Political Pandering in the Wake of Disaster
Twenty-one people in Uvalde, Texas, are dead. Killed by a nutcase with a rifle.
Within half an hour, politicians of all stripes were using this moment of incredible grief and suffering to climb on their soapboxes, fire up their personal spotlights and make noise. Not for the victims. For themselves. “Talking points” on gun control. “Security plans.” Politics has no place photo bombing children in body bags being removed from a school.
If the research numbers are to be believed, there are more guns than people in the United States. Firearm manufacturing could stop tomorrow and there would be plenty of guns to go around. That conversation is a nonstarter.
Plans? Plans are only as good as their execution. That would seem like a bad word choice, but not properly executing a plan leads to, in this example, execution.
Way back in the late 70s I was on a crew that made OSHA safety movies for the petrochemical industry. How to purge tanks and vessels, lock out a pipeline, that kind of thing. Step-by-step actions that not properly executed would lead to, as a manager at the Shell refinery in Pasadena said, “Blowin’ half the damn county away.” You only have to be told once don’t move, don’t push any buttons on your gear, don’t touch anything because some idiot skipped a step and the whole refinery is knee deep in butane to understand the value of a properly executed plan.
Uvalde is a tragedy because of failure to execute several plans.
First – I don’t buy the propped open, not propped open whatever door stories. Bottom line in an elementary school security plan is if you close a door, make sure it’s locked. I know this as my ex son-in-law has been a big-city high school principal for years. Not only did he have armed police officers rotating as resource officers, he had his staff walk the halls checking doors. Getting into one of his schools took ID, a metal wanding, a valid reason to be there at all. It was easier to get into the Dallas courthouse than one of his schools. Security at schools should be as tight as it is at the IRS or the police station. We know there are idiots out there, with guns we can’t control, looking to do big harm. Why was the door in Uvalde even an issue? They had a plan. That, poorly executed, led to execution.
Second – WTF is up with the cops? Nineteen armed, supposedly trained, vest wearing officers of the law standing around with their thumbs in their asses and their minds in Arkansas doing nothing? Jesus. A handful of unarmed civilians went after armed airline hijackers. Not these people. Not a selfless hero gene among them. Clear the rooms in line of fire, kick the door down and shoot the motherfucker. Eliminate the threat. That’s the job. “Collateral” casualties aren’t an issue when he’s already shot damn near everyone in the room.
And the politicians? Look at me! I’m gun control! Look at me! I’m second amendment! Fuck all that. Guns, guns, guns are not the issue. We are way past that. Paying attention, following the plan and protecting our kids is key. If “they” can find seditionists and terrorists with social media bots, why not mass shooting whackos? They advertise. The Uvalde dude advertised. He told people who failed to notify the authorities. There are websites devoted to who killed the most in a mass shooting before they surrendered or went out in a blaze of statistical glory. Serial killers the same. Is it even understandable? No. But the signposts are there.
Should anyone have to wait two weeks, a month, however long, to buy an assault rifle? Who knows? Louisiana has a one year “cooling off” period to finalize a divorce. Maybe it wouldn’t kill us to wait for an assault rifle.
The truth is, if nut cases want to kill a bunch of people, they don’t need an assault rifle.
Or a bunch of politicians or actors grabbing some spotlight time riding the coattails of misery. That shit is beyond offensive, beyond justifiable. Talk, posturing, pandering won’t solve this one. There are too many guns out there. Taking a plan seriously, responsibly, is one step in the right direction toward protecting citizens, not debating guns, or gun rights, box office bankability or political futures.