Appearing on Newsmax’s “American Agenda” on Monday, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) assessed a new report on the Uvalde shooting, pointing out that the blame lies with the people higher up in the chain of command.
Responding to a 77-page report criticizing the law enforcement response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Rosendale asserted that he doesn’t think that people can “lay this on the lap” of rank-and-file law enforcement.
“There’s a chain of command and it ends up going up the ranks,” the Montana Republican said. “You have a couple of people that are making the decisions about what took place.”
The report, which was released on Sunday, was compiled by a special Texas House committee specifically focused on the shooting. The committee interviewed 33 witnesses, and conducted 39 other informal interviews. The first in-depth report on the Uvalde school shooting revealed that nearly 400 members of law enforcement rushed to the scene of the shooting, yet “egregiously poor decision-making” led to more than an hour passing before law enforcement actually shot and killed the gunman, who had murdered 19 children and two adults in the time it took for them to act.
“It’s tragic,” Rosendale stated. “What happened there, any time that we see that much loss of life, especially of children, it’s a tragic situation.”
Despite the obvious failures of law enforcement, the GOP congressman says that the focus of lawmakers must remain on addressing mental health and providing school districts with the proper tools to protect their schools.
“I live in a very large state, as you know, Montana, very rural, and we do have some suburban areas within the state, and clearly, the school districts that are in Missoula or in Bozeman are much different than a little country school out in Dawson County or McCone County, on the eastern side of the state,” Rosendale said.
“We have to make sure that we deliver the resources those folks and I think that also demonstrates just how critically important it is for us to eliminate gun-free zones because all they are is attractive to people who have these terrible mental conditions and desires to take the lives of other individuals,” he added.
Rosendale went on to note that he believes the blame for these mass shootings lies on the “breakdown of the family.”
“When I was in high school, which was not that long ago, you were allowed to not only drive around with a gun in the back window of your vehicle but you were allowed to bring it onto the school parking lot,” the GOP congressman said. “Most of the time I found myself walking into school with that gun sitting in the back window.”
“Not only was it there, but the vehicles were typically unlocked and many days I left the keys right in the ignition,” Rosendale added. “There is a serious breakdown across our country right now in our families that is driving this problem.”