A US congressman posted a Christmas photo of himself and his family smiling, posing with a variety of guns, days after four teens were shot and killed at school. Michigan .
Thomas Massie of Kentucky tweeted: “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”
Ethan Crumbley (15) is facing murder and terrorism charges after the most violent school shooting in the US this past year. His parents were taken into custody on Saturday for the murder of Tate Myre (16 years old), Hana St. Juliana (14) and Madisyn Baldwin (17) at Oxford high school in Detroit. In Tuesday’s shooting, six other students were also wounded along with a teacher.
Massie, who is a Republican-leaning district representative, posted the photo of six other people holding guns that resemble semi-automatic and machine guns. Some of these weapons look almost identical to fully automated weapons.
US law restricts the use of machine guns to military personnel, law enforcement officers, and civilians who have been granted special licenses for weapons manufactured before May 1986.
Jonathan Van Norman, campaign manager for Massie did not immediately respond to a request via Twitter for comment.
John Yarmuth, a Democratic US Representative, condemned the post of his Kentuckian counterpart. “I can remember Republicans screaming it was insensitive try to protect people gun violence after a tragic event,” Yarmuth tweeted.
He added, “I promise not every person in Kentucky is an insensitive asshole.” The latest incident in which a gunman was killed in Oxford, Michigan, was just one of many that have led to fierce debates about gun rights, gun control, and school safety.
After authorities had arrested Ethan and his parents on Saturday, a Michigan judge set bail at $500,000 (PS378,000 each).
James and Jennifer Cumbley appeared via videolink from jail to their arraignment. They pleaded not guilty for four counts each of involuntary murder. Karen McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor, stated that the Crumbleys took $4,000 from an ATM during authorities’ search for them. They remained a flight threat.
McDonald’s stated that “These aren’t people we can be sure will return to the court on their own.”
After Friday’s announcement by prosecutors that the Crumbleys would be facing charges for manslaughter, authorities began to search for them. Prosecutors claimed that the Crumbleys purchased a handgun as a Christmas gift for their son and ignored warning signs, including the day of shooting.
Julie Nicholson, the judge, stated that she was concerned about the “flight risk” presented by the couple following Friday’s arraignment. According to the Crumbleys lawyers, the couple did not attempt to evade authorities.
One of the lawyers stated at Saturday’s hearing that “our clients were absolutely going in to turn themselves into police,” It was a matter logistics.
James White, Detroit’s chief police officer, said that the couple was hiding in a building on the east end of the city. He claimed they hadn’t broken into the building but were allowed in by someone. White stated that the vehicle of the couple was outside the building.
Ethan went with his father four days before the shooting to a gun shop. James Crumbley purchased a 9mm handgun there, according to prosecutors. Ethan uploaded photos of the gun to social media and wrote: “Just got mine new beauty today” and added a heart emoticon. His mother wrote the next day that they were at a gun range “testing his new Christmas present”, McDonald’s said.
According to the prosecutor, there were other warning signs that Ethan was looking for online. Ethan was found online looking for ammunition by a teacher on 21 November. School officials were alerted and left messages for his mom that were not returned. Later, his mother texted him to say: “LOL! I’m not mad. It is important to not get caught.
A teacher found drawings by Ethan on the morning of the shooting. They depicted a gun, a bullet and a bleeding body next to the words “blood all around”, “y life is meaningless”, and “the thoughts will not stop – please help me”.
Ethan explained to school counsellors that the drawings were for a game he was creating. He also stated that he would like to pursue videogame design as a career according to a letter Tim Throne, the superintendent of Oxford community schools, sent to the school community on Saturday.
“Consultants did not believe that the student could harm others based upon his behavior, responses, and demeanour which appeared calm,” Throne stated. McDonald’s said that school officials summoned the Crumbleys to instruct them to get Ethan in counselling within 48 hours. She said that Ethan’s parents refused to take him home and didn’t search his backpack nor ask about the gun.