Uvalde: Where do we go from here?

UVALDE, TX - MAY 24: Law enforcement work the scene after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where 19 people, including 18 children, were killed on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. The suspected gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was reportedly killed by law enforcement. (Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

By Ken Gulley

Horrified, disgusted, broken… there are a myriad of words to describe the horrors one feels in hearing the news about Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

19 Children and 2 adults stolen from our world all too soon in one of the most despicable ways. In a place that should be safe from the outside horrors of our world.

As a believer, I mourn alongside those who mourn today. I am called to do so but it is also so natural now. As a parent, I cannot imagine, nor would I ever want to feel this pain.

Yet no sooner than the tears of family members have fallen to the ground that this incident has already become politicized. Naturally (sadly) from every avenue and venue.

In all the talk and posturing, not an air of Truth is expressed in the angst of those politicized words.

As a believer in the 2nd Amendment, I have been un-mistakenly accused of murder alongside the monster who slaughtered those children. Yet, I still hate myself for taking up defensive measures to counter the allegations, nonsense, and illogical folly lobbed against me.

As an Abortion abolitionist, I have been accused of caring only for children in the womb and not for children outside of it. Foolishly, my opposition of oppressive gun laws that hamper the law-abiding man and woman rather than the criminal is mistaken as condoning violence.

As a man, I have been deemed anatomically inadequate for wanting to retain my Constitutionally protected Right to bear arms against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Because of these false labels, I feel the natural need defend myself but in doing so I am deemed the offender for taking a “defensive” stance on the eve of a dark day. Ironically, I hate myself for feeling the need to do such a thing more than those who paint me a as the getaway driver.

Thankfully, despite the appearance of my rebuttals, I care very little for the opinions of people that try to remove the speck from my eye when they have a whole forest in theirs. I do so mostly to refute the ignorance of the argument for those facing off against similar attacks.

As a man, I possess guns to defend my family and my children because I love them more than anyone on this earth. As an Abolitionist, I remain logically consistent in my understanding that arms save more lives every year (250,000-to-3,000,000) than they take (38,000 a majority being suicide). As a 2A supporter, I understand the importance of the need for such items that can defend the lives of millions against all tyranny.

So while millions offer empty platitudes and pontifications in defense of their ideological bias, I want to suggest the following items / policies as worthy changes that can ease the pain of bloodshed.

1. Incentivize Fatherhood – It’s tragic that this has to be suggested but the statistics on the impact of present and loving fathers is undeniable. Present and loving fathers decrease mental health issues, incarceration rates, gang violence participation, drug abuse, sexual abuse, behavioral problems, etc.

Whereas the vast majority of “mass shootings” occur because of inner city violence (especially related to minority/based gangs (3/4 black households are fatherless) . The impact of present fathers is the most important culture impacting change that can be made.

How do we do this? Reverse the harmful impact of the welfare state that creates a father out of the government. Offer tax-breaks for step-fathers. Make adoption easier and less expensive. Etc.

2. De-incentivize Violence again it goes without saying, this should not need to be urged. Yet, our radios, televisions, video games, and movies glorify violence in all its forms. To suggest that these do not have an impact on the culture is to be intentionally ignorant (that is to say “stupid”).

Whereas military uses video-games to train and de-sensitize their warriors, it is not illogical to suggest that the public is being desensitized to accept and encourage violence. We must stop this.

How do we do this? Make violent gaming, music, and other media more difficult to access for children (of course adults are responsible here). Warning labels and taxes on violent mediums should go to state programs that counter these issues (i.e. police youth programs, Gang intervention programs, nonprofits), etc

3. Properly Enforce Law- Lost in this entire argument is the incredible fact that those who yell loudly for “gun control“ also vote for the District Attorneys and activist Judges who employ Leftwing ideologies that are lax on violent offenders who use guns.

As a police officer, I cannot tell you the number of people I have personally put away or assisted in putting away for gang violence with guns. While I am lucky to have a “moderately-conservative” county and DA, these criminals still end up on the street weeks (if lucky) or months later. When convicted they receive light sentences that incentivize their lifestyle more than it discourages them.

It is almost as if the Left has a game plan to release as many violent offenders as possible, to stoke crime with guns, so that gun control can be pushed further on all law-abiding citizens. It makes no sense otherwise to continue this hypocritical stance.

How do we do this? Get rid of a DA’s ability to pick and choose which laws they will enforce. Purge judicial activist who do not enforce reasonable conviction rates. Make Judges and DAs accountable for their actions to the Public (lawsuit) and to the BAR for their inaction on offenders who repeat after completing a light sentencing or early release under their command.

4. Harden Soft Targets – Does it make much sense that banks, which protect our money, are more secure than our schools, which protect something more precious?

Fire codes are written into every building we occupy. At the very least, security codes can be written into and be standard for “gun-free” zoned locations like K-12 schools.

How do we do this? Like sprinklers and fire doors are standard for buildings, these schools should have basic security measures in the infrastructure that limit or prevent completely these mass events. This includes security controlled lockdown measures to keep out suspects, lighting controls, emergency response kits, active measure training, proper gating, and armed school resource security.

5. Completely new approach to mental health– perhaps the most difficult and all-encompassing change would come here.

Many if not all of the recent killers suffered from a form of mental illness. It is perhaps not natural to find a serial murderer who is not in some way, shape, or form, mentally damaged. It takes some cognitive stray to be okay will killing another human being. It is even difficult for humans to kill one another in self defense. This was a problem even in the military.

As a police officer, it is with great disdain that my brothers-in-arms and I deal with the same mentally disturbed individuals on a daily basis. We send them in for “5150” holds only to see them tossed out onto the street before we finish our shift.

The reason why many of these shooters were “known” to the FBI is not because of some grand conspiracy, it is because police (federal or otherwise) are often handicapped (for better AND for worse) from doing anything.

Many people on the Right decried Dan Crenshaws attempt to have a conversation about “Red Flag Laws.” The concern is understandable. The Left’s ability to twist any issue as a reason to consolidate power and remove Rights are terrifying, but we are handicapping ourselves if we are not part of the conversation to start. Every reasonable person believes it is stupid to hand a paranoid bi-polar schizophrenic a handgun. We can agree on that. So how do we find grounds for agreement on where enough signs of concerning mental illness and behavior constitute a reasonable and temporary confiscation of firearms to protect self and others?

I don’t have the answer to that question but I do know that failing to explore it is absolutely a stupid thing to do and the attack on those willing to do so (like Crenshaw) is tantamount to Right-winged cancel culture. I can be completely 2A (as I am) and still seek to find a reasoned argument in this area. If, while searching, I find none that doesn’t allow for an abuse of power by authoritarians than so be it.

Further, having been on patrol for 8 years, I know that drug abuse is one of the leading cause and catalyst of mental health issues (temporary and/or permanent). Yet, I find it odd that the Left, who loudly decries gun violence and limited mental health programming) believes the legalization of hard drugs is the answer to equity in the legal system.

We should also consider the grave mental health issues and toll that encouraging transgenderism on our youth is taking. Trans people as a whole are more likely to be sexually abused, abuse drugs, suffer from mental health issues (and suicide) than any other subcategories of people. To encourage this lifestyle on our youth is to offer a poisoned pill. Granting “acceptance” and celebrating said lifestyle won’t relieve these ills.

How do we tackle mental health? Elevate mental health wellness to that of the standard offered for physical health. De-stigmatize and encourage therapy, counseling, etc in schools, hospitals, and jails. Reverse course on hard drug proliferation and acceptance. Be willing to have the difficult conversation on Constitutional Rights and mental health.

Not listed above is the basic idea that started public education in the United States to begin with: bringing the moral knowledge of Universal Truth and the foundational wisdom that comes from the Fear of God back into education.

We cannot go on teaching society a godless, humanist, relativist, darwinist agenda and expect them to not declare that right and wrong is in the eye of the beholder. Education needs to trash the infatuation with grievance studies, critical theory, and intersectionality and teach all people to find contentment in God, being grateful for what they’re given now, even if it is imperfect. Unhappy, bitter, and discontented people do evil.

This isn’t a policy change, this is a societal and cultural change that starts at home much like fatherhood.

I don’t have all the answer. I won’t pretend to. My “how do we do it” suggestion are non-exhaustive thoughts off the top of my head.

What I do know is that arguing against the instrument of evil won’t fix the problem of evil. I believe these issues are foundational to the root problem but I know they’re not popular to work on because they require true and deep internal changes in our society. They force everyone to make critical changes and accept area of personal responsibility. They’re more akin to a root canal than a mere veneer offered by politicians.

We need a revival in our national that starts in our hearts, our homes, our churches, then our institutions. Laws will not and cannot fix the issue alone.