Leftist Media Blame AR-15s Instead Of Cops’ Cowardice For Uvalde Tragedy
Left-wing media is trying to turn the Uvalde, Texas tragedy in May 2022 into an advertisement for strict gun control and a ban on one of the most popular recreational firearms on the market using lies.
The Texas Tribune and ProPublica co-published an article on Monday claiming that Uvalde police officers waited outside the elementary school classroom where they knew kids were being slaughtered for more than an hour because they feared the lone teenage gunman’s AR-15.
“Once they saw a torrent of bullets tear through a classroom wall and metal door, the first police officers in the hallway of Robb Elementary School concluded they were outgunned. And that they could die,” Tribue politics reporter Zach Despart writes in the article’s first sentence.
The only evidence Despart provides for this is a series of quotes from various officers who reportedly claim they “weren’t equipped to make entry into that room without several casualties” and they “had no choice but to wait and try to get something that had better coverage where we could actually stand up to him.”
This hesitation aided in the deaths of several of the 19 students and two teachers who, if given proper medical care or defense in the hour officers waited outside the classroom doors, could have survived.
Cowardly Cops Get A Scapegoat
From the very beginning of the article, Despart attempts to sell a lie that even his own publication previously debunked. The hundreds of Uvalde officers who responded to Robb Elementary on May 24, 2022, had “plenty of firepower,” men, and tools to take on the shooter, who wasn’t wearing armor as some Texas Department of Public Safety officials initially claimed, yet they still chose to stand idly by.
To say the Uvalde cops who endured hours of training and were equipped with plenty of guns and gear were “outgunned” to the point where they couldn’t fulfill their oath to serve and protect vulnerable women and children excuses their cowardice.
Records show that six months before the tragedy, then-Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo, the man often blamed for the police department’s late response that fateful day, completed eight hours of active shooter training in December of 2021. He also went through eight hours of the same training in 2020 and 16 hours of “Terrorism Response Tactics – Active Shooter” in 2019.
The Uvalde Police Department also repeatedly bragged on Facebook about grants that equipped every officer with body armor and its S.W.A.T. team’s commitment to “familiarize themselves with the layouts of our local schools and businesses.”
Corporate media likes to shift the blame for the Uvalde police force’s failures on old gear, ineffective tactics, and communication breakdowns. Now, Despart wants to add AR-15s to that list based on one small exchange between a state trooper and the officers outside of Robb Elementary.
“You know what kind of gun?” state Trooper Richard Bogdanski asked.
“AR. He has a battle rifle,” an unnamed voice allegedly replied.
“Battle rifle” is not an accurate term to describe the semiautomatic recreational rifle that is an AR-15, just like the media’s favorite misnomers “assault rifle” and “weapon of war” are not acceptable, but Despart runs with that definition anyway.
“The AR-15 was designed to efficiently kill humans,” Despart claims. “ArmaLite, a small gunmaker in California, designed the AR-15 in the late 1950s as a next-generation military rifle.”
Except it wasn’t. The U.S. military may have eventually integrated a more powerful and fully automatic version of the AR into its armory as the M16 but ArmaLite’s popular semiautomatic rifle was originally marketed and sold to civilians as a hunter’s and collector’s gun.
Corporate media mouthpieces have a long history of twisting the history of ARs to fit their gun control agenda, and Despart proves to be no exception.
He tries to justify his erroneous claims about the origins and purposes of ARs by referencing the rifle as the Department of Defense’s ideal weapon going into the Vietnam War. What Despart once again fails to fully clarify for readers is that there is a massive difference between the AR-15, a rifle that only fires once every trigger pull and is sold to regular Americans for sport, and the fully automatic M16 U.S. service members carry.
The Smoking Gun
Why would Despart get so far into the AR weeds only to get things wrong? The answer is found mere paragraphs into the investigative article, where he laments that “in the aftermath of the shooting, there has been little grappling with the role the gun played.”
“Texas Republicans, who control every lever of state government, have talked about school safety, mental health and police training — but not gun control,” he complains.
He concludes the article with a “Resistance to gun control” section expressing the same sentiment.
This co-published article is a stone designed to kill two birds. The first is justifying the Uvalde cops’ cowardice. The second is advancing Biden’s war on ARs.
Deep down, Despart knows the Uvalde officers failed because they weren’t brave enough. to follow through on their commitment to protect and serve. Even after defending the cops’ weakness, he admits that “Police had failed to follow protocol developed after the 1999 Columbine school shooting that states the first priority is to confront shooters and stop the killing.”
Despart wants to poo-poo the Lone Star State’s widely-held belief that good guys with guns are an effective way to combat bad guys with guns but he knows, as he describes in the article, that kneejerk AR-15 restrictions often proposed in the aftermath of shooting would not decrease tragedies nor would it keep deranged shooters from acting on their violent impulses.
This article, with all of its inconsistencies and inaccuracies, isn’t just a gift to Uvalde police officers who want a scapegoat to blame for their failures on that fateful day, but it’s also a gift to the Biden administration which for years now has expressed a desire to ban AR-15s.
Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire, Fox News, and RealClearPolitics. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.