Newsletter: Shocking New Details of the Police Response to the Texas School Shooting

This week saw one of the most horrific school shootings in the history of the United States.

As Americans attempt to comprehend the massacre, we’ve begun to learn more about how the attack unfolded. And the latest developments continue to be disturbing. Apparantly, police did not act nearly as quickly to intervene in the attack as we were first led to believe.

The police reaction to the slaughter now seems to have repeated some of the worst failures of past school shooting responses. I take a deep look at what happened and why it was so bad.

I aslo joined Jake Tapper’s CNN show to discuss some of the potential legislative responses to the attack and why there is no single policy that will prevent all future attacks. I also detail President Biden’s initial response to the shooting which focused heavily on attacking the gun industry and advocating for new gun bans.

Contributing Writer Jake Fogelman also examines insights into active shooter events from an FBI report published this week. How often do people try to carry out attacks like the two we’ve seen this month? Are these events on the rise?

President Biden’s latest ATF nominee also had his confirmation hearing this week. Our new intern Erik Eva and I take a look at some of the highlights from his hearing, including his inability to define “assault weapons” despite supporting a ban on them.

Jake also examines the prospects of new gun laws in the immediate aftermath of the Buffalo shooting. Are new state laws more likely than new federal laws?

Plus, David French joins the podcast to discuss the difference between red flag laws and assault weapons bans as a response to mass shootings.

black car on road during night time
A police car with its lights flashing / Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Analysis: Police Inaction During the Uvalde Shooting is Inexplicable [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

As we learn more about how the attack on Robb Elementary School unfolded there are many questions where Americans will strongly disagree on the right solution, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear: the police response was utterly negligent.

Despite early reports indicating the shooter had to fight his way through police resistance in order to get into the school, it now appears nobody in law enforcement engaged him as he attempted to enter the school. In fact, the latest reporting from The Wall Street Journal indicates the shooter lingered outside the school for 12 minutes before entering. After an initial exchange of fire that left two officers injured as they arrived on the sceene, police reportedly did not attempt to confront the shooter for upwards of an hour.

That is inexplicable. The response was so inept that a mother heard about the attack, drove 40 miles, confronted police who had not yet confronted the shooter, was handcuffed while trying to go into the school hersulf, got officers to remove the handcuffs, walked to a different area, climbed a fence and went inside. She was, miraculously, able to safely retrieve her children.

And all of that happened before police actually confronted the shooter.

“The police were doing nothing,” Angeli Rose Gomez, the mother in question, told the Journal. “They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.”

This is a shocking deriliction of duty.

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Reload Founder Stephen Gutowski discusses the Uvalde shooting on CNN
Reload Founder Stephen Gutowski discusses the Uvalde shooting on CNN / Screenshot

Gutowski on CNN: ‘No Single Policy” For Stopping Mass Shootings
By Erik Eva

Reload Founder Stephen Gutowski joined CNN’s Jake Tapper on The Lead to discuss how gun legislation could affect mass shootings like the one in Uvalde, Texas.

In the aftermath of the attack, which left 19 students and two teachers dead, Tapper asked Gutowski what legislation might be passed to try and prevent such tragedies in the future. The pair discussed how congress may move on the issue and what policies may be put forth by legislators. The segment touched on topics including age restrictions on gun sales and weapons most often used by mass shooters.

Gutowski said the key takeaway is that there are no perfect answers.

“There’s no single policy that’s going to solve this issue just by flipping a switch,” Gutowski said. “A lot of people on either side will try to tell you if we just did red flag laws, if we just did an assault weapons ban, if we just had armed teachers, it would fix this problem. I don’t think it’s true.”

Click here to watch the full interview.

President Biden reacts to a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school
President Biden reacts to a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school / Screenshot

Biden Decries ‘Gun Lobby,’ Advocates ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban in First Speech on Elementary School Shooting
By Stephen Gutowski

President Joe Biden (D.) attacked the gun industry in his first remarks since the shooting at a Texas elementary school.

The President blamed gun makers for the murder of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. He said the mass shooting should motivate Americans to pass new gun restrictions.

“As a nation, we have to ask when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said.

The comments come just hours after news of the massacre broke. It also comes just over a week after a shooter killed ten people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. President Biden also called for new gun control measures in response to the Buffalo shooting.

Click here to read more.

crime scene, patrol cars, police
Houston police investigate a crime scene / Photo by ArtisticOperations on Pixabay

FBI Report: Active Shooting Incidents on the Rise
By Jake Fogleman

In the wake of two devastating attacks in less than two weeks, a new government report provides sobering context on the frequency of such incidents.

The FBI released the 2021 version of its annual report on active shooter incidents on Monday. The report found 61 active shooting incidents in 2021, up from 30 in 2019. It also found America has been experiencing a dramatic increase in attacks over the last several years.

“For the period 2017-2021, active shooter incident data reveals an upward trend,” the report reads. “The number of active shooter incidents identified in 2021 represents a 52.5% increase from 2020, and a 96.8% increase from 2017.”

Click here to continue reading.

ATF Director Nominee Steve Detellbach testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 25 2022
ATF Director Nominee Steve Detellbach testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 25, 2022 / Screenshot

Biden ATF Nominee Says He Supports ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban But Offers No Definition for Term
By Stephen Gutowski

Steve Dettelbach says he does want to ban “assault weapons” even though he does not have a working definition of which guns would fall under such a ban.

The ATF director nominee told Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) he could not explain which guns he believed should be banned. In an exchange during his Wednesday confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dettelbach said he hasn’t attempted to define the category of guns he hoped to ban. Instead, he said Congress should decide on the definition.

“When I was a candidate for office, I did talk about restrictions on assault weapons,” Dettelbach said. “I did not define that term. And I haven’t gone through the process of defining that term. That would only be for the Congress if it chose to take that up to do.”

Click here to read the rest.

Steve Dettelbach speaks in the White House Rose Garden on April 11th, 2022
Steve Dettelbach speaks in the White House Rose Garden on April 11th, 2022 / Screenshot

Biden ATF Nominee Pressed on Gun Prosecution Slowdown During Time as US Attorney
By Erik Eva

Steve Dettelbach faced scrutiny of his gun prosecution record during his Wednesday confirmation hearing.

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) questioned President Joe Biden’s (D.) pick to head the ATF on a decrease in firearm and explosive prosecutions during his time as US Attorney of Northern Ohio. Dettelbach did not provide a specific explanation for the reduction but emphasized that his office did not alter its guidelines.

“When you became the US attorney there were about 120 firearms and explosives prosecutions a year. By the time you left, there were half that number. And in fact, there was a pretty continuous decline over three years, lower year on year” Hawley said. “What accounts for that?”

Click here to get the full piece.

Podcast: David French on Red Flag Laws in the Wake of the Buffalo Massacre
By Stephen Gutowski

David French has long advocated for the adoption of red flag laws to prevent mass shootings. In the wake of the Buffalo shooting, where an unused red flag law may have stopped that massacre, he seemed like a good person to discuss the policy’s advantages and drawbacks.

French argued red flag laws, otherwise known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO), provide a kind of stopgap between releasing somebody who is troubled and going through the more complex process of involuntarily committing them. He said they provide a way to intervene with somebody who has demonstrated they are a risk to themselves or others. The Buffalo shooter would have met that standard and been barred from buying the gun he used to carry out his attack had anybody filed for an ERPO against him, French said.

He argued lack of knowledge about how the laws work was likely the reason why it wasn’t used in this case and said the governor’s call for mandatory police training on New York’s red flag law. However, he opposes her plan to require all police file for ERPOs on the basis of probable cause.

You can read more about the interview or listen to it by clicking here. You can also find it on your favorite podcasting app or on our YouTube channel.

Guns for sale at a Virginia gun store
Guns for sale at a Virginia gun store / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: Will the Buffalo Massacre Lead to New Gun Laws? [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

Public opinion has been on a years-long shift away from support for new gun-control laws, but high-profile mass shootings have a way of putting a stop to that historically.

Will the status quo change after the attack in Buffalo? And if so, will there be new momentum to pass new gun control?

Initial polling on the question of gun control following the shooting has yielded conflicting results. Reactions from the immediate aftermath of a tragedy may not be the most reliable indicator of longer-term trends in any event.

Nevertheless, a political push has begun on gun control both at the state and federal level. The prospects of success for those advocating new laws vary widely between the two levels of government.

If you’re a Reload member, click here to read full analysis. If you’re not yet a member, please consider joining today to get access to this and hundreds of other exclusive posts!

Outside The Reload

Onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school | AP News | By Jake Bleiberg, Jim Vertuno, and Elliot Spagat

Louisiana Senate committee approves permitless carry bill | The Center Square | By Victor Skinner

Gov. Murphy demands state legislature vote on every gun bill | New Jersey Globe | By Joey Fox

Beto O’Rourke disrupts Texas news conference on shooting | AP News | By Acacia Coronado and Sara Burnett

Angus King likely to back Joe Biden’s ATF nominee | Bangor Daily News | By Jessica Piper

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That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear expert analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get our exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Stephen Gutowski
The Reload


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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


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