The narrative about how Uvalde police responded to Tuesday’s shooting keeps changing. It may be another week before we have the whole story. At the moment it appears they just plain royally screwed up.
In the meantime, the Right is coming up with more excuses for why gun control laws are still off the table. Media matters compiled a list of excuses offered on Fox News. These included a lack of booby traps around the schools (seriously), a “lack of discipline” in schools, the decay of “Judeo-Christian principles,” and blaming the children by claiming they didn’t call 911 for fear of being a “snitch.” We know at least one ten-year-old girl, Amerie Garza, was killed while trying to call 911, so that last one is especially cruel.
Regarding the decay of “Judeo-Christian principles,” Paul Waldman pointed out yesterday that the United States is far and away the most religious of the world’s wealthy countries, yet our homicide rate is 7.5 times higher than the homicide rate in the other high-income countries combined, largely attributable to a firearm homicide rate that is 24.9 times higher.
“Many of the least religious countries, on the other hand, are also the ones with the lowest rates of homicide,” Waldman wrote. “To take just one example, in the Netherlands, 20 percent of people say religion is very important to them, compared to 53 percent of Americans. Yet their homicide rate is one tenth of ours.”
See also Fox News’ Coverage of the Uvalde Shooting Was Sickening by Ryan Bort at Rolling Stone.
And see Erik Wemple, Fox News is your HQ for post-Uvalde thoughts and prayers. Wemple writes that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick got on Tucker Carlson’s show — “We’ve got to unify in prayer, we have to unify in faith. We have to unify in who are we?” Patrick said.
You might remember Dan Patrick as the guy who thought the elderly should agree to die of covid to save the economy. Last year Mr. Unify also accused Democrats of allowing illegal immigrants into the country to “take over our country without firing a shot.” Not exactly a beacon of peace and love.
There are many reports today about how Texas had already “hardened” schools to prevent mass shootings. This is from the Texas Tribune:
In January 2020, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District received $69,000 from a one-time, $100 million state grant to enhance physical security in Texas public schools, according to a dataset detailing the Texas Education Agency grants. The funds were comparable to what similarly sized districts received.
Even with more funds and better enforcement of policies, experts have said there is no indication that beefing up security in schools has prevented any violence. …
…“This concept of hardening, the more it has been done, it’s not shown the results,” said Jagdish Khubchandani, a public health professor at New Mexico State University who studies school security practices and their effectiveness.
Khubchandani said the majority of public schools in the United States already implement the security measures most often promoted by public officials, including locked doors to the outside and in classrooms, active-shooter plans and security cameras.
After a review of 18 years of school security measures, Khubchandani and James Price from the University of Toledo did not find any evidence that such tactics or more armed teachers reduced gun violence in schools.
Texas law already allows teachers to be armed, btw.
Next: Choosing guns over children.