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Behind Closed Doors

John W. Pinkerton


My heart began to sink as the early report of the Uvalde school shooting was being broadcast.  With each passing moment my hopes of a positive resolution were disappearing.

My mind went back to 1999 and Littleton, Colorado, and the Columbine High School  massacre---15 dead including the two student attackers who took their own lives.  Twenty-one others were injured.  The police did not enter the building for hours.  Holy crap!  The only good coming out of this was new guidelines for officers when confronted by similar incidents.

I must admit, the Columbine incident did not affect me as much as Uvalde---it happened “yonder” in a different state with folks that were not Texans.  I stated at the time that Texas lawmen would not have dawdled while the children bled out…but they did in 2022.

On May 24, 2022, a gunman entered a Uvalde school through an unlocked door and a 4th grade class and killed everyone---19 children and 2 teachers.

As I watched my television that day, I noted that there seemed to be a lot of running around by various police officers as parents pleaded with them to go into the school.

When the incident was completed, the gunman was killed, and the governor at first praised the officers.  However, the next day the governor announced that he had been lied to.  Apparently after officers entered the building,  a couple approached the door of the fourth grade class, but upon hearing shots, retreated.  About an hour later, they entered the classroom and killed the gunman.

Of course there is an investigation going forward…mostly behind closed doors.  I don’t want to be critical of the investigation.  Let it play out.  Eventually we will know the truth…what is knowable.

I’ve lived in Texas since the late 60’s.  Through the years, I’ve grown to have true admiration and respect for Texas law enforcement.  The Uvalde massacre does not completely wipe this away, but, as you probably suspect, it has diminished these feelings.

As I said, much of the investigation is behind closed doors, but I suspect there are many tears of regret behind those doors.