The massacre of 26 people, including 20 children, at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut so close to Christmas 2012 sent shock waves far beyond America. It seemed that finally the time was right for that country to look at its gun controls and make necessary changes.
The dead were not cold in their graves, in fact the funerals had not begun, before those who support civilian gun ownership in the USA were hitting the online airwaves to espouse the reasons why it is not guns that kill. In a twisted way most managed to justify the lose gun laws in so many ways defaming the names of those who were killed in Newtown.
After all the talk of Jesus and the fine words spouted about the dead such talk was quite offensive. The NRA, national rifle association, bided its time and only sent its representative, one Wayne LaPierre, out when it had let the dust settle a little. His answer was more guns. He too tried fine but in the end meaningless words about the difference between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun. What is supposed to happen when "good" turns bad is unknown.
As those in America procrastinate, some through greed, the killings go on.
Christmas Eve 2012 US murders
Early on Christmas Eve, in a small town in the USA, Webster in New York state, two firefighters were killed after being lured to their deaths. Attending a fire the volunteers were met by another nut with a gun.
The gunman has been identified as 62-year-old William Spengler. When 43-year-old Mike Chiapperini and 19-year-old Tomasz Kaczowka attended the fire Spengler had started they were brutally killed. Spengler was armed with three weapons, yes three weapons, and the men would have not stood a chance.
No doubt LaPierre will now say that if these men had been armed the outcome would have been different. It may but it may not have been. It could have been that more people were killed.
Inside the property was Spengler's sister. Police are still trying to determine if Spengler had killed her or if she died in the fire, which was described as an inferno.led. One of the weapons he was carrying was a semi-automatic Bushmaster rifle, the same type used by Adam Lanza in the December 14 massacre at Sandy Hook. After carrying out the terrible deed Spengler killed himself with one of his weapons.
Some may say that too much media attention on Sandy Hook has lead to more problems but that is not the truth. Without a gung ho mentality and an easy access to guns many of these tragedies would not happen. Firefighters Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino, were signifigcantly injured in the attack and both remain in hospital. All four men had notable careers and were important members of the community. More waste of good lives, more families torn apart.
In the case of Spengler he left a lengthy norte as to the whys and wherefores of his dreadful actions. Only a small part of his last written words have been revealed by the authorities. Poluice however revealed that Spengler "hoped to burn down his neighborhood and kill as many people as possible"
Spengler had killed in the past. He served 17 years for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death, being released on bail in 1998. As far as the authorities know he has been crime free since then. How come he was released after such a brutal family murder needs to be answered. His mother died in October 2012 and he and his sister had shared the home since then. There relationship was reportedly full of hate.
It is no good however laying the blame for this latest gun crime at the door of the US parole system, mental health care and more. It needs to be firmly laid at the door of civilian gun ownership and easy access to weapons.
It was reported that on Christmas Eve night dozens of people turned up at the Webster fire station to mourn the dead and for an impromptu vigil. To prevent more of the same though it is going to take more than that. It is going to take a brave move by all.
RIP and condolences to the loved ones.