It’s not their incompetence and cowardice.

By John Stoehr, The Editorial Board

Texas law enforcement authorities said last week that Salvador Ramos got into Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, by way of a door propped open by a teacher. From there, they said, Ramos found a classroom with two teachers and 19 fourth-graders. He shot them all to pieces.

Uvalde water tower

The same officials said Tuesday the door was not propped open. Nor was it propped open by a teacher. Instead, the teacher closed it. The problem was the door didn’t lock, they said. That’s how Ramos got in.

The presumption is that we’ll believe this.

The new detail, about the unlocked door, gives the impression that the kids weren’t slaughtered because police dithered for an hour. It gives the impression the school is at fault for having a door that didn’t lock.

Salvador Ramos was a product of a social environment in which brownness equals weakness. History is full of oppressed and vulnerable people working hard to prove their whiteness.

Together, these impressions provide cover for the Uvalde police’s breathtaking incompetence and cowardice. Federal agents were prepared to take the shooter down. Local cops wouldn’t let them. Only after mothers wailed in despair at the sound of gunfire inside the school did Border Patrol officers storm the building and kill Ramos.

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