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After Mass Shooting, People Are Questioning Parents’ Role

By: Jiahao Chen

After a mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, during a Fourth of July Parade, everyone is wondering if the gunman’s parents could’ve prevented this. Alberto Fuentes said, “The kid had a problem. The parents had a responsibility to do something.”

The majority of parents are concerned about their children being victims in future shootings, but a small group of parents are dealing with a different nightmare when their children (mostly sons) become shooters. Andrew Solomon, an author, said, “[i]t’s terrifying enough to think you might be the victim of some random piece of violence, but to think you might be called out for not knowing, that your child has caused this, is also a terrible fate.”

These fears made some of these parents look for help for their child’s dwindling mental health, and prevented shootings. Other parents were heedless of warning signs and sometimes even allowed their children to buy firearms.

It was later revealed in the period after the shooting in Highland Park, that the father of the shooter sponsored his son for a firearm license. This proved how he was heedless of a growing possibility that the son would unleash his wrath onto innocent people. The father, despite having his son attempt suicide, drawing police to their home, and claiming he would kill everyone, said he did nothing wrong.

Robert E. Crimo III, was accused to be the suspect of the shooting, and he fled out of town inside his mother’s car, who he had been living with for six months. His parents haven’t yet been charged for the shooting, with officials saying the investigation with the parents had everything “on the table.”

Although everything was under control with the family’s son/shooter in prison, the incident would make the family’s lives very different. Police found that mother of the suspect, Ms. Pesina, left him in her car in a Toys “R” Us parking for almost 30 minutes in the blazing heat when he wasn’t even 2. She later served one year of court supervision, reaching an agreement for her punishment.

Luckily, the suspect was ordered held without bail, but the question regarding the responsibility of parents is still being debated over. It may be possible that parents would have to take action for their kid’s decision, but it is still unclear.

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