Uvalde, Guns, and Hubris

NeuwirthLawIn the News, Uncategorized

Stop school shooting – road sign

As a parent, human, and American, the disaster that was the school shooting at Uvalde cannot be more raw and upsetting.  This disaster was the result of the confluence of two problems. One is our gun crazy country and the other is the hubris of law enforcement.

Hubris means arrogance or an exaggerated self-confidence or belief in your own rightness and importance. The ancient Greeks believed hubris was a huge character flaw. In my professional work, I get to be the one pointing out the hubris and failures of people when they injure others through their ignorance and disregard of safety. Everyday people involved in a lawsuit are simply not used to being confronted and questioned about why they did something stupid and asked to explain it.

Unfortunately, in most of my cases, people simply do not do the basics of their jobs with predictably painful results. If you build something and it’s not to code, someone may get hurt. If you disregard driving laws, people are going to get hurt. If you fail to prevent obvious hazards, people will get hurt, and they will find me. TV and the media rarely reflect people taking responsibility for their actions. However, accountability comes at the end of lawsuits and generally years after someone screwed up and society has moved on to its latest disaster

I don’t have a solution to the gun problem. It is difficult to understand why you cannot rent a car until you are 25, but you can buy a gun at 18. The easy answer is that car rental companies recognize that teens and young people in their 20’s generally cause more problems and wreck cars. As a result, they simply say, nope, no rentals till you are out of that age range. Our government cannot do the same thing because they are simply hamstrung by too many compromising interests to list. I don’t know what the solution is, but I like the car rental approach.  But, what about the police at Uvalde? Here are these men and women in a small town in Texas, with badges on, carrying guns, and they can’t go do their job and hunt down a single teenager killing elementary school kids? They probably spent their lives thinking they were important members of the community, enforcing the law, etc. etc. etc. When it came time to act and do the right thing, they failed. I am guessing that you cannot sue the police in Texas any more than you can here in Pennsylvania. That’s sovereign immunity and a topic I write about periodically.

No amount of holding the police accountable will fix Uvalde’s families. It’s a sad statement about Texas, guns, law enforcement, and the inability of our society to act a little more like Enterprise Rent A Car. How hard is that?