There are no adjectives that could accurately describe the horrific act committed by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos at Robb Elementary School in Uwald, Texas. He killed 19 children and two teachers. “Evil” is about as close as it gets.
President Biden and some Democrat members have predictably called for more gun control laws, without explaining why people who intend to violate existing laws do not comply with them.
Texas Senators John Whitmeire and Roland Gutierrez said Ramos legally purchased one of the assault rifles at a federal-licensed gun shop on May 17, a day after he turned 18. The next day, according to the Houston Chronicle, he purchased 375 rounds of ammunition. Then, on May 20, he reportedly bought his second machine gun.
At a news conference, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Ramos posted on Facebook his intention to shoot his grandmother, posted again after he shot her, and then announced he was going to shoot elementary school. Why didn’t anyone turn to the police?
The most important question: was it possible to prevent this tragedy?
The original story of the rapid reaction of law enforcement is now in question. According to the Associated Press, police waited near the school for at least 40 minutes and possibly one hour until parents and observers urged them to do something. Authorities said Ramas was stuck near the school building, firing for 12 minutes before going inside. That time should have been enough for the police to stop him.
Before filming, Ramos tagged a girl from Los Angeles on Instagram, hinting at his intentions. The girl said she had never met him. Why didn’t she turn to the authorities? News reports quoted her as “afraid”, but after the shooting she regretted not doing so. Ramos photographed two AR-15-style weapons he had purchased and posted on social media. One can support the Second Amendment and continue to advocate a ban on weapons of war. There should be at least a waiting period, full screening, mental evaluation and consideration of cases of antisocial and disorderly behavior and family structure.
The Uwalde School District website states that its schools have advocates for deterring and / or eliminating elements of “violence, vandalism, disruption and fear” to “provide a safe and secure environment for all”.
Obviously it didn’t work out. A news conference on Thursday reported that Ramas was allowed to enter Rob Elementary School without opposition, contrary to earlier reports that Uwalde police officers “engaged” with the killer.
The website says that “the initiators consist of four officers, including two in the school district … security guards patrolling the entrances and parking lots on secondary campuses … dog detection services, modern detectors and alarm systems; perimeter fencing in Robb and other schools and outside buzzing systems; security cameras, a closed-door classroom policy … and a threat alert system. ”
This sounds good, but investigators, parents and relatives will want to know what if any of them didn’t work or went wrong?
Parents have a right to expect schools to protect their children from harm. Not so long ago, parents could send their children to school, expecting them to return safely. Thus, schools were considered as safe as home. Teachers and staff saw it as their duty to protect students from injury. Even running down the hallway can require a child to stay after school as punishment or meet with the principal.
Today, it seems that only home schooling can guarantee a safe environment for children. While some people in Uwalde and elsewhere may choose this option, most will not or cannot do so for a variety of reasons.
Every time one of these evil actions happens, we hear from politicians that we can’t go on like this. Okay, then tell us how to stop it. Some laws have not succeeded. Again, a closer look at potential buyers can help, as well as waiting periods and tighter scrutiny.
There is also a moral element in this and other school shootings that cannot be overlooked. Preachers, please take note.
• Readers can write to Kel Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).