’t it your duty to protect the lives of those children? If you accept a role in this day and age as an armed school resource police officer, then you have to provide considerable resistance at the very least. Otherwise, it should be akin to going awol from your post.

The police response has to be questioned. At this point, it’s really unclear to us all the circumstances the police were dealing with. However, there are parents who feel they didn’t respond quickly or as they should have. Reports conflict as to whether the police felt they had cornered the shooter or whether the shooter had simply barricaded himself. There are many questions to be asked to fully understand the dynamics of that situation, but it seems that police may have been treating this as a potential hostage situation. 

Most school shootings end when the shooter is dead or out of bullets, so maybe the approach should be different than say, with someone holding up a bank.  These situations are no longer even close to new, and not knowing how to respond because it’s such a new occurrence can’t be allowed as an excuse after 20 years of it happening more and more frequently. The police’s response that they were basically helpless, because the boy had barricaded himself with the most commonly used weapon in these events, can’t be used as an excuse.

Beyond that, according to one survivor, the approach of police officers was the catalyst for one more child being shot. The officer instructed from outside the classroom for people to yell if they needed help, and when a child responded, they were shot. It’s hard to speculate on their reasoning for that, but it seems extremely foolish in hindsight not to think this would spark a response from the shooter.

Authorities Need to Improve or Be Replaced In School Shootings

When people aren’t good at their job in most walks of life, either their business fails or they lose their job. We need to start taking the same approach with publicly funded organizations. It needs to be clear that they don’t have unlimited time and resources, just because they’re an institution. There’s no doubt that these are incredibly difficult situations to deal with, but not getting the job done because it’s difficult and complicated isn’t enough of a reason for most people to keep their job. While police in this situation deserve some sympathy, as with anyone losing their job, we need to hold those responsible for protecting and serving their community to the same standards as anyone else.

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