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Tipsheet

Here's What's Wrong With Politico's Piece on School Resource Officers

AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Francisco Kjolseth

It’s amazing to watch liberal talking points collapse. Stay focused on the guns and now policies that will keep our schools safe. It’s a fact that school resource officers work. Just Google it—you’ll find scores of examples of these armed guards stopping mass shooters within seconds. It’s not 100 percent. Tragically, some casualties do occur, but they’re never mass casualty events. Politico seems to think that they don’t work in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Did you catch what was wrong?

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The headline reads: “Robb Elementary had security. It didn’t stop a massacre.”

And yet, buried in the piece there’s this passage (via Politico):

…state officials initially said a school district resource officer approached the gunman and “engaged him,” but no gunfire was exchanged before the shooter entered two connected classrooms. Law enforcement officials abruptly reversed that account Thursday, saying no school police officer ever confronted the attacker when he jumped a fence surrounding the school, fired at the building, and entered the campus through what they said appeared to be an unlocked door.

“He walked in undisrupted initially,” Victor Escalon of the Texas Department of Public Safety said to reporters, adding that the gunman then fired at responding officers as they called for help.

It took approximately one hour, Escalon said, before members of an elite Border Patrol SWAT team arrived to lead an effort to breach the classroom and kill the gunman.

If there was a school resource officer on campus, most likely Ramos wouldn’t have been able to commit the rampage he did. That’s a fact. Even in blue states, school resource officers have confronted would-be shooters within seconds and saved lives. This isn’t new, and the policy does work. Sandy Hook Elementary adopted this policy after their heinous shooting. This is also an NRA-endorsed policy as well. It’s worked for years. In 2013, a student at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado intended to kill as many people as he could; he was stopped by a school resource officer within 80 seconds. One student was tragically killed. Losing one person is too much, but that death toll could have been astronomically higher if no guards were assigned to the school. Staffing issues have impeded the effectiveness of school resource officers, but they work. Ramos hiding behind some cars was an unbelievable bad stroke of luck. The response afterward is nothing short of baffling. Police should have confronted Ramos and breached the door ASAP. Instead, they waited nearly an hour, a move Texas DPS said was a grave error. 

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Yet, we can’t talk about improving security at our school. It’s about taking people’s guns away which was shown in the first few paragraphs of the story:

The state approved new laws in 2019 to arm more teachers, lock down schools and train for threats. The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, located in a predominantly Latino community between San Antonio and the southern border, had a robust security protocol that counted social media threat-monitoring software and a small campus police force among its defenses by the time of Tuesday’s nightmare.

Yet a school safety researcher and an advocate for superintendents said calls to flood schools with added security distract from the problem of preventing easy access to firearms wielded to kill children. And as Democrats rage in Washington, in Texas and across the country about a lack of federal action to enhance background checks with legislation already approved by one chamber of Congress, Abbott made clear restricting access to firearms is a non-starter in his state.

As it should. It’s not about access to firearms. We have a mental health crisis. Ramos was posting death and rape threats which sadly are too common on social media. The pictures of bags of dead cats, however, seem to be a point where a call to the authorities was warranted. Yet, that’s another debate about our laws, where they stand in this technologically connected world, and their compatibility with the First Amendment. It’s an important debate but probably won’t happen since it doesn’t involve gun control. And yet, this is where a lot of Ramos’ disturbing behavior was posted for all to see on Yubo. 

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