Confessed Highland Park shooter Robert Crimo III has the deaths of seven innocents on his hands and bears responsibility for the destruction of the victims’ families.
Their blood also stains his father, Bob Crimo.
Why? The elder Crimo sponsored his son’s application for the paperwork necessary to become a gun owner. His sponsorship was necessary because Illinois sensibly demands that would-be firearm owners under 21 have the consent of a parent or guardian.
Crimo sponsored the application even though Robert had made violent threats in the past, including vows to “kill everyone.”
He sponsored it even though the police had been called to his home in 2019 over Robert’s deranged threats.
He sponsored it even though the police had seized a collection of 16 knives plus a sword and a dagger — weapons the father claimed were his and that, in an interview with The Post, he compared to his own past collection of “coins and baseball cards.”
He sponsored it even though, as Crimo told The Post, “There’s mental illness there, obviously.”
The dad insists he did “nothing wrong,” yet thanks to his interventions, Robert was able to legally purchase a number of weapons, including the rifle used when he opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in the sleepy Illinois suburb.
While it proved a terrible error, no one in Robert’s family was willing to take the legal steps necessary to file criminal charges over his 2019 threats. That’s understandable. No one wants to see his child in prison.
What is utterly inexplicable, utterly beyond the pale, is the elder Crimo’s decision to help his son obtain a firearm, rather than stop him. He knew the boy’s murderous dreams and plans. He knew he was suffering from mental instability (Robert had threatened suicide a few months before his outbursts against others). And yet he willingly aided Robert in his efforts to obtain a gun.
The state’s law enforcement agencies bear some responsibility here, too. Even though local cops raised a red flag after the young man’s earlier threats, no one at the state level found grounds to deny his firearms-permit application.
More coverage on the Highland Park parade shooting
But Bob Crimo directly helped put in his son’s hands the weapon he used to murder seven helpless parade-goers and wound 38 others. This was an act of unthinkable recklessness and moral negligence, given his son’s mental-health history.
Prosecutors might determine the elder Crimo broke no criminal laws. And Crimo himself, insanely, insists he had “zero” to do with his son’s terrible crimes.
Yet his efforts to enable his son to acquire weapons — rather than doing everything possible to keep them out of his reach — make him every bit as morally guilty.