I realize that most people are focused on the police response, or lack thereof, to the Uvalde shooting. As they should be. Even in the early days after the shooting, it was clear that law enforcement threw out decades of training and protocol to pursue an avenue of cowardice.
However, I’m more interested in a different coward. I’m of course, talking about Salvador Ramos, another craven goon who felt it necessary to violently take out his own inadequacies on a schoolroom full of 10-year-olds.
This past week, A Texas House committee released a preliminary report about the Uvalde shooting and the subsequent police inaction. The report has given us a clearer look into the machinations of Ramos leading up to the shooting. But first, we need to go back into Ramos’ childhood.
Ramos allegedly told an ex-girlfriend that as a child, he had been sexually assaulted by one of his mother’s boyfriends. Supposedly, his mother didn’t believe him. If this claim is true, it goes a long way in explaining why he started down on such a twisted path.
However, before we proceed, I’d like to explain a few things first. When I say ‘if this claim is true’ I’m not trying to diminish the claims of anyone who has been sexually assaulted. Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for criminals like this to make up stories that either make them seem more sympathetic or garner them attention.
Having said that, I believe Ramos’ claim. For those of you who have been longtime readers, you may remember a site I used to have called Bad Breeders that detailed stories of child abuse. On BB, there were far too many stories where children were abused by the parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend, with the parent taking the side of their latest squeeze.
I can kind of relate, since I know carrying around a secret like this can mentally destroy someone. I grew up in a home that was rife with domestic violence. In my pre-teen years, I witnessed multiple instances of my dad brutally beating my mom. What made the situation worse was that I couldn’t tell anyone about it. Not my school, not the police, not my priest, no one. To do so would only result in more beatings for my mom. Neither my mom nor myself had any place that was safe. I think it goes without saying that living like this left me mentally scarred for the rest of my life.
However, this doesn’t mean that every kid who gets molested becomes a mass murderer. Conversely, not every kid who grows up in a DV household becomes a stand-up citizen. At some point, all of us that were traumatized as children need to make a choice about how we’re going to live the rest of our lives. Ramos could have grown up to become an advocate for abused children. Instead, he chose a path of hatred, violence, and cowardice.
That wasn’t the only defining moment in Ramos’ life, either. He was said to have been bullied in the fourth grade, in the same classroom where he killed innocent children. Ramos was said to have a speech impediment and was also bullied for coming from a low-income family.
However, his teacher met with Ramos’ mother and promised her that Ramos would have a safe place in her classroom. The rest of the school year was supposedly good for Ramos. Ramos may have carried that grudge with him since fourth grade, as he complained about the bullying to friends just weeks before the shooting.
It seems he leaned heavily into the bullied school shooter trope. According to the report, Ramos became obsessed with school shootings, especially when it came to the infamy that shooters would supposedly gain. Friends of Ramos said that he would watch and share violent and gory videos. He allegedly made his own disturbing video of himself riding around in his friend’s car while holding a dead cat in a plastic bag. Ramos also posted a handful of videos on TikTok and YouTube and after receiving a few views he started telling people he was famous.
So, as with most school shootings since Columbine, Ramos is just another clout-seeking copycat. Except, he didn’t count on a couple of things. One is that he’s only one more name in a long line of copycats. Until this country’s government wants to get serious about gun control, there will be other nameless cowards who will follow him and also be forgotten. Secondly, Ramos didn’t take into account that the police would so thoroughly botch their response that they would become the main story rather than the murders themselves. More people will remember the name of Uvalde School District police chief, Pete Arredondo, than they will the name of the shooter.
What really surprises me most about this report was that Ramos is said to have never fired a gun prior to the shooting itself. While he was 17, he had asked two relatives to buy the guns for him, but they refused. After he turned 18 and bought the guns legally, he had trouble trying to use them. One uncle of his said that he struggled to set the magazine into the gun, with the magazine repeatedly falling to the floor. This is unusual for a number of reasons. First off, most school shooters practice with their guns months before their shootings, with many of them recording their time with their toys. Secondly, it’s Texas. We have uncles just sitting around watching him struggle with a gun and not teaching him to use it ‘properly’? Apparently, it didn’t take him long to learn how to use it well enough to murder 21 victims with an assist from police.
So, once again, we get back to the question of whether or not school shootings are a gun issue or a mental health issue. The ‘responsible gun owners™’ will tell you it’s solely a mental health issue. God forbid anything should even remotely come close to taking their jerbs… I mean guns.
It’s obvious to anyone with a shred of intelligence that the answer is both a gun and mental health problem. However, the 2nd Amendment flag wavers are also the people who not only don’t believe in mental healthcare, but they stigmatize it every chance they get. Imagine growing up in a deep red part of Texas and asking for help with a mental health problem. You’d more than likely be told to man up, and how can you possibly have mental health concerns at your age?
I guess if you really think about it, ignorance is the real cause of most school shootings.
- A year before Uvalde shooting, gunman had threatened women, carried around a dead cat and been nicknamed “school shooter”
- Uvalde shooter had never fired a gun before school massacre, damning report from Texas lawmakers finds
- Uvalde killer was mocked as a ‘school shooter,’ griped about bullying at school before deadly rampage