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The cowardly blue line: To protect and serve (ourselves)

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There’s growing evidence that our latest massacre of the innocents was exacerbated by the rank cowardice of the police, who held back fathers of the children who were being murdered from trying to stop the slaughter, while they themselves protected their precious lives rather than endangering them by doing their duty:

 Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team.

“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.

Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building.

Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders.

“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”

“They were unprepared,” he added.

You will not be surprised to learn that Uvalde has militarized both its police force and schools in recent years, in anticipation of exactly the kind of thing that happened Tuesday:

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had doubled its security budget in recent years, according to public documents, in part to comply with state legislation passed in the wake of a 2018 school shooting in which eight students and two teachers were killed. The district adopted an array of security measures that included its own police force, threat assessment teams at each school, a threat reporting system, social media monitoring software, fences around schools and a requirement that teachers lock their classroom doors, according to the security plan posted on the district’s website.

Somehow — the account provided by authorities is not entirely clear — a high school dropout with no known criminal history was able to evade a district officer outside Robb Elementary School on Tuesday and enter a back door armed with a rifle. From there the gunman, 18, proceeded down a hallway and into a classroom, where he locked the door and opened fire, authorities said. Nineteen children were killed, along with two teachers. Police and federal agents soon arrived and got a school official to unlock the door, then shot the gunman dead, state and federal law enforcement officials said.

The investigation remains in its early stages, and the school district has not answered questions about how its security plan was implemented. But the death toll suggests that even security plans that appear to be comprehensive and up to the latest research-based standards may have gaps and ultimately fall short of preventing the worst-case scenario, experts said.

“We can do everything we can to mitigate and prevent school shootings but we are never going to stop these events from happening 100 percent of the time, because evil exists,” said Kathy Martinez-Prather, director of the Texas School Safety Center, a program at Texas State University that helps districts develop safety plans and makes sure they are meeting requirements outlined in state laws.

Evil exists everywhere you dumb cow. What doesn’t exist everywhere is a depraved political system that allows a violently unhinged teenager to buy weapons of mass destruction a few days after his 18th birthday as if here were purchasing some fishing rods or candy bars.

Relatedly, it’s clear that a lot of the hundreds of wrongful killings of civilians by police in the USA every year (Americans are literally dozens of times more likely to be killed by the police than residents of first world countries) is a product not of the kind of cold-blooded sadism that led Derek Chauvin to murder George Floyd, but of sheer cowardice on the part of our supposedly heroic “first responders,” who are trained to shoot first and ask questions later, as long of course as shooting first is about protecting themselves, rather than say the little children who were massacred right in front of them, while they did nothing.

What I’m suggesting here is some systematic pushback to the heroic first responder bullshit, instead of the typical liberal defensive crouch in the face of fascist propaganda.

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