Should parents be held responsible?

Mark A Ouellette

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For those persons questioning MIchigan law concerning ensuring one's firearms are secure, the parents of the shooter are both charged.

From Yahoo News;
"The parents charged in connection with this week's deadly shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan are returning to town for their arraignment, their attorney said, after detectives announced they were trying to locate the couple.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged Friday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Their son, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, allegedly used his father's semi-automatic handgun in the Tuesday shooting that killed four and injured seven."
 

Red Leg

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For those persons questioning MIchigan law concerning ensuring one's firearms are secure, the parents of the shooter are both charged. From Yahoo News;

"The parents charged in connection with this week's deadly shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan are returning to town for their arraignment, their attorney said, after detectives announced they were trying to locate the couple.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged Friday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Their son, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, allegedly used his father's semi-automatic handgun in the Tuesday shooting that killed four and injured seven."
We all are aware of that Mark. It is the point of the thread. And yes, one has civil liability risks for virtually anything that happens through the use of one's property (guns, knives, 4-wheeler, etc.).

The question here is criminal liability. They have indeed been charged. The question is whether or not Michigan has a law requiring firearms to be securely stored. I do not know. But I suspect not. That is why I wonder upon how solid a foundation a case for involuntary manslaughter rests. What criminal statute did they break by having a firearm where a fifteen-year-old could access it? So far, I do not see a charge of "failing to secure a firearm" or anything like that.

None of this has anything to do with the justifiable civil liability faced by the parents which will likely be life ruining.
 

Tam Dl

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Both parents have been charged with 4 counts of manslaughter.

I watched the prosecutor's presser, and I don't see a strong case. It is based on the following:

- They bought the kid the gun.
Not clear as on the day, it was in the father's bedside table, until it wasn't. If you buy a kid a horse, it is their horse, but they aren't paying for everything. It is conceptual ownership.

- Mother said "try not to get caught next time" when teacher reported he was googling cartridges for the gun.

Irrelevant.

- Then the kid produced a very disturbing school shooting drawing, a teacher photoed it, and a conference was held. Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney Karen McDonald blames the parents for all kinds of stuff that just shows they did not believe that their son was a danger. Most notable to the prosecutor, they did not ask him if he had the gun with him. Well why would they? That would be a devastating revalation that might completely change your world. People are not good at those. A lot of people won't even open bills.

Another thing the prosecutor blames them for is not taking the kid home from school at the time of the conference. But why would they, surely the school should have mandated that, if they were so certain.

I don't imagine it is illegal to put a gun in your bedside table. It would be smarter to use a fingerprint safe, but is that illegal in MI, I don't think so. And easy to defeat.

Interested to know if the prosecutor is a Soros puppet. No reason she would have to be, but all the high profile cases seem to have them.
 

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I feel the prosecutor is well intentioned in
filing charges against the parents - but I do not think these charges will stick.
So here comes the objective analysis - little Johnny (the shooter) is a social cripple and just a weird kid with deep seated mental issues.
Now comes the hard truth - Mom and Dad are nitwits and failed parenting 101. They ignored or avoided dealing with little Johnny’s behavior/mental issues.
Now the school recognizes that little Johnny is a problem but they can’t address it properly because the administration is worried about lawsuits and labeling little Johnny as a potential problem.
So the spineless principal and others have a little meeting with the loser parents and little Johnny and they figure they have done enough CYA to this point in time.
Never mind that little Johnny had the gun in his back pack or his locker wrapped in his sweaty gym clothes.
There is a lot of blame to go around - but I blame the school admin people and the do nothing school resource officer got not grabbing little Johnny by thr throat and jerking him off his feet and searching his stuff.
Oh no you say - violating his civil rights.
But if someone took that approach then they would be a happy Christmas for those families instead of funerals.

When you have no rules - then lawlessness is your lot in life …

There endeth the lesson.
 

Mark A Ouellette

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Gents, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. That stated, this is the section of Michigan Firearms Law that may apply to charging the parents.

Remember, Michigan is not Texas. Oxford in in Oakland County, the rich suburb area Northwest of Detroit.

The question is did the parents "allow any firearm under his immediate control" to kill another person.

From a simple Google search:

FIREARMS LAWS OF MICHIGAN Page 155 CARELESS, RECKLESS, OR NEGLIGENT USE OF FIREARMS Act 45 of 1952 AN ACT to prohibit the careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms and to provide penalties for the violation of this act; and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. The People of the State of Michigan enact: 752.861 Careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms; penalty.

Sec. 1. Any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not wilfully or wantonly, shall cause or allow any firearm under his immediate control, to be discharged so as to kill or injure another person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 1 year, in the discretion of the court. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.862 Careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms; injury of property; penalty.

Sec. 2. Any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not wilfully or wantonly, shall cause or allow any firearm under his control to be discharged so as to destroy or injure the property of another, real or personal, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 90 days or by a fine of not more than $100.00, if the injury to such property shall not exceed the sum of $50.00, but in the event that such injury shall exceed the sum of $50.00, then said offense shall be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 1 year or by a fine not exceeding $500.00. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.863 Section repealed.

Sec. 3. Section 235a of Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being section 750.235a of the Compiled Laws of 1948, is hereby repealed. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.863a Reckless, wanton use or negligent discharge of firearm; penalty. Sec. 3. Any person who shall recklessly or heedlessly or wilfully or wantonly use, carry, handle or discharge any firearm without due caution and circumspection for the rights, safety or property of others shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. History: Add. 1955, Act 14, Eff. Oct. 14, 1955. Compiler’s note: Section 3, as added by Act 14 of 1955, was compiled as MCL 752.863[a] to distinguish it from another section 3, deriving from Act 45 of 1952 and pertaining to the repeal of MCL 750.235a. The compilation number formerly assigned to this section was MCL 752.a863. 752.864 Firearms; injury to person or property, suspension of hunting privileges.

Sec. 4. In addition to the penalties provided in other sections of this act, the court may suspend the hunting privileges of any person convicted of violating any provision of this act for a period of not to exceed 3 years from the date of conviction.
 
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Red Leg

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Gents, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. That stated, this is the section of Michigan Firearms Law that may apply to charging the parents.

Remember, Michigan is not Texas. Oxford in in Oakland County, the rich suburb area Northwest of Detroit.

The question is did the parents "allow any firearm under his immediate control" to kill another person.

From a simple Google search:

FIREARMS LAWS OF MICHIGAN Page 155 CARELESS, RECKLESS, OR NEGLIGENT USE OF FIREARMS Act 45 of 1952 AN ACT to prohibit the careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms and to provide penalties for the violation of this act; and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. The People of the State of Michigan enact: 752.861 Careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms; penalty.

Sec. 1. Any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not wilfully or wantonly, shall cause or allow any firearm under his immediate control, to be discharged so as to kill or injure another person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 1 year, in the discretion of the court. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.862 Careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms; injury of property; penalty.

Sec. 2. Any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not wilfully or wantonly, shall cause or allow any firearm under his control to be discharged so as to destroy or injure the property of another, real or personal, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 90 days or by a fine of not more than $100.00, if the injury to such property shall not exceed the sum of $50.00, but in the event that such injury shall exceed the sum of $50.00, then said offense shall be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 1 year or by a fine not exceeding $500.00. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.863 Section repealed.

Sec. 3. Section 235a of Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being section 750.235a of the Compiled Laws of 1948, is hereby repealed. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.863a Reckless, wanton use or negligent discharge of firearm; penalty. Sec. 3. Any person who shall recklessly or heedlessly or wilfully or wantonly use, carry, handle or discharge any firearm without due caution and circumspection for the rights, safety or property of others shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. History: Add. 1955, Act 14, Eff. Oct. 14, 1955. Compiler’s note: Section 3, as added by Act 14 of 1955, was compiled as MCL 752.863[a] to distinguish it from another section 3, deriving from Act 45 of 1952 and pertaining to the repeal of MCL 750.235a. The compilation number formerly assigned to this section was MCL 752.a863. 752.864 Firearms; injury to person or property, suspension of hunting privileges.

Sec. 4. In addition to the penalties provided in other sections of this act, the court may suspend the hunting privileges of any person convicted of violating any provision of this act for a period of not to exceed 3 years from the date of conviction.
I am just a dumb Texan, but a misdemeanor sounds somewhat different than felony involuntary manslaughter.

Don't get me wrong, the parents have enormous responsibility for the actions of their minor child (who apparently, in the view of the DA, acted as an adult - perhaps another problem for the criminal prosecution of the parents). I will again note they have not yet added this sort of charge. I assume for a reason?
 

Mark A Ouellette

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You guys are correct that Michigan doesn't have a Safe Storage Law
From the Oakland County Prosecutor:

  • "Michigan's laws are woefully inadequate. We don't have have a safe storage law. You're not legally required to store your weapon in a safe manner. ... We don't have strong enough laws."
 

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All this is good discussion with salient points being made.

But this is a multi-pronged debacle -
The school admin failed , the parents are a soup sandwich and law enforcement could have taken action - if only they were contacted or consulted.

Note - the shooter’s mom and dad are in the wind. Can’t be located . They are being sought by law enforcement at this point in time ….
 

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Does the kid have mental health issues? Probably so if he is shooting up a school.

Was the kid on pharmaceuticals for mental health issues?

If so, he was seeing a Psychiatrist. What was the MD's recommendations?

Was the kid seeing a counselor? If so what were the recommendations?

Was the school aware of any mental health issues through the school counselor?

What was passed on/not passed on to the parents by a Psychiatrist, Counselor, School Counselor if they were involved?



What if the kid did not manifest mental health issues and this entire thing blew up this week?

How many of us had access to parents firearms or our own firearms when we were 15,13,11 and used them unsupervised with permission?


There are a number of questions that the prosecutor may not yet know that could effect this case. The charges came way too soon for the prosecutor to know the full extent of the police investigation, which probably isn't over and handed off to the DA.
 

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Just heard on the news that the mom texted the shooter a message that said "don't do it" just before the shots started
 

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Note - the shooter’s mom and dad are in the wind. Can’t be located . They are being sought by law enforcement at this point in time ….

That is not what the parents lawyer said. The parents left their home for safety. The prosecutor brought charges in front of the media without telling the parents attorney. The parents attorney is now having them come in for arraignment.

We will see if this happens but this seems to be an eager prosecutor wanting his 15 minutes.
 

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As I said earlier - multi pronged debacle.

By next Monday - there will be more info that comes out about little Johnny and all those concerned will be deflecting and passing blame around like cocktail peanuts …
 

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Not to derail the thread, but would we be having this same discussion if little Johnny had found his parents car keys, "borrowed" the car and drove it onto a sidewalk at school with the same disastrous results? The parenting skills or lack of them in today's society are dismal at best, but at what point are children held responsible for their own actions? Almost anything can be used as a weapon with deadly force. So sad for the families that have injured and lost children.
 

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If I've learned anything during my 63 laps around the sun I know that if I wasn't there I have no idea what happened. I have to believe that if either the parents or the school knew how things would play out they'd all have done something different. Monday morning quartebacking and making declarative statements about what the parents are or are not isn't helpful. Look at all the crap initially said about Rittenhouse. Turns out none of it was even remotely true. Let's give the parents the benefit of the doubt until they've had their day in court. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. They may or may not be guilty of making poor parental choices but I doubt they're criminally responsible for the shooting.

Also, if they charge the kid as an adult it seems to me it would be impossible to hold the parents also criminally liable. He's either a kid or he's not. You can't have it both ways.
 

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I live in Michigan. I am liable for the misuse of any of my unsecure firearms.
With a 16 year old in the house I keep my guns secure in safes.

As for the subject case, the kid and his parents had met with the school principle earlier this week.
They had a second meeting the morning of the school shooting.
Did the kid have the pistol in his possession during the second chat with the principle?

My 16 year old and most of south east Michigan high school students are home today due to "threats" against their specific high schools. What is this world coming to?
At 12 I was leaving my parents house 2 hours before daylight to walk a mile behind the house to kill deer with my 30-06.
I suppose my 4 year old when he is 12 will be doing the same.

people crazy these days. Take me back to the 80’s and 90’s
 

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The reality is how much money the parents have as to what will happen. They will pay their lawyer until they have no more money and then be pressured to take a deal. If they are wealthy and can fight to verdict and appeal, they might get out of it. As to the civil side, they are toast. They will have to declare bankruptcy, to discharge the judgments or pending claims. They just needs to make sure they don’t get tapped for punitive damages are those are not dischargeable.
 

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In my experience there are usually signs and indicators of mental illness, emotional dysfunction, abnormal behavior, etc. but in today’s super-charged politically correct environment there is great reluctance to call it as you see. The grey area is for journalists and talk show hosts and college professors and squishy school administrators. I went to an all male Catholic high school in Detroit. De La Salle Collegiate. If you looked at one of the Christian brothers the wrong way or smarted off you got pounded in the chops
Too bad those days are long gone. Oh yeah - there were no school shootings back then. Go figure ….
 
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YancyW

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Gents, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. That stated, this is the section of Michigan Firearms Law that may apply to charging the parents.

Remember, Michigan is not Texas. Oxford in in Oakland County, the rich suburb area Northwest of Detroit.

The question is did the parents "allow any firearm under his immediate control" to kill another person.

From a simple Google search:

FIREARMS LAWS OF MICHIGAN Page 155 CARELESS, RECKLESS, OR NEGLIGENT USE OF FIREARMS Act 45 of 1952 AN ACT to prohibit the careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms and to provide penalties for the violation of this act; and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. The People of the State of Michigan enact: 752.861 Careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms; penalty.

Sec. 1. Any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not wilfully or wantonly, shall cause or allow any firearm under his immediate control, to be discharged so as to kill or injure another person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 1 year, in the discretion of the court. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.862 Careless, reckless or negligent use of firearms; injury of property; penalty.

Sec. 2. Any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not wilfully or wantonly, shall cause or allow any firearm under his control to be discharged so as to destroy or injure the property of another, real or personal, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 90 days or by a fine of not more than $100.00, if the injury to such property shall not exceed the sum of $50.00, but in the event that such injury shall exceed the sum of $50.00, then said offense shall be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 1 year or by a fine not exceeding $500.00. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.863 Section repealed.

Sec. 3. Section 235a of Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being section 750.235a of the Compiled Laws of 1948, is hereby repealed. History: 1952, Act 45, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952. 752.863a Reckless, wanton use or negligent discharge of firearm; penalty. Sec. 3. Any person who shall recklessly or heedlessly or wilfully or wantonly use, carry, handle or discharge any firearm without due caution and circumspection for the rights, safety or property of others shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. History: Add. 1955, Act 14, Eff. Oct. 14, 1955. Compiler’s note: Section 3, as added by Act 14 of 1955, was compiled as MCL 752.863[a] to distinguish it from another section 3, deriving from Act 45 of 1952 and pertaining to the repeal of MCL 750.235a. The compilation number formerly assigned to this section was MCL 752.a863. 752.864 Firearms; injury to person or property, suspension of hunting privileges.

Sec. 4. In addition to the penalties provided in other sections of this act, the court may suspend the hunting privileges of any person convicted of violating any provision of this act for a period of not to exceed 3 years from the date of conviction.

I haven't read the charging documents or probable cause statements, but I'm guessing this is what she is going try to use. Not at all applicable, but that isn't going to her concern, only the splash this will make.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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You probably can't cover every eventuality, for example anger issues, instability ore mental illness in order of severity. Many agencies have to deal with that along the way, including the parents. When it arrives at the crux, the second the decision is made to pull the trigger, only deterrance can possibly sway the mind at that point. So yes, the law has to come down very hard on the perpetrator, but also upon those that pulled lesser triggers along the way.
 

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