Amerika

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Leap Into Life (#1): The Uvalde Shooting

If one rule is consistent in politics, it is that the voters never admit it when they sabotage themselves. They usually do this by demanding safety, accountability, or transparency that results in more bureaucracy.

The voters have a selective memory, of course, and tend to forget that the flip side of being able to vote for people is that if you keep electing the ones who do bad things or refuse to undo bad things, you are responsible for that outcome.

Even ignoring the steady creep of bad things in the courts, and doing nothing about it, falls back on the voters. They feel otherwise, of course, because they deny that in democracy “the buck stops here” with the voters.

Most of our political activity could be described as two sides blaming each other for not cleaning up the mess, and the Left impeding the Right from doing what it does well, which is to remove “new” ideas that do not work.

In America right now, we have a new debate: gun control versus mental health problems. The Left wants to take away all the guns, pursuing their pacifism with central control agenda; the Right wants to lock up crazy people.

However we see the eventual calculus of what went wrong, it is clear that the shooting in Uvalde, Texas began with a depressed young man who, like most suicide bombers and school shooters, wanted to die, but go out with everyone knowing his name.

Cynical and sage observers might point out that featuring his name and picture in front page news for a few weeks does nothing to disincentivize future shooters from deciding to go out in a blaze of glory with more murder-suicide.

The voters, looking for someone to blame, have fixated on the cops, who apparently waited for an hour before entering the school where students were being killed:

He killed 19 children and two teachers before he was shot dead 90 minutes after he arrived, police said.

That delay, combined with video footage showing frustrated parents being tackled and handcuffed by police while the gunman was still inside the school, has led to growing public anger and scrutiny of the early response.

But the timeline of events was still unclear after Thursday’s briefing, and questions remain about how long it took officers to arrive and why the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was inside the school for more than an hour before he was killed — not by local officers — but by a tactical unit led by US border agents.

We are seeing here the high price of forcing police to work outside their normal capacity. Cops used to run in with guns blazing, but after civilians got injured and police officers killed, a rule came down: wait for the SWAT team.

Most likely, what happened in Uvalde was that the regular police who arrived were afraid of getting fired for going in, having something go wrong, and then having a lawsuit win millions because the officers did not have the required training.

Even more, after deaths of minorities in police custody when resisting arrest became an issue, many police departments bring out the negotiators first, and do the shooting later.

Individual police do not want to be the one to shoot someone of minority — ethnic, religious, sexual, cultural, racial — status because they may find themselves getting the Derek Chauvin or Darren Wilson treatment.

At the very least, the officer who shoots may find himself or herself unemployed, if not outright facing murder charges. It is better to let the negotiators babble, wait for the SWAT team with its cameras, and do nothing, even if students die.

The voters could have stopped this years ago. They could have avoided herd panic about the Black Lives Matter protests, a form of backfooting which forces the system to defend itself against accusations of racism instead of pointing out that, for example, George Floyd was a career criminal engaged in crime when he ate his stash and died of a fentanyl overdose.

Even more, in a country split by diversity, where distrust of authority remains high, officers may simply see the point in self-preservation instead of becoming more targets in a high-stakes game:

Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez said in a Thursday interview with CNN that the first few officers who entered Robb Elementary School after 18-year-old shooter Salvador Ramos were met with gunfire and retreated to avoid being shot and killed.

“At that point, if they pursued it any further — not knowing where the suspect was at — they could’ve been shot; they could’ve been killed and, at that point, that gunman would have the opportunity to kill other people inside that school,” Olivarez told host Wolf Blitzer.

Local and state police outside Robb Elementary School waited for a specialized US Border Patrol tactical team to arrive and take out Ramos nearly an hour after he began his killing spree.

You wait for the SWAT team of equivalent to arrive and go home at the end of your shift. If the people out there wanted better protection, they would not be trying to defund you, throw you in jail, and blame you for America’s diversity crisis.

After many officers have died in the line of duty, a figure which seems to be shooting upward after the BLM riots, police know to wait for backup instead of being dubious heroes who might get blamed anyway.

Consequently, they follow the rules and procedure instead of rushing in to end the problem:

In a press conference in the city on Thursday, Texas Department of Public Safety regional director Victor Escalon said that the window of about an hour in which the 18-year-old perpetrator Salvador Ramos was on the grounds of Robb Elementary School before he was killed by police was due to a wait for back-up officers and resources.

“During this time that they’re making those calls to bring in help to solve this problem and stop it immediately, they’re also evacuating…students, teachers,” Escalon said. “There’s a lot going on. A complex situation. They’re measuring, they’re measuring.”

Again here we see the split between realism and social control: realism says that this is a simple matter of removing a shooter. Social control says that you follow the rules established for the sake of limiting legal liability.

Imagine the “optics” if a lone cop went in and shot the bad guy, but a richochet killed a child. The voters would be screaming that a lack of proper training and credentials caused that death.

Lawsuits would follow. Millions would leave the public funds and go into legal awards. Taxes would go up; resignations and firings would follow.

When police think that the public has their back, they are willing to push the envelope and take risks. When they sense that the public is hostile and possibly opportunistic, they protect themselves.

Violent crime across America is surging because police do not have the protection that only the voters can provide through public goodwill. When cops think they are going to be victims, they take fewer risks.

In the meantime, the shooter seemed to be an obvious risk because of mental health or rage issues:

Then Ramos — who legally bought the rifle he used after turning 18 last week — had numerous group chats on Instagram in which they openly “discussed Ramos being a school shooter,” McCraw announced.

That started on Feb. 28 — nearly three months before he slaughtered 19 kids and two teachers Tuesday at Robb Elementary in the second-deadliest school shooting in US history.

While the FBI is busy looking for those White Supremacist terrorists, they are missing the common thread between school shooters going back to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold: they are depressed, angry, and unstable.

More rules about guns will not change this, especially so near a fifteen hundred mile border in a country where hot guns are easily acquired. More training for police might help, but will not solve this.

When you have a strong national culture, you can agree that some actions are outside the norm and dangerous. When your culture is diversity, you try to accommodate everyone, and in the process, let the crazies slip through the cracks.

In the meantime, police will simply follow the rules, even when these lead to absurd outcomes:

The delayed police response, combined with video footage showing frustrated parents being tackled and handcuffed by police while the gunman was still inside the school, has led to growing public anger and scrutiny of how the police handled the situation.

In a society with a strong national culture, the culture decides this question. You recognize that the parents have assumed a risk and are going to charge ahead and fix the problem.

With no national culture? Everyone is there to make a buck for themselves at the expense of a society that they do not see is their own. If the parents were allowed to rush in, they might have ended up dead.

If that happened, lawsuits would follow. The police would be sued for letting vulnerable people (those in the grips of fear and grief) take matters into their own hands, and millions would flow in the jury award.

If you want to stop mass shootings, you need a national culture which rejects unhealthy behavior. That requires a nation united, not divided as diversity inevitably does. It requires a mono-ethnic nation.

As our internal divides beat back police into a babysitter role, probably after the social workers and psychologists get sent in first to avoid racism and injustice, they will increasingly not intervene.

They called this the “Ferguson Effect” after a perp in the process of a crime spree got shot some years ago and the police officer was prosecuted. When cops are endangered by the voters, cops hold back, and crimes surge.

Increasingly, the burden will fall on everyday people to stop violence with violence:

Butler was killed after he pulled an AR-15 style rifle at a group of people attending a birthday/graduation party at the Vista View Apartments located along 1300 Renaissance Circle.

A woman at the party drew a pistol and shot Butler at around 10:45 p.m. No one else was hurt.

Hunt said it’s too early to tell if it was a case of self-defense, but no charges have been filed at this time.

The individual is less likely to get sued, although if they hit someone else with gunfire, that could easily change. In this case, realism wins out: it is more important to stop the bad guy than follow procedure and worry about legal risk.

That might fly in West Virginia, but it is a harder sell in New York, where as in many big cities, people simply do not want to get involved. When they see crime, they view it as a problem for someone else, and flee to avoid risk.

Recently we saw this when no one got involved in preventing an assault:

In the video, taken on Wednesday and posted on Daily Dot, the hoodlum is seen dressed in black leggings, a white cropped zippered hoodie and white sneakers, storms around the train car while screaming expletives.

After the frenzied fit the person sits down as many of the passengers rush to another area of the train. As one female passenger, closest to the hoodlum, tries to flee, the thug grabs her and terrorizes the victim.

When the subway pulled into the station platform, the terror-filled ride ceased and the hooligan walked into the crowd of people nowhere to be seen.

As diversity takes hold, culture dies, and people rely exclusively on government and commerce. They wait for the police to notice and do something, and move away from crime rather than confronting it.

After all, if they bust this (Black) perp, they might find themselves getting arrested and sued. They could be injured, and for what? To protect another person who apparently tolerates this dysfunction on a daily basis.

Without culture, it becomes “every man for himself” and no one does anything. They shrug as if to say that things have gone wrong, and they will not sacrifice themselves for this decrepit, decaying civilization. Just move away.

A century ago, Americans would have stormed the school, shotgunned the door, and blown away the bad guy. If others had died, it would have been seen as a better outcome than letting him shoot people with impunity.

We pay a high price for diversity, but the buck stops with the voters. If they fall prey to backfooting and start worrying about the optics of “racism,” they will never fix the systemic problems that deeply divide America.

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