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US mother charged with involuntary manslaughter.

(62 Posts)
Mollygo Tue 06-Feb-24 22:51:35

Jennifer Crumbley is to be imprisoned for giving her son the gun that he used to kill 4 people.

They say it’s a landmark ruling-holding parents responsible for their children’s crimes when their (parents) actions have facilitated the crime.

What do you think?

Louella12 Tue 06-Feb-24 23:06:34

I've just read about that! We're in the process of discussing what we think.

At first I was a tad surprised, seemed a bit harsh.

But transpires that, as you mentioned, she got him a gun. She knew he'd been searching school shootings online.

But did she think he'd turn into a school shooter ? I doubt it.

M0nica Wed 07-Feb-24 00:08:45

It is complicated, because everything she says will be exculpatory, but it did seem that, according to the prosecution he had been showing signs of mental problems andhad told his parents, who had also been called into a meeting at the school about him. Despite that his parents went out and bought him a gun.

This is not a case where the parents are being prosecuted just because he is their son and they bought the gun, more a case of criminal negligence. the warning signals were there and they ignored them.

nanna8 Wed 07-Feb-24 00:21:05

I suppose a lot of parents are blind to what their children are really like. The gun culture in the US is so different from what we are used to it is hard to comment. Can you seriously imagine anyone in the UK or even Australia these days buying a gun for a child ? I suppose if they live in the bush you might, for shooting rabbits etc but still wouldn’t be your average present.

Dickens Wed 07-Feb-24 00:56:05

Considering all the mental health problems that seem to afflict so many teenagers when they attend school in the US (and here); the bullying and taunting that appears to be rife among that age group - and considering also the US's history of numerous school shootings - no sane parent surely would take the risk of allowing their child access to a gun?

What is it with Americans and guns? I've seen photo's of families with quite young children seated proudly displaying their individual weapons; very young children are taught to handle a weapon at am early age. I suppose if all your neighbours own them, you have to do likewise.

Good for the firearm and ammunition industry though making $billions in profits... who cares that some crazy kids go on the rampage and kill each other, eh? What is the mantra... "guns don't kill people, people do." What are guns for, if not to maim and kill... surely the whole of America aren't "huntin'-shootin'-and-fishin" devotees are they?

I think it's an awful culture. And isn't going to change anytime soon.

Galaxy Wed 07-Feb-24 06:05:10

I just dont think we can possibly understand that culture.

BlueBelle Wed 07-Feb-24 06:19:10

Well why not turn it around and say if in England and the mother went out and bought (especially bought) a vicious knife and gave to her child wouldn’t we expect to hold the mother guilty for encouraging her child to use it.
I haven’t read about the case and there s no link so maybe I ve got it wrong but I m going by the information given

Galaxy Wed 07-Feb-24 06:34:46

All knives are vicious though, I have numerous in my house. I think they may view guns in the house in the way we view knives in the house. I am not excusing anything I hate the gun culture but I think trying to unpick it because of the different cultures is impossible.

Allsorts Wed 07-Feb-24 06:38:43

I think the verdict is right. Don't agree with that gun culture at all. All weapons should be under lock and key, parents responsibility.

Curtaintwitcher Wed 07-Feb-24 06:45:19

It's about time parents were held responsible for what their children do. Give a child a weapon of any kind and, of course, he's going to use it. In Britain there is a problem with air-guns and catapults. Swans and ducks are constantly attacked by children who have these things. Firing stones at windows is another activity resulting from possession.
If irresponsible parents were prosecuted for what their children do, there might be less juvenile nuisance.

NotSpaghetti Wed 07-Feb-24 07:24:07

Here is a link:
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/06/michigan-school-shooter-mother-guilty-jennifer-crumbley

The father is waiting for trial too.

I think at the very least you should store guns correctly!

M0nica Wed 07-Feb-24 07:35:57

Bluebelle Here is the link www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-68223118

Iam64 Wed 07-Feb-24 08:16:30

Most parents feel a sense of responsibility when their children misbehave. Curtaintwitcher, would you prosecute the parents of the two teenagers who killed Brianna? I haven’t seen any reports suggesting they should or could be blamed.
Some children are easier to bring up than others. We need to improve services to support parents who need it.

I find the gun culture in America beyond understanding. The idea that school shootings have become normalised so the authorities consider giving teachers guns is terrifying.

nanna8 Wed 07-Feb-24 10:26:32

That is a big, big issue that Donald Trump falls short on. Totally pro guns. Frightening.

Dickens Wed 07-Feb-24 10:54:56

Galaxy

All knives are vicious though, I have numerous in my house. I think they may view guns in the house in the way we view knives in the house. I am not excusing anything I hate the gun culture but I think trying to unpick it because of the different cultures is impossible.

All knives are vicious though, I have numerous in my house.

As have millions of us - because they have a purpose other than to maim and kill, unlike firearms. Oh, I suppose they can be used for 'target practice' as a harmless hobby (?) - like Archery, I guess.

I can understand 'young' America in the 1750s, with all those 'wild frontiers' to guard, but almost 3 centuries later, you have to question why the 2nd Amendment isn't given a good academic-makeover. Apart from the obvious $$$.

I know other countries allow gun ownership, and it's a complex issue, but given the level of social incoherency and division in the USA, these evens will be a constant.

In 2020, firearm injuries became the leading cause of death in children. This is according to data from the CDC. If you read some of the analyses, it's grim.

Dickens Wed 07-Feb-24 11:12:57

Curtaintwitcher

It's about time parents were held responsible for what their children do. Give a child a weapon of any kind and, of course, he's going to use it. In Britain there is a problem with air-guns and catapults. Swans and ducks are constantly attacked by children who have these things. Firing stones at windows is another activity resulting from possession.
If irresponsible parents were prosecuted for what their children do, there might be less juvenile nuisance.

It's about time parents were held responsible for what their children do.

That would open up a can of worms for the Law.

Put simply, children from good homes do bad things.

Attempting to decide the proportion of blame, the culpability of the parents, would be a legal nightmare, lengthening court cases, setting up an appeals system, etc.

Only in very limited circumstances could this work.

That's looking at it simplistically. But your proposal is simplistic, too. Deciding on the level of "irresponsibility" of parents other than in cut-and-dried cases of obvious guilt or neglect of parental duty would require a major overhaul of the Law.

Greenfinch Wed 07-Feb-24 11:21:45

The good thing about the harsh sentencing of the mother is that it should lead to the reduction of gun ownership especially amongst young people and that is a positive thing. No culpability on her part would have been far less effective.

maddyone Wed 07-Feb-24 11:24:20

This is the first I’ve heard about this.

All I can think is what kind of mother would buy her child a gun?

Mollygo Wed 07-Feb-24 11:27:53

It was the facilitating his crime that made me wonder. I’m not sure how it would work in less obvious circumstances, e.g. in Brianna’s killing.
Could the parents be responsible for not monitoring their children Internet access to social media or even worse, the dark web? That’s really what Brianna‘s mother is asking for.
I think the original gun case might give some parents pause for thought, but I’m not sure how it can be applied in every case.

Louella12 Wed 07-Feb-24 11:30:33

Just been hearing this mother giving evidence. It appears she didn't actually but him a gun, but it was a gun owning household and he had access to them.

We find it hard to understand how/ why guns are readily available, however in USA it's quite normal for millions.

Toddlers are taught to shoot and you can even purchase pistols, rifles and shotguns in different colours.

Louella12 Wed 07-Feb-24 11:33:14

No Kinder eggs allowed

Dee1012 Wed 07-Feb-24 11:49:30

Dickens

Curtaintwitcher

It's about time parents were held responsible for what their children do. Give a child a weapon of any kind and, of course, he's going to use it. In Britain there is a problem with air-guns and catapults. Swans and ducks are constantly attacked by children who have these things. Firing stones at windows is another activity resulting from possession.
If irresponsible parents were prosecuted for what their children do, there might be less juvenile nuisance.

It's about time parents were held responsible for what their children do.

That would open up a can of worms for the Law.

Put simply, children from good homes do bad things.

Attempting to decide the proportion of blame, the culpability of the parents, would be a legal nightmare, lengthening court cases, setting up an appeals system, etc.

Only in very limited circumstances could this work.

That's looking at it simplistically. But your proposal is simplistic, too. Deciding on the level of "irresponsibility" of parents other than in cut-and-dried cases of obvious guilt or neglect of parental duty would require a major overhaul of the Law.

I've said before that my work is connected to the Criminal Justice System and there's a connection also to Youth Justice and while I agree there are young people from good homes with a solid background who do commit offences, so many have parents who literally do not care.
Especially in the areas of Antisocial Behaviour incl' criminal damage.
The parents won't engage with professional support, they refuse to accept it's their youngsters (even with CCTV evidence), behaviour is excused as minor / a joke / not that bad.

I do wonder if this is something that must be looked at....

Stellaellabella Wed 07-Feb-24 11:58:15

I don’t know enough about the ins & outs of the case but it seems a worrying precedent to me.

Yes, she bought him the gun, but with guns being so prevalent in the States (I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time there due to DH work trips & could never get over the fact you can buy them & ammunition in the larger supermarkets!) it would have been easier to get hold of one, it’s easy to buy them second hand from private sellers with no checks. Maybe she thought by taking him to the gun range etc would show him how to use it responsibly. Maybe not, I need to read more about this.

Also, I do wonder how much judgement was based on their lifestyles, the affair etc. the states are very (in my view) moralistic & hypocritical particularly in the smaller towns. Even the larger cities often function as a series of small towns, if you don’t fit in, even the law seems to not be on your side. I’ve stayed in both & it is a much more obviously judgmental country than ours as far as I could see.

He definitely should have had help for his mental health but that’s difficult enough here & even more so in the states with their healthcare model & I suspect the family would have had either no or the very basic health insurance which covers next to nothing.

There are so many complexities about this, both about personal responsibility but also some of the societal issues. I’m going to read up more about this. Might reread ‘we need to talk about Kevin’ whilst I’m at it!

I’m not anti the US, I love going there & we still do, in fact we are going this year, but it’s so different in many ways. The local papers were always eye opening & some often used very judgemental language about lifestyle choices.

Stellaellabella Wed 07-Feb-24 12:02:13

Also, if anyone is interested in why the States will never ban or make their gun laws tougher, watch Micheal Moores ‘Bowling for Columbine’ it’s old now, the stats will be out of date (and probably worse) but it is so worth a watch.

halfpint1 Wed 07-Feb-24 12:15:19

As parents we feel pride in the achievements of our children
(well I do) even from the first steps they take. We also feel
it was part of our parenting and encouragement that helped
them achieve. How come when they do something
really bad all that changes and they are no longer responsible
especially before a child reaches adulthood. I hope the punishment handed out to the parents will wake up alot of others.