The Police Aren’t Stopping School Shootings, so Let’s Send in the Guard

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I will not be commenting on the shooter or naming the offender because all that person wants is notoriety and I won’t be the one to give it. No photos, no deep dive into his past, no hand-wringing about motives, no interviews with his family — bury him six feet underground and never speak his name again.

But I will speak out about police response to a shooter who left 21 people, the majority of whom were elementary school children, dead. It is undisputed that police waited forty minutes for a key instead of breeching the door and confronting the shooter. You can read the timeline of the shooting here; it will break your heart. Despite people inside the room calling 911 repeatedly begging for help, the officers stood in the hallway and did not break the door down and try to save them.

What is the explanation for this? So far, the onsite commander, says Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw, claims he believed everyone inside the room was dead. That doesn’t square with the timeline of the 911 calls and the reports coming out of the classroom. Those officers who didn’t enter the room should have to explain why to a judge. Hopefully, there will be consequences. Not only did they not enter, but officers outside the building were actively preventing parents from trying to get inside and rescue their children. I can’t watch the video again, and I’m sure you don’t want to see it either. It’s too traumatic. One of the fathers later died of a medical emergency after being stopped from going into the building to save his wife who also died at the hands of the murderer.

It is a sad day in America when Americans stop trusting the police force that claims to protect and serve. For me, it began with COVID-19 lockdowns when I watched them chase children off playgrounds. I lost a lot of respect for the police then. They put mothers in handcuffs who were having playdates at parks. That was a major red flag that something is deeply wrong in the police culture.

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And why was it Border Patrol agents who finally confronted the gunman and not the 19 officers standing in the hallway for forty minutes? Who told them to do that, and why didn’t any of them rebel? They had to have heard the gunshots as the killer continued his spree. They just stood there, doing nothing as children were dying. It is incomprehensible.

During the siege, which ended when a U.S. Border Patrol team burst in and shot the gunman to death, frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the school, according to witnesses.

“Go in there! Go in there!” women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who watched the scene from outside a house across the street.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said Wednesday that 40 minutes to an hour elapsed from when Ramos opened fire on the school security officer to when the tactical team shot him.

This is not the first time police hesitated and kids died during a school shooting. The Parkland High School shooting in Florida had similar issues as police waited outside instead of going into the building for way too long. It makes me question why police are given body armor and SWAT weapons, MRAPs, and all sorts of riot gear if they aren’t going to use them. If they are too scared of bullets, they need to seek other employment, and perhaps our money could be better spent elsewhere.

Related: The Hideous Police Killing of Duncan Lemp

This brings me to a solution. Each state has a state guard made up of highly trained military professionals, many of whom have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are trained to run into danger. We are at a time of peace and our guard troops are at home. Send them to our schools. Put them outside every single school every day. If something were to happen, I have no doubt that our military will rush into danger to save the lives of children. I do, however, have great concerns that America’s police have lost the plot. Whether they are worried about their own safety or they are simply not equipped or trained well enough doesn’t even matter. We don’t have time to worry about them and what they might not do next time.

We need a real solution that will protect our kids from maniacs and I want the military to handle it. The police have proven that they aren’t up to the task. I trust that the guard will handle these situations with much better response time and professionalism. Having known guard members who laid down their lives for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have no doubt how they would respond. Always ready, always there. 

Stop screwing around with the police. Send the Guard.

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