On May 24, 2022, a teenager walked into in elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and proceeded to murder 21 people, including 19 children. In the nearly two months since the tragedy, we’ve learned that nearly 400 members of law enforcement rushed to the scene, yet it took more than an hour for the shooter to be confronted. Rather than question how the police ended up with such a clusterf*ck on their hands, lawmakers have instead offered up all sorts of utterly stupid reasons for why the shooting occurred (Texas congressman blamed those “dang smartphones”) and even dumber ideas on how to prevent further gun violence that don’t involve enacting stricter gun laws (senator Ted Cruz wants better “door control,” while governor Greg Abbott has barely even acknowledged the loss of life). On Tuesday, Trevor Noah reported on what might be one of the most pointless responses in the wake of the Uvalde massacre: clear backpacks.
As Noah explained, Texas authorities have completed their report on how well the Uvalde Police Department—who stopped cooperating with authorities shortly after the incident—handled the shooting. “And the report concluded that the cops, and I’m quoting here, ‘sucked ass,’” Noah said. However, the report also stated that even if the police’s response had been “flawless,” the end result would have likely been about the same because, as Noah explained, “someone armed with AR-15-style rifle can just do too much damage too fast.” So how can schools be better prepared to ward off such tragedies in the future? Well, Noah had an answer for that, too:
The solution to try and stop the next shooting is obvious. And no, don’t say it’s banning the AR-15s—that’s racist. The Constitution is very clear about who has rights in this country. It goes: Corporations, guns, children, then guns again, then the National Anthem, then women—but only women who are holding a gun. That’s pretty much it.
But apparently if you’re open-minded, there are lots of ways to stop school shootings without getting rid of guns.
As Noah shared, the Dallas Independent School District came up with one totally innovative solution: clear backpacks for students in 6th through 12th grades. Local news anchors and experts declared the move “relatively ineffective,” as there are plenty of places to hide a gun. And right around the 4:25 mark, a video shows a man who evaded the clear backpack rule by hiding what appeared to be 708 guns inside his pants. (“GODDAMN!” Noah exclaimed.)
Noah went on to explain that he’s “constantly amazed at how America’s constantly willing to get rid of everything except guns. Everything will be considered: ‘Ok, let’s get rid of normal backpacks. Everything is see-through now. Also, you know what, no more clothes for these kids. Yeah, yeah. They could be hiding the guns anywhere. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, just get rid of all the kids in school. That way the guns can finally go there in peace.” Which, sadly, doesn’t far too off-base.
There’s also the simple fact that this measure completely ignores the fact that the Uvalde gunman was not a student, so wouldn’t have been required to wear a clear backpack in the first place. But any options that don’t involve reducing the number of guns in circulation or making it more difficult for people to obtain them seems to be a-ok by by Texas lawmakers, regardless of how many innocent people are murdered in the process.
You can watch the full segment above, beginning around the 2:50 mark.