I read this post from Miguel over at Gunfreezone. His words reminded me of the UPS standoff in South Florida, where the police shielded themselves with soccermoms and children when they took cover behind vehicles filled with families. For those who don’t remember the incident, you can read more about it here.
There were cops who actually defended this by saying
You’re demanding perfection in an imperfect world. Where should the cops have stood in that situation, right out in the open where they would have been shot? You’re confusing prudent behavior with suicide.
The behavior of the police at Uvalde seems to be a pattern. Every time a cop is faced with the choice of personal safety or the safety of the citizens in their community, they choose self preservation.
During my decades in the fire department, we regularly were forced to enter unsafe environments in order to rescue members of the public from that environment. Over decades, fire departments worked out tactics for accomplishing those rescues. The saying in the fire service has been “The procedures of today are written in the blood of dead firefighters.” Supervisors in the fire service spend quite a bit of time on safety, strategy, and tactics. The spend nearly as much time on communications and learning to maintain control of an incident, even when it is spiraling out of control. We learned from the loss of 343 firefighters on 9/11, and saw major policy changes as a result. No matter what, if there are saveable victims, you go get them.
The police, who are the ones in charge of violent incidents (after all, they have the guns) have not done the same. They obviously don’t feel the same way. Their focus is elsewhere. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but that is how it is.
No matter what else you should take away from the cowardice and self preservation of Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde, remember this: The people who are the intended victims of these killers have skin in the game. They don’t get to choose whether or not to engage the shooter. That choice has been made for them, by the shooter himself. If it turns out that you have been selected, make sure that you are armed. You are your own first responder. The shooter has already chosen the day, the time, the location, and the manner of the fight. Don’t give him the luxury of choosing an unarmed victim. Have the means for effective resistance, and don’t deny those means to others. No one is coming to save you. They are waiting outside the door while you bleed to death.