More gun violence takes the lives of two firefighters
By Michael J.W. Stickings
A man convicted of killing his grandmother decades ago ambushed firefighters on Monday, fatally shooting two of them as they arrived to battle a blaze in upstate New York, police said.
Two other volunteer firefighters were wounded in the attack in the Rochester-area town of Webster. A police officer from the nearby town of Greece suffered minor shrapnel wounds when his vehicle was hit by gunfire.
Investigators believe the suspect, William Spengler, 62, set the original fire, then likely set himself up on a berm with a clear view of the scene and started shooting.
As Pam Spaulding writes in response: "When will we have the broader discussion about why so many Americans are so damned violent and have hair-trigger tempers lit over irrelevant bullsh*t. The fact that lethal weapons are the first resort in minor disputes or even just uncertain situations (like this one — in what context should you shoot at a firefighter?!) is extremely troubling.
Yes it is. But of course the NRA and the rest of the gun nuts, intent on defending the indefensible, don't want any part of this discussion. They'll talk about how this guy was crazy, about how as a convicted felon he shouldn't have had a gun.
But there's the problem. He had a gun and he used it, to lethal effect. And it's not because of violent movies and video games, and the solution isn't arming firefighters (and everyone else who might be targeted by gun violence).
America is an astonishingly violent society (with far too little regard for mental illness) and guns are everywhere. That combination is deadly.