Our nation is stained by cowardice. It is sustained by selflessness.
Entire ordeal in Uvalde was painful to watch. So much tragedy at one place. These officers are disgrace to their uniforms.
I will write here an unpopular opinion.
But to be honest, for years police has issues at attracting best and the brightest. Police work has been demonized to extreme. In 2020 this went to overdrive, police everywhere have been called racist, white supremacists, supporters of systemic racism, main causes of problems in US inner cities. This has been trumpeted for years now, many of young men and women wont take that job due to stigma that it comes. That they are guilty for everything bad that happens that is related to police work. US is nation of 330 million people, after George Floyd killing, every single police officer was being called out as they were murderers themself. And job itself is stressful enough, people are underpaid, due to bad policies streets are getting more lawless by the day, all the while large part of population hates your guts because you are supposedly "supporting systemic racism".
Who in the right mind will take such a job? No wonder police officers are retiring left and right in big numbers.
Many good candidates don't apply, and sadly many with authoritarian tendencies do, usually those who think that Badge is excuse for power trip with no accountability.
Sadly this incident will further be used for political purposes to demonize police and their work. Yes these men are cowards and have discrased their uniform, but there are thousands of officers that risk their life every day, but we will never read about them in the newspapers.
As long this senseless attacks by MSM and politicians on our police don't stop and police work as whole gets its respect that it deserves, there will be no improvement. Less and less good people will want to serve, especially with ever belligerent part of population that sees criminals as victims and police as perpetrators.
The Wall Street Journal reporter James Freeman in "One Tough Dentist" chronicled the story of Capt. Ben Solomon whose heroism on Saipan is beyond breathtaking. What a sad contrast with the actions in Uvalde.
What changed between 1944 and now? One telling thing is the trashing of manly virtues by our friends on the left. Boys are viewed as damaged girls. Martial values, courage and strength are all disparaged. No, I'm not talking about the braying bravado of professional wrestlers, overpaid athletes or rappers. I'm talking about the quiet strength of fathers, who imbue such values to their sons. To respect women. To protect them. And to sacrifice for their loved ones. Such a man would have stormed the school barehanded. Let alone armed. If you want a better America, we need to stop this insane war on men now.
The same charge of cowardice can and should be leveled at the news media, including the Dispatch, for its complete lack of integrity covering important stories of national consequence (e.g., Biden laptop). Cowardice is cowardice and failure is failure and yet, those, like Mr. French, calling for accountability of others, sit strangely mute.
I find the shameless demanding accountability of others to be a bit rich...
So the police stood outside the door while the shooter was inside, shooting. The police waited for the janitor to unlock the door, and once he did, the police entered and killed the shooter. Is the reason the police stood outside the door because it was locked and they couldn't get inside? In every piece I read about this, that seems to be the case. They couldn't get in because the door was locked. Also, while the sentiment for refusing to name the shooter is understandable, it's also vain. We all know the name of the shooter and besides, he's not uplifted by the use of his name anyway. He's dead. The next point: it's just the absolute height of hypocrisy to decry the lack of courage on behalf of the same police officers who were demeaned and insulted for engaging in the messy work of their job. Some NYPD came to my door in the summer of 2020 to get the footage after an infant was killed in gang crossfire over on the next block. They told me that the night before, they had to just stand around and watch a man with an automatic weapon spray a busy street with bullets because they are no longer allowed to grab perpetrators and restrain them in the ways that actually work. All new guidelines that basically defuse the cops and give the criminals full reign to do their jobs. That move Chauvin placed on Floyd's SHOULDER was to restrain him from going into excited delirium. That summer of 2020 was the greatest gas lighting hoax in recent history. Couldn't even say that there are bad people out there and a huge percentage of them are black people who don't agree that black lives matter. That infant slaughtered on the next block was a black infant killed by black criminals. FYI. Back to this school shooting, I also noticed that a lot of those police officers look really out of shape. They're overweight and probably can't run without getting a heart attack. And let's all praise the fact that "toxic masculinity" was not deployed that day...because folks, you can't have your cake and eat it too. So sick of the obvious inability to see cause and effect on behalf of most of the population. We're lost in so many ways, I can't see a way out of it.
I'm at a loss for words, which is usually a sign that I should say nothing. Oh, well...
I have a strong distaste for this author, developed over the last 5 or 6 years, and I get a foul taste in my mouth reading this essay. His sanctimony is overwhelming. Very quick to call out those on the scene, ascribe cowardice to them as the reason for their failure to act, and cast that diagnosis on the rest of America as our societal ill. I re-read the essay, several times, just to sort thru those emotions and find what value is in it.
Like many commenters, I believe the feminization of men in our culture is a large part to blame for the lack of bravado on the part of many. I also think the constant sniping and incessant media attacks, the second guessing, lends a paralyzing effect on people who are faced with these difficult situations. The Ferguson Effect? I don't know. Lastly, our institutions are full of liars and opportunists who will not support the actions of the person on the ground. Portland protests v Canadian trucker protests. Both illogical and politically opportune. Both hugely divisive.
One thing that is crystal clear is that our culture and society is in a state of mass confusion. Perhaps, instead of cowardice, we can hypothesize that no one acts because no one knows how to act.
My biggest complaint is that pundits like French want our police to be as capable as our military. I do not. I certainly want our police to be well-trained and equipped, and they, as well as our citizen servants like teachers, administrators, etc, should all be equipped and well trained in responding to these types of situations. Yet, demanding they reach a level of military capability is fraught with potential for huge misuse. Look at the response from police forces to simple Canadian trucker protests.
I'm not willing to call anyone in this event a coward. French is quick to cite Jesus's call to sacrifice, but conveniently leaves out Jesus's caution about judgment. Maybe if he had written his essay as an observation of our need for cultural change and return to American values, I could agree. His decision to cast blame instead and use it as America writ large, makes me cringe.
Talk’s cheap. Suddenly everyone’s a battlefield expert… after decades of criticizing police violence, cutting budgets, and trying to put social workers in the place of cops.
While on the face of it, the deputies did appear to have been derelict, I’m not going to second guess them. Let the investigations play out, let these men explain their actions.
Like the George Floyd farce, where a man’s fatal overdose was blamed on the arresting officers who were then locked away for life, cops around the country will be outwardly nodding their heads and agreeing this operation was improperly conducted, but privately they’ll be muttering that their jobs are impossible. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
"Our nation is sustained by sacrifice." No, it isn't. But that is a bigger discussion and left to a better time.
In the meantime and the immediate, although I completely agree that the police in this instance failed in the duty they have chosen, I have a hard time listening to the complaints and anger from the same people who also screamed, yelled and pushed for "Defund the Police". It is a wonder why ANYONE chooses to be a police officer when there are millions of citizens spitting on them for doing their jobs, politicians who don't back them and then they both have the temerity to criticise a lack of conviction in taking down a killer.
This was a beautiful piece but it also recons back to the center of the gun debate. No one should have a monopoly on authority, nor courage, nor moral duty. When we are forced to live with monopolies we become dependent on the weakest link in the monopoly. That not 24 hours later another active shooter was stopped by a woman with a gun - and more importantly courage and love for their neighbors - is a necessary juxtaposition of what it means for people with means and ways to do the right thing when called to duty. That we have placed all the moral responsibility only onto police speaks of a broader selfishness issue. We used to honor a society where all people were responsible for one another. Today, too much of this country wakes up and asks why the government isn’t doing more for them rather than waking up and asking what they could be doing for their neighbor. No monopolies should exist in a just society and certainly not a monopoly on protecting the innocent. Ask yourself if you live in a community where strong men and women would do the right thing - and if not, perhaps figure out how you can create a community that would.
David French is completely bad faith and I am disappointed you have given him a forum.
"That’s why we respect men and women in uniform... In our culture, we thank soldiers for their service and “back the blue” because, in theory, they’ve placed our lives above their own."
While the statements above were once true, they no longer are. Police officers have left the force at an alarming rate, they are vilified, hated and certainly not "backed" by many Americans. They have been told masculinity is toxic. Look at NY subways where women are accosted and men stand around ignoring the situation or video it to gain likes and followers. Bail "reform" and progressive DA's whose practices allow hardened criminals back on the streets immediately after arrest are a slap in the face to officers. Police are giving up, they're fed up, they're told to stand down... unfortunately they are listening. In the recent "defund the police" movement the older, more experienced officers that are leaving the force in droves are being partially replaced by younger, less experienced equity hires.
I’m withholding judgment of the police until a thorough investigation is conducted and reported out. I’ve been reading elsewhere comments by current and former officers regarding the type of door the classroom had, which may have been installed with security features meant to make them harder to breach. Harder to breach to keep shooters out. According the comments I’m reading, once the shooter was inside the classroom and the door was locked, only certain powerful breaching tools would have opened it, and the officers may not have had that equipment, which is why they had to find the person with the key. From what I’m reading, it doesn’t matter how hard the officers tried, without the right equipment or key they weren’t getting through that door, so standing in front of it getting shot was pointless. Their sacrifice wasn’t going to save children. I’m not saying this is accurate. This is what I’m reading from people who do the job these officers were asked to do, so I’m not judging until there is more information.
Thank you Mr French for your moving & poignant article. You are right but we must acknowledge our society has undermined the commitment of these officers by requiring that they meet a standard no one in those situations can: perfect execution of duty. There are many examples of police being punished for an error committed while they are under extreme duress. Most recently a Minnesota policewoman was convicted of voluntary manslaughter & sent to prison because she accidentally drew her pistol instead of her taser & killed a resisting suspect. She is now in prison. You can’t second guess people’s actions in such extremely intense encounters & them expect them to act with determination & clear eyed purpose. Such doubt may have played a role in Texas, but I agree, it could not justify the cowardice displayed there.
A wonderful read. Articulates much of what I've been feeling lately about Uvalde specifically, and the country in general.
"Principled Conservative" David French is going to lecture our police on cowardice?! Really... What were his comments in 2020 while police were ordered - and have continued to be - to stand down while vagrants burned our private properties down? Did he pick up a weapon and stand a post? No. Has he ever? No. "Principled" Frenchie called Kyle Rittenhouse a fool, not the three child molesting criminals that tried to kill him. Hell, Rittenhouse was actually doing the police's job that fateful day...
Not once does Davey call out the political culture he supports that commands our police to failure. They are the problem and will never pay a price.
This lifetime first responder starting with Desert Storm all the way to a structure fire rescue this past Monday is very disappointed in the choice of guest writers here. The Uvalde cops made mistakes and I blame their leadership who still will not answer to who gave the order to stand down. Real courage.
Watch or read "Ordinary Men" to see what happens with middle class policeman who were, over time, trained and commanded to do the unthinkable.
My first reaction is not so fast. Something about those who live in glass houses. Or maybe "there but for the grace of God"?
It's so much easier to play the holier than thou role and criticize others for what may actually if we look deeper be our own shortcomings.
Uvalde has been a horrific slaughter of innocents, no doubt. However since we are severely lacking in a free press or free speech right now doubt if we may seriously claim to have all the facts.
Cowardice is a serious charge and one we need to look at. All of a sudden what happened to "Defund The Police"? Where are our memories of recent cowardice by American foreign policy "experts" in Afghanistan? How much accurate knowledge do we have of what is happening in the Ukraine? Do we suddenly have amnesia about the everyday slaughter going on in Chicago? Or the recent mass murder in Buffalo?
Where are the considerations and information that these police in Uvalde, Texas were ordered to stand down? Who ordered them to stand down and why? Was it cowardice or direct orders?
There is so much more but my patience for list making is at an end.
The raw and brutal truth of this post brought me to tears....for the children, but also for the officers who couldn't bring themselves to do what they were trained to do to save the innocents. Evil has this way of bringing out what the author has described....the best and the worst in people. I cannot cast the first stone. The one who propped the door open, the ones who didn't storm the classroom. the one who failed to order them to go in...their actions will bring untold shame and lasting consequences to them and their families for a long time. But for every officer who didn't charge the classroom there are thousands around the country who put their lives on the line every day, instictively. Pulling people from burning cars, engaging people who have them outgunned, stopping cars without knowing what kind of situation they will encounter inside that car, etc and I refuse to let this situation stigmatize the men and women in police work as a group. Most of us could not do what they do.... all day, every day...to keep our country from chaos.