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What Americans Must Learn from the Horrific Uvalde Massacre

By: Joseph Ragonese

There are two distinct takeaways from the massacre at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and neither is good. One lesson is that politics will once again obscure the real reasons behind the spate of rage-fueled violence from our youth, and the other is that when police make a bad decision, people can die. Both lessons are the harsh reality of today’s hyper-political atmosphere.

The political lesson is simple. It’s the same line drawn in the sand between the two political parties in America, and neither is willing to try to come together for the betterment of all Americans. On the left, it is all about the gun(s) used, and the reasons are secondary, while on the right it’s all about the state of mental health. Wake up, it is about a lot more than those simplistic political positions.

“Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?” Joe Biden asked. “Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it? It’s time to turn this pain into action.”

And then he ranted about the very same Democrat talking points that have proven to be failures  time after time. His focus turned from anything doing with protecting children to disarming law-abiding citizens and undermining the U.S. Constitution. In the true Democratic spirit of ‘never letting a crisis go to waste,’ he has squandered any chance to actually try to end this embarrassment on America, the mass murders of our own.

However, it does not make his questions wrong. Mass shootings have become a problem ever since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Columbine, Colorado. Ever since then mass murders at schools, and other venues, have been copy-cat events trying to outdo the first pair of misfits who used a combination of firearms and bombs in their nefarious plot to kill for the sake of killing.

The thing is, that before these mass shootings occurred, our society had changed dramatically. And not necessarily for the better. In response to these mass murders, politicians, on both sides of the aisle, have rushed to implement stricter and stricter gun control measures. To Democrats, it has become their mantra.

It has been 23 years since that first event, and gun laws have been tightened to a point that some may violate our Constitution, specifically the Second Amendment. Yet, it has not stopped or even slowed, the carnage.

Which begs the question, can anything be done to change our murderous society?

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The answer is yes, but no one has tried because of the political divide in this country. So rather than actually addressing the problem, our politicians would rather see more dead school children than solve the underlying problem.

More gun control is not the answer.

Gun control is the stock answer provided by Democrats for their own purposes. Republicans, on the other hand, talk about mental health. It was the go-to speech given by President Trump in his response to the Uvalde massacre. Both aren’t even close. While mental health plays a role, it is only a symptom, not the cause. Just like the gun.
The cause of these mass murders is simple, our society has changed.

No longer do we teach our children to live by the golden rule, which is to do onto others as we would have others do unto ourselves. It is the principle of treating others as one wants to be treated. Instead, too many of today’s young people are taught that they are ‘special.’ The rules that apply to others somehow do not apply to them.

It is how they see stealing and other crimes as not applicable. Even murder is not something that applies to them. Let’s face it, abortion is murder, yet most children are taught that it is perfectly acceptable to kill a baby still inside a woman, if the mother doesn’t want that child. Not for a cause, as in capital punishment for someone who has killed others, but because the woman doesn’t want the burden of a child at that time. It lessens the value of life to everyone in our society; especially our young. Its acceptance is all about ourselves and to heck with everyone else.

But abortion alone does not cause mass murderers to go on killing sprees. However, how about taking someone and telling them that they are worthless for their entire lives? Radical feminism has done that to male children for the past thirty years. Just about the time that the first pair of mass murderers brought rifles and bombs to Columbine High School.

There are many other factors involved because there are really no simple answers to complex issues; however, the vast change in our society is at the heart of the problem. And the biggest, and most fundamental change has been in the number of people who are raised with formal religious education.

Say what you will about formal religions, but through them, the basis of civilization was formed. As we move further away from the teachings of religion, the atrocities committed are more frequent and more vicious.

Ask yourself, how many mass shooters were raised in a family that attends church or synagogue regularly? Hint, zero. Why? Because religion teaches us to live by certain rules of conduct. You know, by the Ten Commandments. One of them is not to kill, while another orders us not to steal. Things that are not taught by those who do not worship a higher authority.

No one is born with a moral compass that will make them good people without being taught what is expected of them in a civilized society. And if parents do not believe that the rules that govern a civilized society are applicable to them, then their children grow up in a world they make for themselves. One where they are the most important thing, and everyone else is nothing.

However, this is America and we cannot order everyone to follow the rules of religion. But we can change our society to respect law and order, as well as to behave in a civilized manner, or else there will be consequences.

And that is not happening. We allow people to be rude, and commit crimes, in the name of their political party, as long as it is from the left while allowing no opposition to Democrat party policy. We praise left-wing violence, like Antifa riots and BLM looting and killings for several years, while telling young males they are useless, and wonder why some go into classrooms to take out their rage on the most vulnerable among us.

We reap what we sow. If Joe Biden really wanted to protect children he would be asking Congress to reform those laws that Democrats passed that at are the heart of the changes in our society.

Which brings us to the other lesson from Uvalde, the police response to the massacre at the Robb Elementary School.

Because this incident began outside of the school, when the gunman shot his grandmother in the face, then crashed his car near the school, the on-site commander believed that the gunman was barricaded in a classroom. Texas Department of Public Safety Director, Steven McCraw, said at a news conference that that on-scene commander believed the children were not at risk.

“He was convinced at the time that there was no more threat to the children and that the subject was barricaded and that they had time to organize” to get into the classroom, McCraw said.

Of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision,” he continued.

It is not known how many died in almost an hour and half that the police tried barricaded subject tactics in this incident, but there is the possibility that several did. It is believed that the killer went into the school with the intent to commit just such a massacre.

Right now it is not possible to answer that question or any other as police will be investigating this mass murder for the next several days before all the confusing circumstances are known. Right now, everything we hear is mere speculation.

What facts we do know are that local police were inside the school, but that a team of federal Boarder Patrolmen entered the school and killed the gunman. Thereby ending the hostage situation.

Unlike the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there was no cowardly police. But just like the Uvalde incident, the on-scene commander in Florida held back police until some police officers not under the control of that commander took the situation into their own hands and went into the line of fire and took out the threat.

Both school massacres were tragic, but in both places, police acted bravely in finally ending the events.

In this present time of disrespecting the police, it must be known that tragic misjudgments by police do not give cause to further relegate police. In fact, we need them now more than ever before.

This in no way is meant to cover for police behavior in this circumstance, in fact, as a retired police officer I find the on-scene commander’s excuse that he didn’t send police in because they might get shot an inexcusable statement. Police rush to the sound of gunfire. It is what they are sworn to do. Those who do not, like the school resource officer in Parkland, are cowards and a disgrace to their badge.

That said, mistakes were made; however, the police behaved bravely, as they most often do.

The duo lessons learned from Uvalde are that there is a way to end these mass murders by children. One is through policy that rewards civilized behavior, and the other is through more support of police, not less.

The first will take many years to bear fruit, the other will see police continue to make mistakes. After all, police are only human. And humans make mistakes.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

Joseph Ragonese is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a retired police officer,  has a degree in Criminal Justice, a businessman, journalist, editor, publisher, and fiction author. His last book, “The Sword of Mohammad,” can be purchased at in paperback or kindle edition.
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