Tag Archives: Uvalde shooting

Top cop needs to start casting about

Pete Arredondo is now on what they call “administrative leave” as a result of the many questions and criticism surrounding his response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

If I were Arredondo, I would start looking for a new job and it had better not have a thing to do with law enforcement, which is what he does at this moment as chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department.

You see, Arredondo’s “abject failure” in commanding the response to the shooting at the school is why he is on leave. For my money, I cannot believe the Uvalde ISD board of trustees is going to keep him on the job. For that matter, the school superintendent needs to start drafting the letter terminating the chief from his job.

It’s been several weeks now since the gunman strolled into Robb Elementary and killed 19 precious fourth-graders and two educators who died trying to protect them. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott initially praised the cops’ response to the shooting before declaring he was “livid” over being “misled” about the response.

Now comes reporting about the police being able to have responded much more quickly than they did. Who was in charge of the police response? Chief Arredondo! He choked. He didn’t send in the tactical officers even after they reportedly had the equipment they needed to take the shooter out.

Arredondo has clammed up. He has refused to speak publicly. Indeed, the Department of Public Safety hasn’t exactly acted in the public interest, either.

Parents and loved ones of the victims are crying out for answers. They deserve them.

Pete Arredondo needs to be shown the door and told to do something other than police work for the rest of his life.


Compromise can work

Ted Cruz keeps demonstrating why he is such a loathsome politician, suggesting repeatedly why it’s better in his sick mind to go down on principle rather than seeking common ground.

The Texas Republican junior U.S. senator was one of 34 GOP senators to vote “no” on a bill crafted in part by his Texas Republican colleague, John Cornyn.

Cornyn was the lead GOP negotiator on a bipartisan effort to seek legislative remedy to the gun violence that continues to break our hearts, such as what happened not long ago in Uvalde.

OK, the bill ain’t perfect. It’s a start, though, toward curbing violent outbursts.

The National Rifle Association, naturally, has condemned the effort. The NRA doesn’t want anyone to mess around with what it says are constitutional guarantees of firearm ownership. Except that the bill doesn’t stop law-abiding Americans from owning a firearm. Ted Cruz is in the NRA’s hip pocket.

The Texas Tribune reports: The legislation does not restrict any rights of existing gun owners — a nonstarter for Senate Republicans. Instead, it would enhance background checks for gun purchasers younger than 21; make it easier to remove guns from people threatening to kill themselves or others, as well as people who have committed domestic violence; clarify who needs to register as a federal firearms dealer; and crack down on illegal gun trafficking, including so-called straw purchases, which occur when the actual buyer of a firearm uses another person to execute the paperwork to buy on their behalf.

U.S. Senate advances bipartisan gun legislation backed by Cornyn | The Texas Tribune

Is this the stuff of radicalism? Hardly. It’s a reasonable start.


Uvalde cops are stonewalling

The term “stonewalling” became known to Americans during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s.

We are seeing it play out once again in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman walked into an elementary school and opened fire with an AR-15 rifle. Nineteen precious children and two educators died in the carnage.

Police didn’t respond as they should have to stop the madman. Meanwhile, the families of the victims are horrified because they don’t yet know what happened. Nor will they learn the truth if police and politicians have their way.

Stonewalling remains the tool of those who seek to cover up the truth, to withhold it from the public that has every right on Earth to demand it from those who know it.

However, we are not getting the truth.

Were there cops in the building? Did the Uvalde school district police chief — Pete Arredondo — know he was in charge of the response, and why did he wait so damn long before taking action?

We need the truth! We need it now!


How does town recover?

I continue to grapple emotionally with the tragedy that has cloaked Uvalde, Texas, the site of the hideous slaughter of 19 fourth-grade children and two teachers.

Twenty-one innocent victims lost their lives to a madman.

What seems to give this story an extra dose of pain is the reporting about the tightly knit nature of the city of 15,000 residents.

We heard in the immediate aftermath of the massacre at Robb Elementary School that the entire town seems to know someone involved in the school, and how the entire community is feeling a sort of visceral pain as a result of the madness.

Yes, there remain questions about the police response, the horrifying length of time it took for officers to storm the structure and engage the shooter. The Uvalde school district police chief, Pete Arredondo, is still perched on the hot seat and for the life of me I am puzzled as to why the school board hasn’t gotten rid of the chief.

But the pain still throbs as it emanates from Uvalde.

The Uvalde Independent School District is going to tear down the school that is the site of the massacre. That won’t eliminate the intense pain being felt in a community that, I fear, is going to remind everyone who hears its name will think first of senseless gun violence.


Is this the tipping point?

U.S. senators from both parties are actually saying something few of us thought possible, which is that there might be some legislation coming forward that could impose some limits on gun purchases.

A gunman killed 10 shoppers at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. Then just a few days later another gunman slaughtered 19 fourth-graders and two teachers.

Americans have taken to the streets in protest. They are demanding something be done. President Biden has joined the chorus for gun reform.

Republicans in the Senate aren’t budging on a couple of key points: raising the age limit to purchase a firearm and extended universal background checks.

But … there appears to be some movement. Something might come forth. There could be a “red flag law” enacted allowing states to withhold possession of a firearm if a buyer comes up suspicious.

I guess I am heartened only a little by the apparent change of heart among some lawmakers. Get a load of this: Some Republican senators, such as Mitt Romney of Utah, said he now supports raising the age limit from 18 to 21 years of age to buy a firearm.

I won’t call this a tipping point. Indeed, many of us thought that the Sandy Hook Elementary School (Conn.) tragedy a decade ago — when 20 second-graders and six teachers were massacred — would have spurred some action. It didn’t.

Some in the Senate, naturally, are blaming reformers of “politicizing” events such as Buffalo and Uvalde. What an utter crock! Their refusal to act in the wake of this senseless violence in itself is a highly political demonstration. Therefore, they can cease the “politicization” argument … OK?

A little bit of movement, though, toward a legislative remedy — no matter how timid — is far better than what we’ve had so far. It gives me a glimmer of hope.


Are we no longer shocked?

The thought occurred to me a little while ago, which is that I cannot remember my reaction to the first incidence of mass slaughter, the first time I heard about a gunman opening fire and killing dozens of innocent victims.

There have been so many of them, it appears I might be hardening somewhat to these tragedies. I do not want to harden my heart.

The Uvalde massacre in Texas has hit me harder, perhaps, than most of the recent events. Nineteen fourth-graders were gunned down along with two of their teachers. President Biden has implored Congress and state legislatures to “do something” to stop the carnage. I have some hope this time that we might get something done, although not nearly enough.

But, my goodness, there have been so many communities linked by these horrific events. There are too many of them even to list. Doing so would likely result in my forgetting one or more of them. They all have broken our hearts.

Abcarian: Endless mass shootings make our outrage dim. We can’t let gun violence harden our hearts (yahoo.com)

It’s just that these events are occurring with such sickening frequency that I fear we’re becoming — odd as it seems — numbed to them.

If left to a choice between frequency and shock value, I would prefer to be shocked.


Tragedy transcends politics

Some moments of crisis would seemingly dispel any notion of partisanship, or of division between the major political parties and those who lead them.

Such as, oh, the massacre of school children and their teachers.

It happened again the other day in Uvalde, Texas. President and Mrs. Biden came to Texas to hug the necks of victims of the madman who walked into Robb Elementary School and slaughtered his victims before a Border Patrol tactical squad shot him to death.

My question, though, is this: Why weren’t the Democratic president and the Republican governor, Greg Abbott sitting next to each other, sharing in the nation’s grief, pledging a joint effort to rid the nation of this scourge of senseless, insane gun violence?

Abbott has decided to forgo any such appearance with a man he criticizes at will. Biden deserves a brickbat, too, as he could have extended an invitation to meet with the governor while he was visiting the victims in Uvalde. He didn’t.

I don’t expect these men to share a solution. They damn sure should share the goal of ending the violence. Of seeking common ground. They could proclaim their joint dedication to putting an end to this madness while vowing to work out the details later. Is that an impossible task?

The great chasm seems only to widen these days when crisis strikes. It mustn’t be that way.


We need answers! Now!

So help me, I could not believe my eyes when I read that the Uvalde police officials at the center of an investigation into what happened in that South Texas community a few days ago had stopped cooperating with state and federal authorities.

Specifically, the stonewalling appears to be occurring within the ranks of the Uvalde Independent School District police department and its chief, Pete Arredondo, who reportedly has gone missing for the past several days.

Meanwhile, rumors and gossip are flying all over the place about what went so terribly wrong with the police response as the lunatic shooter opened fire in a Robb Elementary School classroom, killing 19 precious children and two of their teachers.

A grief-stricken community is demanding answers from the chief. It wants to know why he waited so horribly long to “neutralize” the shooter. It seeks to know whether the department was on site with resource officers. Now come questions about a door that was closed, but not locked.

There appears to be a boatload of deception going on about the response. The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation. The Department of Public Safety and its investigative arm, the Texas Rangers, are on the case, too.

Meanwhile, we have a Uvalde ISD chief of police who’s hiding in the weeds. Come out from your hiding place, Chief Arredondo, and talk to the community you took an oath to protect and serve.


Crowd reaction portends … what?

Donald J. Trump is fond of holding rallies, listening to the noise coming from a sizable crowd … and then using the size and sound of his rallies as a measure of his political standing.

That’s foolishness, to be sure. However, if we apply that metric to the present day, consider this:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ventured for the second day in a row to Uvalde, the site of the horrific slaughter of 19 school children and two teachers this past week.

He got a rousing welcome, all right … of boos! The noise was loud and sustained.

The stricken Uvalde residents want the governor to do something to end the violence. They speak for a lot of other Texans, not to mention even more millions of Americans who are shaken to their core by the violence that erupted against those precious children and their protectors.

They blame Gov. Abbott for refusing to act. They are taking their anger out, too, on legislators who continue to dance to the tune called by the gun lobby … and ignoring the cadence set by their real bosses, the voters!

It is long past the time for our elected representatives to “represent” the interests of voters, most of whom favor a legislative remedy to the carnage that continues to cause undue grief and misery.


Emotional tug-of-war

My emotions are playing a mighty game of tug-of-war with themselves at this horrible moment.

One side has gripped the proverbial rope and is reminding me to “never forget” the tragedy we all saw unfold this past Tuesday morning in Uvalde, Texas. Indeed, my guts are torn by the thought of those 19 precious children and those two educators who were slaughtered by the evil monster.

What’s more, we now are learning almost daily of the failing of law enforcement to act properly to protect the lives lost in that Robb Elementary School classroom. The Justice Department has decided to look deeply into what went wrong; to what end remains unclear.

Pressure on the other side of that tug-of-war match reminds me of the myriad other crises that have been pushed aside: the Ukraine War; the 1/6 investigation underway in Congress; inflationary pressure; the nagging persistence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Well, I am going to concede this fight to the side that insists we stay focused on the aftermath of the Uvalde tragedy. Where should the aftermath take us? I hope it leads to meaningful efforts by Congress and/or state legislatures to do something finally to wage all-out war against this senseless carnage.

Yes, I also have asked, “When is enough to be enough?” I thought we reached that point long ago. After Columbine, or Aurora, or Newtown, or Sutherland Hills, Charleston, or Parkland, or El Paso, or Buffalo, or Las Vegas.

Is Uvalde the tipping point? I truly don’t know. I only can hope it becomes one.