Lead me, follow me, or get the hell out of my way!
This is a direct quote from General George S. Patton, Jr. This military principle by General Patton immediately came to Gumshoe’s mind when it was reported that police officers were ordered to wait in a hallway during the recent Uvalde, Texas elementary school massacre.
Shots were still being fired by this evil-possessed bastard! The 911 pleas for the police to rescue them went unheeded from the helpless and doomed school kids. They were trapped inside the killing field. They had somehow survived the initial rifle fusillade. Their fate was sealed.
Their 911 calls ceased as the murderer took his time and pleasure to execute them. Easy targets to be sure as they were lying along the bloodied floor with their freshly killed classmates. Unmitigated and unimaginable human carnage.
Damn him to a special place in Hell! He had the presence of mind to exact his rage on defenseless kids. Mental illness my a**!
Gumshoe is righteously angry and has unfathomable professional resentment for the commanding officer in charge at the scene. His chosen order (“inaction”) to stand down was just inconceivable and cowardly by any measure of expected police performance in Gumshoe’s unfiltered opinion. He is an embarrassment to all law enforcement professionals and he should be held accountable in the days to come. No excuse possible.
Damn the incompetence!
Cops are trained to run to the gunfire and work as a team to eliminate the threat. There is never a compromise between self-preservation versus selflessness to save others. That’s what real-life cops signed up for. Period!
Protect the innocent and the helpless is the battle cry of true street warrior police officers. It is the basic mission statement “on or off duty” for all good cops. That’s the credo for all peace officers who strap on a firearm and pin a badge on their chests.
Gumshoe experienced numerous occasions where he along with other brother and sister officers raced to the “shots fired” and stabilized the situation. Pedal to the metal and balls to the wall!
How about the cops who stood down? How do they deal with an obvious unlawful order by a totally incompetent leader?
Why did they choose to just stand idle while the cacophony of rifle rounds fired by the killer coupled with the terrified screams from the children pierce their ears? These sounds echoed within the hallway where they took safe refuge. Somethings you cannot ever un-hear that which will undoubtedly and unmercifully eat at your conscience for evermore. They will “second guess” their individual performance forever. Perhaps they will become better police officers or seek other lines of employment out of harm’s way.
Damn their inaction!
Gumshoe passes judgment like many of his former and present police comrades on this horrid incident. Those of us have been in those “life and death” situations where mere seconds count. Act! Don’t react! Lives depend on you alone.
Damn the delay!
Failure to train; failure to effectively supervise married to the unconscionable failure to act was the death sentence for those young innocents as well as for their helpless teachers.
Damn the failures!
Gumshoe will share a quote from G. Michael Hopf’s novel, “Those Who Remain”:
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And weak men create hard times.
Gumshoe thinks that you can replace the “strong men” with “strong leaders” as well as the “weak men” with “weak leaders” within this quote. Patton would heartily agree with and he would applaud this modified quote.
God bless all of those innocent victims and pray for their grieving families.
May all of the responding officers find peace and forgiveness.