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After another shooting, questions remain about the required role of parents

By: Hannah Yang

Last week during the Fourth of July parade, a 21-year-old caused a mass shooting at Highland Park, Illinois. Yet, after the shooting, many questions still linger. Could the parents have prevented their child from committing the shooting? Many American parents have been scared that their child will be a mass shooting victim. However, many individuals overlook the few parents whose children are responsible for the shootings.

According to the Reformer, “The parents of the man accused in the Highland Park shooting have come under scrutiny in the wake of the attack that killed seven people and left many more wounded. Law enforcement officials released records detailing the father's sponsorship for his son for a firearms license in 2019. The father bought weapons for his son despite incidents in which his son was said to have attempted suicide with a machete and drew police to his home because officers were told he threatened to ‘kill everyone.’ The father said he did nothing wrong and was shocked by what had happened.”

Previous mass shootings like the Highland Park shooting include the attack at Robb Elementary by an 18-year-old and the Waffle House shooting by a 29-year-old. The Waffle House gunman had a history of mental health problems and was restricted from owning guns in Illinois. Since he couldn’t own any guns, he gave them all to his father before moving to Tennessee. Police later revealed that his father had given a rifle back to the gunman who caused the Waffle House shooting.

In the Texas shooting, Salvador Ramos’s father and grandma both have criminal records, including paying with a fake check and assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities charged his grandma with a misdemeanor, and his dad had broken the law before. “Kevin Johnson, a prosecutor in that case, said that family members and friends need “to have the courage and common sense to follow through and make the appropriate report to the authorities” if they fear someone they know is heading toward violence.”

As a result, the public has continued to question if the parents of those responsible for fatal shootings of children and possibly stop them from becoming criminals.


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