More ripples in the pond.

The fallout from the school shooting continues to be felt. Everywhere. The county prosecutor has her hands full with a shit-ton of copycat threats to other schools in the area. I have no doubt they’re all bullshit, but it certainly suggests kids kinda…hate their schools? Yes, that seems to be it.

Of course, lots of kids “hate” school, but they miss it terribly when they’re not there. It’s the center of their social lives, but even kids like me — stable home, lots of support, did well in what was indisputably a first-class public school district — had days when, if the building had burned to the ground, I would have stood outside, roasting marshmallows.

Lots of the threats are at the middle-school level, which tracks. I mean: Middle school, amirite? Others are more serious, leading to evacuations, dismissals for the day, and the expected messages to panicked parents: Don’t panic!

Well, we’re all on edge. I think it’s not just because this shooting happened close to home. Rather, because we look at those mugshots of the Crumbleys and realize: I know 25 people exactly like this. How many of them leave guns lying around for their disturbed teenagers to pick up? Probably more than a few, because really, what good is a “properly secured” weapon worth in a tense situation? Home invaders don’t send advance notice; you wake up in the night and think you heard something. Or you walk into the kitchen on a warm summer day and realize someone’s there who shouldn’t be. Do you say, “Hold that thought while I unlock my properly secured weapon?” Or maybe you don’t have children, so you leave the gun in the nightstand, or on the nightstand — badass! — or somewhere else. And then someone breaks in while you’re gone, and steals it.

Someone called in a threat to my high school, maybe a year before I arrived there. Only there really was a bomb, a homemade thing made of fireworks, as I recall. It blew up a toilet, and a kid was injured by flying porcelain. The perpetrator was expelled, the only permanent expulsion I’m aware of during my time there. He wasn’t a terrible kid, just one lost in the dark tunnel of adolescence. I just looked him up on Facebook, and he appears to be fine. Has an interest in general aviation. Who knows what Ethan Crumbley might have become, with different parents? A question for the ages, I guess.

I once saw a cop show that featured a middle-of-the-night home invasion, of Regina King’s house. She played a cop. Leapt from her bed to the closet, quickly keyed in a four-digit combination on her gun safe, and took out a Mossberg pump-action shotgun, which which she dispatched the bad guys. Now there’s a well-secured firearm. I’ve heard police say a shotgun is actually the safest home-protection weapon you can have, because the rounds won’t fly through your walls or windows into the neighbor’s nursery, and you can keep it loaded with rock salt rounds (do those even exist outside of southern gothic fiction) just in case you accidentally shoot your daughter’s boyfriend, sneaking in for some middle-of-the-night shenanigans.

OK then! Must run — the Deadline Detroit holiday party is tonight, and I have to throw together my contribution to the buffet. And get a Covid test first, which is scheduled in about 30 minutes. Probably be crowded, too, what with our heedlessness and surging case load. Best get moving. Happy weekend to all.

Posted at 8:27 am in Current events, Detroit life |

41 responses to “More ripples in the pond.”

  1. basset said on December 10, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Never seen a rock salt shotgun round, looks like there are some out there though:

    There are a lot of “home defense” loads on the market as well… variously sized pellets, discs, etc. in place of the usual small shot.

    Now that “rock salt and nails” song is stuck in my head.

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  2. A. Riley said on December 10, 2021 at 9:20 am

    I read somewhere that the unmistakable sound of a shotgun being racked & readied right on the other side of a closed door is a pretty effective bad-guy deterrent.

    But I’ve never even held one, so what would I know.

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  3. David C said on December 10, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Far more gun owners kill themselves rather than criminals with their guns. I’ve also read a dog is a far better deterrent to being burgled than a gun. Nobody has ever put their own dog up to their head and blown their brains out with it so maybe a dog is the way to go.

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  4. Deborah said on December 10, 2021 at 10:44 am

    It’s interesting how many people discuss the Crumbley parents, even here in NM. So far everyone I’ve heard discussing it is not on the side of the parents. Is anyone?

    I’m sitting in the waiting room waiting for LB to get her hip shot, she has to have a designated driver in the building, masked of course. There is insipid Holiday music playing, I’m expecting to lose the Drummer Boy challenge any minute.

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  5. Deborah said on December 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Oh no, a guy sitting on the other side of the waiting room has started singing along with the Christmas music, off key of course. Help.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on December 10, 2021 at 10:56 am

    It doesn’t seem to have made the national news, but the Orlando stations carried a story about a student who was caught before he left to go shoot up his college. I almost didn’t pay attention until they said it happened at Embry-Riddle in nearby Daytona, where our great nephew is a student.

    This has me wondering how often shootings are prevented and it never even makes the news.

    Re Drummer Boy challenge: we went around the fam and made a list of Christmas movies people wanted to rematch. Last night was Home Alone, and let me save your time by telling you it really, really doesn’t hold up well.

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  7. Bruce Fields said on December 10, 2021 at 11:15 am

    As a music nerd, my coping strategy is to turn that kind of experience into an analytical exercise: is off-key singer sharp or flat? Are they ahead of or behind the beat? Which part of the song are they messing up the worst? There are so many possibilities.

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  8. JodiP said on December 10, 2021 at 11:32 am

    We had a very frightening incident last Saturday on our block. Someone with a gun entered the home at 3 a.m. and the woman that lives there woke up with the gun in her face. She and BF began yelling and scared them off. From what she posted on Nextdoor, I think the door was unlocked. There have been a spate of violent crimes recently in our area. Same as last fall. I started carrying mace again on my after-work walks.

    Our 40 pound dog has a terrible “scream-bark” and hates people coming to visit. We have to do a whole thing with him on leash to get him settled. So I am confident that he would alert us and maybe scare away potential threats. I would not be surprised if he attacked someone. (Vistors’ safety is of course very important, so we assess him during visits and will put him in a room with a comfy bed, food and water if needed.)

    I found this interesting story on advice from convicted burglars:

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  9. Deborah said on December 10, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    The singing guy was way behind the beat and messed up the words too. I wouldn’t have any idea if he was sharp or flat. Mercifully he only sang along to about 3 songs altogether. It’s a miracle that I got out of there without hearing the Drummer Boy, so I’m still ahead regarding the challenge.

    We’re back from the experience and I had it way off. It was a trial shot for an ablation which is different from the hip/spine implant which comes later if the ablation doesn’t work. The ablation is when they will go in and burn the nerve orthoscopically. This shot she got today only lasts at most 8 hours and LB has to keep a diary of her pain level every half hour to see if the ablation will even be worth doing. LB didn’t get the info correct from the Dr when she had the visit where he described the process, we were both confused about what to expect today. LB is supposed to go about her day as normal while keeping the diary, so we’re going to take a walk in a bit.

    Jodi, that was an interesting news segment link about home break ins.

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  10. alex said on December 10, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Funny coincidence, but the only incident that ever happened at my high school was when a kid made a pipe bomb and blew up a toilet in 1979. It went off after hours. He had his mug on the front page of the newspaper and of course got expelled.

    I just looked him up on Facebook and he seems to be rather a decent sort. Loves Far Side comics and irreverent humor, especially at the expense of anti-vaxxers and Trumpers, so he has obviously redeemed himself over the last 42 years.

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  11. Sherri said on December 10, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    A grandmother who did turn in her own grandson saw him sentenced to 22 years for planning a school shooting.

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  12. basset said on December 10, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    And Michael Nesmith has died, leaving Micky as the sole surviving Monkee.

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  13. beb said on December 10, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    Like Nancy, I was wondering if rock salt in shotgun shells was a real thing. Nice to know that it is. Of course the next question is whether rock salt is any less lethal than birdshot?

    It does seem counter-productive to own a gun for home defense when it has to be kept locked up in a gun vault.

    David C @3 — I would go with cats over dogs since they are easier to throw at a home invader. My sister has had rottweilers in her house for many years. Big dog, bigger than my sister, most of them wold be a danger to a burglar by being too friendly. A 130 pound trying to run between your legs is a threat to life and limb.

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  14. susan said on December 10, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    Also, you don’t have to aim a shotgun. A pistol, you do.

    A sawed-off shotgun would be best. But I believe they are not legal in most places.

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  15. Deborah said on December 10, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    We watched “The Power of the Dog” tonight. Cumberbatch seems certain to win an Oscar for his performance if you ask me. The cinematography was spectacular. New Zealand was where it was shot but the story takes place in Montana. It wasn’t as good as Jane Campions “The Piano” but that would be hard to measure up to.

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  16. Dexter Friend said on December 11, 2021 at 1:57 am

    Sometimes a dog doesn’t bark, sang Dr. John:

    Early in my dating days with wife #1, I commented on her Dad’s gun above the front door, asking if I could take it down for a look, assuming it was a decoration. His wife and he warned me that the weapon was there for blasting any unwanted bad person. It was a single barrel .20 gauge, loaded, ready, no trigger lock, the style where you pull back the hammer lock and blast away. This was in SW Fort Wayne, just north of Waynedale. He had trained the 17 year old senior, the 18 year old daughter, and the 12 year old daughter what to do if….

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  17. basset said on December 11, 2021 at 5:39 am

    Been up all night watching the Southern storms – one of em passed right by our house in Nashville. Thankfully, no injury or damage… when the tornado warnings started getting close we put the cat in her travel cage and we all went to a hospital parking garage for awhile, just now got back.

    We live in a wood-framed tract house and have already been flooded out of it once, every time we get a bad storm we fear it will blow away. Next house we buy is going to have a secure basement and be well uphill from water. Maybe move back to Kansas and buy an old missile silo, that’d work.

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  18. David C said on December 11, 2021 at 5:44 am

    Our cats may as well be guns in a triple-locked gun safe, beb. At the first little noise they run and hide.

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  19. Jim said on December 11, 2021 at 7:26 am

    If the teens are heard to voice the threat, treat them to six months in jail . That MIGHT shake them up .

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  20. Jeff Gill said on December 11, 2021 at 7:53 am

    David C., when you compare the lethality of guns to dogs as you did so nearly, you’re at the real hazard to having so many handguns scattered across the landscape, and yes, that’s even considering the horrifying uptick in homicides in places like Columbus in my Ohio backyard, Indianapolis my other backyard, Chicago, etc. Self-harm is how handguns kill the most people by a factor of I think three.

    In pastoral ministry, I’ve had to help clean out or clean up half a dozen homes of elderly people in the last decade or so, and in all but one we just “found” a loaded pistol or semi-automatic 9mm somewhere. Tucked into the seat of a recliner, between sofa cushions, on the floor behind end tables. Usually when I’d cautiously secure and hold up the weapon in question, I’d get a vastly reassuring “oh, right, I’d forgotten I’d put that there” from the resident.

    And yes, most of these homes had grandkids visiting or even babysat in them. A couple of them had gun safes in a closet or office, and they had a few in them, too . . . but usually when I came across them, the door was standing open.

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  21. Mark P said on December 11, 2021 at 9:08 am

    The Atlanta news this morning reports that yet another child, this one a one-year-old girl, was “accidentally” shot overnight. She’s in critical condition today.

    Guns in this country. There must be a better way for the entire goddamned country to kill itself, but I guess guns will have to do for now.

    Oh, I forgot. Covid! We did find another way. Guns are just for cleanup.

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  22. Suzanne said on December 11, 2021 at 9:20 am

    My dad passed away several years ago and he apparently had a handgun, which I never knew, but no one can find it. My mom said he used to keep in under the bed but when they moved, she doesn’t know where he put it. Now, he’s gone so we may never find it. Our kids stayed there sometimes when they were young and it scares me to think that there was a gun under the bed that they could have gotten. My dad was sensible but he got sucked into Rush and Fox and bought into all the paranoia.

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  23. Deborah said on December 11, 2021 at 9:58 am

    The same thing happened when Uncle J was exhibiting dementia, his main caregiver knew he had a gun but we couldn’t find it anywhere and that concerned us greatly. In the end we somehow got the info that his son had it years before, we don’t know if uncle J gave it to his son or his son just helped himself to it. Uncle J and his son were mostly estranged. Anyway lots of great grandkids played around the house and we were also concerned that Uncle J might harm himself with it.

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  24. alex said on December 11, 2021 at 11:13 am

    This morning we awakened to a loud crash and discovered that four trees went down, all of them apparently sharing one ginormous rootball. Two of them smashed our dock and lounge furniture to smithereens. The other two fell toward the house and landed short of it. I’m less concerned about the damage than what a mess it’s gonna be to clean up, especially the trees way out in the water.

    My partner just went over to check on my parents and texted me that their power is out. Big tree down on the lines near their house. And the temperatures are supposed to drop severely in a few hours so I hope the power company gets to them before too terribly long.

    So much for living for the weekend.

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  25. Deborah said on December 11, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    We had strong winds in Santa Fe yesterday, but little damage that I have seen so far, none to the condo property. I thought the holiday greens that I had stuffed in pots outside would be all over the place but it’s all still intact. Strong winds and snow yesterday in Abiquiu, my husband left for there this morning, I decided not to go because it’s going to get down to 12 and I don’t relish waking up at dawn with the fire long out in the woodburning stove. It has been so warm both in Chicago and here for much of the fall, my body hasn’t acclimated to the cold yet.

    LB and I lost to the Drummer Boy challenge this morning, we went to the Folk Art Museum and it was being played in the gift shop. Bummer.

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  26. Suzanne said on December 11, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    We just watched the Power of the Dog. I am a bit confused by it. Did the son kill Cumberbatch’s character? The cinematography was exceptional as was the acting, but I am just not quite sure what happened…

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  27. Dexter Friend said on December 12, 2021 at 2:21 am

    Suzanne: Marc Maron’s current WTF podcast has his interview with Jesse Plemmons. I tried watching the movie but I have to have a do-over as the snail-pace lack of energy hypnotized me into a deep chair-sleep.
    My step-granddaughter drove up to claim some cookware, cookie cutters, mixing bowls, mixers and a blender, stuff like that she needs and I do not. I told her to take it all. She tore into the cabinets and cleaned everything. She found a few mouse droppings which I said were seeds from my grandson’s fancy bread. She wasn’t having it, and the grandson went to the hardware for mouse traps.
    The Kentucky tornado damage , along with the other affected state’s damages are horrific. Glad you were spared, basset.

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  28. ROGirl said on December 12, 2021 at 6:39 am

    Guns and Christianity are two things that I don’t want anything to do with.

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  29. Deborah said on December 12, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Suzanne, (I don’t want to ruin it for others so others if you haven’t seen the movie yet don’t read any further). Yes Rose’s son killed Phil (the Cumberbatch character) by giving him anthrax which Phil got from the dead cow he “operated” on in the mountains. He made rawhide from the poisoned cow which he had in the tub of water which Phil swished his open wounded hand in to finish making the rope for Pete (the son). In the end Phil was in a stupor before he got in the car to be driven to the Drs, he was trying to give the poisoned rope to Pete because he (Phil) had figured out what Pete had done to make him sick. At the very end Pete is wearing gloves when he handles the rope and puts it under the bed.

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  30. Deborah said on December 12, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Ok my explanation made it even more confusing because I said Phil operated on the cow when I should have said Pete. Phil is the Cumberbatch character and Pete is Rose’s son who was studying to be a Dr (like his father had been). Pete rode a horse up into the mountains to look for the cow that had been infected with anthrax that he’d heard about earlier.

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  31. Jeff Gill said on December 12, 2021 at 9:05 am

    In aid of nothing in particular, on this Third Sunday of Advent (pink candle in some churches, for joy aka “gaudete” in this semi-penitential season before Christmas) I made biscuits for the first time, and like enthusiasts of all sorts, I now think everyone should do so. It was easier than I thought it might be, and the flaky layered results are a joy this fine morning.

    OTOH, a colleague and distant acquaintance in ministry, serving First Christian Church in Mayfield, KY had his church literally obliterated. They’re having worship & communion in their parking lot today — they’re working on plans for the future, but so many meeting spaces were destroyed in the city they don’t even have an alternative worked out yet to outdoor services.

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  32. basset said on December 12, 2021 at 10:09 am

    How about this, Jeff?

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  33. Suzanne said on December 12, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Thanks Deborah! I figured the son had somehow given the anthrax to Phil, but I wasn’t sure how. Makes it all the more interesting as Phil dismissed him as unmanly and dense but as time went on, he seemed to see him as a replacement for his “mentor” Bronco Henry and had no idea that Pete was well aware of his intentions.
    If I can find a couple of spare hours, I need to watch again. Or get my hands on the book it’s based on.

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  34. Jeff Borden said on December 12, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Mark P.,

    Just wait until 2024 and the reemergence of the Orange King and his cult. Page One story in today’s NYT notes how many of his rabid acolytes have signed on to help with elections in 2022 and beyond, so the election will be decided for him one way or another. And his radical rightwing court will give its blessing to any manipulation of ballots. It likely will be the death knell for our country. And so it goes.

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  35. Dexter said on December 12, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Chris Wallace just abruptly quit Fox Sunday. TV programs’ hosts and guests are stammering and are confused. This means the metamorphosis is complete: Fox News is now minus any journalists and is now pure propaganda.

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  36. Deborah said on December 12, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Suzanne, again to others don’t click on the link if you want to watch the movie, I just found this interview with the young actor who played Peter, he explains the plot much better than I did

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  37. Deborah said on December 12, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    What I’m confused about the movie is the title “Power of the Dog”, I realize it’s from a Bible verse that Pete reads near the end but I’m confused about what it means. Is it Phil being compared to a vicious dog who had control of everyone?

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  38. Deborah said on December 12, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    I should have kept Googling sooner, I found this explanation of the title of the movie in an interview with Jane Campion the director

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  39. Jeff Borden said on December 12, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Chris Wallace is joining a new CNN streaming service called CNN+.

    Dexter is correct. There’s now no one at Faux News who isn’t a straight up polemicist or propaganda purveyor.

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  40. Jeff Gill said on December 12, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Basset – very nice! Thank you.

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  41. alex said on December 13, 2021 at 7:56 am

    The restaurant review that Deborah linked to last week is getting noticed:

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