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Outrage Over the Delay at Uvalde: ‘A Total Failure of Law Enforcement’

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  • From Ukraine: ‘If the United States Helps Us, We Will Help the Whole World’
  • Practice What You Preach
  • Congratulations, New Dads! Now Pay Child Support.

Credit…Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Families Criticize Police for Delays in Texas Rampage” (front page, May 27):

From the first 911 call, when the killer crashed his car into a ditch, till the officers finally went into the classroom, almost 90 minutes had passed, and 19 precious and completely innocent children and two teachers were dead.

Little children, scared out of their minds, desperately calling for help, were completely ignored by law enforcement professionals trained to get to the shooter as quickly as possible. How could this have happened? How could any human being, much less a fully armed policeman, not burst through that classroom door with guns blazing and save as many lives as possible? This was a total failure of law enforcement.

What can we say to the rightly outraged family members, at least one of whom was placed in handcuffs to restrain her, who were forcibly stopped from rushing in to save their children? The answer is, sadly and tragically, nothing.

Henry A. Lowenstein
Newport, R.I.

To the Editor:

I believe that the people interested in gun safety have been given a huge opportunity by the police inaction in Uvalde. The police officers did not want to go in and confront a man with an AR-15-style rifle because they know how deadly those weapons are. We now need to enlist the police services to face up to the fact that even they do not want to confront AR-15s.

If they don’t want to — and who can blame them? — then they should support a ban on assault weapons. This should be a talking point of every single person interested in gun safety.

Tricia Lasky
Chatham, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Some 19 “good men with a gun” stood in the corridor while two unarmed female teachers tried to shield children from high-velocity bullets with their bodies. This is America’s eternal shame. It is highly unlikely anything meaningful will come of this. Too many Republican members of Congress value their jobs and their future electability more than they value the lives of our children.

Alec Davidson
Largo, Fla.

To the Editor:

In light of the mass shooting in Uvalde, it is gut check time for every law enforcement officer in the U.S. The following question needs to be asked of each and every one of them: In the event of a live shooting, if you are first on scene, are you willing to confront the shooter, irrespective of any other considerations, including lack of backup? If the answer is no, please turn in your badge and gun and look for another line of work.

Mark Godes
Chelsea, Mass.

To the Editor:

Faced with an active shooter, the Uvalde police officers were unable to react appropriately and make disabling the gunman the top priority. This occurred even though they had been so trained two months earlier.

The Republican strategy for dealing with school shootings? More guns. Arm the teachers. Perhaps untrained educators will perform better than the police. Seriously. That’s the plan?

Peter Doft
San Diego

From Ukraine: ‘If the United States Helps Us, We Will Help the Whole World’

Credit…Illustration by Rebecca Chew/The New York Times; photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready” (editorial, Sunday Review, May 22):

You write that President Biden must clearly indicate to Ukraine the limits of U.S. support and in effect force my country to negotiate with Russia. That’s a call for my country to capitulate to Russia and surrender part of our nation — even though we have survived and are capable of winning.

Imagine for a second that we listened to such “rational” arguments. Vladimir Putin would have millions more people under his control. He would have an agrarian superpower in his hands and would be able to blackmail the world not only with gas and oil but also with wheat. Bluntly: Ukraine’s takeover would return Russia to superpower status.

When you’re hit by a bully, you don’t ask him to hit you less hard and not in the face. You need to fight back. This is what is rational. And we are doing that right now — fighting back. If the United States helps us, we will help the whole world.

Oleksii Goncharenko
Kyiv, Ukraine
The writer is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament.

Practice What You Preach

Credit…Terra Fondriest for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “The Southern Baptist Moral Meltdown,” by David Brooks (column, May 27):

The Southern Baptist pastors who committed, covered up and perpetuated sexual abuse preached a moral code to others that they did not apply to themselves.

It seems similar to the many people who vehemently oppose government handouts, except when they themselves are in need, or who oppose abortion rights, except when they, or someone close to them, face an unexpected pregnancy. And how about all those who enact laws to secure the vote, while circumventing the norms of democracy and spreading lies about the vote count to get the result they desire?

One of the essential requirements for a civil society, and for mature individual behavior, is to actually live one’s life by the norms and values that one espouses. If Americans would practice what they preach, a lot of our problems and division would vanish.

Ron Meyers
New York

Congratulations, New Dads! Now Pay Child Support.

To the Editor:

Let’s not forget that for every woman who is denied the abortion she seeks, a man becomes a father. Congratulations, new dads! Welcome to state and federally mandated child support payments, bolstered where needed by DNA tests. And welcome to the possibility that the child could be entitled to claim a portion of your estate. Oh, and how about college costs? It’s a possibility.

Time to rethink?

Ruth Dixon-Mueller
Oakland, Calif.

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