NYT makes interesting observation about Uvalde and gun control

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

In the wake of a mass shooting, you tend to hear a lot about survivors and those who lost family members.. In particular, you hear about those who rail against gun control. You hear about Fred Guttenberg on every news channel. Less so about our own Ryan Petty.

Uvalde was no different in that regard.

Yet while the media focuses on those who want gun control–literally ignoring everyone from there who doesn’t–the New York Times suddenly discovered the issue is a bit more complicated.

Despite the passage of time, there is still strong disagreement over who should be fired for the slow police response to one of the worst school shootings in American history, and what position the town should take on the repeated calls from families of the victims to restrict guns. Neighbors who have known each other for years now find themselves unable to agree and more distant than ever before.

“We used to be a close community,” Mr. Rizo said after the school board meeting on May 15. “Now it’s like we don’t know each other anymore.”

United in grief in the weeks after the shooting that ignited a national firestorm over how the police respond to mass shootings, Uvalde in the painful months since then has drifted apart, dividing along fault lines that barely existed a year ago.

The fissures run deep and remain raw: between the victims’ relatives lobbying for stricter gun laws, and neighbors who have long been avid hunters and gun owners and bristle at any new restrictions; between supporters of the police, who are the subject of a district attorney’s investigation for their delay in taking down the gunman, and residents who now distrust law enforcement; between those still in mourning and those who would like to move on.

Do you mean to tell me that not everyone in Uvalde is screaming for gun control?

I find that interesting because that’s sure as hell how it’s presented by people like the New York Times. “Uvalde families call for this,” or “Uvalde families demand that.”

That’s exactly how it’s laid out, so much so that people forget that many of us touched by these horrific events are, in fact, pro-gun. I’ve already mentioned Ryan as just one example. I, unfortunately, am another, though nowhere on the scale of Ryan with regard to how I was impacted.

In fact, the whole situation is a lot more complicated than many people realize.

I find it interesting that the Times decided to outline these divisions. I’m quite sure they were flabbergasted that they even existed. After all, in the minds of the folks who work there, it should be obvious that gun control is the answer.

It’s not and it never was, but folks who live and work inside the brain bubble that is New York City likely are unaware that millions of Americans look at situations like Uvalde and recognize that gun control isn’t the answer.

What happened that day was a police failure more than anything, but there were probably a lot of mistakes made that day. How the killer was able to gain access to the school, for example, is a huge problem.

Not everyone there is focused on the gun because, like many places in Texas, they recognize that the gun has no volition of its own. It can’t make decisions. It’s the person pulling the trigger that does that.

I’m glad to see the Times at least acknowledge that not everyone in Uvalde has shifted into a gun control aficionado. I’m sure that was difficult for them to admit, but it’s no less true.