But they were. On that sad morning, just 4 days ago, the gunman crashed his truck into a ditch next to the school, two people from a funeral home across the street came out to see what was happening, were shot at but not hurt, then called 911.
An offsite officer assigned to the school, upon hearing the call, made his way back but didn’t spot the gunman.
Even though the gunman kept firing his weapon.
A teacher propped open a door – then left it open as he went back in to call 911.
That would be the door the gunman would use to go into the building.
Officers arrived. Lots of them. Two got shot at and grazed by the bullets.
Then the officers froze.
They had to call for back up, their commander is reported to have said, for they needed more equipment. Shields. Whatever.
And as they waited they soothed themselves by repeating ‘No kids at risk’.
Meanwhile more desperate 911 calls from inside the school were being made.
Shots being fired.
Right. For back up and equipment.
And then 21 people were killed. 19 children and 2 teachers.
Only then, the officers went in and killed the gunman. He probably had run out of ammunition.
Yesterday evening I read the sad timeline of events. Thank you to the authorities for putting it out. We needed to know.
In an adjoining article, fleshed out details of the response to the attack were presented.
And nowhere was there mention of the word fear. Nowhere.
But fear had flooded the place, ever since the moment the gunman crashed his truck into the ditch, ever since the first 911 call went out and the gunman started firing round after round.
The offsite officer returning to the school had missed the gunman because of fear.
The officers who’d entered the school and were shot at, stopped the pursuit because of fear.
The commander who put the officer response on hold did so because of fear.
Fear had paralyzed them all.
But you can’t say ‘No kids at risk’ unless you’re absolutely sure they are not at risk.
Otherwise it’s you inventing stuff to quiet the fear in your heart.
In the days following, school walkouts have happened across the nation in protest.
Bills in congress to deter the harm from guns were proposed and voted down.
And in a National Rifle Association meeting, all the participants agreed that it was profoundly sad to see 21 lives cut short. But no gun controls. Absolutely not.
I am sure that at no time during that meeting, the word fear was mentioned.
And yet it is fear that drives the gun owner to be so enamored of his weapons.
So enamored that they don’t see the bleeding of our nation.
Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net medium.com anchor.fm buzzsprout apple and google podcasts