Monday, December 24, 2012

Four Fire Fighters Shot in New York

As a volunteer firefighter, I understand the risks involved when that tone drops and you jump aboard a speeding fire truck headed for a burning building. I know that all the training, and all the experience in the world can't fully prepare a firefighter for what they may encounter at the next call. This reality became even more painfully true today, Christmas Eve in Upstate New York where firefighters were dispatched to what appeared to be a car and home fire. Upon arrival what they discovered was a sick and twisted booby trap laid by an ex-con.

When the first firefighters stepped out their vehicles, William Spengler, who was hiding near the property opened fire. Four of them were hit, 2 of which died. The first police officer on site chased after Spengler and exchanged fire. Police had to use an armored vehicle to rescue the survivors and evacuate neighboring residents while the situation was resolved. The gunman eventually took his own life but several homes were destroyed because firefighters were unable to fight the blaze during the incident.

William Spengler, the gunman, spent more than 17 years in prison for beating his 92-year old grandmother to death with a hammer in 1980 in the house next to where the Christmas Eve attack occurred.

This terrible tragedy that ended the lives of two heroes is the sole result of a broken system. A system in which a convicted murderer is released into society after committing one heinous crime, later allowing him to commit another. As politicians in Washington rush to introduce bills threatening the second amendment even further, one has to question how an ex-con, barred from owning a firearm, was capable of committing this atrocity. I have always said that laws don't stop bad guys from getting guns, and once again I am proven right. If our police departments can't enforce existing laws, what good are new laws going to do? The answer is not more laws but more resources. Give the police the resources they need to fight the illegal gun trade and arm the citizens who need protection.


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