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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:00 PM

Gunman William Spengler Used Bushmaster, Left Chilling Note

Source: ABC

By RUSSELL GOLDMAN

An convicted killer, who shot dead two firefighters with a Bushmaster assault rifle after leading them into an ambush when they responded to a house fire he set in Western New York, left behind a typewritten note saying he wanted to "do what I like doing best, killing people," police said.

William Spengler, 62, set his home and a car on fire early Monday morning with the intention of setting a trap to kill firefighters and to see "how much of the neighborhood I can burn down," according to the note he wrote and which police found at the scene. The note did not give a reason for his actions.

Spengler, who served 18 years in prison for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in 1981, hid Monday morning in a small ditch beside a tree overlooking the sleepy lakeside street in Webster, N.Y., where he lived with his sister, police said today in a news conference.

That woman, Cheryl Spengler, 67, remains missing and may also have been killed, police said.

FULL story at link.


Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/webster-gunman-bushmaster-left-chilling-note/story?id=18062121





Firefighters were called to a house fire in Webster, N.Y. on Dec. 24, 2012, only to find a gunman. Inset: William Spangler who cops have identified as the alleged suspect. (ABC News/WHAM)

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Reply Gunman William Spengler Used Bushmaster, Left Chilling Note (Original post)
Omaha Steve Dec 2012 OP
underthematrix Dec 2012 #1
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #6
mbperrin Dec 2012 #50
humblebum Dec 2012 #107
PavePusher Dec 2012 #111
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #2
slackmaster Dec 2012 #4
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #7
freshwest Dec 2012 #19
exboyfil Dec 2012 #68
LisaL Dec 2012 #69
exboyfil Dec 2012 #71
freshwest Dec 2012 #72
oldbanjo Dec 2012 #93
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #98
Katashi_itto Dec 2012 #99
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #100
wordpix Dec 2012 #134
marshall Dec 2012 #108
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #126
Hoyt Dec 2012 #3
Trunk Monkey Dec 2012 #12
Hoyt Dec 2012 #13
Trunk Monkey Dec 2012 #28
Hoyt Dec 2012 #30
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #95
PavePusher Dec 2012 #110
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #129
PavePusher Dec 2012 #131
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #132
PavePusher Dec 2012 #133
Trunk Monkey Dec 2012 #106
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #46
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #51
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #58
PavePusher Dec 2012 #109
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #112
PavePusher Dec 2012 #114
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #118
PavePusher Dec 2012 #119
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #121
PavePusher Dec 2012 #123
sulphurdunn Dec 2012 #127
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #54
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #65
RC Dec 2012 #86
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #91
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #103
PavePusher Dec 2012 #115
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #120
PavePusher Dec 2012 #122
Chorophyll Dec 2012 #5
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #8
Trunk Monkey Dec 2012 #26
starroute Dec 2012 #32
Trunk Monkey Dec 2012 #104
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #42
Trunk Monkey Dec 2012 #105
aquart Dec 2012 #9
cantbeserious Dec 2012 #10
dkf Dec 2012 #11
msongs Dec 2012 #14
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #15
slackmaster Dec 2012 #16
IveWornAHundredPants Dec 2012 #23
slackmaster Dec 2012 #25
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #48
socialindependocrat Dec 2012 #52
Paladin Dec 2012 #17
Judi Lynn Dec 2012 #18
alfredo Dec 2012 #20
Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #21
alfredo Dec 2012 #61
MisterP Dec 2012 #22
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #62
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #102
Third Doctor Dec 2012 #24
bossy22 Dec 2012 #45
billh58 Dec 2012 #53
oldbanjo Dec 2012 #96
oldbanjo Dec 2012 #94
graham4anything Dec 2012 #27
KareBear Dec 2012 #29
doc03 Dec 2012 #31
LisaL Dec 2012 #34
doc03 Dec 2012 #39
LisaL Dec 2012 #41
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #40
doc03 Dec 2012 #44
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #49
doc03 Dec 2012 #60
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #73
PavePusher Dec 2012 #113
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #116
billh58 Dec 2012 #55
eilen Dec 2012 #67
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #35
LisaL Dec 2012 #37
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #43
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #64
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #87
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #92
primavera Dec 2012 #135
pwb Dec 2012 #33
lexw Dec 2012 #36
LisaL Dec 2012 #38
lexw Dec 2012 #130
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #47
Tarheel_Dem Dec 2012 #59
ReRe Dec 2012 #56
Live and Learn Dec 2012 #57
LisaL Dec 2012 #63
Live and Learn Dec 2012 #70
LisaL Dec 2012 #76
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #74
LisaL Dec 2012 #77
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #80
Live and Learn Dec 2012 #83
Live and Learn Dec 2012 #84
Live and Learn Dec 2012 #81
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #66
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #89
MrSlayer Dec 2012 #75
Aerows Dec 2012 #78
LisaL Dec 2012 #79
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #85
happyslug Dec 2012 #125
Jamastiene Dec 2012 #82
JI7 Dec 2012 #88
oldbanjo Dec 2012 #97
RC Dec 2012 #90
Jamastiene Dec 2012 #101
Paul E Ester Dec 2012 #117
ieoeja Dec 2012 #124
SpartanDem Dec 2012 #128

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:03 PM

1. If he bought the assualt rifle at a gun show, charged the seller. If

he borrowed it from a friend, charge the friend. If he got it some other way, find out and let's fill that loophole too.

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Response to underthematrix (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:07 PM

6. The problem is...

we don't know how many times that gun changed hands, because we have almost no regulations on guns. You cannot sell a car with registration, but you can guns.

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Response to underthematrix (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:31 PM

50. Yes, this kind of accountability is totally missing now.

Ridiculous - it's harder to buy a 50cc Honda dirt bike than a Bushmaster.

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Response to underthematrix (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:09 AM

107. Gee, how about going after the company that made the hammer that he used on his grandmother?

 

Or better yet, why not address the totally broken mental health system in this country. That IS where the problem lies.

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Response to underthematrix (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:02 PM

111. The laws inside gun shows are the same as the laws outside gun shows.

 

There are no exceptions for location.

Since this ocured in NY, a state with some of the strictest gun laws, perhaps we should find out where he got the gun, and under what circumstances, before rushing to judge the person he obtained it from.

Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_New_York

Gun Shows: New York State requires that anyone buying a gun at a gun show must have a background check done.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:05 PM

2. To the "we have enough gun laws" folks...

A convicted murderer, who killed a person with a hammer, managed to obtain this rifle. My bet is he got it at an unregulated gun show.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:05 PM

4. He got it somewhere outside of the prison that he should never have been released from

 

There's no doubt about that.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:08 PM

7. Yep, he should have been left to rot. nt

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:53 PM

19. Yup. That wasn't manslaughter, it was premeditated.

And committed upon a person he could easily overcome, definitely not self-defense. Whatever he had in prison to help him or learn, he didn't. That his family took him in and into a good neighborhood, was not a source of gratitude or happiness. I'm only sorry he's dead because the trial would have been informative to those that let him go, to revise the system. What a waste.


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Response to freshwest (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:41 PM

68. Do you think the prosecution

at the time was concerned about losing to a diminished capacity defense? It also might have had features of a voluntary manslaughter since a hammer comes readily to hand when you are mad. Not saying he should have been out, but juries are not perfect, and I think we had a little more tolerance for this stuff back when this wack job beat his grandma to death. Remember Hinckley won an insanity defense around the same time.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #68)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:45 PM

69. It was a plea deal. He was originally charged with murder, but plead to manslaughter to

avoid a trial.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #69)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:49 PM

71. That is my point

He was taken out of circulation for 17 years and a good boy for many years after that (enough time to come off parole). I suspect now he would get Murder II, and the prosecution would go all the way to trial and roll the dice with the jury which would be a lot less sympathetic than a jury from 1980.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #68)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:05 PM

72. Yes, we're looking back after this crime and perhaps making the case worse than it appeared then.

It just doesn't seem to me that the man was able to change his ways, regardless of the 'break' he was given. Perhaps he led an 'upstanding' life in his community and with his family since 1998. We don't know the case, we're just gossiping.

But to beat someone to death, a person who was 92-years-old, doesn't sound spur of the moment. Yes, a hammer is a handy implement. But it says 'beat to death' which is not self-defense, but probably took a while. That is being out of touch with a number of basics.

We have problems funding social infrastructure. In my internet know-it-all opinion, if he was found incompetent, he should have been locked up in a facility for the criminally insane for many years, because there are certain lines society can't afford to allow to be crossed.

If he was criminally insane, that is. Your point that it was a plea bargain is an excellent one. The legal system has been under attack for years, with overworked and unfunded public defenders offices and an assembly line of rushing people through court. So the plea bargain is the faster and cheaper than a trial which would convict or possibly set someone free. I've read in some areas, prosecutors have admitted they don't seek higher charges because of financial restraints because they simply are not being funded.

Perhaps I spoke too harshly, as a few of us, have this is really depraved stuff and it's infuriating.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:22 PM

93. The problem is some dumbass let a nut out of jail.

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Response to oldbanjo (Reply #93)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:30 PM

98. Very true...

someone who kills their own grandmother with a hammer is not right in the head.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #98)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:47 PM

99. True, because using, say a crowbar is much more sane.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #99)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:53 PM

100. What would give you the idea...

that I would consider any method of killing another person, especially a loved one, more sane than any other?

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Response to oldbanjo (Reply #93)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:47 PM

134. agree - anyone who kills his grandmother with a hammer should not be let out of jail

I don't care how much jail "rehabilitation" he's had

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:35 AM

108. He should not have been allowed to purchase a gun

Wherever he got it, a monster like that should not have been able to get a gun. Surely we can pass laws to keep guns out of the hands of such miscreants.

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Response to marshall (Reply #108)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:29 PM

126. I agree...

but too many are fighting regulation of any kind.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:05 PM

3. Our friends who love guns want us to believe Bushmaster is not an assault weapon. LaPierre Disease.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:12 PM

12. there's one thing LaPierre said on Meet The Press that I agree with

 

This guy could have walked into a gun store and tried to buy that rifle and when he got denied they never would have prosecuted him for trying to buy it.

That needs to change

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Response to Trunk Monkey (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:17 PM

13. I think anyone who walks into gun store for assault weapon should be tested for LaPierre Disease.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:37 PM

28. You do realize the guy would have done more damage (and been just as illegal) W/a model 94 right? NT

 

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Response to Trunk Monkey (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:43 PM

30. What I realize is that today's gun nuts are attracted to manufacturers' marketing campaigns.

They are atracted to what gets them drooling and all excited.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #30)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:45 PM

95. I think you are right, the marketing is a big part of the problem...

...just like cigarettes. I think we should restrict / prohibit semi-auto rifles AS WELL as getting rid of the militaristic styling cues. Guns should be marketed in a way that motivates hunting, not combat readiness.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #95)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:57 AM

110. "militaristic styling cues"? Specifics, please?

 

I suspect what you are actually refering to are ergonomic features which mark the evolution of firearms.

Or perhaps the Springfield 1903 has certain "militaristic styling cues" which should be restricted as well?

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #110)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:17 PM

129. The assult weapon ban of yore contained the specifics...

Assault weapons have features - styling cues - that descend from military use and project a specific purpose - that is "militaristic assault". That is a great deal of the their marketing appeal. One legislator who owns one said that they are "real conversation starters on the firing range" for this reason.

Since we are concerned about discouraging the improper use of guns, the discouragement of stylistic cues that project combat assault and militaristic purposes is important to discouraging and breaking the unhealthy, dangerous aspects of the gun culture.

In other words, make them ugly, frumpy and old fashioned, very uncool. Make them harder to market to those who fantasize about carrying out militaristic assaults.

Same principle as with other anti-social, dangerous products like cigarettes - make them as unattractive and uncool as possible. Restrict who can use them and where. Make them more expensive and cumbersome to buy and sell. Give those who own them the feeling that they are outsiders and make them feel uncomfortable with their personal choice. Take the enjoyment out of it.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #129)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:01 PM

131. Then you'll want to restrict the Winchester .30-30 as well, as it was designed for the military.....

 

and thus has "militaristic styling cues".

One legislator who owns one said that they are "real conversation starters on the firing range" for this reason.

I don't know what range that person goes to, but semi-auto rifles are currently the norm at every range I've ever been to. It's the older technology that starts discussions these days.

All that aside, you've failed to specify what "militaristic styling cues" you are talking about. Hint: military weapons aren't designed for looks. They're designed for efficiency, durability, good ergonomics and dependability. None of those characteristics are something you can restrict to the military.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #131)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:43 PM

132. Sure. Whatever works... (nt)

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #132)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:44 PM

133. Well, that was... unresponsive. n/t

 

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #30)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:07 AM

106. FWIW I do not own a single weapon that would be affected by an AWB NT

 

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Response to Trunk Monkey (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:16 PM

46. I'm not so sure.

The model 94, like the bushmaster, is a short range weapon. The 94 is a sight and shoot weapon with a six round magazine. The Bushmaster is good point and shoot weapon that carries thirty. Every time a round is fired from the 94 the sight picture is lost and must be regained during or after the next round is chambered. The Bushmaster can be sighted by looking over the barrel while adjusting fire because it is semi-automatic. The firing rate of the 94 is better than a bolt action rifle but nothing compared to the assault weapon. Reloading is time consuming with the 94. It is very fast with the Bushmaster. Even a fairly poor marksman could do more damage more quickly within a hundred yard range using a Bushmaster than a good marksman could using a 94.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #46)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:33 PM

51. Oswald got off 3 shots in 5 seconds with a bolt-action rifle w/scope.

I don't know this guy's background, except that he had previously shown the will to commit murder. The only way to 100% guarantee he would not commit another, with any weapon, would be if he had remained in prison for the one he had already committed.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #51)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:52 PM

58. He could have

gotten off 15 with a bushmaster and put all of them into an area the size of the presidential limousine, but I agree, someone really screwed up when they let that guy out.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #46)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:54 AM

109. Ummmm.... unless you actually use the sights on any AR15....

 

you're not going to hit anything, except accidently. Just like any other rifle.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #109)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:11 PM

112. Not so.

When I used an M-16 for real I never fired at anything under 50 meters using sights and never fired at anything beyond 50 meters. Sights are useless at night and take to long to use when you're on your feet at close range. I suppose more than a few combat soldiers die trying to get a sight picture on a close range, moving target while the target points and shoots.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #112)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:28 PM

114. None of that negates anything I said.

 

Also, this is why we have several new sighting technologies in widespread use now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_weapon_sight

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflector_sight

And please note that "I suppose..." means nothing without supporting evidence.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #114)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:55 PM

118. I suppose

there were combat soldiers who would have lived had they cleaned their weapons before a fight, but I have no supporting evidence. The optics you cite are more like point and shoot systems than conventional iron sights because they don't require lining up two points for a sight picture, do not require a stable rest as with a telescopic sight and can be used effectively while moving. I would have liked to have had one once. My point remains the same: Close quarter combat requires firepower, not well aimed fire. The original argument was that the Winchester 94 could have done as much damage. My rebuttal was that while it could have, it was unlikely it would have. That's way the Bushmaster is the weapon of choice for gun nuts rather than the model 94.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #118)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:06 PM

119. Sorry, but your training is quite out-of-date.

 

Spray-n-pray is not the currently approved method. Yes, suppressive fire is still a tactic, but not one for the average rifle-man, who can carry a limited amount of ammo. That's what LMG's are for. And for CQC, it really helps to hit a target. Really.

Shooting off-hand with telescopic sights is quite common. It's better to have a rest for many circumstances, but not always a requirement.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #119)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:40 PM

121. Spray-n-pay?

I've been talking about point and shoot, from the shoulder, on semi-automatic fire at visible targets, like when a guy pops out of a spider hole or walks right into you on a trail. No one ever trained us to point and shoot. We learned that on the job, out of necessity. Sorry, but it's obvious you never fought a well disciplined army in a jungle where most combat took place at distances of less than 50 meters and artillery and air support were to dangerous to call and even throwing a grenade was a risky proposition unless you were being overrun, at which time you definitely go to "spray-n-pay." Thanks for the conversation and the information, but I'd like to end now, if you don't mind.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #121)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:09 PM

123. Sorry, I meant "spray-n-pRay". Darn typos... n/t

 

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #123)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:02 PM

127. I figured that out finally.

It's a good phrase to describe that sort of thing.

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Response to Trunk Monkey (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:44 PM

54. He was a convicted felon - somehow he got a gun - that's the issue.

Granted, he could have charge the firemen with a big rock, or another hammer, or a knife. But I think that it would have been legal for him to possess those items.

He broke the law and he had at least one accomplice who is still at large and will probably never be caught - thanks to existing laws.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #54)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:15 PM

65. An "accomplice" would have to have known...

he was a convicted felon or was planning to commit a crime. That would be tough to prove, even if they were caught. Once a gun gets out on the streets and changes hands several times, it becomes almost impossible to track its recent history.
That is where I think an AWB is likely to backfire. While some owners may turn their guns in, others may simply hide them. It will be impossible to go house to house looking for them. When the black-market price rises, those retained guns become tempting to sell on the streets. Eventually they will used in a crime.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #65)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:18 PM

86. And eventually those weapons will be removed from private hands also. It will take time.

 

Since it is much harder to tell a deranged person from an assault weapon, Does it not stand to reason removing the assault weapons from general circulation would be a smart move? Why would any civilian need an assault weapon, except to nurture their fantasies of killing people?

If semi-auto hunting rifles have the same or similar mechanisms as 'assault' weapons, then why are there so many more assault weapons being used in multiple killings? Answer that and we will be half way to totally banning the assault weapons.

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Response to RC (Reply #86)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:55 PM

91. They aren't experienced gun owners. They are copy-cats

The Sandy Hook shooter would have been just as deadly with the two handguns he carried. The Va Tech killer used two handguns. The semi-auto w/drum magazine used by Aurora shooter did in fact jam, and he resorted to using a handgun. The semi-auto pistol w/extended mag used by Columbine shooters jammed several times, I think most of the deaths and injuries were by the two sawed-off shotguns they carried.

My own opinion is these people are seeking infamy, and towards that end try and create an aura of fear and awe. "Assault" weapons are part of their costume and special effects geared to create that fear and awe. Other weapons could be just as deadly, if not more so, with greater reliability. They just don't look as scarey.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #65)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:42 AM

103. True. If there was a required bg check this guy would have shown up.

I am not looking for any firearms bans. Possible federal level ownership restrictions for magazines holding more than 12 rounds. Also restrictions on ballistic vests.

I think we need to start with bg checks - every sale every where.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #103)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:31 PM

115. NY gun laws here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_New_York


Gun Shows: New York State requires that anyone buying a gun at a gun show must have a background check done.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #115)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:00 PM

120. Then if someone sold it to him at gun show they broke the law.

He could also have gotten them through private sales or gone out of state. Clearly the law was not a concern of his. And the people who sold him his guns broke the law by selling to a felon.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #120)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:07 PM

122. Only if they knew, or should have known, that he was a felon or had criminal intent.

 

That can be a pretty tough thing to prove in some circumstances.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:06 PM

5. There is a lot of fail in this story.

Beating your grandmother to death with a hammer doesn't get you put away for life? WTF.

Just the kind of guy who needs guns, huh? I'd like to know how he got them.

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:08 PM

8. Gun show probably. nt

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:36 PM

26. New York requires back ground checks on all sales at guns shows so probably not. NT

 

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Response to Trunk Monkey (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:54 PM

32. So maybe he took a few hours' drive to Ohio

http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/gun-show-loophole/gun-show-loophole-faq

Only six states (California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island) require universal background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows, including sales by unlicensed dealers. Three more states (Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania) require background checks on all handgun sales made at gun shows. Eight other states (Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Nebraska and North Carolina) require purchasers to obtain a permit and undergo a background check before buying a handgun. 33 states have taken no action whatsoever to close the gun show loophole.

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Response to starroute (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:56 AM

104. Which would STILL be illegal. You get that right? NT

 

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Response to Trunk Monkey (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:10 PM

42. Lots of states around New York don't. nt

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #42)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:06 AM

105. OK, does that somehow make it legal for a convicted felon to purchase a firearm?

 

What we really need to look at here is that if this guy had gone to a gun show in NY or to a licensed firearms dealer and filled out all the proper paperwork and submitted it. When NICS ran the background check and the guy came up as prohibited from owning firearms nothing would have been done to prosecute him.

Iím going to assume that youíve never filled out a Form 4473 but it has your name, your address, your SSN and the form itself would be evidence of your crime. So you basically hand the ATF everything they need to identify, find, arrest and convict you and they donít do it ever.

What do you think would happen to firearm related crime in America if every single time that happened it was followed up on and the felon was arrested and went to jail for 10 years as directed by Federal law?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:09 PM

9. A prison record for murdering his grandmother and we sold him a gun?

Or was this one swiped from Momma, too?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:10 PM

10. One More Victory For The NRA And Gun Apologists

eom

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:11 PM

11. I'm surprised he didn't decide to use a chainsaw.

 

This is the kind of guy who belongs on "criminal minds".

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:19 PM

14. advertising that money cannot buy for the manufacturer nt

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:22 PM

15. He did 18 years for murdering his grandmother, and he was then able to get hold of a gun?

The whole story is so tragic.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:27 PM

16. But you see, he used a hammer on his mother rather than a gun, because shooting her would have...

 

...resulted in a longer prison sentence.

He didn't want to get into any trouble.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:24 PM

23. What's the name of your advocacy group?

I mean the one protesting the unfair treatment of murderers who use guns. It sounds like you're about ready to start one. You sound genuinely angry at the possibility that this guy might have done a little more time if he'd used a gun instead of a hammer. That, if nothing else, ought to be a warning sign that you've been worshiping at the altar of the holy firearm a little too long and too passionately.

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Response to IveWornAHundredPants (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:30 PM

25. American Symmetry Association

 

There are objects on your desk which are not aligned properly.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:20 PM

48. I thought you were...

in the Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things

http://m.

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Response to IveWornAHundredPants (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:35 PM

52. I read his post as tongue in cheak...

I reread it and tried to find anger in it and I just can't

I'm finding that the emotion in these writings here on DU get mistaken quite frequently

It usually depends on the state of mind of the reader.

I've written things where I'v tried to support people and I've been called a troll
and all sorts of names.

We really need to use smiley faces and puckey faces and "sarcasm" signs and the like
People are so pissed of at this gun thing that they sould like they want to kill someone.
(get the irony?)

this is like the Hatfields and McCoys!

People, peopel, people....Please!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:29 PM

17. Gun Militancy Movement's Response To Victims And Their Families: Tough Shit. (nt)

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:41 PM

18. Huff. Post:William Spengler's Note Before Killing Webster Firefighters: 'Do What I Like Doing Best,

William Spengler's Note Before Killing Webster Firefighters: 'Do What I Like Doing Best, Killing People'
By GEORGE M. WALSH 12/25/12 01:20 PM ET EST

WEBSTER, N.Y. ó The ex-con who lured firefighters to their deaths in a blaze of gunfire left a rambling typewritten note saying he wanted to burn down the neighborhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people," police said Tuesday.

Police Chief Gerald Pickering said 62-year-old William Spengler, who served 17 years in prison for the 1980 hammer slaying of his grandmother, armed himself with a revolver, a shotgun and a military-style rifle before he set his house afire to lure first responders into a death trap before dawn on Christmas Eve.

Two firefighters were shot dead and two others are hospitalized in stable condition. Spengler killed himself as seven houses burned around him Monday on a narrow spit of land along Lake Ontario.

One of the guns recovered was a military-style .223-caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle with flash suppression, the same make and caliber weapon used in the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Pickering said.

More:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/25/william-spengler-set-trap_n_2362433.html

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:03 PM

20. Free Republic just lost another member.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:15 PM

21. So true.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:59 PM

61. I guess FR is still in operation.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:18 PM

22. sales of this brand, of course, will go up--that's now TWO "field trials"

works great on neighbors, teachers, first responders, and little tots! the American Lashkar-e-Taiba's greatest foes!

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Response to MisterP (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:08 PM

62. Question I'd be asking, is how much the manufaturers...

 

...have ramped up production to meet that demand.

Just how willing are they to deliberately (and measurably) profit off horrors like Newtown?

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #62)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:11 AM

102. Don't you just know that somewhere there's some fuckwad with an MBA

 

doing exactly that type of P&L calculus?

Dylan's "Masters of War" comes to mind.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:28 PM

24. He beat somone to death with a hammer and he was out of prison?

He had access to firearms? What type of damned system is this? A lot of stated restrict voting rights to ex felons but they still have the right to own a gun. AAASSS BAAACCKWAAARDSS!

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Response to Third Doctor (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:15 PM

45. he did not have a right to own a gun

possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a federal crime.

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Response to bossy22 (Reply #45)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:37 PM

53. And how, exactly, does that

change anything? He obviously found a way to purchase a gun because the fucking NRA has made it so easy. The "I am against any and all regulation of guns" crowd has as much blood on their hands as this convicted felon who did not have a fucking "right" to own a semi-automatic, high capacity, bullet dispensing machine.

This bullshit NRA talking point about "guns are not the problem, people are the problem" purposely overlooks the lack of regulation and the easy availability of guns of all types in this country. Easy access to guns IS the fucking problem, and they need to be regulated, taxed, and tracked like the lethal killing machines that they are. Guns have but one primary purpose: to kill living things. Recreational uses my ass...

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Response to billh58 (Reply #53)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:47 PM

96. Anyone can buy a gun with no paperwork in any City.

Regulations will not help, the same people will be able to buy a gun if they want one, even with stupid regs.

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Response to bossy22 (Reply #45)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:41 PM

94. A felon I know was arrested, he had three guns,

they never charged him with the guns. I guess it's who you know.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:37 PM

27. The NRA should be charged like a driver who's passengers go to bathroom in gas station

 

and rob it, unknown to the driver.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:39 PM

29. He was a convicted felon

As a convicted felon he had no legal way of owning a firearm. Someone somewhere had to break a law for him to get one. Whether he stole it or bought it on the black market. In this case I don't think a new law would have helped.

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Response to KareBear (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:51 PM

31. He could have bought it off anyone and not broken any law, how would the seller

know he was a killer.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:57 PM

34. And what exactly is the background check for?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #34)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:04 PM

39. There is no background check for private sales in most states. n/t

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Response to doc03 (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:05 PM

41. Well, there should be.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #34)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:05 PM

40. That is the problem.

There's no regulation of private sales, so background checks aren't performed.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #40)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:14 PM

44. I don't know how knowledgeable another person on DU was a couple days ago

but he said the federal government can't regulate sales within a state. He claims only the state can make such a law. Even in that case he could go to another state that has no such law and tell the seller he lives in that state and buy any leagal gun.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #44)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:24 PM

49. I believe federal law prevents felons from buying guns.

That would trump any state law. The only way he could have bought a gun legally, would be if he had full rights restored by state...even then, I think only some rights are restored-usually not gun-ownership. And given the violent nature of his previous crime, I doubt he had any rights restored.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #49)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:57 PM

60. He could could have bought a gun off of me or you, there is no

background check we wouldn't know he was felon unless he told us. If it is a private sale I don't think you have to even know the buyers name. He may be breaking the law buying a gun but he is a x-felon he wouldn't care about the law anyway.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #60)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:07 PM

73. Exactly. There's no record-keeping or background checks.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #49)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:11 PM

113. To be pedantic, laws don't "prevent" anything.

 

They merely define acts/conditions that we can punish people for.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #113)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:38 PM

116. That is true.

No amount of gun control legislation is going to 100% prevent shootings. Despite the antis claim of a "tipping point", etc, the reality is that a great deal of political capital will be spent enacting gun control legislation. And it will require the cooperation and votes of some republicans and Democratic gun owners to pass. Targeting them will assure the measures won't pass. Targeting the ability of criminals and others to buy guns without background checks might be able get enough bipartisan support to pass. That would at least make a serious reduction in gun-related homicides.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:45 PM

55. And therein lies the

fucking problem doesn't it? The NRA protected "right" to private sales of lethal weapons without background checks enables this type of atrocity on a regular basis.

How would the seller know he was a killer? By performing a simple background check, or better yet by not allowing the private sales of lethal weapons which would then make the seller just as culpable as the buyer. This shit needs to stop somewhere.

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Response to billh58 (Reply #55)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:39 PM

67. Not to mention he looks like evil Santa....

that picture of him give me a major creepster/pervie-pedo/Batman villain vibe.

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Response to KareBear (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:01 PM

35. A law banning private sales may have helped,

since a background check would have revealed he was a convicted felon. A gun-ban law would not have prevented him from obtaining the weapon, since he would have obtained it on the street or by theft...one of which is how he likely got it anyway. Or he could have killed with a hammer, as before. Haven't heard any calls to ban hammers....
Fact is, the only way of guaranteeing this guy wouldn't have committed murder by any weapon, would be if he hadn't been released from prison for the murder he had already committed.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #35)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:03 PM

37. He might be able to have killed grandma with a hammer. Not so easy to do that with

grown men.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #37)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:13 PM

43. He could have killed them with several other weapons.

The only way of preventing him from killing with any weapon would have been to keep him in prison for the murder he had already committed.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #43)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:13 PM

64. And as YOU well know. NOT AS FUCKING EASILY! /nt

 

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #64)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:19 PM

87. Several propane tanks rigged to explode when firefighters arrived?

IED planted near fire hydrant? Closer range with a revolver? Charging at them with an axe or sword? Body bomb? He had no problem killing with an alternative weapon previously, the firemen were unarmed, and he was willing to die. I don't think the law is much of a deterent to a suicide attacker.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #87)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:14 PM

92. Still not as easy as <crack>, <crack>, <crack>

 

Do you know how to rig propane tanks to reliably explode? Ask Mythbusters, it ain't easy.

Axe or sword vs. a firefighter's (extremely heavy and thick) suit? Maybe a nasty cut or bruises, but death is highly unlikely. And the only reason his mates wouldn't then feed the arsehole his weapon is that they don't roll that way.

Charge with a revolver? Yeah right, you run while firing a gun and it's good luck not good management if you hit your intended target.

Body bomb? well I suppose, but even suicides generally baulk at turning themselves into pink mist. And it's still a fucking chore to assemble the materials and turn them into a bomb.

And this particular argument, (you and I) has nothing to do with legal deterents.

You raised a spurious argument, I knocked it down, you propped it up with a bunch of examples which pretty much proved my point for me.

It's a lot easier to kill with a device designed specifically for that purpose than it is to kill through improvisation.

If you wish to continue to argue that the fact of death is all that matters and the means by which that death was achieved is largely irrelevant, I can only draw one conclusion:

In your mind's eye your posessions are more important than other people's lives.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:09 PM

135. So why do hunters use guns?

Since gun advocates are so fond of asserting that anything from cars to kitchen knives to potato peelers can be just as lethal as a gun, I'd like them to all go out deer hunting this weekend, armed with nothing but their car and a potato peeler, and come back and tell me how they are just as deadly as a gun is.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:57 PM

33. N.R.A. , Republicans morn the loss of recent killers.

That is my take on both organizations. Real sick fucks. Rot in hell all of you.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:02 PM

36. Am I mistaken here?

When this first happened, weren't we hearing that this was not an ambush?
WTF?

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Response to lexw (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:03 PM

38. I don't believe we were hearing anything of the sort.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #38)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:45 PM

130. Thx. I found the original article I saw on 12/24, and indeed, I misread it. :/

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Response to lexw (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:19 PM

47. AFAIK, it was descibed as an ambush from the beginning. nt

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Response to lexw (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:54 PM

59. Yes, you're mistaken. n/t

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:46 PM

56. Holy Moly, Mother of God...

... the evil sociopaths among us. 31 when he killed his 92 yr-old grandmother. Hell, he should NEVER have been let out of jail, and if so, then transferred to a lock-up mental institution. If you're a sociopath/psychopath, nothing will heal you. There is no cure for it. Not imprisonment for 18 or 100 yrs. No med can treat them. They are lost evil souls running loose. The only thing you can do for them (and for society's) sake is have them committed to a mental institution and never let them out. 49 when he got out of jail in 1999. Loose for 13 yrs. This man had a history. Find the bunch that sold him those weapons illegally, and you find a nasty nest of snakes just like him. Where did he learn to be such a good marksman? He was born around 1950, so he conceivably could have served in the VietNam War. All I can say about all this random cold-blood killing is that none of us are safe. We're sitting ducks. I think it has allot to do with the MIC's affect on our society. Have we become our own worst enemies? Guns and untreatable mental illness is not a good combination. Not here or anywhere on earth.
I keep getting these headaches....

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:51 PM

57. Prison does nothing to address people with psychological/emotional illnesses/issues.

Perhaps, instead of prison he should have been confined to a hospital and given treatment. Then maybe when he was released (if ever) he wouldn't have been a walking time bomb.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #57)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:11 PM

63. Oh give me a break.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #63)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:46 PM

70. Are you saying you disagree?

I am completely in favor of gun control but this prison warehousing without treatments for disorders is useless and dangerous.

Or are you just posting nonsensical snark? In which case, give me a potato.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #70)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:19 PM

76. So instead of prisons, we should be now sending criminals to hospitals for treatment?

Really? All of them, or some of them only?

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #57)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:11 PM

74. Or get him in a treatment facility before he murdered his grandmother with a hammer.

I'm guessing there have been some long-festering mental problems.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #74)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:20 PM

77. So you would have him treated before he did anything? For what, exactly?

And how?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #77)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:46 PM

80. Did he display any signs before the murder?

There are provisions in the law to have someone involuntarily committed if they are a demonstratable threat to themselves or others.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #80)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:59 PM

83. It used to be much easier. It is very difficult now.

Of course, there was a downside in that people were committed to easily and basically warehoused in mental institutions often under terrible conditions.

We really need to spend more on mental health and work to find the causes and get real treatments. I think much can be accomplished with brain imaging and the like but we need to be willing to invest in good mental health.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #77)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:01 PM

84. For what? Certainly you don't think that someone who

murders his grandmother with a hammer is sane?

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #74)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:54 PM

81. That would be the optimum. We are a long ways from that

and unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much interest in prevention even here. Punishment must make some feel better.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:19 PM

66. A perfect example of a Gun Nut!

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #66)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:22 PM

89. Or a hammer-nut...or arsonist...or suicide attacker.

And we don't know what weapon he killed his sister with.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:17 PM

75. He beat his grandmother to death with a hammer.

 

He should have been executed 17 years ago. There should have never been an opportunity to fool a parole board into thinking he was "rehabilitated".

If you can beat a 92 year old woman to death with a hammer, there is no fixing you and there is no reason to keep you among the living.

Lots of fault to go around here and not the least of it goes on this stupid "justice" system.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:22 PM

78. He beat his own grandmother to death with a hammer

Tell me again why he ever got out of prison at all?

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Response to Aerows (Reply #78)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:25 PM

79. Because he plead to manslaughter.

He actually served decent sentence for a manslaughter plea.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #79)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:01 PM

85. What idiot offered a manslaughter plea?

I don't know the details, but surely beating someone to death with a hammer warrants murder 1 or 2.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #85)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:57 PM

125. I suspect a DA, who had a case where he had a good chance of losing.

To convict someone of Murder, a DA does NOT only have to prove someone killed someone, but that the intent was premeditated. In a Manslaughter case, all that has to be proved is some intent (to rob, hurt, punch etc any intent to do something including killing the victim).

When a DA offers a plea of Manslaughter it is generally a case where someone clearly intended to do something, and due to that act someone died (i.e. for example, driving a car with gross negligence and due to that gross negligence someone dies) but it is hard to prove any premeditation, thus not murder.

In this case, you had a 31 year old killing his 92 year old grandmother. What was the 31 year old doing? What cause him to kill his grandmother? I suspect he had deep psychological problems, problems big enough for a Jury to rule he was insane at the time of the killing.

Thus the DA worried that a Jury would rule the Killer insane and thus have the case dismissed, while the Defense worried that a Jury would sentence the Defendant to death. Thus the sides agreed to Manslaughter. With such a plea, the DA does NOT have to prove intent of any type, and the Defense makes sure the Defendant is out in 15-20 years and it can be part of the deal that the Prison he was sent to had a good psychological center.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:55 PM

82. What the fuck was he doing out of prison in the first place?

He beat his grandmother to death with a hammer and they let him out of prison alive? That should have been life in prison, no parole.

is up with all these damn shootings back to back to back like this?

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Response to Jamastiene (Reply #82)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:19 PM

88. that's what i want to know, he was already in his mid 30s when he beat her to death

it wasn't like it was some young person who made a mistake which ended up getting someone killed.

the fucker should never have been let out in the first place.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #88)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:04 PM

97. He should have never went to jail he should have been hung the next day.

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Response to Jamastiene (Reply #82)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:30 PM

90. He got out on good behavior, because they needed the room for another pot smoker.

 

And to answer your WTF question - It's Christmas Time! Crime always goes up this time of year.

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Response to RC (Reply #90)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:25 AM

101. Which is ridiculous.

I still don't see why they are throwing pot smokers in jail. imo, pot smoking shouldn't even be a crime.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:50 PM

117. This article is some tribute to a dingbat complete with picture and manifesto.

 

Irresponsible reporting that immortalizes these losers will just encourage more losers to follow suit. What we do know is this crackpot failed miserably at life and in particular his plan to burn down the neighborhood. If we start documenting and giving prominence nationally to the actions of every town drunk, we'll soon fear our own shadows. One word sums up this guy, loser I'm embarrassed I wasted this time posting this because of a loser. But seeing this at the top of breaking news sees us all heading to his level.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:49 PM

124. Posters sure do get caught up on the imagery of "beat to death".


Hit somebody in the head really hard with a hammer. Once. They will probably die.

While the words "beat to death" conjure up an image of a man smashing that hammer into their victim a dozen or more times with blood and gore splattering them, the words also happen to describe killing someone with a single blow from a hammer.

We do not know the details. For all we know she *was* killed with a single blow. Which would make murder a tough conviction and manslaughter quite reasonable.


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Response to ieoeja (Reply #124)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:35 PM

128. It was fucking murder

one hit or a dozen, stopping making excuses for the POS. He should've been locked up for life.

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