By: John Semmens
As more facts about the law-enforcement response at the Robb Elementary School massacre become available, confidence in relying on police to save lives is being eroded. It seems that the pattern in police responses to school shootings that is frequently exhibited is reluctance to risk getting shot.
A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman argued that “harsh as it may seem to the parents of children being killed by gunmen invading their schools, a rational risk/reward assessment must take precedence over an emotional expectation from untrained civilians. Despite more than a dozen desperate 911 calls coming from students trapped inside with the shooter, we can’t abide senselessly exposing officers to deadly risk when life-saving ballistic shields are just minutes away. A decision to wait for these shields both protects our investment in the officers’ training and justifies the expenditures incurred. Sadly, in this instance the minutes turned into more than an hour. Counterbalancing this is the fact that no officers were injured by the gunman in the incident.”
“We should also keep in mind the fact that the officers on the scene were not entirely idle while waiting for the ballistic shields,” the spokesman pointed out. “They were able to tase, tackle, cuff, and detain several parents in the crowd who were so frantic due to our inaction that they desperately tried to rescue their children themselves. Later we learned that a few off-duty officers took it upon themselves to rescue their own children. They will likely face disciplinary action for obstructing a police operation.”