Back in November of 2021 some asshole went on a murder spree at Oxford High School. The little shit killed four students before being taken into custody.

As part of the investigation it was found that his parents purchased the gun he used for him.

The prosecution is claiming that the parents committed involuntary manslaughter.

[Judge Cheryl] Matthews concluded the prosecution had presented enough evidence to proceed with the involuntary manslaughter charges against the [redacted], who are accused of ignoring the mental health needs of their son, buying him a gun instead of getting him help, and failing to notify the school that he had access to a gun when they were summoned to the office over a violent drawing he had made on the morning before the shooting.

The defense is arguing that the prosecution is attempting to get the courts to legislate from the bench. They are arguing that they had secured the gun and had no idea that their son was planning to go on a murder rampage.

Unfortunately we hear way to much about the backgrounds of these murdering assholes. They mostly come from fatherless families. They have unstable home lives. They are often known for being antisocial or having violent tendencies. They are almost always “known to law enforcement.”

The prosecutors want to make it a crime to not predict how a child will act. What parent would willingly have a firearm in their home if they even remotely considered that their child might use a firearm for criminal purposes?

The goal of the gun rights infringers is to make it to costly to carry, to costly to sell or manufacture firearms, to costly to own a firearm. At the same time they are actively working to paint every gun owner as a crime waiting to happen.

The Detroit Free Press does a fairly balanced article on the appeal of the assholes parents.
[Parents] ask appeals court to toss case: Our son did this, not us

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By awa

13 thoughts on “Are Parents Responsible for Mass Shootings Their Children Do?”
  1. Bout time the “judiciary “ start blaming the right things. Oh no, its white gun owners who live thousands of miles away!! Its the NRA!! Ban guns!
    Maybe this will be a trend

  2. I;m mixed on this. On one side it’s trying to make parents liable for not being mind readers.

    On the other you have parents that enable little freakshows, lie to the police, and buy guns for their known mentally unstable kids.

  3. Parents have culpability to some degree if they knew something was wrong or going on and failed to intervene or act in any meaningful way. See Nancy lanza.

    It just like the death star, tarken may have given the order to blow up alderaan, but everyone operating that space station shares some degree of culpability for that action even if they didn’t give the order or slide the lever them self.

    The problem is this aplies to everything in modern life. I’m guilty of slavery, human trafficking, exploitation, and a host of other thing in some small way by simply typing this on my smart phone. Certain situations it applies more than others, to which I would say again, if the child was a minor and the parents knew something was going on and failed to act, they share some guilt for lesser offences. Is it criminal or just civil? I guess it depends on the level of neglect and what duty they had to act and ignored.

  4. Speaking of grandstanding charges. Is anyone else ticked off that this particular murderer is being charged with terrorism? As far as I can see, there is no evidence that he’s a terrorist. (Unless every criminal is a terrorist because they ‘terrorize’ their victims.) He’s a very average psychopathic school shooter with no political motivation.

    Last I heard, Mr. I-run-over-parades-full-of-white-people-for-racial-reasons isn’t being charged with terrorism.

  5. Are parents responsible for their children’s crimes??? Good question, no good answers.
    It all boils down to (IANAL warning in full effect), what did the parents know, what actions did they take, and is there a reasonable expectation their actions (or lack of action) would lead to criminal action? Intent, or negligence is a factor here.
    If the parents knowingly and deliberately ignored violent actions on the part of their child, and then facilitated the child’s acquisition of a weapon, then yes. They hold some level of responsibility. I do not see this any different than disciplining a bartender for overserving a patron they have reasonable expectation will drive.
    Murder? Nope. Too far.
    Negligence leading to commission of a capital crime, I can accept. But…. the bar required to prove that must be high. Simply having a gun in the house where a disturbed teenager lives is not sufficient to charge the parents. Not securing the gun, ignoring the child’s mental issues, and a host of other factors need to be demonstrated to prove criminal levels of negligence.
    What I see here is an anti-gun judge trying to limit or eliminate gun ownership. Now, it is about the child, but how long before a stolen gun results in murder charges against someone? Would the average person who owns a gun for home defense, but is not a “gun guy” risk the court time and legal fees? I do not know, but I can say this, it will certainly induce the criminals to think homes are not protected.

    1. RE: Securing the gun — The parents claim they secured the gun. I’m sure any “safe storage” they may have had has been documented by police. But anyone with sense will tell you, safes are a deterrent and a delay, not 100% prevention. No lock — including what’s on a safe — is immune from being picked or cracked, given enough time and motivation, and a live-in household member intent on a big attack has plenty of both (and that’s assuming they don’t simply find the key or combination somewhere). IANAL, but legally and traditionally, a reasonable effort to secure a firearm has been enough, but how secure is “secure enough” in the eyes of this prosecutor and judge?

      RE: Ignoring mental issues — There’s a massive difference between not recognizing mental health issues and ignoring them. The prosecution would have to prove the parents “knew or should have known” the kid was mentally ill and willfully chose to ignore it. One hurdle to overcome is that a lot of mental health problems manifest nearly identically to normal teenage angst and behavior — it takes a trained mental health professional to recognize the difference, and there’s nothing saying the parents were. So as above, where’s the line?

  6. A few things stand out to me in that Detroit Free Press article:

    1. The Crumbleys’ case is set to go to trial next month. […] Ethan Crumbley, who is charged with first-degree murder and terrorism charges, is scheduled to go to trial in January.

    So they’re trying the parents before trying the kid? If so, they could be found guilty of aiding in a crime, before guilt of the crime is established. Doesn’t the kid need to be found guilty before the parents can be guilty of aiding him?

    In terms of the Michigan Supreme Court case the defense is citing, that would be like finding the car owner liable for the driver’s actions, before establishing that the driver was, in fact, driving drunk and caused the deaths.

    What happens to them if they’re found guilty of aiding their son, and then the son is found not guilty? Will their conviction be automatically vacated, will they have to petition for it to be vacated, or will it stand?

    I’m just saying, this is a judicial can of worms the Courts should be extremely wary of opening.

    2. “Terrorism” has a specific, legal definition; IIRC, it’s an attempt to use violence, threats of violence, and/or intimidation to affect political change. As RTG says above, a school shooting does not fit unless the shooter is using it as a vehicle to demand something. Absent that demand (for which there is zero evidence), it’s just a crime, not terrorism.

    3. Matthews concluded the prosecution had presented enough evidence to proceed with the involuntary manslaughter charges against the Crumbleys, who are accused of ignoring the mental health needs of their son, buying him a gun instead of getting him help, and failing to notify the school that he had access to a gun when they were summoned to the office over a violent drawing he had made on the morning before the shooting. [bold emphasis added]

    I’m assuming the prosecution is “Progressive”, given they’re trying to stretch the law further than intended and get the Courts to legislate from the bench.

    This would be the same “Progressive” Left that cannot define “woman” without being a biologist. Apparently they now expect lay parents to recognize, diagnose, and arrange treatment for complex mental health issues, without being psychologists or psychiatrists.

    If it weren’t for double standards, the “Progressive” Left would have no standards at all.

    Unless the prosecution can demonstrate the parents were directly involved in the planning or commission of the attack — or are mental health professionals who should recognize illness, but even that’s a stretch — this is another can of worms the Courts shouldn’t be touching. A vague, “they knew or should have known some nebulous and undefined something wasn’t quite right,” isn’t good enough.

    (As a parent, I think they probably should have known — or at least suspected — something was wrong with the kid and should have had him evaluated and treated. OTOH, there’s a huge gulf between knowing/suspecting something isn’t right and being criminally liable for not fixing it.)

    1. “She knew and should have done something!” is a common statement when we hear about children being sexual abused. My ex was sexually abused by her father. Her mother suspected and did things to keep my ex from being alone in private with my ex’s father. It didn’t work. My ex’s mother should have done something. She should have known. She should have protected her child.

      The story is repeated over and over again.

      I think that in this case part of the problem seems to be failure to get their son appropriate mental health care. I also think that they failed to secure the firearm well enough. It would not surprise me if they had a simple cable lock which was what was required.

      How many people actually think about how secure their weapon storage is? How many people consider protecting their weapons from their own young adult children?

      1. I think about both those questions, but as I’ve discovered, I seem to be much more conscientious about being responsible with my guns than most gun owners. Recognizing the injuries they can cause, we even keep the BB guns locked up unless in use, under adult supervision.

        OTOH, mental health issues are complex and hard for most people to comprehend. As I said above — and I have this on good authority from a former psychiatrist — absent a professional evaluation, most mental health problems in teenagers are nearly indistinguishable from normal teenage angst and behavior … and even a professional evaluation may not catch it. Some degree of narcissism, irrationality, emotional outbursts, delusions of grandeur and invincibility, lack of impulse control, inability to think or plan beyond tomorrow, etc., that in adults are clear signs of mental illness, are normal and expected during puberty. It’s a problem if taken to an extreme, but how extreme is “extreme”?

        (As an aside, this is one more reason we should NOT be trusting pre-teens and teens to make permanent gender transition decisions on their own; the maelstrom of hormones puts them decidedly NOT in their right mind.)

        Was the kid showing signs of mental issues? I’m sure he was, and based on the article it sounds like the parents didn’t respond well, laughing off problems instead of showing compassion and helping cope with them. But jumping from “didn’t respond well” to “criminally liable for not recognizing mental illness and seeking treatment” is a jump too far, in my opinion.

      2. One more thought, RE: I also think that they failed to secure the firearm well enough. It would not surprise me if they had a simple cable lock which was what was required.

        I just looked it up, and it seems Michigan has no “safe storage” law. That being so, even a simple cable lock is above-and-beyond what the law requires. (You and I may require more of ourselves, but the courts must follow the law.) If the People decide private firearms must be stored safely, it’s the legislature’s place to amend the law to require stronger storage methods, not the courts’.

        If the courts find that a cable lock is not enough, regardless of what the law says, that leaves gun owners in the legal quagmire wherein they face criminal liability even if they comply with the written law. This would be more “legislating from the bench”.

        I feel like a lot about the parents’ trial is an attempt by the prosecution to broaden the scope of the law far beyond what the legislature intended. I’m open to the possibility the parents bear some responsibility for poor parenting decisions, but I don’t believe they rise to the felony criminal level. The courts should have quashed these charges early on, but the prosecutors found a sympathetic judge or two, and so here we are.

        (That is, unless there’s more to the story than we’ve been told, and the parents did, in fact, help the kid plan and/or willingly facilitate the attack. If that’s the case, all bets are off.)

        1. Of course, legislating from the bench is what left wing politicians do, and gun grabbers are by definition left wing politicians.

  7. There are plenty of cases where negligence can rise to a criminal level, such as letting an obviously drunk person borrow your car, or leaving a loaded gun in plain sight with unsupervised children. The state will have to prove their case, that the parents knew he was troubled and gave him unsupervised access to a gun, and then failed to pull him out of school that day when he was clearly having violent thoughts.

    And yes, it seems very odd to try the parents first.

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