An Uvalde attack timeline and deterrence reality check
By Mark Alexander
Last Monday we observed Memorial Day by honoring those who died in the uniformed service of our nation. My association with the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center includes the blessing of personal relationships with those who have received our nation's highest military award for valor — for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of their lives "above and beyond the call of duty."
With that as a backdrop, let's consider questions about the controversial law enforcement officer (LEO) response to the assault in Uvalde, Texas.
Having profiled the evil lurking on the fringe of our society — in this case, resulting in the murder of 21 people, including 19 third and fourth grade children — before the blood had dried, legitimate questions were raised about the inaction of Uvalde LEOs.
It was almost 80 minutes after the sociopathic assailant entered through an unlocked door at the rear of the school (the first line of defense) and started his murderous assault — despite parents pleading with local police to enter the building and stop the attack, and 911 calls from children in the room where the assailant had barricaded himself — that the assailant was finally killed.
He was shot by a Border Patrol tactical unit officer who was working nearby when the call for help came. Several BP agents defied orders from the local police chief not to enter the classroom in a timeline that raises many questions about the failure to engage the assailant — failures at many levels before the assailant stepped on school grounds. The officer who shot the assailant was wounded but is in stable condition.
To be clear, the protocol for active shooter incidents in any setting is for LEOs to engage the assailant and shoot until he is dead. In this case, seven officers arrived on the scene within minutes of the assailant entering the building but retreated when fired upon.
Distinct from an active shooter scenario, the LEO protocol for a barricaded hostage situation, where hostages are not at imminent threat of being killed, is generally to secure the area, hold position, and wait for special tactical units. In this case, it is not understood why the Uvalde police commander believed this was a barricaded suspect rather than active shooter incident.
But Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw was unequivocal in his condemnation of that decision: "From the benefit of hindsight, where I'm sitting now, of course it was not the right decision, it was the wrong decision. Period. There was no excuse for that."
Among our readers are thousands of combat veterans and those from law enforcement and other professions, whose lives have been, at some point, subject to imminent lethal threat. And among them are Medal of Honor recipients whose valorous acts I know well. They can fully appreciate the words of former Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis: "There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It's really great."
I weigh their opinions about this case, and especially those of my career LEO colleagues, with the gravitas due. I know from my own years as a uniformed officer, and from the countless anecdotes of others, that it can be difficult to press forward in the face of danger. The "fight or flight" instincts are always at play, but for those who are well-trained, both in terms of their physical offensive capabilities and their mental sense of moral obligation to protect the innocent, retreat is not an option.
On the other hand, the flood of armchair punditry about the LEO actions in Uvalde carries no weight. At this point, there is still much that is NOT known about what justified the change in protocols, and in the coming days that will be fully investigated.
There can be a lot of "fog" under fire, and this was a deadly close-quarters fire scenario. On top of that, over the last three years, given the vilification of police by leftist politicians, that fog has gotten even thicker.
For context, LEOs risk their lives (and careers) countless times every day with every traffic stop and every response to a 911 call. They save countless lives every day, but there are few headlines acknowledging that.
Beyond the timeline questions, the critical question is deterrence — how do we stop future mass assaults?
Within hours of the Uvalde assault, predictably, leftist politicos, with Joe Biden leading the charge, paused their advocacy for the killing of the most innocent among us, roughly 2,200 children before birth every day, and did what they always do — used the blood of innocents as political fodder in their relentless assault on the Second Amendment, which assures the First Civil Right required to defend all others.
In his initial remarks on the assault, Biden complained, "When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?"
Answer: When Democrats focus on the actual problem, cultural entropy, rather than reflexively regurgitating political talking points about "gun control." They no longer invoke "God's name" otBiden went to Uvalde last Monday, where he and his "do something" chorus promoted their political agenda. They reflexively insisted this assault was the result of "gun violence" while avoiding any suggestion that, first and foremost, violence is a cultural problem.
But the harsh reality is that this violence, and that which claimed the lives of more than 21,000 other Americans last year, is primarily the result of generationally failed Democrat Party policies, resulting in cultural disintegration since the 1960s.
We see this most acutely on Democrat-controlled urban poverty plantations — but it spills over in small towns like Uvalde.
So, what additional regulatory solutions might help to stop mass attacks?
Beyond the boilerplate anti-2A rhetoric, first up on the "do something" list would be promoting so-called "red flag" laws, which might slightly increase the possibility of identifying sociopaths before the exceedingly rare attacks on schools.
These attacks are exceedingly rare now, but before the Demos' "Great Society" institutionalization of poverty and the cultural devolution that followed, they were virtually nonexistent.
But concerns about government abuse of such "interpretive regulations" is the primary obstacle, and that concern is wholly justified.
Consider the fact that Hillary Clinton's lawyer was just acquitted for lying to the FBI about the connection between the fabricated Trump/Russia dossier and Clinton. Everyone knows that Clinton conspired with the highest level cadres in the FBI and CIA to take down a president. And yet there is no justice.
So, you ask, what does that have to do with "red flag" and other laws ostensibly designed to prohibit crimes committed with firearms?
Answer: If there is no accountability for the now-thoroughly documented collusion between Clinton and key FBI/CIA brass to take down Trump, I can assure you there will be no accountability for expanding or diverting a bureaucratic regulation designed to accomplish the political objectives of the Democrat Party.
Thus, Biden and his leftist ilk will use whatever means to incrementally reach their goal of deconstruction and repeal of the Second Amendment.
Indeed, using the Texas assault as fodder, Biden's buddy, Canadian PM Justin "Blackface" Trudeau, just took a giant leap toward outlawing weapons. (No word if Trudeau will be asking his private protection detail to give up their firearms.)
Additionally, regarding red flag laws now on the books in 19 states, those laws allow the firearms of an individual to be confiscated, without due process, but do nothing further to prevent the individual from acquiring other methods for harming others. Recall that the most violent attack on a school occurred in 1927 when a Bath, Michigan, school board member murdered 45 people, including 38 elementary students — with a bomb.
Regarding such laws, political analyst David French notes, "In every one of the deadliest school shootings, the shooter exhibited behavior before the shooting that could have triggered a well-drafted red flag law." He noted further that "well-drafted" means, "The law should contain abundant procedural safeguards, including imposing a burden of proof on the petitioner, hearing requirements, and a default expiration date unless the order is renewed through a clear showing of continued need."
That's nice in theory, but he completely discounts the systemic Beltway corruption that defies any accountability, as noted above.
And on the subject of the politicization of red flag laws, in California, the state Senate just voted to end mandatory reporting on students who threaten schools because it is racially insensitive. This, in effect, empowers school assailants.
However, I do think there are regulatory measures that should be implemented. Let me toss in this grenade: The sociopath in Uvalde purchased his rifle the day after he turned 18. There have been objections to increasing the legal age for the purchase of such rifles to 21 — the same age requirement for a handgun or a six-pack of beer. I do not object to this age increase — not that it would have stopped anyone from illegally obtaining a firearm, particularly in Texas, where deadly weapons regularly flow across the southern border. But it would have been a considerable speed bump in this case.
That being said, passing more laws, when existing laws are not enforced (despite the fact that criminals and sociopaths don't obey laws), is much more convenient and politically expedient than formulating meaningful social solutions. Real solutions will address the core cultural issues that produce violent offenders — no amount of firearm regulation will prevent violence.
Allow me to offer a few more things to consider in the coming heated debates over "gun control"...
her than for rhetorical effect.
More people are bludgeoned to death with hammers annually than killed with AR-15 "assault rifles," those semiautomatic sporting rifles that Demos and their Leftmedia talkingheads and scribes refer to as "weapons of war."
Consider that 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, and a lot of those drugs, and the criminal thugs muling and selling them, crossed Biden's open border. The U.S. murder rate is almost 80% less than the overdose rate.
In addition, there are more than 10,000 drunk-driver deaths annually, but that rate is at its lowest since 1982 because DUI laws are actually enforced — as Nancy Pelosi's husband found out last weekend.
And here's a reality check on both the violent assailants who use firearms and their victims: As I have documented previously, if you don't have a violent criminal record, and/or are not associated with the violent sociopathic thug, drug, or gang subcultures that commit the vast majority of crimes in America, your chances of being shot or killed by an assailant with a gun are extraordinarily low — almost as low as murder rates in Western Europe, where most handgun ownership is outlawed.
Thus, if you're a law-abiding citizen, your statistical probability of being killed by a drunk driver is exponentially higher than being murdered by an assailant with a firearm. (Oddly, no one is organizing marches to ban automobiles or ask for a federal background check before purchasing a beer.)
Oh, and regarding the NRA annual meeting in Houston last week: Guns are allowed at those massive gatherings, yet no shootings ever occur. And outside those venues, for years, police agencies have reported a drop in crime when thousands of concealed-carry permit holders are in town. Further, no NRA member has ever been arrested for a mass shooting.
Finally, I'll leave you with this observation from Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears of Virginia, a Republican woman who is also black, which is to say she terrorizes the Demo status quo: "America is in a battle for her children. We weep for the breakdown of the family. We weep for fatherless homes. We weep for the lack of respect for fellow men. We weep over the countless Black men murdering each other. We weep at the onslaught against the liberty of thought and expression. Indeed we have left goodness, gentleness, and kindness behind, only to be left loathing, crudeness, greed, and sloth."
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.