Drills, quick response minimized tragedy. But is this where America should be?

The active-shooter scene this time wasn’t from a school in a faraway town like Uvalde, Texas, but rather right down the street at the Central Visual and Performing Arts dual high school complex right across the street from Tower Grove Park. The scenes of ambulance gurneys carting away victims and panicked students and adults running for cover brought home, once again, the painful reality of life in America today: Lawmakers continue doing their best to ensure that as many people as possible have access to guns, leaving teachers and children to deal with the aftermath when those guns fall into the wrong hands.

It is a certainty that this gun terror will continue until those in power come to grips with the bloody consequences of their decisions. Republican lawmakers have turned American schools and communities into killing fields.


The only things that minimized the bloodshed in south St. Louis were the excellent preparation of students and teachers about where to go and what to do, and the rapid response of law enforcers — who quickly engaged and neutralized the shooter.

The gunman was slowed by the fact that the school was locked.

Seven security workers were on duty at the time, quickly joined by a swarm of local and federal law enforcers.

There was an exchange of what one student’s recording sounded like heavy semi-automatic gunfire. Officers appear to have reacted courageously and unhesitatingly — in stark contrast to the cowardly reluctance in Uvalde that certainly helped elevate that casualty toll.

Teachers and students worked quickly to hide and block classroom doors after heeding the code word — “Miles Davis” — over the school intercom.

Some students at first shrugged it off as just another drill, but the sound of gunshots and the gunman reportedly saying, “You are all going to (expletive) die,” brought home the deadly serious reality.

There is, of course, an alternative to school lockdowns and frightening active-shooter drills. That alternative is political: Convincing Republican lawmakers that the Second Amendment does not take priority over children’s (or adults’) lives.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri quickly tweeted out Monday that the news was “devastating,” and “we stand ready to offer all assistance possible.”

Local officials should take him up on that offer and ask Hawley to assist by leading Senate Republicans away from blind insistence on unbridled gun rights to something that more closely resembles sanity.

But Hawley, Gov. Mike Parson, state Attorney General Eric Schmitt and every other prominent Republican on the statewide or national scene refuse to see the link between their gun rights lunacy and the lunacy happening in America’s schools, playgrounds, shopping centers and concert venues.

Because of that, these mass shootings will happen again and again.

It’s up to voters to ensure those politicians aren’t allowed to wash the blood of St. Louis school kids from their hands with empty words of thoughts, prayers and “all assistance possible” platitudes.

— St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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