Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Uvalde’

Stopping Murderers – The Postil Magazine

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2022

The solution to this objection to the death penalty is to employ it only when we are certain of guilt.

Wow! Aren’t all guilty verdicts based on a convinced jury? And then you have this

Walter E. Block

There has been a spate of even more unusually horrendous mass murders in recent days, topped off by the monstrousness that occurred in Uvalde, Texas to school children and teachers. But pretty much every weekend there are reports from Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans and other cities run by Democrats of shootings, sometimes stretching into the dozens.

What is going on here, and, more important, how can this be stopped, or, at least, the incidence of this phenomenon radically reduced?

One obvious point is to vote out the “progressive” wokesters in the next election. They have been undermining the morale of the police, trying to deprive them of financial resources by “defunding” them, turning prisoners loose, downgrading felonies to misdemeanors, etc. Before these politicians seized the city reins, there were fewer such murderous outbursts.

Another is to harden the targets. There should be one and only one entrance to a school, and there ought to be an awake guard posted right there. Arming teachers and staff would also go a long way in the direction of dissuading criminals from entry. Left wing politicians oppose these safety measures, but we can pretty much ignore their hypocritical criticisms: they surround themselves with armed guards.

If drugs were legalized, all of them without exception, there would be fewer murders. We have as evidence for this contention the example of booze. Under prohibition, gangs shot each other over turf. Does this now occur at liquor stores? Of course not.

Then there is the break up of the American family, or, worse, its failure to form in the first place. This is due to our welfare system. We had this program in effect for many years, with little ill effect on the family, but Lyndon Baines Johnson, another Democrat, greatly enhanced it in the mid-1960s. Then the family started falling apart. All too many kids nowadays grow up without a dad in the house. A non-intact family is causally related to all sorts of societal ill effects: crime to be sure, but also unemployment, lack of schooling, divorce, etc. Unhappily, if we were to end this pernicious program, it would take a generation or more for the beneficial impact on crime reduction to take place, given the negative social mores introduced in its wake.

Is there no other alteration that can have more immediate effects? Fortunately, there is: public executions. There will be a great hue and cry against implementing any such policy. One objection will be that if a mistake is made, the wrong person will be put to death. But to err is human. There are cases when an innocent man was incarcerated for decades; it hardly follows that no one should be in jail. Also, some of these folks were guilty of other equally serious crimes, and merely punished for the wrong one of many. The solution to this objection to the death penalty is to employ it only when we are certain of guilt.

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Don’t Let Them Claim Uvalde’s Police Failure Was Just a Local Problem

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2022

The man supposedly in charge of the Uvalde response, school district police chief Pete Arredondo, continues to make excuses and straight-up lie about the situation. Consider this version of reality coming out of Arredondo and his spokesman, as reported by the Texas Tribune:

One remarkable aspect of the coverage of the Uvalde shooting is how quickly the narrative has gone praising police heroics to exposing the law enforcement agents’ complete, total, and shameful failure. Simultaneously, police apologists’ excuses have repeatedly changed as well. 

Among these excuses has been the claim that the Uvalde police were just a small-town force and that with better funding—they always call for more funding—the police wouldn’t make these “mistakes.” It is also claimed that larger state and federal police personnel would never have the same problems.

Thanks to the  Texas Department of Public Safety’s report released this week, we now know that a majority of law enforcement officers at the Uvalde massacre were from state and federal agencies and that the total law enforcement personnel numbered a remarkable 376. Yet, even as these “first responders” continued to amass personnel and equipment, they chose to prioritize officer safety over children’s safety. 

Clearly, the excuses about an “underfunded” and undersized local police force hold no water. The presence of dozens of well-armed state troopers and federal officers did not lead to immediate action against a single untrained gunman. This was a systemwide failure of law enforcement. Yet, unfortunately, the narrative over the behavior of law enforcement at Uvalde has zeroed in on the idea that it’s all entirely the fault of a small number of local officials. 

Nearly Four Hundred Law Enforcement Officers at Uvalde

This was no matter of a small police force being overwhelmed by events. According to the Texas Tribune, the state’s report on Uvalde 

reveals for the first time that the overwhelming majority of responders were federal and state law enforcement: 149 were U.S. Border Patrol, and 91 were state police—whose responsibilities include responding to “mass attacks in public places.” There were 25 Uvalde police officers and 16 sheriff’s deputies. [School district police chief Pete] Arredondo’s school police force accounted for five of the officers on the scene. The rest of the force was made up of neighboring county law enforcement, U.S. marshals and federal Drug Enforcement Administration officers.

In total, 376 law enforcement officers were at the scene. 

Not all of these officers were present from early on in the incident. But within minutes, armed police officers showed up and choose to not take action against the gunman. Soon, more weapons and protective gear arrived. And police still chose to do nothing. As victims bled to death in the classroom with the gunman, dozens of federal, state, and local personnel were standing around in a grim “comedy” of errors. No one took responsibility or took action for more than an hour. By far, the most enthusiastic action from police could be witnessed in how officers harassed, attacked, cuffed and generally mistreated the parents of dying children at the scene. 

So, let’s dispense with the claims that the reason the police stood around in Uvalde was because this was a police force of country bumpkins who “lacked training.” It took the presence of nearly three hundred state and federal officers for officers on the scene to take action—more than an hour later. This was against a single untrained gunman with a weapon no more powerful than what the police themselves possessed. 

Excuses and Lies 

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Why Keep a Government That Fails Us?

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2022

By Andrew P. Napolitano

In a free country, the government needs permission to do everything. In America today, we all need the government’s permission to do anything, even to defend ourselves. Ayn Rand called this an inversion. Ludwig von Mises famously described government as the negation of liberty, and Murray Rothbard called it the monopoly of force in a given geographic area with no presumption of moral propriety.

The failure of law enforcement at all levels — local, state and federal — to protect 19 children who were slaughtered by a madman in Uvalde, Texas, in May has raised serious questions about the role of police in our once-free society. Admittedly, the Uvalde case was extreme, as 376 armed police officers did little or nothing to stop the slaughter perpetrated by one madman. There was no command and control; the decisions made on the scene were chaotic and farcical; and the essence of what law enforcement did was to shield itself from harm, rather than stop the harm.

The killer in Uvalde began his rampage by shooting randomly at the school building from a parking lot across the street as he walked toward the school. He apparently entered through a door that officials presumed was locked. It wasn’t. The police themselves waited 44 minutes to obtain a key to this unlocked door, which none of them even tried to open. The commanding officer at the scene was not in electronic communication with his team, his dispatcher or the 24 other police agencies present.

The Texas Legislature condemned the police response; and now heartbroken parents are left without a remedy. This is so because the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the government and its agents have no duty to interfere with crimes that are in progress and no general duty to protect innocents. Under this line of cases, collectively called the DeShaney doctrine, the police can physically observe a bank robbery, a rape or a murder, and lawfully do nothing.

Joshua DeShaney was a 4-year-old boy who had been repeatedly abused and irreparably brain damaged by his own father whose behavior was well-known to the local government. When the mother sued the government for failure to protect Joshua, the Supreme Court ruled that the government enjoys the common law privilege of allocating its resources with impunity. Stated differently, the government decides whom it will protect and whom it will let be. Not surprisingly, the DeShaney doctrine compels the government only to protect itself and those it has confined.

There is nothing in the Constitution that compels the DeShaney doctrine. It is just big government protecting itself. There are many selfless police throughout the country who would courageously interfere to stop violent crime because they have the ability to stop it and because it is always right to save innocent human life.

In Texas, where it is lawful for anyone over 18 to purchase and openly carry a handgun, it is unlawful to carry one in a school. Local school officials can request exemptions from this law from state officials, and those exemptions have been given to all 137 Texas school districts that requested them. Of course, in none of the districts where teachers and staff are armed have there been any killings.

Just this week, in Greenwood, Indiana, before the police arrived, a 22-year-old civilian shot and killed a shooter who had begun a killing rampage in a shopping mall. Had Indiana not recognized the right to carry a firearm, we might have had another Uvalde or Buffalo, New York, slaughter on our hands.

The problem here is too much government, a Progressive goal going back to the beginnings of the Nanny State 125 years ago, when cities and towns started government monopolies on law enforcement and schools, and taxed everyone in their jurisdictions for the so-called services these entities provided, whether the taxpayer received the services or not. Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy like Uvalde before folks recognize that America is no longer a free country.

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Dailywire Article-‘Egregious Poor Decision Making’: Nearly 400 Cops Gathered At Uvalde School Before Anyone Did Anything

Posted by M. C. on July 19, 2022

Never believe the government and it’s minions when they say they will keep you safe. It keeps itself safe.

On a related issue – No one knows what they will do when confronting split second (not split hour) decision in a self defense situation. I have considered this a bit and my initial reaction may well be ~ who will harm me the least? The bad guy or the police and court system.

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Why Police Do Nothing While Kids Are Killed

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2022

In other words, the police had to protect themselves first, because if the police are hurt, then the suspect can do even more damage. There is a certain reasonable logic here, of course, but it’s in conflict with post-Columbine training. Moreover, police know they will not be held to any contractual standard that mandates intervention. They can decide for themselves whether to intervene, and will face no consequences other than some short-term political blowback. Virtually no one in the Uvalde debacle has any reason to fear losing his generous taxpayer-funded pension.

Ryan McMaken

Here is an often-used tactic employed to defend government police organizations from criticism. Whenever critics point out police incompetence or abuse, defenders counter with “The next time you need help, call a crackhead!” This same phrase was used by Louisiana senator John Kennedy when singing the praises of uniformed government bureaucrats in 2021. The phrase often produces many smug nods from the “Back the Blue” crowd, and one can buy T-shirts with this progovernment slogan as well.

The reality however, is something quite different. Experience continues to teach us again and again, that when one encounters violent felons—as did the children in Uvalde, Texas—calling a crackhead may not produce results much worse than calling the police. A crackhead is probably going to run the other direction when faced with a gun-toting maniac. As we learned at Uvalde, many police officers will do exactly the same. 

The “call a crackhead” propaganda is also especially insidious because it is designed to back the idea that “taxes are the price we pay for civilization” and the myth of the “social contract.” In this supposed quid pro quo, the taxpayers pay their taxes and then the government provides “public safety.” That, at least, is the myth the regime repeats over and over. 

This myth is being exposed for what it is in real time in the Uvalde investigation right now. Each new revelation shows just how uninterested law enforcement officers can be in providing any of that “protection” that they insist the taxpayers pay so much to fund. Rather, Uvalde has shown that the primary interest of law enforcement was officer safety, not public safety. So much for that “social contract” we keep hearing about. 

Ultimately, unlike a private sector service, police do not operate under any contractual obligations to provide services in any particular way. Thus, they can decide to do nothing and face no real consequences. 

New Revelations Show Police Simply Chose to Do Nothing

In the Texas Senate this week, senators and the public are starting to see what passes for police work in Texas. 

Although police spokesmen repeatedly claimed police could not engage the shooter because of a locked door, it turns out that was a lie. Reuters reported yesterday: 

The classroom door in the Uvalde elementary school where 19 children and two teachers were killed in May was not locked even as police waited for a key, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said on Tuesday.

There was no evidence any law enforcement officer ever tried the classroom door to see if it was locked, McCraw said at a Texas Senate hearing into the shooting.

“I don’t believe based on the information we have right now that door was ever secured,” McCraw said. “He (the shooter) didn’t have a key … and he couldn’t lock it from the inside.”

So, why did police wait outside so long? They claimed it was because they didn’t have the equipment they needed. That also turned out to be a lie. According to McGraw: “Three minutes after the subject entered the building, there was a sufficient number of armed personnel to isolate, distract, and neutralize the subject…. the on-scene commander decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”

Expect a Cover-Up 

Naturally, police personnel and their allies in local government have acted to conceal information on the police response from the public. The city’s district attorney has intervened to prevent the release of “any records.” Moreover, the Texas Department of Public Safety is pressuring the state’s attorney general to ensure that body camera footage from the incident remains hidden—presumably forever because police rather conveniently claim the footage exposes police tactics to potential future shooters. 

No Accountability 

Unfortunately, legal recourse for police incompetence and inaction is virtually nonexistent in the US,

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Texans Smell Cover-up as Officials Refuse to Release Uvalde Shooting Footage, Records

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2022

21 people, including 19 children aged nine to eleven, were murdered by a mentally unstable 18-year-old at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. The brutality of the incident, and conflicting and contradictory reports on the fumbled the police response, sparked outrage in the Lone Star State and across the country.

Government cops, government school, government coverup. Expect nothing less.

Uvalde officials’ use of a legal loophole to avoid releasing police records, including footage from officers’ body cams, 911 calls from students, emails, criminal records and other information has sparked concerns from Texans and others that authorities are engaged in a cover-up.

On Monday, the Austin American-Statesman and Austin KVUE-TV revealed, citing documents and security footage, that officers with high-powered weapons and at least one ballistic shield reached Robb Elementary within 19 minutes of the gunman’s arrival on the scene – challenging earlier accounts by police officials about their response time and the resources they had at their disposal.

On Tuesday, Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in Senate testimony that the police had enough body armor-equipped officers to “isolate, distract and neutralize” the gunman just three minutes after he entered the school, but instead waited in the hallway for nearly an hour as he carried out his attack.

“There is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure, and antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine Massacre,” McCraw said, blaming on-scene commander Pete Arredondo for putting armed officers’ lives above those of unarmed children.

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Get Rid of Public Schools Now

Posted by M. C. on June 13, 2022

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Millions of children graduate – ‘graduate’ – from high school – ‘high school’ – unable to read. Why inflict twelve years of misery on them? It is not reasonable to blame them for being witless, but neither does it make sense to pretend that they are not. For them school is custodial, nothing more. Since there is little they can do in a technological society, they will remain in custody all their lives. This happens, and must happen, however we disguise it.

The recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas has led brain-dead Biden and his cohorts to try to take away our guns. It has also led to proposed legislation to investigate and take action against “right-wing terrorism” and white supremacy, even though not even the lefties claim that the Uvalde shooting had anything to do with such things.

It’s worth pointing out that the Uvalde shooting leaves many questions unanswered. As L. Todd Wood points out, “From an outsider looking into the situation surrounding the Texas school shooting, there is much confusion and many curious facts.

We know the World Economic Forum and the Chinese Communist Party are pushing for tyrannical control of humanity. Just this week the WEF was looking to pass ‘health amendments’ to give the WHO sovereignty over America, enabled by the Biden regime.

The only thing standing in the way of this in North America is your personal weapons. The Second Amendment was not just for self-defense, it was designed mainly as a bulwark against a tyrannical government, that our Founders gave us.

Hence my question about the criminal acts in Uvalde…

The school shootings largely went away under Trump. Now they are back with a vengeance.

Why is that?

Now let’s talk about Uvalde itself.

It is also reported that Federal Marshalls were the law enforcement personnel that were ‘handcuffing and tasing’ parents who were desperate to go into the Uvalde school to save their children as cops waiting outside for an hour.

How does this make sense?

At the very least, the American people deserve an investigation and answers.”

But if you want to end school shootings, there is one simple thing we can do. Get rid of public schools. They are standing targets and consist of hordes of disgruntled youth who don’t want to be there. It isn’t surprising that the situation will get some of them so mad that they decide to go out in spectacular fashion, taking others with them.

Fred Reed puts the case against public schools in a nutshell: “I wonder what purpose the public schools serve, other than to warehouse children while their parents work or watch television. They certainly don’t teach much, as survey after survey shows. Is there any particular reason for having them? Apart from their baby-sitting function, I mean.

Schooling, sez me, should be adapted to the needs and capacities of those being schooled. For unintelligent children, the study of anything beyond minimal reading is a waste of time, since they will learn little or nothing more. For the intelligent, a public schooling is equivalent to tying an anchor to a student swimmer. The schools are an impediment to learning, a torture of the bright, and a form of negligent homicide against a country that needs trained minds in a competitive world.

Let us start with the truly stupid. Millions of children graduate – ‘graduate’ – from high school – ‘high school’ – unable to read. Why inflict twelve years of misery on them? It is not reasonable to blame them for being witless, but neither does it make sense to pretend that they are not. For them school is custodial, nothing more. Since there is little they can do in a technological society, they will remain in custody all their lives. This happens, and must happen, however we disguise it.

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Uvalde’s Biggest Mistake Was Trusting the Police to “Keep Us Safe”

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2022

For gun controllers, the takeaway from this is “See? These guns are so powerful the cops were left impotent in Uvalde.”

The police defenders can only shrug and admit the same thing: “Our heroic men and women did all they could do! That guy was just too tough, fast, and smart for us!”

Ryan McMaken

The Uvalde police have helped demonstrate, yet again, what has long been clear: when you’re facing a maniac with a gun, don’t count on the government’s uniformed bureaucrats with badges to help you. As we learned this week, not even a child begging for help on a 911 call will get the police to confront a shooter. 

Moreover, given the lack of competence and effort consistently displayed by police in cases where they face real danger—as at Columbine, Parkland, and Uvalde—it’s clearly a matter of chance as to whether the local police in whatever town are willing to risk “officer safety” for the sake of public safety. 

Contrary to what gun control advocates think, this reality sends a powerful message against gun control: we can’t trust the government’s armed enforcers to provide any measure of safety, and we absolutely need a right to private self-defense, to private security, and to accountable trained professionals who are not the bloated, overpaid branch of the government bureaucracy known as “law enforcement.” 

“Back the Blue” Plays into the Hands of Gun Control Advocates

When it comes to evaluating the disastrous police cowardice and incompetence at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary last week, those who blindly defend the police are essentially making the same argument as those as those who want to destroy the right to private self defense: “The police did as much as they could, but a single untrained teenager with a gun is just too much to handle for twenty or more trained police officers who are armed to the teeth.”

For gun controllers, the takeaway from this is “See? These guns are so powerful the cops were left impotent in Uvalde.”

The police defenders can only shrug and admit the same thing: “Our heroic men and women did all they could do! That guy was just too tough, fast, and smart for us!”

This sends a message to casual observers of the gun debate—which is most of the public. It suggests those “assault rifles” the Left is always talking about are really “weapons of war,” and allow a single person to outgun an entire police force. Many people will ask themselves: Why would any person need such a thing?

But what retort can the police defenders offer to this? It seems they can only repeat something about how our selfless heroes are beyond criticism and that we should keep trusting the regime, its police, and its schools to “keep us safe.” 

Meanwhile, gun control advocates are mocking the old conservative line that “a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.” It’s difficult to mount an effective response to this if one is committed to the idea that the Uvalde police were even remotely competent or conscientious in their work. If it’s true that Uvalde police were in any way doing their best, then an entire department of “good guys with guns” could truly do nothing to stop one person with an AR-15.

The reality, however, is that the Uvalde police were most certainly not “good guys with guns.” They were cowards clad in impressive-looking taxpayer-funded gear who made the situation worse. As their own supervisors admit, they sat around waiting for backup because had they actually tried to stop the shooter, the police “could’ve been shot.” 

The police at Uvalde were not just useless in terms of public safety. They actively got in the way of public safety. When a group of parents—some of whom were likely armed—attempted to intervene in the school themselves, the police literally assaulted the parents. Witnesses report police at the scene tackling women, pepper spraying men, and drawing their tasers in order to further intimidate the parents. The police did this while the killer was rampaging inside the school. Naturally, the police, swaggering around in their cowboy hats and body armor, didn’t like being shown up by the uppity private citizens of the town.

Enforcing Gun Laws Also Requires “Good Guys with Guns”

Repeated displays of incompetence from police agencies also calls into question the idea that these same bureaucrats could effectively enforce gun prohibition laws.

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