The massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in which a shooter killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school, has left America reeling. It’s the worst K-12 school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012, which almost — but tragically did not — lead to stricter laws on gun control. Perhaps it will this time. Certainly Republicans have no good solutions, apart from doing what they always do after mass shootings: nothing — except from collecting more NRA money.
Still, some Republican lawmakers have at least tried. Take Ted Cruz. After he was owned by an Arizona congressman over his robotic initial response to the massacre, he’s sprung into action. No, he didn’t flee to a beach resort. He’s offered his own solutions. In the past, Republicans have floated the idea of arming school teachers. Perhaps even they realized that’s an insane and dangerous idea, so some of them, Cruz included, came up with a comparatively elegant solution.
Cruz: Have one door… and have that one door, armed police officers at that door. If that had happened.. when that psychopath had arrived, the armed police officers could’ve taken him out… pic.twitter.com/YnOCDs9GAZ
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 25, 2022
“Have one door into and out of the school,” Cruz confidently thundered on Fox News. “And have that one door, armed police officers at that door.” Had Robb Elementary School been a giant building with a single door, Cruz averred, “when that psychopath arrived, the armed police officers could’ve taken him out, and we’d have 19 children and two teachers still alive.”
Of course, he left out the part where multiple officers spotted the perpetrator before he entered the school, but were unable to stop him. But perhaps Cruz didn’t feel that was pertinent to his foolproof plan.
Of course, there were a lot of holes in Cruz’s logic, as people on Twitter were happy to point out.
Hard to see any flaws whatsoever in having a singular door to get out of a school https://t.co/2Wn3Y4eVJM
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) May 26, 2022
Mr. Murder Bacon actually out there suggesting even more ways to get your kids killed at school. https://t.co/8b1sesVg09
— Steven DeKnight (@stevendeknight) May 26, 2022
and if there’s another kind of emergency that requires getting out of the building as quickly as one can? https://t.co/m0qAhg8mdT
— Monica Lewinsky (she/her) (@MonicaLewinsky) May 26, 2022
This is not possible for many schools. The high school that I went to in California, for instance, was outdoors. It was made up of bungalow-style buildings and you walked outside on the campus to get to each class. https://t.co/A3aZDytRg4
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 26, 2022
watching municipal workers weld every fire exit on the elementary school shut so we can try to keep all the armed child murderers (a problem we have in our country) out of the schools https://t.co/OM0Gn3lBWz
— Elizabeth Bruenig (@ebruenig) May 26, 2022
One problem with Cruz’s solution? There could be a fire, and then thousands of students, teachers, and staff would be stuck trying to cram through a single exit.
Again, I hate entertaining this nonsense, but let’s follow this logically. Are all the doors and windows to the school sealed to make it like a bunker? What if there is a fire?
These aren’t serious proposals. These are stalling tactics. https://t.co/E8LFQhycBD
— George Clark (@GeorgeVClark) May 26, 2022
Tell me you don’t understand basic fire safety without telling me you don’t understand basic fire safety. https://t.co/yt53p1RpBn
— Dan Primack (@danprimack) May 26, 2022
Until a fire happens. Of course, windows exist, but then the shooter can go that route.
So maybe just windowless pillboxes for schools which can have secret doors and armed guards at all times?
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) May 26, 2022
Now, now, for those wondering about fires, Ted would just make the school buildings completely fireproof. Problem solved! https://t.co/YZO3GNn0pb
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 26, 2022
Or if a shooter did get in, then everyone would be trapped inside with them.
Lots of people are rightfully bashing this moronic idea because of things like the fire code.
But it’s also fucking stupid for defense against a school shooter. If a madman with a gun gets into that one door, it’s going to make it awfully hard for anyone else to get out. https://t.co/6o6SnWVmtX
— Roy Cav (@CombatCavScout) May 26, 2022
I post this every time a Republican tries to get tactical by repeating the same stupid idea about severely limiting access to schools: If you make it this tough for the shooter to get in, THE KIDS CAN’T GET OUT. This is a basic principle. https://t.co/fnysa51y06
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) May 26, 2022
— Aaron Levie (@levie) May 26, 2022
Then there’s the nightmare it would be getting everyone — again, thousands of people, five days a week — in and out every day.
It is common for schools to have thousands of students. Who is going to protect the thousands of students lining up each morning, waiting to get into the one door? The GOP is this close to proposing military green zones for schools rather than accept minimal regulations on guns. https://t.co/3mpSZ5OFRK
— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) May 26, 2022
Let’s not even mention that forcing the nation’s K-12 students to spend most of their early years in what sounds like a maximum security prison would almost certainly be infinitely more traumatizing than whatever Republicans like Ron DeSantis think happens when kids learn that some people are gay and trans.
He’s describing a prison. This won’t stop at the schools. It’s going to extend like a vine of armed sentries across public life. https://t.co/kH7ay0T6Dg
— Brandon Farmahini (@MrFarmahini) May 26, 2022
Because this is Cruz, there were also jokes.
— caitie delaney (@caitiedelaney) May 26, 2022
And also … big robots and trained gorillas and there could be race cars for everybody and and and https://t.co/XXar3mfHvl
— That Tom Tomorrow guy (@tomtomorrow) May 26, 2022
To be fair, Cruz isn’t the only one who thinks the real problem with gun violence is doors. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick thinks so, too.
Guns don’t kill people; architects kill people. pic.twitter.com/faJjNvqJRn
— todd levin (@toddlevin) May 26, 2022
Of course, there’s a much simpler way to protect America’s young students from mass murderers with semi-automatic rifles: Pass at least minimal gun control laws. Maybe they can start with background checks, which are consistently supported by a vast majority of the country. But then all those NRA checks might not clear.