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Tipsheet

Texas School Shooter Made Multiple Rape and Death Threats. Here's Why Nothing Happened to Him.

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Another mass shooter that was all but saying he was a ticking time bomb—and no one did anything. This seems to be a pattern. Salvador Ramos shot and killed 19 students at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas which has spurred another wave of anti-gun activism, opportunism by desperate Democrats, and all-around sensationalism in the media who are also hoping to use this mass shooting to distract us from the failing Biden presidency. We all know this. 

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What is keeping these wounds raw is the ongoing investigation into this shooting, specifically the police response which has earned low marks. The Department of Justice is launching an investigation as the Texas Department of Safety is now saying the decision to hold back and not breach the classroom where Ramos was barricaded was the wrong decision. It’s not known yet, but it wouldn’t shock me if this decision to hang back cost lives. It was nearly an hour before police breached the door which could be locked from the inside. 

Yet, we’re also getting reports that Ramos was not some quiet kid, at least not online. He posted various death and rape threats. He was reported. And nothing happened (via WaPo):

He could be cryptic, demeaning and scary, sending angry messages and photos of guns. If they didn’t respond how he wanted, he sometimes threatened to rape or kidnap them — then laughed it off as some big joke.

But the girls and young women who talked with Salvador Ramos online in the months before he killed 19 children in an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., rarely reported him. His threats seemed too vague, several said in interviews with The Washington Post. One teen who reported Ramos on the social app Yubo said nothing happened as a result.

 Some also suspected this was just how teen boys talked on the Internet these days — a blend of rage and misogyny so predictable they could barely tell each one apart. One girl, discussing moments when he had been creepy and threatening, said that was just “how online is.”

In the aftermath of the deadliest school shooting in a decade, many have asked what more could have been done — how an 18-year-old who spewed so much hate to so many on the Web could do so without provoking punishment or raising alarm.

But these threats hadn’t been discovered by parents, friends or teachers. They’d been seen by strangers, many of whom had never met him and had found him only through the social messaging and video apps that form the bedrock of modern teen life.

[…]

The girls who spoke with The Post lived around the world but met Ramos on Yubo, an app that mixes live-streaming and social networking and has become known as a “Tinder for teens.” The Yubo app has been downloaded more than 18 million times in the U.S., including more than 200,000 times last month, according to estimates from the analytics firm Sensor Tower.

On Yubo, people can gather in big real-time chatrooms, known as panels, to talk, type messages and share videos — the digital equivalent of a real-world hangout. Ramos, they said, struck up side conversations with them and followed them onto other platforms, including Instagram, where he could send direct messages whenever he wanted.

But over time they saw a darker side, as he posted images of dead cats, texted them strange messages and joked about sexual assault, they said. In a video from a live Yubo chatroom that listeners had recorded and was reviewed by The Post, Ramos could be heard saying, “Everyone in this world deserves to get raped.”

A 16-year-old boy in Austin who said he saw Ramos frequently in Yubo panels, told The Post that Ramos frequently made aggressive, sexual comments to young women on the app and sent him a death threat during one panel in January.

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There are many avenues here. The fact that parents or teachers never saw these posts explains why nothing really happened here. There is an attempt to rope in online harassment of women which is a legitimate issue—conservative women are some of the most viciously attacked—but we may have a First Amendment issue here. How do we know what’s real and what’s the usual teenage angst and anger? Maybe the pictures of dead animals might be a good starting point when sifting through bad jokes and all-around kids saying stupid things and folks who need mental health assistance. If anything, it shows that our laws are a good quarter-century behind current technology and that’s an ongoing issue. It’s a periphery one with regards to this tragic shooting, and it might not be one we may be able to police effectively. 

Payton Gendron, the mass shooter in Buffalo, reportedly told six people of his intention to commit mass murder, one of whom is a retired federal agent. He told these people thirty minutes before he attacked the Tops Friendly Market. They did nothing since this group chat appears to be one for white nationalists. That still doesn’t shield them from possibly being charged as accomplices for their inaction. 

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The red flags were there in Uvalde, but how we respond or even find them at times remains another matter. 

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