I’ve been sitting on this story for close to a month now. I apologize for not posting it earlier.
If you’ll recall, in November of last year, 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow opened fire on Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. Using a .45 semiautomatic pistol, Berhow killed 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell and injured three others. Berhow shot himself in the head after the shooting and died a day later.
The gun used by Berthow was said to have come from his father who passed away in 2017. Not only was Mark Berhow said to be a game hunter, but was also allegedly a violent alcoholic. In 2015, Mark Berhow had the police called on him after a domestic disturbance. At that time, he was placed on a psychiatric hold and 42 firearms were removed from the home and destroyed by authorities. It was at this point that the elder Berhow was no longer legally allowed to own any firearms. This didn’t stop Mark Berhow from allegedly continuing to maintain an arsenal of guns. Instead of purchasing guns from legal vendors, Mark Berhow allegedly made what are known as ghost guns. Ghost guns are assembled from various parts that could be purchased from different vendors. Even though the gun is unregistered, it’s legal to assemble guns like this. It’s one of the loopholes that people use when they aren’t legally allowed to own firearms. Nathaniel Berhow used one of his father’s ghost guns that left Gracie Anne Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell dead.
I hadn’t heard until recently but it seems that a series of partially and fully assembled ghost guns were said to be laying all over the Berhow residence unsecured. Because of this, Berhow’s mother was charged with delinquency of a minor and criminal storage of a firearm. However, last month, those charges were dropped by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Ultimately, investigators found that “no prints, DNA or other forensic evidence was presented to connect the suspect to the rifle, derringer or handgun recovered.”
The report notes that the charges require prosecutors to prove the suspect acted “intentionally or with criminal negligence” for the delinquency charge, and that the suspect must “know a child is likely to gain access,” to prove criminal storage.
So even though she allegedly did nothing to prevent the guns from falling into her son’s hands along with doing nothing to secure or dispose of the guns, there’s no charge since her fingerprints weren’t on the guns. Isn’t that negligence in and of itself?
As I’ve said before, guns are afforded more rights in this country than the people who are killed by them.