Guns That Killed Firefighters May Have Been Purchased Illegally

Dawn Nguyen was arrested on Friday for acting as a “straw purchaser” for buying convicted killer William Spengler a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle and a shotgun. The felon used the weapons to ambush volunteer firefighters on Christmas Eve -- he killed two of them and then himself. Two additional firefighters and an off-duty cop were hospitalized.

Spengler allegedly convinced Nguyen to purchase weapons for him that he could not legally obtain himself before setting fire to a house and car in Webster, New York. He set a kind of trap for the first responders to viciously attack them, and left a note behind that revealed the purchaser of the weapons, along with the sentiment that he wanted to “do what I like doing best, killing people.”


There’s no honor among criminals! While I’m glad that a suspect was identified, you have to wonder what was going through this guy’s head to call out the woman that had supposedly “helped” him. Or, if it turns out that Nguyen is innocent (it’s entirely possible that the guns were stolen -- we don’t have any more details at this point) he’s still a jerk for implicating her.

Ms. Nguyen has been charged with illegally obtaining firearms for a convicted felon, who in accordance with the law may not purchase them for himself. Authorities claim that she lied about being the sole owner of the weapons when she bought them.

Whether or not this girl intentionally bought the guns for Spengler, it leads to the larger issue of how gun control laws do not work to effectively prevent tragedy from occurring at the hands of a criminal. If gun laws worked, there’s no reason that a known murderer would ever be able to get his hands on one. But he disobeyed the law and obtained them anyway.

Weird. It’s almost like bad people that want to do bad things don’t care about following the rules. If they don’t follow current gun control laws, how can we expect additional restrictions to make any difference?

No matter how it happened, this is a horrendously sad story. Firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka lost their lives. Two more, Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino are still in the hospital. It not, however, evidence for more gun control laws. Maybe we should ask how convicted killers with the potential to strike again are allowed back in society instead. Let’s focus on the people, not the implements.

Do you think gun control laws would have prevented this crime?


Image via AMagill/Flickr

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