June 27, 2022

Devastating Updates From Uvalde

Texas’s Department of Public Safety has presented its investigation results.

The horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is the stuff of nightmares. The shooter was able to breech the school through an unlocked back door and carry out his evil intentions on 19 defenseless children and two teachers. The heartache and deep anger that accompanies such evil acts is almost impossible to bear because, even though the evildoer is dead, the devastation he left in his wake cannot be undone.

Sadly, his actions are not the only ones that need to be addressed.

The Uvalde Police Department’s actions were under scrupulous review after several details emerged about the active shooter situation. The police station is not far away from the school, and yet the shooter was permitted to massacre his victims over the course of 58 minutes. He was finally stopped by a Border Patrol agent who ignored orders.

Texas’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) was asked to investigate the circumstances during the active shooter situation. Col. Steve McCraw, director of DPS, presented his findings. He called the response on the ground by Uvalde police an “abject failure.” McCraw condemned the officers on the scene for not immediately charging the classroom and taking out the shooter. The officers, he remonstrated, waited first for a shield, then for a SWAT team, then for the classroom key. All the while, these children were calling out for help. One even got ahold of a teacher’s cellphone and dialed 911. Officers who would have charged in to help were stopped by the officer in charge.

While the officers stood by impatiently in the hallway, the door to the classroom where the shooter and the children were was unlocked. It could have and should have been breeched.

According to McCraw, “The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”

Uvalde’s police chief, Pete Arredondo, has been put on administrative leave. Families are understandably demanding that those who failed their children and teachers be held accountable for their failure to act.

Ultimately, the police who stood in the hallway were cowards. Against all training, and despite hearing a massacre on the other side of the classroom door, they waited, content to follow orders. It was their job to stop this horror and they did not. Border Patrol did.

This is not unlike other instances that have made the news over the past year. People have been harassed, assaulted, and murdered in the midst of a crowd of people who simply passed them by or filmed what was happening instead of going to help. Our society is a breeding ground for such amorality. After all, if right and wrong are subjective, then the highest priority is self-preservation. Let the helpless fend for themselves.

In C.S. Lewis’s book The Abolition of Man, he writes: “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

The children in Uvalde were betrayed by such people. These “men without chests,” when their courage was tested, chose to wait instead of trying to open the classroom door.

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