James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan, have been arrested and charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. The parents were allegedly on the run shortly after the shooting at Ethan’s high school where he claimed the lives of four students while injuring seven others. They were found allegedly hiding in a Detroit warehouse. News media says the warehouse was just one mile from the Canadian border but there is no evidence that they were trying to flee the country. Bond has been set for the parents at $1,000,000 total or $500,000 each. Ethan has been remanded with no bail.
On the morning of the shooting, Ethan Crumbley and his parents were summoned for a meeting at a school. The meeting was called to discuss Ethan’s troubling drawing found shortly beforehand that depicted a handgun, blood, and threatening language. The Crumbleys were ordered to get their son into counseling within 48 hours. The meeting concluded, Ethan was sent back to class, and the parents left. Nobody thought to check Ethan’s book bag to see if a weapon was in it. Hindsight being 20/20, this was an obviously fatal mistake. Ethan took a trip to the bathroom after returning to class then he went on a shooting rampage.
This has become a political story due to the series of events leading up to it and the prosecutor involved with the case. James Crumbley purchased the handgun used in the mass shooting on Black Friday, just a few days ago. Ethan apparently photographed himself posing with the gun and posted them online. He also posted messages with the pictures essentially claiming that the gun was his. There may be evidence that the father purchased the gun for the son. News media reports that the pistol was left unsecured in a drawer in the parent’s bedroom. The prosecutor specifically stated that she is charging the parents with involuntary manslaughter to send a message about being responsible gun owners.
Mainstream media have hopped all over this case for obvious reasons. The first one is “dangerous white male with a gun” shooting up a school. The second reason is the gun itself. It has already been described as a “semiautomatic handgun” which is a clear dog whistle to the phrase “semiautomatic rifle” when referring to the “scary” AR-15. The aforementioned rifle has already successfully been branded as a death machine by the media. So it’s an easy transition to label a handgun as the same thing by using the same descriptive terms. There is also a push for “red flag laws” meaning guns can be confiscated if someone thinks that a person may be a threat to themselves or others. Under red flag laws, the gun could have been taken from the home even though Ethan didn’t own it if there was evidence of trouble. Although in this case, no evidence exists of Ethan having prior issues.
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