Texas school shooting: US to review police response to incident
The United States Department of Justice has announced it will investigate the police response to the mass shooting incident at a Uvalde school in Texas, which killed 19 students and two teachers last week. The public is outraged after it was revealed that officers waited in the school corridor for nearly an hour before acting, while children locked inside with the shooter dialed 911.
Why does this story matter?
Launching a Critical Incident Review, the Department of Justice said it aims to "provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day and to identify lessons...and best practices to help first responders prepare for...active shooter events." The May 24 incident has prompted new calls for gun control measures in the US, which witnessed two mass shootings in less than 10 days.
Police waited for over 40 minutes to enter school
Authorities reportedly admitted on Friday that the police had waited over 40 minutes to enter the school because they initially didn't believe there was an "active shooter" situation. The senior police officer on duty opted to wait till the school janitor showed up with the keys as they thought "no kids were at risk" by then or "no one was living anymore," reported BBC.
All about President Joe Biden's visit to Uvalde
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden met with the victims' families and attended a memorial at Robb Elementary School on Sunday. They were seen consoling the school's principal next to commemorative plaques for the teachers and children who died. Later, the couple went to a Catholic Mass, where protesters outside yelled, "Do something!" as Biden walked out. "We will," he reportedly replied.
'I am sick and tired. We have to act': Biden
"When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?" Biden said at the White House shortly after the Texas mass shooting incident last week. He added, "I am sick and tired. We have to act." Biden had also ordered the flags at the White House, federal buildings, and military posts be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect.
School shooting was second such incident within 10 days
The Texas incident is the deadliest since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, in which 26—including 20 children—were killed. It came after an 18-year-old opened fire at a grocery store in New York's Buffalo, killing 10 African-Americans, on May 14. On May 15, too, one person was killed and five injured when a man fired at a Taiwanese-American congregation in a California church.
Biden unlikely to propose policy proposal or issue executive order
Since the start of 2022, the US has witnessed more than 200 mass shootings. However, White House officials reportedly said that Biden is unlikely to make any specific gun control-related policy proposals or issue an executive order in the new few weeks to avoid meddling with delicate discussions between Senate Democrats and Republicans. Notably, the Republicans are opposed to any form of gun regulation.
Donald Trump rejects call for tightening gun control
On the other hand, former US President Donald Trump on Friday rejected calls for more stringent gun control measures in the country following the Texas school shooting incident. Trump said that decent Americans should be allowed firearms, which they need to defend themselves against "evil." "The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens," Trump claimed.
Vice-President Kamala Harris advocates ban on assault weapons
Meanwhile, while attending the funeral of Ruth Whitfield, an 86-year-old woman killed in a shooting incident in Buffalo, on Saturday, US Vice-President Kamala Harris made an impassioned speech for a ban on assault weapons. The grocery store attack in a predominately Black neighborhood is suspected to have been racially motivated. Notably, the teen suspect in the case had reportedly purchased an AR-15-style weapon legally.
'Assault weapon is a weapon of war': Harris
"Do you know what an assault weapon is? It was designed for a specific purpose: to kill a lot of human beings quickly. An assault weapon is a weapon of war, with no place, no place in a civil society (sic)," Harris said on Saturday.
About the NRA in US
The National Rifle Association, or the NRA, is considered to be the most powerful gun rights organization in the US. It has rejected most initiatives to prevent mass shootings, including expanding background checks on gun purchases. However, its influence has waned as it has become entangled in legal battles linked to a corruption scandal. Notably, the US has witnessed 214 mass shootings this year.