So it begins. The blame game around the horrific event at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
No one wants to be held accountable for what happened on May 24th, and reports from various news organizations relay a story of gross incompetence on multiple levels. McCraw lays the blame explicitly at the feet of Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arrendondo. In a news conference, Steve McCraw, who is the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the following:
“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the officers’ lives before the lives of children.”
Mr. McCraw called Arrendondo a coward, more specifically, an ineffective coward, because he showed up to an active shooting scene without his police radio, nullifying his ability to communicate with dispatch. But, here is something even more disturbing. McCraw saw Arrendondo as the person in charge. But Arrendondo said, ‘he didn’t consider himself the person in charge.’ He was the police chief for the Uvalde school district and didn’t consider himself in charge?
He dresses in a police uniform, carries a police gun, has a police badge, has four stars on his epaulets signifying the rank of Chief, and this 50-year-old man, didn’t consider himself in charge? Is that what he intends to say to all the parents who lost their children that day, ‘he didn’t see himself as being in charge? That’s going to be his story? Any sentient human being knows Arrendondo’s story is nonsense. But, mostly, his statement is insulting to the parents who lost their children to this senseless act.
One can only imagine what the parents of Lexi Rubio must be thinking upon hearing or reading that comment. Like all the other parents, Lexi’s mother and father are grieving their daughter. A daughter who made the honor roll. A daughter they were going to take out for ice cream as a reward for her accomplishments. A daughter who had her plans laid out, she would go to college on a softball scholarship upon completing her undergraduate degree, go to law school, and become a lawyer. Big plans for a ten-year-old. That is what ten-year-olds do. They make big plans.
Dreams unfulfilled, leaving hearts torn and broken and her parents asking the unanswerable questions. Why? Why their daughter’s school? Why was an eighteen-year-old allowed to purchase an AR-15 and over 200 rounds of ammunition without questions? Why did the Uvalde police demonstrate they were a modern-day version of the Keystone Cops? Why is the District Attorney refusing to openly address this situation? Why wasn’t the vaunted Uvalde SWAT team not on the scene? How could this happen in Uvalde, a town where literally everyone knows everyone? How could this be happening to them?
Sadly, the parents of Uvalde asking these questions will find the answers wonting and unfulfilling for a simple reason. There is no logical answer that will make any sense, and there is no answer that any official can give to those nineteen parents of Uvalde who sent their babies to school on May 24th as to why they will never see them again. There is absolutely nothing anyone can say that will quell the pain in their hearts of knowing their child will never walk through the door again. Oh, the words from their pastor or priest will be perfunctory and have some brief level of comfort. However, they fade away when entering their child’s bedroom and suddenly break into uncontrollable weeping. It is as if death’s cold, cruel hand reached into their chest and ripped their heart out.
The people of Uvalde need and deserve answers, not the political kabuki dance that is currently taking place. Here is the rub, they will get answers, but they will be so politically constructed to avoid accountability and responsibility. The Uvalde police chief Pete Arrendondo will skate, the District Attorney will conduct a sham investigation, the mayor will retire and fade into the sunset, the governor will run for reelection, and the Robb Elementary school will be demolished. Life for the elected officials will move forward.
The parents of the nineteen children and the family of the two teachers murdered will find each day a challenge. Sometimes they will weep uncontrollably at something that seems innocuous to the casual observer but triggers a memory that will bring a flood of memories of the parent who lost a child on that fateful day.
Lexi was supposed to go for ice cream with her Mom and Dad. Had she had the chance, I imagine she would have elaborated on her plans of getting a softball scholarship and going to college at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio Texas majoring in math and going to law school. No doubt telling them what type of law she would want to practice. Her parents would have listened intently and smiled at her lovingly for thinking big.
Lexi dreamed of becoming a lawyer, and her mother dreamed of seeing her walk across the stage to receive her diploma.
Sadly, Lexi and her mother’s dreams will go unfulfilled because their police chief didn’t think he was in charge.
“Oh God, Oh God! that it were possible To undo things done; to call back yesterday! That time could turn up her swift and sandy glass, To untell days, and to redeem these hours.”