Vittert: ‘Nothing’s changed’ as Uvalde students return

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — A child heading back to school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday said: “I feel kind of nervous and, like, scared if it’s going to happen again.”

I would be scared, too.

Imagine that’s your kid. Three months after the massacre in May, you can’t look him or her in the eye and say you’re safe. You can’t say it won’t happen.

The truth is nothing has changed. Sadly, we were right back in May.

“For all the promises and hope of never again will we have to see something like this … history tells us that we will. Uvalde will move on in the national memory into something like Parkland or Newtown. Sad events, but ones that don’t really affect us every day or every week or even every month,” we said in the aftermath of the tragedy.

The truth is kids aren’t safer in school across this country than they were the day before the shooting in Uvalde.

At this point, you would expect me to touch on gun control. But that hasn’t happened. As we predicted, the debate about any meaningful gun laws ended pretty quickly.

One thing that has changed in Uvalde is the school district releasing footage of someone happily using a buzz system on a door.

It’s not funny. It’s absurd, and it’s deadly serious.

Remember the parents screaming outside the school back in May? Their kids were inside. They could hear the gunshots. Remember them begging the police to go in? Remember the video of police officers milling around in the hallway while the gunman killed more?

Nothing’s changed. For all the billions spent on school security, for all the tens of thousands of police trained in active shooter drills, it still comes down to police willing to go into the school.

Pete Arredondo, the then-school district chief of police, failed the kids. failed the parents and failed his fellow officers by ordering them to stand down. The school district fired him.

But it all comes back to a scared little girl heading back to school.

We took no pleasure saying this in May and take no pleasure now. It will happen again. Some deranged psychopath with a gun will try to kill kids.

What we hope doesn’t happen again — what can’t happen again — is the people sworn to protect them standing on the sidelines.

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