This school shooting case is a tragedy, like all of them, but one with a distinctive twist. The real culprits here are two unconcerned, non-parents (also up on criminal charges) and a society which allows the mentally ill easy access to guns. Four lives were extinguished that day and dozens others irreparably altered when then-15-year-old Ethan Crumbley’s demons and the present of a gun coincided to produce tragedy.
Crumbley will now spend his entire life behind bars, while the students he murdered will never live their lives and one student who was injured that day will continue to deal with pain from spinal injuries, she stated in court. All of this needless misery because the NRA has ginned up a section of the country to believe that any restriction of firearms at all is tantamount to surrendering to an imminent invasion. We are a sick nation. Associated Press:
Speakers recalled the day and its aftermath in details large and small. One woman said she’s still anxious simply pulling into Meijer, a big-box store where families reunited immediately after the shooting.
Linda Watson said her son, Aiden, who was shot in the leg, still doesn’t go to school for a full day. She recalled the family staying in a hotel because a nail gun being used in her neighborhood sounded like a real gun to him.
“Aiden will be dealing with this for the rest of his life. … This shooter — this monster — should have to feel everything hard and painful for the rest of his life,” Watson said.
Like their son, Jennifer and James Crumbley are locked up in the county jail. They are awaiting trial on involuntary manslaughter charges, accused of making a gun accessible at home and neglecting the shooter’s mental health.
Crumbley and his parents met with school staff on the day of the shooting after a teacher noticed violent drawings. But no one checked his backpack for a gun and he was allowed to stay.
The shooting happened in Oxford Township, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) north of Detroit. Besides the four students who were killed, six more students and a teacher also were wounded. […]
Jill Soave, the mother of Justin Shilling, told the shooter that he executed a boy who could have helped him navigate awkward teenage years.
“If you were that lonely, that miserable and lost, and you really needed a friend, Justin would have been your friend — if only you had asked,” Soave said.
It’s a reality of life that a lot of parents can’t cope with a child’s mental illness. The reality of the Crumbley parents is that they were not only tone deaf to their own child’s pain, they ignored the drawings with violent imagery, and the concern of the school authorities. Crumbley made a video the night before the shootings stating his intention to act out violently. This wasn’t some sudden impulse on Ethan Crumbley’s part, it was well thought through and premeditated for some time.
Meanwhile, his parents, utterly oblivious, went out and bought him a gun as a present. They put the instrumentality in his hands by which he could destroy not only his own life but the lives of the four students he shot and their families, and the lives of the students and the teacher who were all wounded. And their own lives as well.
The Crumbleys are a sick and dysfunctional family. That their mental illness, plus a gun, shattered an entire community’s well being, is what gun laws need to address. And yesterday. Plus, students who are showing obvious signs of mental illness need to receive some kind of pro-active counseling. There are plenty of Ethan Crumbleys out there. Identifying them and helping them before they explode is desperately needed.