Should parents be held accountable for their kids' gun violence?

“The 360” shows you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories and debates.

What’s happening

A Michigan prosecutor on Friday of the 15-year-old suspect in last week’s high school shooting in Oxford Township, Mich., which left four students dead and seven wounded.

Jennifer and James Crumbley each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter. They are accused of giving their son, Ethan, access to a gun and failing to intervene despite signs that he may have posed a danger to those around them. “Gun owners have a responsibility. When they fail to uphold that responsibility, there are serious and criminal consequences,” Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said at a press conference Friday. Ethan Crumbley, who will be tried as an adult, faces a total of 24 charges, including murder and terrorism. All three accused have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

According to prosecutors, the Crumbleys bought the gun . On social media, Ethan Crumbley called the weapon “my new beauty,” and his mother referred to it as “his new Christmas present.” McDonald also accused the parents of failing to respond to troubling behavior from their son, including a disturbing drawing of a deadly shooting he allegedly made on the morning of the masacre.

Researchers have found that between used by children in school shootings are owned by the child’s parents or close relatives. Still, it’s to be charged with a crime. There are a number of cases in which parents have been held after accidental shootings involving small children in the home. But legal experts say the decision to charge the Crowleys with manslaughter is .

Yahoo Newsletter
Get updates on the latest news sent straight to your inboxPlease enter a valid email addressSuccess! You have subscribed to Yahoo newsletter.Unsubscribe anytime. By signing up, you agree to Yahoo's Terms and Privacy Policy.

Why there’s debate

Many gun control advocates have celebrated McDonald’s decision to charge the Crumbleys and hope it will set a precedent that requires parents to face legal consequences for failing to keep guns away from their children. Particular focus has been placed on so-called , which legally obligate adults to take reasonable steps to prevent kids from accessing firearms. About 20 states, including Michigan, have no such requirement, and in states that do have them, the laws are rarely enforced or carry only minor penalties.

Proponents argue that stronger safe storage laws and serious criminal penalties for parents who show extraordinary negligence will send a message to gun owners that they need to be more careful with their weapons. They say that knowledge could help prevent not only rare attacks like the Michigan school shooting, but also , which are more frequent.

Opposition to these ideas has emerged from both the right and the left, for dramatically different reasons. Gun rights supporters say that charging the Crumbleys infringes on their Second Amendment rights. Some conservatives have also argued that prosecutors are unfairly using the parents as a political ploy to promote a liberal agenda. Progressive criminal justice reform advocates have warned against rewriting laws in response to such an extreme case — since it’s likely that any harsher penalties will ultimately be imposed mostly on vulnerable defendants, not on people like the Crumbleys.

What’s next

The investigation into the shooting is continuing and may expand its scope to , including school staff, authorities said.



Gun owners should know they’ll be held accountable for how their weapons are used

“When gun right activists talk about freedom to bear weapons, they must — at the absolute very least — include the personal responsibility for how these weapons are stored. But often that’s missing from their quest to protect the Second Amendment.” — Editorial,

Harsher penalties for parents would save children’s lives

“Charging James and Jennifer Crumbley in this case serves as a wake-up call to parents and other gun owners that they need to be more responsible when it comes to safeguarding their weapons. McDonald's actions in this case are entirely justified — and the move to prosecute the parents could serve as a powerful warning that helps reduce the number of school shootings in this country.” — Kara Alaimo,

Charging parents is extreme, but so is the American epidemic of gun violence

“If all this strikes some as overreaction, well, what else can you do but overreact? As long as America remains a place where you can’t come down hard on gun ownership, it must be a place where you come down crazy hard on protection.” — Mitch Albom,

This may be one of the few gun control measures that can actually be passed

“The prosecutor here is not charging the parents under specific gun-related statutes. Rather, involuntary manslaughter can be applied to any creative theory of gross negligence that results in death. Maybe heightened parental responsibility standards is a solution that both sides of the gun debate can get behind. We can provide schools with security plans and active shooter drills, but making more parents criminally responsible could be a powerful preventative fix.” — Danny Cevallos,

It’s no violation of rights to demand that deadly weapons be kept out of the hands of children

“In a sane world, this shooting would, at a minimum, lead to stronger safe-storage laws, though Republicans in Michigan let just such a law wither without a vote this year. How a party that claims to prize the immanent value of human life when it comes to a zygote can be so ambivalent about safeguarding the lives of innocent teenagers at school is simply beyond me.” — Bret Stephens,


Harsher penalties for parents would only increase racial bias in the justice system

“We should be careful about holding parents criminally liable for crimes committed by their kids. … I can assure you that the people most often targeted won't be white, NRA-loving parents in the suburbs.” — Washington Post columnist

There’s a major difference between morally abhorrent behavior and criminal actions

“The Crumbleys’ actions may have been stupid, immoral, or liable to civil penalties, but that’s not enough to make them crimes — however much those horrified by the latest school massacre might wish it were.” — Samuel Goldman,

Ad hoc justice in the wake of a major tragedy is a betrayal of the rule of law

“We are not supposed to make criminal law by having prosecutors concoct it on the fly. We should particularly resist prosecutorial creativity in the immediate aftermath of an emotionally charged tragedy such as this one. … There is already enough tragedy here. Distorting the law to make it fit our sense of outrage can only make matters immeasurably worse in the long run.” — Andrew C. McCarthy,

The real solution, as always, is tighter gun control laws

“In an ideal world, the Michigan massacre never would have happened, and Congress would have long ago passed a major bill doing everything possible to prevent such tragedies. In the real world, the best we can hope for is accountability.” — Jill Lawrence,

Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in “The 360”? Send your suggestions to

Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images

News Related


Mushfiqur, Fletcher and Thisara down Chattogram Challengers in first home BPL fixture

© Raton Gomes/BCB Thisara Perera took a three-for against Chattogram © Raton Gomes/BCB Khulna Tigers 144 for 4 (Fletcher 58, Mushfiqur 44*) beat Chattogram Challengers 143 for 8 (Afif 44, ... Read more »

Footage released as Gardaí renew appeal for Dublin woman (45) who went missing 3 weeks ago

GARDAÍ HAVE RELEASED footage their renewed appeal to the public to help them trace the whereabouts of 45-year-old Bernadette Connolly, who has been missing for three weeks. The footage shows ... Read more »

Former FIFA employee who is victim of sexual harassment unsure if top official has been punished

A former junior staff member for FIFA says she is still unsure if the organisation leader who sexually harassed her has been punished for his actions. According to the New ... Read more »

Liz Truss says government won't stop DUP from suspending Brexit checks

© PA Foreign secretary Liz Truss – PA Foreign secretary Liz Truss has said the UK government would not intervene to prevent DUP ministers in North Ireland halting checks required ... Read more »

Villagers in Gujarat's Dingucha shook by death of family of four near US-Canada border

Canadian authorities have confirmed the identities of four members of a family who were found frozen to death near the Canada-US border earlier this month. All four – Jagdish Baldevbhai ... Read more »

Zurbriggen und Russi helfen: In Zermatt wird schon 2022 gefahren

Start im Wallis, Ziel in Italien: Nächste Saison finden die ersten grenzüberschreitenden Weltcuprennen statt. Für Organisatoren wie Fahrer wird es eine gewaltige Herausforderung. © Foto: Jean-Christophe Bott (Keystone) Höchstgelegene Abfahrt ... Read more »

India to convert 150 villages into 'Villages of Excellence' with technical help from Israel: Tomar

The Centre on Friday said it has decided to convert as many as 150 villages into ‘Villages of Excellence’ in 12 states with technical assistance from the Israel government. Already, ... Read more »

Australian Open: Daniil Medvedev Beats Stefanos Tsitsipas, to Face Rafael Nadal in Final

© Provided by News18 Daniil Medvedev won a tempestuous Australian Open semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday and will now face Rafael Nadal, bidding to become the all-time men’s Grand ... Read more »

Heather Knight's innings is among 'top three' performances, says Katherine Brunt

© Getty Images Heather Knight sweeps during her century in Canberra © Getty Images Heather Knight‘s battling century in the Women’s Ashes Test in Canberra ranks among the “top three” ... Read more »

Diriyah E-Prix: Rowland remains on top in second practice

Having already led the way in the opening session on Thursday night, Rowland picked up from where he left off and set a 1m08.957s late on in the session, which ... Read more »

UP Election 2022: CM Adityanath targets SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, calls him ‘supporter of Pakistan, worshipper of Jinnah'

© Provided by The Financial Express Adityanath’s remark ostensibly refers to the SP president’s recent statements on Pakistan and its founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. (File) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi ... Read more »

Evening brief: What WHO says on NeoCov, new coronavirus variant found among bats and all the latest news

© Provided by Hindustan Times WHO said it is aware of the finding of the Wuhan scientists. (File Photo / REUTERS) Here are today’s top news, analysis, and opinion at ... Read more »

Naming CM candidate for Punjab could give Congress more problems than it resolves

Khuub parda hai ki chilman se lage baithe haiñ Saaf chhupte bhi nahiñ samne aate bhi nahiñ [Sitting beside a screen, partly seen yet unseen, what coyness is this?] The ... Read more »

Daniil Medvedev beat Stefanos Tsitispas in a heated match to reach Australian Open men's final

Daniil Medvedev reeled off the last five games to beat Stefanos Tsitispas 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a heated Australian Open semifinal and continue his bid for back-to-back major ... Read more »

Slovenia snowboarder tests positive for virus in Beijing

BEIJING (AP) — A snowboarder from Slovenia has tested positive for the coronavirus after landing in Beijing for the Olympics, the country’s national Olympic committee said Friday. Žan Košir, who ... Read more »

SaveLIFE Foundation & IIT Roorkee signs MoU to improve road safety in India

© Provided by The Statesman SaveLIFE Foundation & IIT Roorkee signs MoU to improve road safety in India SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF), a non-profit organization committed to improving road safety and ... Read more »

On This Day: 28 January 1985

45 top music stars recorded hit charity single, “We Are The World.” (Jan. 28) Read more »

DFA considers allowing entry of unvaxxed but with longer quarantine

© DFA Twitter post DFA Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs is considering letting in unvaccinated travelers provided they will be subjected to longer quarantine period. ... Read more »

U-19 World Cup: India back to full strength for Bangladesh clash in quarters as players recover from COVID-19

© Provided by The Times of India MUMBAI: In a big boost to their chances in the ongoing ICC Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies, all the six covid-hit ... Read more »

5 things to know for Jan. 28: Bomb Cyclone, Supreme Court, Covid, Ukraine, Honduras

Did you take your vitamins this morning? Daily vitamin D and fish oil supplements may help prevent some adults from developing autoimmune disorders such as arthritis and psoriasis. © cnnweather ... Read more »

Russia says it wants peace but has 'gun on the table' - U.S. envoy

By Robin Emmott © Reuters/MAXIM SHEMETOV FILE PHOTO: U.S. ambassador to Russia John Sullivan walks out of the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia says it ... Read more »

'Aim to Spread Devotion, Culture and Tradition': TTD Launches Namami Govinda Line of Panchagavya Items

© Provided by News18 ‘Aim to Spread Devotion, Culture and Tradition’: TTD Launches Namami Govinda Line of Panchagavya Items The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the world’s richest temple board, on ... Read more »

This Division of Railways Earned 116% More Than Last Year. All Details Inside

© Provided by News18 This Division of Railways Earned 116% More Than Last Year. All Details Inside The Salem Division of the Southern Railway has made record-breaking earnings this year. ... Read more »

Tennis-Nadal surprised but amazed with Australian Open final run

© Reuters/LOREN ELLIOTT Australian Open By Sudipto Ganguly MELBOURNE (Reuters) – It was little wonder that Rafa Nadal was left sobbing into his shirt on Friday — because even he ... Read more »

Portraits of lives lost: Left lying on the floor

The Life Esidimeni inquest will determine whether there can be any criminal liability for the deaths of 144 mental healthcare patients in the care of the South African public health ... Read more »

Chinese travel for Lunar New Year despite plea to stay put

The Associated PressA traveler waits outside the Beijing railway station with her suitcase in Beijing, China, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. The Beijing Winter Olympics is coinciding with the Chinese Lunar ... Read more »

Meet the SA Fashion Week New Talent Search 2022 finalists

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) And the cat is out. South African Fashion Week (SA Fashion Week) has announced the New Talent Search finalists. Competing for this year’s award ... Read more »

Track record of organisers as well known as political interests of participants: MEA on IAMC event

After former vice-president Hamid Ansari and four US lawmakers expressed concern over the human rights situation in India, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said India is a vibrant ... Read more »

Drop in corruption perception index ranking not a gov't failure –Palace

Acting Palace spokesperson Karlo Nograles at Jan. 6, 2022 briefing Palace spokesperson Karlo Nograles on Friday denied that the drop in the Philippines ‘ ranking in Transparency International’s 2021 corruption ... Read more »

Huitfeldt wishes King Harald a swift recovery: “I sincerely hope I haven't infected the king”

After it became known on Friday that the king has cold symptoms, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (AP) says she hopes she has not infected King Harald with COVID-19. “I wish ... Read more »

Bedroom tax explained including how much, who is exempt and whether you have to pay it

Families living in council homes could be hit with a charge if members of their household move out – and in most cases it will come in the form of ... Read more »

"From what I'm told" - Journalist drops big Newcastle transfer update, would be club-record deal

© GiveMeSport Eddie Howe Newcastle United Transfer insider Dean Jones insists that Newcastle United could seal a club-record deal to sign Bruno Guimaraes over the next few days, after a ... Read more »

Afghanistan: People in a 'horrific' situation, WFP chief David Beasley tells DW

© Provided by DW Many charities and aid groups have remained to keep supporting Afghan locals Millions of people in Afghanistan are facing a dire situation as they struggle to ... Read more »

Ramaphosa facing mounting pressure to suspend national top cop after Ipid cases

Pressure is mounting for President Cyril Ramaphosa to act against National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole Police watchdog Ipid opened a case against him for failing to cooperate in the Charl ... Read more »

PRN Johor: Tak mustahil PN, pembangkang kerjasama lawan ‘kesombongan' BN, kata AJK PAS

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Ahli Jawatankuasa PAS Pusat, Mahfodz Mohamed, secara peribadi berpandangan segala kemungkinan boleh berlaku dalam politik, lebih-lebih lagi Umno dilihat semakin rakus untuk mengenepikan PAS ... Read more »

Russia welcomes US counterproposals on ultimatums

© Provided by DW Lavrov has cautioned against sanctions targeting Russian leader Vladimir Putin or plans to sever the country from SWIFT Russia signaled some pleasure Friday with US proposals received ... Read more »

Russia nears 100,000 daily infections as omicron rages

The Associated PressA medical staff member treats a patient with COVID-19 at an ICU of an hospital in Krasnodar, southern Russia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. Russia has confirmed 11,404,617 cases ... Read more »

Bid accepted: The Athletic now drop breaking news from Tottenham on 'special' player

© Provided by Transfer Tavern tottenham hotspur stadium outside Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly now had a bid ‘accepted’ for Ollie Tanner, according to The Athletic journalist Andy Naylor. The Lowdown: ... Read more »

New coronavirus variant NeoCoV may be more lethal, transmissible - study

© (photo credit: PIXABAY) Coronavirus (illustrative). A new coronavirus variant known as NeoCoV has been discovered, and it may be more transmissible and lethal than other variants, according to a ... Read more »

Autistische Jugendliche in Genfer Heim misshandelt

© Keystone/SALVATORE DI NOLFI In einem Schulheim für autistische Jugendliche im Kanton Genf soll es in den vergangenen Jahren zu Misshandlungen von Heimbewohnern durch Betreuer gekommen sein. Die Behörden haben ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic