by Sharon Rondeau

(Jun. 9, 2022) — An open letter published at The Post & Email following the May 24 mass shooting of 19 children and two educators in Uvalde, TX was a topic of discussion on the Lee Elci Show on 94.9 News Now on Thursday morning.

Elci’s guest during the 8:35 to 8:55 a.m. block, former Connecticut congressman and current Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons, is also a retired U.S. Army colonel and raised the issues of “guns,” making schools more difficult for would-be attackers to penetrate, and the need for police to act without hesitation in an active-shooter situation.

In small New England towns, a selectman is an elected member of a governing board, with the First Selectman having the highest authority of the group. Larger cities maintain mayoral leaders.

During the discussion, which began with callers’ questions, Simmons referenced an “op-ed” written by a longtime acquaintance which, although not mentioning his name, referred to Capt. James Hoover, USAF, CACM (Ret).

In response, Simmons cited news coverage directly after the school shooting which he said focused on the “Democrat” talking point of “guns, guns, guns, guns.” “But what you have here…a realization with some of the media and the parents and others across the country that a fundamental problem that occurred here in Texas was that the security of the school was completely inadequate, and the police response was completely inadequate, and that is something that can be fixed.”

“We do have officers in the school,” Simmons continued, referring to Stonington. “We do have double-locked door systems; we do not allow multiple entrances and exits for kids, parents and visitors. We do these things. Our high school is across the street from the police station. That’s pretty good.”

“Secondly, when you have a shooter, this kind of a shooter, it’s not a hostage-taking situation; it is not a traditional terrorist act. In a traditional terrorist act, you capture people, you capture an airplane, you capture a building, and then you negotiate with the authorities on the release of the hostages…terrorism is propaganda of the deed…These nut-cases are not terrorists; they’re looking for 15 minutes of glory, and they’r’e going out in ablaze of glory, and it’s gory glory. What do you do in a case like this? You go in with both arms, both legs, crash down the doors…You go in right away.”

“That brings me to a friend of mine,” Simmons continued, “…who wrote a short op-ed that bears taking a look at. Quoting directly from Hoover’s piece, Simmons enumerated: “‘Lack of protective body armor for police‘ — “Every cop should have it; don’t tell me it’s too expensive…A ‘single point of entry must be respected and enforced.’ That didn’t happen in Texas. ‘Lack of training by Law Enforcement and other agencies‘ – that didn’t happen in Texas. ‘Hesitation is akin to death or suicide‘ – they hesitated. There’s an old saying in the military and elsewhere: ‘He who hesitates is lost.’ Every split second can cost lives.”

Simmons concluded quoting from the points Hoover made in his letter, then said, “I would add two things to this list…I would say we need to get rid of the ideas that schools are no-gun zones and thus soft targets for armed nut-cases; we need to get over that…”

He also said that while he was working on counter-terrorism policy, “we had protocols with regard to the media. We limited the coverage of terrorist acts to prevent copycats and those who want their 15 minutes of glory.”

In response to another question, Simmons said he believes that “progressives” might have purchased tickets to a showing on Tuesday night in Mystic of Dinesh D’Souza’s “2000 Mules” with the purpose of reserving what would be empty seats. Another showing is taking place on June 21, he said.

Returning to the topic of preventing mass-shooting tragedies, Simmons said there is “no excuse” for Connecticut citizens failing to vote and openly discuss issues they are concerned about. “These are just a few commonsense ideas that are out there that are achievable. We can do it.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.