More information about the Uvalde victims and the shooter

More information about the Uvalde victims and the shooter

Earlier today the word “idiot” was trending on Twitter. I’d never seen that happen before so I was curious what it was about. Turns out it was people on the left and right losing it over the Uvalde shooting. I can’t say I blame them, really. I included that word in a post earlier today but removed it before it went up. People should be angry when innocent kids (and adults) are murdered. No one wants this. It’s painful just to think about it.


For a bunch of families this is a nightmare that will never end.

You don’t have to know the kids whose lives were taken. If you have children then you remember your own kids at this age.


So, as always happens, Democrats are furious that Republicans won’t ban the sale of AR-15s to everyone and Republicans are sincerely wondering why we can’t protect schools with as much security as we protect airports. It’s the same argument we have every time there’s a school shooting and no one’s mind ever seems to change.

The person who is really to blame here is Salvador Rolando Ramos. He fits a pattern of kids like the Newtown shooter and the Virginia Tech shooter, people who were bullied and never fit in, who had problems at home or who were in need of some kind of mental help they didn’t get.

Santos Valdez Jr., 18, said he has known Ramos since early elementary school. They were friends, he said, until Ramos’s behavior started to deteriorate.

They used to play video games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty. But then Ramos changed. Once, Valdez said, Ramos pulled up to a park where they often played basketball and had cuts all over his face. He first said a cat had scratched his face.

“Then he told me the truth, that he’d cut up his face with knives over and over and over,” Valdez said. “I was like, ‘You’re crazy, bro, why would you do that?’”

Ramos said he did it for fun, Valdez recalled.


This kind of cutting/self-harm is a classic sign of someone who is not coping and who needs help dealing with their emotions. In this case, Ramos cut up his own face, not somewhere hidden from view. He was begging someone to pay attention but it seems no one did.

In middle school and junior high, Ramos was bullied for having a stutter and a strong lisp, friends and family said.

Stephen Garcia, who considered himself Ramos’s best friend in eighth grade, said Ramos didn’t have it easy in school. “He would get bullied hard, like bullied by a lot of people,” Garcia said. “Over social media, over gaming, over everything.”…

Garcia said he tried to stand up for him. But when Garcia and his mother relocated to another part of Texas for her job, “he just started being a different person,” Garcia said. “He kept getting worse and worse, and I don’t even know.”

As everyone knows, Ramos shot his grandmother before driving to the school. He had been kicked out of his mother’s house after fighting with her repeatedly.

“He posted videos on his Instagram where the cops were there and he’d call his mom a b—- and say she wanted to kick him out,” Reyes said. “He’d be screaming and talking to his mom really aggressively.”…

As he grew older, problems at home became more acute and more apparent to neighbors, Flores said. He described seeing police at the house and witnessing blowups between Ramos and his mother.

Multiple people familiar with the family, including Flores, said Ramos’s mother used drugs, which contributed to the upheaval in the home.


NBC News reports that his mother had a boyfriend who didn’t like Ramos:

Juan Alvarez, 62, who has been in a relationship with Ramos’ mother for about a year and lives with her, said Ramos had a tumultuous relationship with his mother that often included fights.

Alvarez said Ramos left his mother’s home two months ago to live with his grandmother after he got into an intense argument with his mother after he disconnected the Wi-Fi.

“He was kind of a weird one. I never got along with him. I never socialized with him. He doesn’t talk to nobody,” he said. “When you try to talk to him he’d just sit there and walk away.”

The fight over the wi-fi was apparently the last straw for Ramos’ mother. She kicked him out in an ugly scene where eight police officers were called to the house. Ramos’ grandmother owned the house that her daughter (Ramos’ mother) lived in and she was also aware of her daughter’s drug problem. She was trying to evict her daughter and the live-in boyfriend as recently as last weekend according to the next door neighbor.

None of that excuses what Ramos did obviously. He was a fragile personality who followed the path of similar kids like Adam Lanza and Seung-Hui Cho. He decided to kill himself by lashing out violently at people around them. He was a pathetic figure taking out his revenge on children who had nothing to do with him or his problems. But he’s not the first of his kind and he won’t be the last either. There are other time bombs out there like this. In fact, as you probably already know, media attention given to these incidents often invites copycats from other marginal people who want the same attention paid to them.


Is it really that hard to identify these kids before they get violent? I’m not so sure that’s the case. Local police, school authorities and the FBI all knew about Nikolas Cruz before the shooting in Florida. Ramos was obviously also known to local police and was missing a lot of high school which means he was known to school authorities as well. But as with Cruz, it seems no one wanted to be responsible for taking action to really deal with him. Each authority was doing the minimum to deal with him on their own turf and no one was connecting the dots.

Rather than try to remove the 2nd Amendment from the Constitution (which won’t happen) or have an armed squad of SRO/armed teachers protecting every school (which also won’t happen), I wish we could all agree to deal more aggressively with the disturbed kids who present the problem. If that means getting them mental health help, taking them out of school or removing guns from their homes I think a lot of people would support that so long as the focus is on the small number of people who represent the actual problem rather than the vast number of people who aren’t the problem (even if you still think they’re all idiots).

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