A Change of Venue May Be Order

Thank God there is the occasional good news to offset all other news. This week we are confronted with the Uvalde report. The report is complete with the pictures confirming what we already knew. Children suffered and died because of the cowardice displayed by a vast assortment of men chosen for their qualities to protect and serve. Before we delve into that misstatement / misunderstanding, let’s look at the good news.

By all means watch the video, multiple times. What you are watching is a pizza delivery driver that just happened to be passing by realize that there was the possibility that he could do some good if he threw himself into action. He saved five children from a certain fiery death.

Most importantly, he raced back into the raging fire when he found that there was a six year old still in the house. You can see him bring her out as the firemen are putting on their fire-retardant gear for their assault on the house. Nick Bostic is the hero’s name and you can see from his shorts and t-shirt he didn’t need to suit up to go into action.

“I was ready to lose my life that night,” was what he said after the ordeal. He didn’t die, but he did receive a broken arm while jumping out of a second story window while cradling a six-year-old that now has a chance to grow up, graduate, marry, have children of her own. The Bible says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I’m sure that now Bostic can count the children among his friends, but at that particular moment, Bostic was prepared to give his life for strangers. An example of pure bravery.

Now we flip the coin:

Note the difference in urgency between a house fire and a psychopath shooting children. Honest to God, watching these police it’s like they’re checking to see whose turn it was to bring snacks. With each piece of information revealed we find out more and more that the first order of business was not to stop the killing of innocents. Even after the child inside the class room got a call into 911 to explain that they needed help, the police just meandered about like neighbors at a yard sale. No urgency here, just innocents being slaughtered. “Let’s be careful out there.”

Forgiving the possibility that the “first responders” were not adequately armed for the situation, although two of the three officers do have semi-automatics and body armor, how can we forgive the inaction of literally hundreds of up-armored police who arrived on the scene minutes later?

The Texas Rangers have made hay off of the phrase, “One riot, one ranger” for over a hundred years. How do they justify not one ranger being willing to confront the killer? How do they rationalize taking the weapon from an off duty officer who wanted to go in and get his wounded wife? How do they explain arresting a mom that drove forty miles to the scene that was frantically trying to free her child? It seems that the ones that had the courage to do something were pushed aside that day.

A lot has been said about doors and keys and classrooms and/or offices. The first group into the hallway knew where the shots came from. They knew it was a classroom. The little girl begging for her life to the 911 operator told the operator where she was. Meanwhile, we hear Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Arredondo yelling into the void that he thinks is the shooter. Arredondo apparently thinks he can send the shooter a pizza and that after a while the shooter will fall asleep and the officers can slip in and take his gun away with no loss of life to the police.

Look at this timeline provided by the Texas Tribune and the Texas Department of Safety

12:46-12:47 p.m.

Arredondo gives approval to enter

12:46 p.m.

“I can hear the police next door.”

— Student who called 911

12:47 p.m.

“Please send the police now.”

— Student who called 911

12:50 p.m.

Officers kill gunman

I count three minutes from order given to situation ended. Imagine the difference in the situation if the breach order had come at 11:38 when Arredondo arrived on the scene? We don’t know how many babies would have been saved, but surely more than the final result.

A lot of times you hear that the cover-up was worse than the crime. All government agencies have been very reluctant in being transparent about the events at Uvalde. This is one time that I think the crime of cowardice, of shirking one’s sworn duty is far worse than the coverup. There will be trials. I’m assuming that the defendants will ask for a change of venue since the defendants have definitely tainted the jury pool. I’m a big believer of defendant rights, but this is one case I think should be tried where it happened.

Hopefully justice will be served and policies put into place to prevent this from ever occurring anywhere in our country again. Just remember if you’re ever in a life threatening situation, call Domino’s.

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