Premium

How Texans really reacted to Uvalde shooting

(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

There’s no doubt in my mind that Texans were shaken by the events at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. This was a school in their home state, one where an unspeakable tragedy took place. One that didn’t have to happen, either.

As noted earlier this week, officials in Uvalde are calling for gun control.

That’s making the news, of course, as the small, conservative city’s call can be used for propaganda purposes.

Yet how did many Texans actually react to Uvalde? Well, they did what a lot of people would do. They bought guns.

Data from the FBI show that Texas saw a spike in background checks for gun purchases in the wake of the shooting at an elementary school in May.

The Texas Tribune first reported on the background check data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS), which shows that in June, the FBI ran 150,464 background checks on potential firearm purchases, representing an increase 17 percent compared to May. The shooting occurred at Robb Elementary School on May 24.

And it wasn’t just Texans who responded as such, either.

Following the shooting at the shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, the number of people in the United States who searched “Buy AR-15” on Google spiked significantly. Google Trends data showed that Missouri, New Hampshire and Idaho had the highest number of searches for the term.

However, let’s focus on Texas for a bit.

We keep hearing about how Texans are now clamoring for gun control. The Uvalde officials’ efforts are being held up as an example of just that. The idea is to show that pro-gun Texas wants regulations, so how can any lawmaker oppose such measures?

The problem is, that’s not Texas. Those are a few people who are being very loud but don’t necessarily represent the rank and file folks there.

Instead of seeking protection in laws that will be ignored by evil men, a lot of Texans bought guns. They bought them because they can plainly see that law enforcement either cannot or will not protect them. If the Uvalde police will wait outside while children are being slaughtered, what hope do they have of having the boys in blue swoop in to save the day when it’s their butts on the line?

It’s just not happening.

So, people woke up and armed up. They got guns because they recognize that they’re responsible for their own safety. They’re their own first responder.

That’s a lesson everyone needs to learn and learn well.

Look, most cops aren’t going to want to hold back like what happened in Uvalde. Most will recognize that waiting can cost lives in a situation like that. Most want to protect people from harm. They’re willing to put their lives on the line to do so.

But even if they were all willing to do just that, how are they going to be able to stop everything bad from happening? They can’t. There’s just not enough of them. It’s physically impossible for them to protect everyone.

Which means it’s up to you to protect yourself.

For a lot of people, Uvalde was a wake-up call. If the police won’t help fourth graders, why would they be required to help you? Why would they be willing to wait outside for 77 minutes while children are being killed but trip over themselves trying to protect you?

Obviously, they wouldn’t.

Further, the courts have ruled time and time again that they don’t have to. There’s no requirement for police to intervene to protect lives.

So, if you’re going to be faced with an armed attacker, it makes sense that you should be armed as well. Texans apparently learned that lesson after Uvalde.