U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- More than a month after Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old who opened fire at Oxford High School in Michigan, killing four students and wounding others, pleaded guilty to 24 counts, published reports in the Detroit Free Press say two whistleblowers are alleging school safety protocols weren’t followed that could have prevented the tragedy.
In the aftermath of the Nov. 30, 2021 incident, Michigan lawmakers mounted an effort to pass restrictive gun control legislation including a ban on ammunition magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds.
Mother Jones is reporting that two former school district board members, identified as former President Tom Donnelly and former Treasurer Korey Bailey, told reporters they resigned in September alleging “stonewalling” on the part of district officials and the district’s legal counsel “amid a flurry of pending civil lawsuits against the school district and several of its employees.”
While that issue may be sorted out in court, the two are also asserting the school district had adopted a threat assessment policy for preventing violence some ten years ago, but that it was never used. It appears the policy was not used in Crumbley’s case, apparently because he could have been sent home just hours before the shooting, but after a meeting between school officials and Crumbley’s parents—who are also facing criminal charges—the teen killer was allowed to remain in school.
In what can only be described as good investigative reporting, the Free Press reported Crumbley “should have been sent home under the Oxford school district’s own threat assessment policy” after he drew a picture depicting a gun and blood on his math homework sheet.
However, the New York Times reported that a law firm “associated with the district’s insurance carrier” issued a statement insisting “multiple staff members received threat assessment training before the Nov. 30 tragedy” and that allegations by Donnelly and Bailey “show a misunderstanding of the facts.”
What are the facts?
One day before the shooting, Crumbley was reportedly “caught researching bullets on his cellphone in class.” According to the whistleblowers, he should have been sent home under the district’s threat assessment policy, the Free Press reported.
Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, have pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter, and will go on trial next month. James Crumbley bought the pistol for Ethan only a few days before the fatal attack, on Nov. 26, 2021. After the shooting, the parents went into hiding. The were finally arrested in a warehouse.
On the day of the shooting—when school officials met with Crumbley and his parents—he had the pistol in his backpack, but evidently nobody searched it, for if they had, they would have discovered the gun and the teen likely would have been expelled.
As noted in the New York Times report, “an alarming note was found on his desk. ‘The thoughts won’t stop,’ it said. ‘Help me.’ School officials met with Mr. Crumbley and his parents, who resisted bringing him home, prosecutors said. The shooting happened shortly thereafter.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “The vast majority of states generally prohibit firearms in K-12 schools; however, almost all make some exception to their laws.” The NCSL has a list of states showing how their gun laws relating to guns on school campuses actually work.
Still, aside from having a gun on campus, it is also against the law to kill someone. If this incident tells the authorities and the media anything, it’s that Oxford High School provided one more example of a gun law failure.
Mother Jones noted in its coverage, “Court documents and testimony made clear by last spring that Crumbley gave off numerous warning signs for months before he opened fire.”
This has become something of an expected pattern in mass shootings, especially those that occur in schools. Almost invariably, in the aftermath of a school shooting, details surface that the gunmen had provided lots of warning signs. In Crumbley’s case, Mother Jones pointed to “various threatening communications” including signals about suicide and thoughts about killing others.
“Had the school system been operating an adequate threat assessment program, it may very well have been possible to detect the danger and intervene before it was too late,” Mother Jones wrote.
Early next year, according to the New York Times, a security consulting firm called Guidepost Solutions is expected to release an “initial report” on its assessment of events surrounding the incident.
But historically, including the Oxford High School shooting, anti-gunners quickly call for more gun controls which, had they been in place at the time, would not have prevented the tragedy for which such measures are promoted. Guns are the politically “low-hanging fruit.” Penalizing gun owners who have nothing to do with any of these tragedies creates the impression, no matter how misdirected and ineffective, that “somebody is doing something.” It’s a strategy used by local and state officials, all the way up to Congress and the White House, that provides cover for politicians and bureaucrats who have no real solutions, or who simply resist taking action that may be politically incorrect.
The gun prohibition lobby and its allies in state and federal government invariably put forth their wish list of restrictive gun control proposals disguised as the solution to whatever gun-related crime leaps into the headlines, regardless of the fact that their suggestions are not even remotely connected to the facts.
In the process, the public loses sight of the need for accountability for the perpetrators, allowing instead for the gun control camp to spread the blame to every gun owner.
About Dave Workman