Cowardice Killed 19 Children in Uvalde, Texas
I spent the weekend in Texas attending the NRA Annual Meeting. And I'm furious.
Not because of the protestors harassing attendees. Or even because entertainers like Larry Gatlin, Don McLean, and Lee Greenwood, to their eternal shame, showed themselves to be fair weather friends and cancelled their appearance.
Like many Americans following the unfolding investigation into the horrific killings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, I'm furious because in recent days it has become clear that police knowingly allowed 19 children and 2 teachers to be murdered while they stood around doing nothing.
According to one timeline, police dithered for ONE HOUR AND 15 MINUTES before entering the classroom and shooting the killer.
ONE HOUR AND 15 MINUTES!
That is beyond unacceptable, especially because, according to a New York Times reporter, Uvalde police training documents show that police are taught to engage immediately even if it means putting their own lives in danger.
Information is still trickling out about this event and we'll know more soon. So I don't want to draw too many conclusions yet. But I will say two things:
One, if there were ever any doubt that waiting for police to save you is a bad idea, Uvalde should be all the proof you need. While I think most police officers are courageous people and deserve our respect, the same cannot be said for at least some officers at Robb Elementary.
Two, even when police do their best to arrive quickly and engage immediately, it's still often too late. That's why allowing school districts to arm teachers and staff should be an option coast-to-coast, including here in Ohio.
The Ohio Legislature needs to move HB 99 IMMEDIATELY. After a bad Ohio Supreme Court ruling, Ohio schools are once again soft targets for slaughters just like Uvalde. HB 99 would return security decisions to the local level. While not all districts will get it right, and while this is no guarantee of safety, it would at least give districts a powerful option to harden schools and respond to active killers quickly.
It's time to stop listening to the cowards. It's time to get serious about school security and stop playing politics with kids' lives.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.