There's been much talk about and analysis of the police response at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The criticism began early. I listened and waited for the official investigation report. https://www.kxan.com/news/texas/uvalde-school-shooting/uvalde-families-view-shooting-video-preliminary-report-before-official-release/ We were told that 77 minutes lapsed with no action from officers. The video was released. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/full-video-of-hallway-during-uvalde-shooting/vi-AAZG0Bo?category=foryou I heard the criticism of the officer seen in the video lookiing at his phone. I made no judgement and waited. There was a good explanation for his behavior. https://nypost.com/2022/07/13/uvalde-officer-checks-phone-with-punisher-lock-screen-during-texas-school-shooting/
What we witnessed in the video was one of the more frightening plagues of our time:
Lack of Leadership
It's been said that "Leaders are born, not made." So, if some have the natural proclivity to lead, how have we lost leadership? Conditioning. Today our schools, corporations, legal counsel, and professional supervisors tell us to supress natural leadership; "wait for approval", "don't risk your career", "always follow protocol", etc...
Those officers were all waiting to be told it was okay to engage. American citizens are being trained from birth to be part of the herd. Don't stand out, don't make decisions that aren't yours to make, leave it to the experts. We teach people to fear ridicule, demotion, and "doxing". We embed fear to step out and lead.
I am convinced that the officers were waiting for a leader and that most of the other officers would have followed if just one had taken the iniative to engage the shooter. Leadership engenders courage. Conversely, fear is like a fast-acting cancer. You can smell fear on someone. I do not know if any of the officers are combat veterans, but I do know that combat soldiers are told to request permission to engage the enemy. That deters leadership.
It's also been said that "Leaders are made, not born". If that's true it's time to start making leaders. It's not an easy to train a person to lead, but the effort is worth it. Everything in our society tells kids to be sheep in the herd. Identifying a natural leader is a gold mine. Developing that gift is an honor. It's time to honor and reward leadership again.