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  • Writer's pictureArmstrong Williams

The conviction of the Crumbleys, something we can all get behind

PUBLISHED: April 1, 2024 | cbsaustin.com

The following is an editorial by Armstrong Williams.

The conviction of James Crumbley and his wife Jennifer for their role in their son's mass school shooting in Michigan which resulted in the tragic murders of four and injuries of seven tells us one thing: if you are an irresponsible gun owner, you will pay the price if a crime is committed with your gun.


It is as simple as that. Lock your gun up, keep it away from your children, and if you have a mentally unwell child, keep an even more watchful eye on your firearm. This was not done in the Crumbleys' case.


The safety of our nation and our schools depends on responsible gun owners doing the right thing and keeping their guns out of the hands of their children. There are far too many mass school shootings because there are far too many mentally unwell students and far too many parents who are careless with their firearms.


The parents of a young shooter have never been charged, so this is a precedent-setting case, but the clear negligence displayed by the Crumbleys went beyond the failure to secure the firearms; it was their clear and profound lapse in judgment despite the clear warning signs that their child was troubled.


They may not have given their child the firearms and said go and commit a heinous crime, but not taking the necessary steps to secure the firearm or get their son the very clear and evident help he needed makes them culpable for his actions, which could've been easily avoided if they acted differently. It’s very possible that lives could have been saved were it not for parents who made excuses to excuse their son’s troubling behavior even though the school took clear steps, including talking to the parents about their child. The Crumbleys missed an opportunity to intervene and potentially prevent a catastrophe.


When a child, under the care of adults, displays serious mental health issues, those warning signs must not be ignored. Proactive steps and measures should be taken to get that child the help he or she needs to avoid them not only harming other people, but even themselves. Mental health is a serious problem — but we know with help, you can often save someone. Ignoring the glaring signs of their child’s mental distress, while knowing he had access to a weapon in their home certainly makes them liable.


It’s not enough to react to warning signs without taking proactive measures. Mental health issues require serious attention, understanding, and action—not just within families but also within educational institutions, healthcare systems, and through legislative measures. The Crumbleys' oversight is a tragic exam of what happens when the signs of mental distress are ignored or minimized, especially when combined with access to weapons.


The conviction of James and Jennifer Crumbley should set a precedent for parents who ignore the warning signs of their child's troubling behavior and their responsibility to seek help. It also serves as a sobering reminder about the responsibility that comes with gun ownership and the safe storage of guns around children. I’m a strong believer in the Second Amendment and do not believe the government should encroach on Americans' constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.


The conviction of James Crumbley and his wife serves as a somber reminder of the responsibilities that come with gun ownership. We have seen too many young people commit heinous crimes, from smash-and-grabs, and armed robberies in inner cities, to young kids in the suburbs shooting and killing their classmates, and one question I’ve always asked is: Where are the parents? We cannot continue to allow parents to allow their reckless and troubled children to wreak havoc on the rest of society without any consequences. The trial of Mr. Crumbley and the ultimate conviction followed by the trial of his wife should serve as a reminder for anyone out there with a troubled child and firearms in the home. Get your child the help they need and secure those firearms for your safety, the safety of the child, and those around them.

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Mr. Williams is Manager/Sole Owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year.

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