Crumbley Parents Face Prosection Due To Son’s Shooting Spree, Nation Has Right To Expect Parental Responsibility

Gun control advocates continually press for reasoned and logical laws and consequences so as to better stem the rampant gun violence that impacts far too many communities and families. Today, one of those themes pushed on this blog came to fruition in a Michigan court case. James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of a teenager who killed four students and injured seven at a Michigan high school, will face trial for involuntary manslaughter. The ruling came from a state appeals court in what we need to recognize as a profoundly important and correct decision.  This is a groundbreaking case of criminal responsibility for the acts of a gun-toting child.

In December 2021, I posted the following.

The layers of possible responses to the carnage left by Ethan Crumbley and the 9-millimeter Sig Sauer handgun used in the shooting are many. From working on issues in school concerning being bullied to the drowning of the nation in too many guns available for purchase, and the ease that children can get their hands on a deadly weapon. There is no single avenue to address the gravity of the situation.

But when it comes to guns in homes this blog has been consistent and adamant that parents must be held legally responsible when their weapons are not stored and safeguarded correctly. When they are accessible to underage people, and crimes take place with the weapons, then the law must follow the parents right to the jailhouse door and usher them inside.

Let me be clear and place the weight upon the parents as these murders would not have happened if the parents hadn’t purchased a gun for Ethan Crumbley or if they had taken him home from Oxford High School on the day of the shooting.  That is not just my summation, but how the appeal court viewed the distressing matter of God-awful parenting.  The court held firm to the obvious necessity that the parents should have taken their unhinged child out of the classroom after school staff became aware of and rightly alarmed over his extreme drawings.

I have stressed bad parenting must be addressed in relation to guns repeatedly on Caffeinated Politics.  After reading the words of Lorrie Wagner about her son, Jakob, the Antigo prom school shooter, I called attention to her decision to allow a clearly troubled child to obtain a semi-automatic weapon. I stated it was an example that underscores why there needs to be some legal remedy for such absurdity. We came to know about her son’s childhood struggle with mental illness and diagnosis of depression his emotional breakup with a girlfriend a month before prom, combined with his mother’s decision two weeks before the dance to allow him to buy a semi-automatic assault-style rifle at a gun show. 

In 2009, the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call alerting them someone had been shot dead in Redgranite.  The initial investigation showed several young people between the ages of 5 and 17 were at the residence and the victim had received a gunshot wound to the upper torso.  A long-barrel rifle used in the shooting was recovered from the scene. At the time I asked where were the parents?  Why was a rifle unlocked with ammunition in the home?  There are many questions to be answered, and as painful as it might be, the parents need to be held responsible for the weapons that they had. 

We know that in 2006 in Sauk County a 15-year-old boy brought a rifle and handgun to school and shot a principal three times, killing him.  I wrote at the time “How guns are so carelessly left around in the homes of Americans is a mystery to me.  How a child walks out of the house on the way to school with a loaded shotgun and a loaded handgun baffles me.  How parents are so tone deaf to the problems that their child is having BEFORE a violent act of this kind, confuses me.”

This blog has repeatedly stated parents of young people who use guns to shoot, kill, and create violence also need to be held accountable.  Many times, an adult was responsible for the fact the shooter was able to place his hands on a weapon. There is no way that any sane person can say parental/adult actions, such as with this shooting in Michigan which led off this post, should not be addressed by the law that makes sure there is a responsibility shared by those who help to foster the violent outcomes.

The NRA has plenty of responsibility for the number of guns in our society and the ease with which anyone can get a deadly weapon. But when it comes to children with guns there also must be a question asked–where the heck was the parent? It might also be a good time to ask if parents are not able to control their offspring then perhaps, they should forfeit their children’s tax credits. The rest of society should not have to continually pay the price for bad parenting.

I applaud the court process playing out in Michigan. James and Jennifer Crumbley deserve to be wards of the state.

Father Of Highland Park Mass Shooter Indicted, Seven Counts, Adults Need To Pay Price For Bad Parenting

Robert E. Crimo Jr., center, father of mass shooter Robert Crimo III, Nam Y. Huh, AP Photos The courts need to swing hard at this poor excuse of a parent.

One of the points I continuously make as a step to stem gun violence is to legally go after the parents who assist in weaponizing their children.  Giving assistance so as to allow those with mental health issues or legal pitfalls to gain deadly guns must be addressed by our courts. Having parents act rashly either out of some ‘familial emotions’ toward a troubled child or for partisan reasons can no longer be countenanced by society.  As such, the news today from Highland Park was what we needed to learn, after far too many deadly mass shootings.

The father of the man charged in the Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday for helping his son obtain firearms.

Robert E. Crimo Jr. is to be arraigned Thursday on seven counts of reckless conduct for sponsoring his son’s state gun ownership application despite allegedly knowing his son had threatened to kill himself and his family.

Prosecutors filed seven counts, one for each person killed at the Highland Park parade last year. A reckless conduct charge carries a maximum sentence of three years.

Crimo Jr. has been free on bail since prosecutors charged him in December.  (It needs to be noted the victims of the mass shooting still reside in a cemetery.)

I am often reminded that family structures and values are essential foundations for our youth.  The parents of mass shooter Bobby Crimo are perhaps the epitome of what should be stressed in family planning classes for new parents on what not to become.  I was flabbergasted last year to read and sadly see, Denise Pesina, the killer’s mother, pull down her top and expose her right breast while confronting the professional SWAT personnel waiting to enter her home following the slaughter during the Fourth of July parade. That act was one more piece of the growing puzzle as to the lack of character of the killer’s parents and what type of home environment existed. It was not reported in the news if that photo was then used in her end-of-the-year holiday letter.  ‘Gosh, what a busy year we have had…..’

But as I noted last July nothing proved the lack of parenting skills or the total disregard for the community safety more clearly than when Robert Crimo, Jr., the father of the mass shooter, signed off on his son’s application for a deadly gun in December 2019. That occurred despite the son having two previous encounters with local police, including one in September 2019 where he allegedly threatened to “kill everybody” in his family.  Well, sure, get that unhinged one a deadly weapon!!

We know that Crimo, Jr, wanted to be the mayor of Highland Park, and desired his conservative views to be enacted in the community.  What those voters are discovering more and more is how unworthy Crimo was as a parent, let alone a potential (gasp) public servant. There is appropriate outrage being heard about this case on Chicago radio today.  I hear much agreement as to why parents must be held liable in courts for their child’s actions, especially when due to a deadly gun being placed in the hands of a very troubled person. This blog has repeatedly stated parents of young people who use guns to shoot, kill, and create violence need to be held accountable.   We know that in the Highland shooting an adult was responsible for the fact the shooter was able to place his hands on the weapon. There is no way that any sane person can say parental/adult actions, such as with this mass shooting, should not be addressed by the law that makes sure there is a responsibility shared by those who helped to foster the violent outcomes.

As a general matter, it needs to concern all of us how gun owners carelessly leave weapons around their homes. How a child walks out of the house on the way to school with a loaded shotgun or a loaded handgun baffles me.  How parents are so tone-deaf to the problems that their child is having BEFORE a violent act occurs, confuses me.  Why we as citizens do not tell the NRA that we have had enough death and violence as a result of their buying politicians, and thereby stopping needed gun legislation from getting passed, is in itself a crime. Inept and thoughtless parents are just another slice of the crazy pie.

It might also be an excellent time to ask if parents cannot control their offspring with guns then perhaps should forfeit their use of the child as a tax deductionThe rest of society should not have to continually pay the price for bad parenting.

Students Should Not Need Endure Both High School And College Mass Shootings

Every mass shooting in our nation serves as a gut punch to our moral compass.  The 67th such shooting on the 44th day of this year allowed readers of newspapers and television viewers to take in yet another sobering and very troubling statistic.  Some of the college students who were sheltering in place on the Michigan State University campus, after having read a text message from school authorities to “flee, hide, or fight” had already been through a mass shooting at Oxford High School in 2021. Three of their fellow campus students were joining the dozens of others already slaughtered this year in mass shootings.

The deluge of such shootings has left many in the nation shocked to the point new killings are viewed almost in a fog-like trance as if the soul of the nation deflects and tries to compartmentalize the carnage to stay calm.  But the reality of the continuous shootings needs to be addressed and in as direct a fashion as the students did this morning on their Michigan campus.

Though I am not a parent, I can imagine the absolute terror to learn at night the campus had a mass shooting, knowing a child from the family dinner table was a student, and not being able to reach them on a cell phone. Ever again.  For some families today that is the reality.  It is a harsh and brutal reality that too many of our elected officials will not confront as they allow the National Rifle Association to undermine reasoned and logical gun control measures across the land.  The sad fact is that the most curtailing all-inclusive gun laws could be passed and enacted and, still there would be far more guns than people in our nation.

We are to again have a national conversation about a litany of issues ranging from mental illness to online hate groups or those who have self-loathing issues. Some will pretend this nation has a market with such problems.  We do not.  The entire world confronts those same human frailties.  But they do not go about shooting scores of people and racking up mass shootings as this nation does. That is because they do not have wild access to guns or live in nations that glorify deadly weapons. Has anyone seen a member of the British Parliament saddled with guns while posing for a Christian nationalism photo? We have several in our Congress that have undertaken such dangerous behavior.

We know that the way to stem gun violence, and that is the best that can be hoped for in our current political climate as one party will not stand up to the gun lobby in state capitals or in Congress, is to press ever harder and more firmly, louder and repeatedly for sanity in our legislative bodies. When hearing about the “flee, hide, or fight” text message sent to those young men and women on the Michigan campus I was struck with the image of myself at that age. We all might ponder the same and rightly conclude it is not moral for our legislative bodies not to act at once so to address what every mom and dad is talking about at the dinner table. It is not acceptable that anyone by the age of 20 should have suffered through two mass shootings anywhere in our nation.

Republicans Must Face Facts

There are many topics Republicans much enjoy blustering about, or as the nation witnessed on Tuesday night, acting out with childlike behavior when confronted with data that goes against their rhetoric and fund-raising efforts. While it goes without saying a large majority of the GOP base is wedded to partisan and misleading reporting (and I am being mighty generous with my wording) and even duped by conspiracy theories that are pure lunacy on steroids, there is no getting around the bottom line. Facts matter. Complied data showing trends and outcomes matter. As such, I want to post a number of charts (thanks to Steve Rattner) that underscore some of the topics which have made news of late, and which created such inner turmoil for some conservative House members they presented their true colors to a national television audience. (I tried to size these somewhat equally, but given how each was detailed in varying ways, it did not come out as visually desired.)

A few days ago the nation was reminded, with data from Republican states, how popular the Affordable Care Act is with conservatives. In spite of the zeal and energy from conservative elected pols in those states, the data does not lie. Overall, more Americans (16.3 million) signed up for healthcare through ACA exchanges last year than ever before. The numbers show a 36% increase since 2020.

For better or worse, U.S. crude oil production is set to break records this year. For all the sputtering and pretending the evidence supports that this industry is not being hemmed in and still not doing all it can to reap profits.

Though the national debt has increased under both parties when in power, the national debt grew faster under Trump than any other president in recent history. Just a fact. The gnashing of teeth and the all-but throwing of feces from the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene at the SOTU can not refute the data.

History, a topic this blogger warms to, shows that when it comes to bipartisan work to pass the debt ceiling increase, Democrats work more often with the other side of the aisle than do Republicans.

This blog has noted for years (since 2006) that raising the debt ceiling is not an option and one that is just part and parcel of being an elected official with an understanding of what must be done. As history proves, it has happened many times and the pressure to undertake, again, what is the only logically adult path, will force the pols to do the same this year.

The gun deaths in our nation are staggering and unacceptable.

The Child-Care Tax Credit is an issue that strikes many Americans, this home included, as just a wise and prudent policy that should not be burdened with needless partisanship. Data shows this policy kept 2.9 million children out of poverty in 2021.

One more chart that lands on a topic that concerns me as a customer of goods, and for the sake of this paragraph, cars. The chip shortage, apart from the supply chain issues, dealt a harsh blow to the auto industry with my local Mini car salesman lamenting (before Congress acted), the folly of how our nation has dropped the ball on the production of this much-needed technology. From a defense production and national security perspective, this has long been a ripe topic for discussion. The wave of the future will be electric cars and investing as a nation in this goal is vital to our economy and the environment.

Wisconsin’s Role in Chicago Gun Violence Where One Zip Code Has 1,277 Homicides Per 100,000 People

Chicago Police Department on Dec. 4, 2022, posted a picture of the guns they confiscated in a single day in a single district.

Chicago mayoral elections are always a frothy affair, but this year’s primary season has taken on a far more sobering mood for many voters. The primary field is large and the verbal punches are given and replied to in equal measure. But for the voters what matters is not the campaign tactics of the contenders, but rather, the gun violence and mounting death toll in a city that seems at war with itself.

This weekend the Chicago Sun-Times reported sobering findings that will very much be a part of the closing weeks of a race that matters, perhaps more so than any in recent memory, for those who live in the Windy City. While many of us watch the politics of the city and follow those politicians who either merit attention based on skills (Paul Vallas), or are entertaining due to more bombast than actual gravitas (Willie Wilson) there must also be recognition of the role our state plays in the gun violence that plague parts of Chicago.

The risk of a man 18 to 29 years old dying in a shooting in the most violent ZIP code in Chicago — 60624, a swath of the West Side that includes Garfield Park — was higher than the death rate for U.S. soldiers in the Afghanistan war or for soldiers in an Army combat brigade that fought in Iraq, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open.

Among men ages 18 to 29, the annual rate of firearm homicides in that ZIP code was 1,277 per 100,000 people in 2021 and 2022, the study found, compared with an annual death rate for U.S. troops in a heavily engaged combat brigade in Iraq of 675 per 100,000.

There is a term called “time to crime” which is defined as the period between the purchase of a gun and its recovery by the police in a crime. In Chicago, law enforcement is most concerned as data shows the time is far shorter than in New York or Los Angeles, according to a new report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The Justice Department considers this a strong indicator of illegal trafficking.

The statistics from data regarding guns confiscated on the streets of Chicago continue to be most troubling. In Chicago, most of the traced guns, about 16,500 of them, were bought from somewhere within Illinois, with about 8,200 more coming from Indiana. Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Mississippi, each being the source of fewer than 2,000 guns.

Not for the first time does Wisconsin get put into the mix of how guns from our state find their way to the crimes we read about from Chicago, and then many of our citizens (shockingly) decry the violence they then find so alarming.  Lax gun laws in states near those with more restrictive laws have statistically proven negative outcomes. We simply must be far more aware of how Wisconsin plays a role in that gun violence. I am not suggesting our state has a more pronounced need to act than other bordering states, but the fact gun violence has ramped up and knowing we play a role mandates we act as moral people. 

A 2021 newspaper story about a gun dealer in Superior and a recovered weapon in Chicago is but one glaring example of why we must have tougher gun laws in our state, in this case with gun sellers.

It was a few hours past midnight on New Year’s Day 2016, a time when the working-class northern Wisconsin town of Superior keeps the bars open especially late.

Police were tied up with two bar fights, one of them a 30-person brawl at a local saloon called the Ugly Stick.

With no cops in sight, the burglar was ready to make his move on Superior Shooters Supply, a gun shop frequented by hunters and hobbyists.

It was just 12 days later, authorities believewhen one of those (stolen) pistols was fired from a car in the southbound lanes of the Chicago Skyway around 97th Street, killing a 25-year-old road manager for a rap group who was driving his new BMW coupe.

The ease with which anyone with a disturbed mind or cruel intentions can make an easy entrance to gun stores and steal deadly armaments is very concerning. In the above robbery, the store owner in Superior noted that the handguns were “stolen from one of her glass display cases”. The consequences of such brazen thefts are noted in the data. In 2019, of more than 11,000 guns confiscated by Illinois authorities, 460 were traced back to Wisconsin, which ranked third for states with the most gun traces outside of Illinois, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

We need to re-examine the issues at play that allow for hundreds of guns to leave our state and cause injury and death.  The reason is most obvious. While mayoral hopefuls will press the issue with voters about ways to stem gun violence in their city those who look in on the campaigns from this side of the Illinois border must share in the blame for not pressing our legislature to be more mindful of the harm guns crossing into Chicago are causing.

Jennifer Dorow’s Unsound Judgement On Mingling Guns And Alcohol Calls Into Question Her Suitability For High Court

When I think of Wisconsin Supreme Court justices my mental image constructs a serious person with law books and one of those expensive type pens that write smoothly and has a nice heft when held. I recall the mesh market bag that held at least ten legal tomes as Wisconsin Justice Shirley Abramson placed them into the back of my car for a trip to Door County. She was a guest speaker at an event packaged by our legislative office, and I readily introduced my sincere interest in being her means of transportation. I would argue she best exemplified and epitomized a member of the high court in both intellect and legal reasoning, as well as temperament and personal composure. After all, that court must be viewed as a place of decorum and high personal standards.

I have been giving thought about the type of person best suited to sit on the court as our state enters the final weeks of a primary contest where four candidates vying to fill the seat of a retiring conservative member. (Place aside for the moment that merit selection would be a wiser and more appropriate way to fill seats on the court.) There is no way to not think about the type of person we need on the court, especially when reading the news this weekend.  One of the candidates, Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow, has been constructing a business plan in Delafield for an indoor gun range with a liquor license.  Potentially alcohol-fueled guests could also buy firearms and accessories on-site and use them on a shooting range.  One might assume there will be convenient cups and glass holders near to where the bullets are stored for easy access for the paying guests as they load the deadly weapons. I have never heard of a more potentially dangerous business plan. 

Nothing of this type has come before the local Marquette Neighborhood Association, where over the years I have attended meetings on proposals for many an entrepreneurial design. While many were interested in making money and having success with their venture, no one would have ever so foolishly entertained the marriage of alcohol and guns.  Dorow is just plain wrong to play so close to potential injury, or worse, as she seeks to make money.  This business plan, in and of itself, serves notice as to why she is not fit to sit on the Supreme Court.

Our state has many complex and weighty issues that percolate up to the court that then await the review and findings of the justices. Citizens obviously have sincere, and at times, very diverse opinions as to the proper outcome of such cases.  But win or lose, at the end of the day, the populace must have a feeling the justices are credible individuals. Folks around the state most likely are not much aware of the nuances of the law and state statutes, but they can relate to the foundations that a justice must first have a solid character and basic common sense as a prerequisite for being elected.

Dorow alerts us to her lack of seriousness for statewide office as a justice when she endorsed combining alcohol sales, gun sales, and a shooting range.  Why not ask for a daycare center in an adjoining room?

24th Day of 2023, 39 Mass Shootings, 69 Dead

By the time I get to the end of this post, I will check my news feed to see if an upward adjustment to the number of mass shootings and deaths needs to be made. It is a hell of a situation we find ourselves in as a nation. At the age of 60, I find myself writing about gun deaths with the same sense of frustration as when a middle school student. That is when I wrote my first letter to the editor of our local newspaper, the topic being the number of needless deaths from cheap handguns.

This morning The New York Times started a news story about mass shootings in a fashion that underscores the enormity of the problem in the nation. Such violence is not simply a part of the large urban landscapes, such as Los Angles, or within the mean streets of inner cities like Chicago where drugs and gangs too often predominate.

There was the mass shooting near a youth center in Allentown, Pa., and the one at a Subway restaurant in Durham, N.C. Another took place behind a beer hall in Oklahoma City, and another at a strip club outside Columbus, Ohio. Two mass shootings ended parties in different Florida cities.

And that was just on New Year’s Day.

For many years I would write a blog post when the most recent and deadly gun carnage made headlines in the nation.  They happen with such frequency, however, I just instead opt to head to the front lawn and bring the flag to half-staff.  What more can be said about the barbaric slaughter from our fellow citizens, the frenzied desire from a sick subset of the populace to amass guns and weapons and bulletproof vests, or the spineless and cowering politicians who kneel to NRA lobbyists and gun manufacturers? What I do know is that we must never relent in our demand that reason and common sense win out over the complete insanity from the gun culture in our nation. We have witnessed 39 times this far what more guns, easily bought with few limitations, has brought upon our country.

I read with interest and much agreement the comment from a Minneapolis reader in the NYT when she made the following cogent argument. There is a real need to talk about what drives some men to act with such depravity and what social conditions allow them to believe their actions are ‘warranted’. I would add hyper-masculinity is very much a danger in the nation, and we need to have our schools, churches, and social organizations address it publicly while parents step up their skills to talk with their sons.

Something’s very wrong in American society, and the ridiculous availability of firearms of every description and capacity has been and is a symptom of something much deeper in the American psyche. That killing is so compelling and apparently so easy and irresistible for so many American men and boys shines a spotlight on the morality and values they are raised with, either by parents who inculcate those values or by the larger society that surrounds, advertises, coerces, and threatens that if you are male and are not comfortable with casual, angry, ego-driven violence, its endless expressions in sports and entertainment, and its gruesome instruments, somehow you are not a real “man.” Unrelenting, unthinking, “me-first” capitalism is also to blame. If you’re a man, having your own way in everything is a first principle of “success” in America. Just look around at the troubled and troublesome men America is obsessed with. Who is in the headlines day after day? How did they get there? If you can’t be one of them, just get yourself a gun and you can have all the power in your own hands, at least for a few minutes.

At this point in our gun-soaked and consequently blood-soaked nation, it is no longer the aim of gun control legislation advocates to stop gun crimes, but rather to stem the increase and start to roll back the numbers. The enormity of the issue can be seen in just the past three days in California where gun laws are on the books (and yes, I know the sound rationale for federal laws so weak states cannot be sources for gun sales) but even with more rigorous laws hell still broke out.  However, we must not lose sight of the data that consistently shows that sane gun restrictions make society safer overall. 

One of my reasons for this foundation can be found in a Rand study that was talked about on the news this weekend.  Due to California having tougher gun laws, only 28% of California adults with those deadly weapons in their homes.  As the reporter alerted viewers contrast that to Missouri where nearly 50% of homes had a gun inside.  The steps required to bend the curve towards sanity and away from the gun culture will be slow and come in a variety of ways.   The reason it must be done is in front of us daily.

Politically Motivated Shooting Spree: Losing GOP Candidate, Trump Supporter, Election Denier Engages In Multiple Shootings Against Democrats

Solomon Pena, election denier, arrested for being involved in paying suspects to shoot up the homes of four Democratic politicians

It is not possible to write about each multiple shooting or every instance of insanity that plays out with gun owners and their crimes. Given, however, the deeply fractured nature of our politics and the attacks on our democracy that peaked with the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6th, the news over the MLK holiday weekend from New Mexico truly startled me. A staunch Donald Trump supporter and losing candidate for state assembly was arrested for being involved in paying suspects to shoot up the homes of four Democratic politicians.

James Patterson could not have plotted a more sinister and dangerous storyline than what Albuquerque Police stated had occurred when Solomon Pena contracted individuals to carry out at least two of the shootings.  Pena, himself, was present and fired a weapon at one of the other shootings.  Those fired upon were the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators. 

The report from NPR on Monday was, frankly put, frightening in every respect.  In one case bullets ripped into the wall of a child’s bedroom.

The first act of gun violence happened on December 4th when eight shots were sent into the home of County Commissioner Adriann Barboa. That was followed on December 11th when more than a dozen bullets were fired into the home of County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley. Representative Javier Martinez’s home was also involved in a shooting incident in December while this month the home of state representative Linda Lopez was fired upon.  That is where bullets blasted into a 10-year-old’s bedroom while she slept.

While the danger of such actions on a human level is most evident, it is the undermining of our democratic foundations that also must be addressed.  The notion that violence is considered an option when losing a political race is absolutely disgusting and reprehensible.  It strikes against the very ideas of what constitutes free and fair elections in a democracy. We know that Donald Trump has taught a large percentage of his base of supporters to act recklessly and claim election fraud at every turn.  Police stated that Peña alleged his defeat was the result of election fraud.  Gosh, where did that line of horse rot originate? 

It needs to be noted that Peña lost his state assembly challenge to incumbent Democrat Miguel P. Garcia by 5,679 to 2,033, or 74% to 26%.  Or to round out those numbers Peña was defeated by roughly 50%!!   

So, what did the losing candidate do upon having voters utterly reject him?  NBC News reported that two handguns were found by police in a Nissan Maxima owned by Peña during a traffic stop on Jan. 3. One of the guns appeared to have fired shots outside the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez roughly 40 minutes before and 4 miles away, police said in a statement. A shell casing found in the Maxima matched those found at the scene of another shooting, an incident outside the home of new state House Speaker Javier Martinez on Dec. 8th.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller correctly summed up the crimes and placement of them into the larger issue at hand.  

“This was about a right-wing radical, an election denier, who was arrested today; someone who did the worst imaginable thing you can do when you have a political disagreement, which in turn that into violence.  That should never be the case”.

There is another factor needing consideration, and that is the Republican Party in New Mexico.  Voters knew Pena was previously arrested and convicted of stealing goods from multiple big box stores as part of a “smash and grab” scheme.  They knew their candidate served close to seven years in prison.  Peña was also ordered to go through alcohol/substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, 90 days in Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous, and anger management, court records show.

And yet….and yet.  The New Mexico GOP thought him the perfect name to be on the November ballot. What they offered the voters was a terrorist who was not able to grasp that every election has a winner and a loser. Peña was told over the past two years of bombast and absurdity from Trump and his ilk that election-denying is just another part of the GOP playbook.  A 10-year-old could have been a victim of this lunacy.

How many Republicans will now step up and denounce the fascism that has taken hold of their party?