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Uvalde

I don’t have anything clever or original to say about the horrible tragedy in Uvalde. There’s a vast amount of stories and heartbreaking photos out there, so go and look to the extent that your heart and mental health can endure. I’ll simply note a couple of stories that I think say more about Greg Abbott than any insult I could hurl at him, and the contrast with Beto O’Rourke speaks for itself. I will also co-sign this sentiment, which should serve as a reminder that no matter how little you think of Ted Cruz, he’s worse than that.

There are many things you can do in response to Tuesday’s massacre, and all of them involve getting enough people who have had enough to the polls to throw out the callous nihilists who just don’t care about children being murdered on the regular. There’s also one thing you can do right now that may yield a more immediate effect:

I should note that it’s not clear to me that the city can cancel this convention. There’s a contract that was signed and it spells out the conditions under which one party or the other can back out – I’m not sure what grounds the city would cite. I do know there would be a lawsuit; as you may recall there was one filed in 2020 over the Republican convention in Houston, which the city canceled due to COVID; in the end a federal judge allowed it to happen for sketchy reasons. The city prevailed initially in the state lawsuit but that ruling was vacated earlier this year by the 14th Court of Appeals and the Texas GOP has re-filed its suit. They still may lose, but they’re not done yet, and if the city loses it could be quite costly.

Which doesn’t mean you can’t demand the city find a way to do this anyway. And for sure, you can make sure every one of the ghouls that shows up for that atrocity feels unwelcome while they’re here. I’m just compelled to point this stuff out, it’s what I do. The Chron has more on the planned protest activity. Now go take action and make some good trouble.

UPDATE: Mayor Turner has specifically mentioned the possibility of lawsuits if the city were to cancel the contract with the NRA for its convention. There’s still plenty we can do to make their time here as unpleasant as possible.

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16 Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    I am just annoyed that all 3 planned protests are impossible to attend if one is a person with a job in a school (on the last week of school)

  2. Flypusher says:

    From the Texas Tribune:

    “I can’t believe that you’re a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” McLaughlin said.

    Addressing the Mayor’s comment, I can’t think of a better use of playing politics than preventing future slaughters of children in their classrooms. Does he truly believe this is not a political issue? Or is this just standard deflection? Neither is a good look for him.

  3. Kibitzer says:

    RE: VENUE DENIAL – FIRST AMENDMENT, FOLKS!

    It seems that such a cancellation wouldn’t just be a breach of contract, but would be viewpoint-based and likely in violation of the First Amendment, assuming it’s a decision of the city/governmental entity or attributable to it. And no Act-of-God excuse here for canceling. –> Force majeure

    There was obviously a decision in the first instance to contract for the event. No contracts without mutual assent. And for a local government to refuse to do business with groups on the basis of their position on an issue of public concern would likewise seem to raise First Amendment concerns.

    For private entities, it’s a different legal scenario. See recent decision in Netchoice, LLC v. Attorney General of the State of Florida, No. 21-12355 (11th Cir. May 23, 2022) (The question at the core of this appeal is whether the Facebooks and Twitters of the world—indisputably “private actors” with First Amendment rights—are engaged in constitutionally protected expressive activity when they moderate and curate the content that they disseminate on their platforms.)

    https://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/202112355.pdf

  4. Flypusher says:

    This story gets even more disturbing with reports about the initial police response. Dan Patrick wants schools to have just a single entrance. What is his plan for safely evacuating everyone in the event of a fire or a bomb threat?

  5. C.L. says:

    @Fly… Dan Patrick may be a bigger ass clown than Greg Abbott, and Abbott has a pretty high bar of assclownery already.

  6. Ross says:

    You can have a dingle entrance and multiple exits. Many businesses have limited entrance points but numerous fire/emergency exits that cannot be opened from the outside. They are usually alarmed as well. Some also have a timer that delays opening by 15 seconds.

  7. Flypusher says:

    Americans journalists need to learn from their British colleagues:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/malonebarry/status/1529784584996630528

    Cruz cannot be shamed, but some voters might be.

  8. Joel says:

    Surprised we haven’t heard from JH with this:

    https://www.salon.com/2022/05/26/tucker-carlson-tries-to-link-uvalde-massacre-to-while-rejecting-restrictions_partner/

    Among the causally- and critically-challenged, anything that happened yesterday could be the reason for what happened today.

  9. John Hansen says:

    Flypusher: I served on a Houston area K-12 school board and was serving at the time of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Partially at my urging, we did a total security audit of every district building. Numerous issues were discovered that compromised the security of various campuses. One of the key issues was building access. We redesigned all the building entrances to have a single entry point where “guests” could be vetted. Included in the vetting was a system we purchased to check each person entering on the criminal background database. This does mean shutting down the ability of outsiders to enter through any other doors. However, in an emergency all of these doors can be released so that students and staff can get out. So Dan Patrick’s point, at least in my experience, is actually sound. If you can’t secure all of your entrances, you are vulnerable to what happened in Uvalde.

    Another point for which I have so far seen no explanation is why the school security officer (who is armed) was not on the campus when the shooter arrived. Of what use is a security officer who is off premises?

    While I have no wish to be guilty of attacking the victims, what I have heard so far leads me to believe that Uvalde ISD did not think through their security systems and protocols very well. From accounts I have read, the police arrived fairly timely from the 911 call, but then stood around for 30 or 40 minutes because they did not know how to access the area where the shooter was located. If this is indeed true, it is inexcusable to be so lacking in a basic security plan.

    This is obviously a dangerous world. We can’t eliminate all risk, but a well designed security system and protocols could have contained the shooter away from the classrooms until the police arrived. I think the Uvalde administration needs to shoulder some blame here for an inadequate job of security design.

  10. J says:

    The cops didn’t go in because, according to the DPS, “they could have been shot.” Yes that’s right, and they kept parents from going in too. The words everyone seems to be looking for but somehow cannot find are ‘cowards’, ‘cowardly’ and ‘craven cowardice’.

  11. Flypusher says:

    I have no issues with rethinking building designs. But these GOP politicians tout this as if it’s the ultimate solution to this problem. The elephant in the room that they tap dance around is the toxic fetishizing of guns, which is the foundation of this evil. It’s a poisonous weed that’s been cultivated for decades, its roots have sunk deep into our society, and it’s going to take even longer to uproot.

  12. Flypusher says:

    That happened at Parkland too IIRC.

  13. Ross says:

    Lots of news on this that mentions a teacher opened a door and propped it open, and that’s how the shooter gained entry. It does no good to design good security if it gets bypassed.

    From the accounts coming in now, it seems like some of the police, especially the ones in charge, were craven cowards. There were apparently 19 or 20 police in the hallway outside the classroom for 40 minutes before they entered and killed the shooter.

  14. Flypusher says:

    The cops don’t want to go in because they are out-gunned, which leads us right back to the elephant in the room.

  15. Ross says:

    The cops weren’t outgunned. 20 of them spend nearly an hour in the hallway because the onsite commander had no clue what was going on. They were supposedly waiting for more vests and such. I do not find that argument compelling.

  16. Flypusher says:

    I beg to differ here. In Uvalde and in Buffalo you have 18 year olds with body armor and high capacity weapons. The hero security guard at the Buffalo Topps supermarket tried to protect the people in the store, but he was out gunned. I would like to see the police be de-militarized, but civilians with all this military grade equipment is going to interfere with that.