Opinion | The Conviction of a School Shooter’s Mother

Opinion | The Conviction of a School Shooter’s Mother

To the Editor:

Re “A Jury Convicts a Teen’s Mother in His Rampage” (front page, Feb. 7):

As a retired law enforcement officer and just someone with common sense, I am heartened by this verdict. The parents’ dereliction of their responsibilities was beyond inexcusable.

I was raised around firearms. I was given my first rifle at age 6. But my father’s training and supervision were, to say the very least, strict in the extreme. We wouldn’t dare even make a joke about a gun.

But the infatuation with guns in this country will continue to wreak havoc until, somehow, we learn to care more about our kids and the safety of our society than we do about guns and the ridiculous, tortured interpretation of the anachronistic Second Amendment.

Guns are tools. They don’t impart “manhood.”

MacKenzie Allen
Santa Fe, N.M.

To the Editor:

Jennifer Crumbley has been found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. From what I’ve seen, I concur with that judgment.

But nonetheless … as a parent, whose children have never done anything destructive and have not been troubled by the same demons that Ethan Crumbley was, I feel some dark sadness for her as she faces her own imprisonment.

I know the verdict will be debated, and will set a precedent about parental responsibility and care of firearms. I hope that it will truly bring about change.

While the mother is receiving just punishment, she is nevertheless, perhaps, wondering, as do most of us parents at one time or another, what she should have done differently.

Dave Pasinski
Fayetteville, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Re “What Is This Mother Really Guilty Of?,” by Megan K. Stack (Opinion guest essay, Feb. 5), published shortly before the verdict:

Ms. Stack’s essay, arguing that Ethan Crumbley’s mother, Jennifer, should not be held complicit in Ethan’s school shooting, is not convincing. What parent would give a woefully depressed teenager a gun “to cheer him up?” If Ms. Crumbley never anticipated that he would become a school shooter, wouldn’t it occur to her that Ethan might die by suicide?

Ms. Crumbley ignored the school’s advice to take her son to a therapist. Ms. Stack quotes a lawyer saying that “you should have known better” is not a criminal standard, but isn’t the standard here more “aiding and abetting,” as Ms. Crumbley enabled the shooting with the purchase of the gun?

When gun manufacturers and our legislators place virtually no restrictions on the ability of dysfunctional families to give their mentally ill members guns as gifts, new legal ways must be found to deter the epidemic of school shootings.

Ellen Shaffer Meyer
Wilmington, Del.
The writer is a retired attorney.

To the Editor:

It is one thing to be an irresponsible parent. It is quite another to be an irresponsible parent who buys a 15-year-old son a 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun and fails to keep that gun locked up and out of harm’s way. Negligence on the part of these parents allowed the son to kill four and wound seven. They must share the blame.

Mary Janicke

Ira D. Cohen
North Bergen, N.J.

To the Editor:

People may be puzzled by Donald Trump’s repeated and vociferous demand that presidents must have complete immunity from prosecution after they leave office. However, it provides a clear window into his assumptions about power.

For Mr. Trump, it is inconceivable to hold office, or power in any realm, without stretching, or ignoring completely, laws pertaining to conduct. As is evident by lawsuits and indictments, Mr. Trump seems incapable of operating within legal boundaries, in business, finance, interpersonal pursuits and holding elected office.

He assumes that everyone operates as he does, so of course immunity is necessary in order to get things done. This unconscious assumption on his part is quite revealing about his psychology, and leadership posture, even though no president, except him, has been indicted after leaving office.

Michael H. Frisch
New York
The writer is a psychologist.

To the Editor:

Re “Defections Foil G.O.P. Bid to Impeach Mayorkas” (front page, Feb. 7):

What an embarrassment for the rabble rousers of the House Republican caucus: They failed, though by a narrow margin, in their effort to bring about a revenge impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary.

There is a legitimate argument about whether Mr. Mayorkas has done his job well on the immigration crisis on the Mexican border. But as a few G.O.P. House members had the good sense to recognize, impeaching Secretary Mayorkas would have been wrong and would likely have been met with payback when Democrats regain control of the House.

Former President Donald Trump was impeached twice through a thoughtful and legitimate process. The House G.O.P. in no way met that standard in its vendetta against Mr. Mayorkas. Maybe failure will cause the members to now think twice before choosing to make fools of themselves.

Oren Spiegler
Peters Township, Pa.

To the Editor:

Speaker Mike Johnson clearly needs to go to Nancy Pelosi to get a lesson on how to “lead” without egg on your face, as evidenced by the disastrous vote to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas. She famously said she never put a vote to the floor she couldn’t win.

Mr. Johnson, Donald Trump’s puppet, obviously couldn’t figure that out for himself. Time to ask Ms. Pelosi for help, or his days as speaker are numbered.

To the Editor:

Re “Trump’s Running Mate Has to Be Ramaswamy,” by Frank Bruni (Opinion, Feb. 3):

Mr. Bruni’s piece positing Vivek Ramaswamy as Donald Trump’s choice for a running mate was very much on target, but it omitted the most compelling reason for this choice: a Vice President Ramaswamy would be an incredible insurance policy against Democrats attempting to impeach Mr. Trump if he’s elected.

Kari Lake comes close, but Mr. Ramaswamy is in way over his head on the national stage. He doesn’t have a clue.

Steven Clarke
Hilton Head Island, S.C.