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Parents must be held responsible for their kids.

  • Posted on
  • By Barry Laws
  • 16
Parents must be held responsible for their kids.

Parents must be held responsible for their child's actions. It is easy to keep fireams away from problem kids but parents can't be bothered. Time for them to be held responsible for their actions.

The parents of a teenager suspected of a deadly school shooting have denied charges of involuntary manslaughter following their arrest on Saturday.  They are accused of ignoring warning signs before their son's alleged rampage.  Prosecutors say Ethan Crumbley, 15, used his father's gun to shoot classmates in the nearby Michigan town of Oxford, killing four and wounding seven.

Here's some cold hard news:  Parents, your kids actions are because of you.  I hear it all the time, "I couldn't control little Johnny" etc.. etc...  Okay so let's say thats true.  Then why the hell do you leave your firearms unlocked and within reach of said problem child?  You are responsible for guiding your kids into a safe world... you are also responsible for a world safe from your child.

Guns and problem children don't mix.  Guns and depression don't mix.  Guns and criminals don't mix.  Guns and irresponsible citizens don't mix. Guns and your child's problematic friends don't mix (believe me every kid has one friend like that). 

I'm not an advocate for more laws, yet I am an advocate of holding parents responsible for their kids actions.  I don't know how many times I've been on the news talking about free gun safety tips, free gun locks and free storage advice on keeping communities safe.  Yet time and time again I'll get the call that another child was shot - because of irresponsible parents.

Its time parents spent time in jail for their kids actions & held liable financially.  Most LE agencies don't prosecute the parents but I think it's time to do just that.

This doesn't let society and friends off the hook either.  If you have a friend, neighbor, acquaintance who is having issues, step up and see if you can help.  No one is a complete loner.  Perhaps if someone would have shown interest in these kids earlier in life we wouldn't have these issues.  There were no mass shootings when I was growing up... and we had guns everywhere.  What is wrong with our super tech world that doesn't even show interest in helping problematic kids?  We would rather text someone with a happy friggin face than sit across from them and show true interest.

If my child were shot I would be devastated beyond repair.  I can only imagine the heartache that is caused by irresponsible parents allowing firearms to be accessible to children, by irresponsible parents not seeking professional help for the kids mental states, by schools looking the other way from problem kids, depression, and from mental health issues.  If a kid has come to the point he is willing to kill others he/she/etc needs professional help, to be in an institution. 

It's time to step up parents.  This is right at your door knocking.  Ask your kids about their day, how their friends are doing, who is happy, who is not.  Show interest.  And for Gods sake, lock your guns up and away from your children and their friends.


  1. Charles Charles

    Very well put and in 100% agreement. However, some post mention difficulties in using hidden storage shelves with RF control. First, yes in the instance we realize that we need a weapon the adrenaline is flowing but if you have prepared, trained and are ready for such an event, that preparation will ease your tension as you have been through the scenario and are ready to act. This is what keeps Officers alive in life and death situations, depth of training. So it is possible to utilize such storage and it be effective in keeping it away from those who need not access the firearm. I have a 9mm pistol AR that is outfitted with a holographic display site. All I have to do is grab my key off my nightstand(during the day the bedroom stays locked), drop the shelf, insert my mag and I’m ready to go. I have practiced this a hundred times, even had a couple of false occurrences with family dropping by late at night without letting me know(something they won’t let happen again).

  2. Linda Linda


    Thank you. I totally agree with everything you said. It’s time to hold the parents accountable. I think school should have called authorities too.
    Thank you for taking this stance. I know not everyone will agree, but this needed to said.
    This young boys parents don’t even look sorry for what their son did. No remorse at all.

  3. Gary Kemper Gary Kemper

    The fact that his mother sent him a text, “don’t do it”, should be incriminating enough. Just the thought that their son might be capable of this should have prompted a call to authorities.

  4. Dustin Dustin

    I think there is a lot to digest on this specific issue. I will tackle the easiest one. Locking up all your firearms is a double-edged sword. I am not sure how many of you have had a home intruder or a threat on your property. I have had the unfortunate luck of having both in my lifetime. First, most times, you don’t have time to run to your safe, put a combination in, load your mags, then your weapon, and then go after the threat. Especially if the intruder has entered your home. This goes for those dumb wall-mounted fingerprint digital single pistol lockers as well. I consider myself a strong-minded calm under pressure dude, but both times when a threat was on the property, I was shaking like crazy. Imagine trying to get a combo dialed in. Second, your children should know your firearms, how they work, and the house rules about them. My children, since the day of their births have grown up with weapons. When they were in the phases of touching everything, I put them up when waking up. Now that they are older, the nightstand pistol and shotgun stay out all the time. To include, there are weapons at different locations of the house in the even I can’t get to the bedroom. They know where they are, and they don’t mess with them, if they want to, they ask, and we have a small class. At this point in their lives, a rifle in the corner is no different from a lamp. When we have company over I collect everything up and put it away because other peoples kids most time lack discipline and respect for other people’s things.

    Now for the primary issue at hand as Kentucky Jack stated this situation is not black and white. I do know that this situation is a tragedy and always is when stuff like this happens. However, just because it happened does not warrant new laws. Statistically school shootings and deaths are incredibly low and have always been the case.

    I know two solutions that probably 99% of the time would prevent this entire situation from ever happening again. But, is highly unpopular, and often when I say it, it pi$$es people off. First, if this father was leading his house as Christ commanded us men to do, this most likely would not have happened. Additionally, when parents send their children to these institutions, you are giving other people permission to teach and parent your children. Many parents are discovering now that the minute you drop your kids off at school, you effectively give the school your authority as the parent. Just like all these school board meetings where parents want change. The problem is not the school; the problem resides in the parents for allowing someone else to teach their children. The solution to stopping public school shootings is not hard. It starts with homeschooling your children in an environment built on Christ principles. The ten commandments are a great starting point to leading change in your household.

    There is a reason why the destruction of the family ramped up exponentially when women were convinced that being home was bowing to the patriarchy instead of following the laws of God. Big Brother smiled at all the fools who helped them double the collected income tax. Getting both parents to work and feed the beast system and then allowing the daddy government to control children's minds in the indoctrination centers called public school; is one of the greatest deceptions of our time. All the while doing this over the last 60 years, we somehow scratch our heads when our children live sinful lives and make awful decisions. When is the last time your heard your pastor preach on this entire topic? I bet he has not!

  5. Brooklyn Brooklyn

    I totally agree with this. As a gun owner it is your responsibility to secure your weapon. His parents knew he was unstable and that he was planning to do some thing. Even if they did not understand the true nature of his plan, they didn’t know it would hurt people. I believe if more parents were held accountable for the actions of their children when the crime was committed to a gun that was registered to them and was not safely secured, we would see a shift and decline in accidental death and teenage gun violence. Thank you for sharing this opinion. Guns don’t kill people. People Use guns to kill people.

  6. Jonathan Webb Jonathan Webb

    I understand where you are coming from, but unfortunately I believe this was a failure on the schools part even more so than the parents. 1. They sent the parents home without the child. 2. They failed to check his backpack/Locker/Desk before sending him back to class. I’m assuming they checked his person…

    Shouldn't charge the parents if they don’t charge the school too.

    No one thought to ask where is the gun and if he brought it to school? Then check for it?

    All in all… the parents did have a part of this, but most parents have no clue about their children and what their child does outside of their supervision. Lots of parents want to think that they do but often they are incorrect.

    He may have not shown any signs to the parents… simply looking up ammunition is not a sign. Pictures of him at the range is not a sign. Pics/video of him displaying the firearm “My new baby”, “him with his dad at a gun store” isn’t a sign.

    However the hand drawn pics were a sign and those were found at school by a teacher and not the parents. So that’s on the school for not providing adequate safety precautions after they came across it. They should have searched him/desk/locker/backpack and then sent him home with his parents that day until the parents brought in a letter from a psychiatrist clearing the son to return.

  7. Trey Trey

    I respectfully disagree with the spirit of Barry’s opinion. It is a very knee jerk reaction. First, I do believe parents should be held responsible for negligence in their children’s actions. However, these parents claim they did lock up the ammo and gun. As unbelievable as that may seem (even to me), kids are sneaky and the foundation of our country is innocence until proven guilty.
    One thing I have noticed is that there have been several shootings perpetrated by minors HERE in Louisville this year! Yet not a mention from Barry about prosecuting parents. Why? Does a child have to draw out bloody pictures to prove they are troubled and capable of murder? Are the parents not responsible for knowing where their children are at night and who they hang out with and their behavior?
    So, Barry, just so that it’s clear to me as a parent, if my kid draws bloody pictures then kills people with the gun I claim to have locked up then I’m negligent and you’ll blog about it. But, if I let my kid roam the around the streets while sensationalizing that street life and he gets a hold of a gun and tries to do criminal things and kills someone then I’m NOT negligent.

    Seems like an odd opinion piece from a gun shop that sells guns without proof of a safe or purchase of a small gun case. I’m sure some people would make an argument that Openrange would be negligent. Before pulling the stick out of someone’s eye, make sure you pull the one out of your own eye.

  8. Steve Woods Steve Woods

    Nothing put fear in me as a child, like the sound of a leather belt being quickly pulled through the 7 belt loops on my Dad's work pants. Yes I got a lot of ass whoopin's, but you know what else I got? respect for authority and other people.

    When society started wanting to be friends with their kids so they could post "The Cool Mom or Dad" pics on social media, they essentially threw in the towel on parenting.

  9. Rick Rick

    Barry, I agree in this case. All cases need to be thoroughly investigated. From what I have read there may be some culpability on the school’s administration and they too should be held accountable. That’s just my opinion. Schools need to return to disciplinary actions and students that are like this need to be removed and security beefed up. It’s only going to get worse at this rate until everyone can see the practices of today don’t work. They just want that money for kids attending school.

  10. Kentucky Jack Kentucky Jack

    Barry, I applaud you for taking a stance. You are a strong community leader in Crestwood / Oldham County and I'm glad you are speaking up. My family is a regular customer of your range and classes and you've always been consistent on safety and responsibility on the sales floor and in the classroom and range.

    Having said all that, I'm not 100% convinced either way on this issue because it's never black and white. Having kids that went through the local school systems recently, I have mixed feelings on how everything plays out, so many gray areas. The schools are not always forthcoming with issues (most likely because of constant fear of crazy parent retribution and litigation) and the parents sometimes aren't privy to what happens during the school day. However, we must remember that we are the best advocates for our own kids. If they are having a problem, whether it be math or mental illness, you must be the one to take action. If the school is taking action, generally, the problem has been going on for a while. I think the lesson here is that we must be deliberate when raising our kids; it's too easy to sit back and let things happen rather than making things happen.

    Get involved in their activities, take them to church, to Scouts, to Volleyball and stay and participate. Do what you have to do and take the time......

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