A School Resource Officer was required to be on site at all times when students were present.
A mandate that all doors that open to the outside of the building be closed and locked when classes were in session.
Simple rules that were put in place to prevent school shootings. Because, well, because school shootings happen. But they are rare. Statistically they don't happen often enough to be a blip on the radar. That's probably why a teacher at Robb Elementary School propped a door open while class was in session, because it will never happen here in the quiet little town of Uvalde, Texas.
And where was the SRO? Lunch at Mac's? Out driving around? "I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved".
Vigilance was not a priority that day. As Thomas Jefferson said... "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".
19 LEOs standing in a hallway for an hour, listening to the perp shooting in the classroom, purportedly waiting for a key. Uvalde apparently spends 40% of the annual city budget on law enforcement. They have a SWAT team. I don't know if they train, or if they just like the tacti-cool uniforms and equipment that goes with being a member of the "Tactical Team"? One thing that struck me as soon as I heard that they stood in the hallway waiting for a key... No Breaching Bar? WTF? How the fuck can that happen? One of the primary training scenarios for any tactical team, military or civilian law enforcement, is breaching and forced entry and the tools required to implement that action. And yes, the bad guy on the other side of that door may be armed and dangerous. That's why you have all that cool gear and that high dollar training. But no breaching bar? C'mon... Seriously? If the situation sounds too dangerous for you, find a different line of work. Grunt or cop isn't gonna be your thing.
So the national conversation has turned once again to restricting the Constitutionally recognized right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. No talk about the failures of the sound plans that were in place to prevent this. Human error. They fucked up. Those who failed, and there are a lot of them, will live with their lapse of judgement for the rest of their lives.
Yes, the responsibility for pulling the trigger belongs to Salvador Ramos and no one else. Daniel Defense is not responsible for these horrendous deaths simply because they manufactured the weapons that Ramos used. The Gun dealer who sold the weapons to Ramos, a legal purchaser, is not responsible for what Ramos did with them. The government didn't fail when they approved the sale via the NICS background check system. Every single entity in that series of events followed the law. That law is very restrictive, as far as gun dealers go. Ramos pulled the trigger. Ramos is responsible.
The teacher who violated policy by propping the door open bears some responsibility. The SRO who was not on site when Ramos started shooting bears some responsibility. The law enforcement community was an utter failure. The 911 dispatcher who took Ramos' grandmother's call, then a few minutes later took 2 calls regarding shots fired at the funeral home across the street from the school apparently failed to put 2 and 2 together... The list is long. There is a lot of blame to go around. Some of the actions, or non-actions, of local LE and school personnel were likely criminal and they need to be investigated and prosecuted if found to be so.
The policies that were in place in the Uvalde School District were in response to previous school shootings. They were created and implemented after much national hand wringing, as well as critical thought, in order to make schools safer. These legitimate policies were ignored by the people who were charged with enforcing them. And people died.
I hope the investigation is thorough and honest. I hope it lays the blame for the killings on Ramos, and recognizes that the policies and procedures that were created to prevent this type of tragedy were ignored, giving Ramos an opportunity that otherwise would not have been available to him. The responsibility for everything beyond Ramos pulling the trigger lies with the failure of a whole lot of people who were negligent and who should have known better.
This is a case of top down catastrophic failure. I pray that it is not swept under the rug.
And still... no one is asking "what causes our children to want to kill each other?"
I pray for God's grace and comfort for the dead and the loved ones left behind.