Another Shooting Crime Doesn’t Make US Lawmakers Change Their Minds – OpEd


By Vladimir Gladkov

Recently, a certain William Spengler, a 62-year-old resident of the town of Webster in the New York State, set his own house on fire and called firefighters. When they were approaching the house, Spengler fired at them from a shelter, killing two of them and wounding another two. Then, he killed himself.

It has turned out that earlier, William Spengler spent 17 years in prison for killing his own grandmother. Moreover, he had no permission for possessing weapons.

United States
United States

As far as Spengler is already dead, one can only guess why he set his house on fire and shot at the firefighters. Besides, remains of his sister have been found in what remained from the house, but, again, as far as Spengler is dead, it is impossible to say whether he has killed her or she died from the fire.

Moreover, the fire destroyed several houses nearby, leaving Spengler’s neighbors without shelter.

For all their tragic character, events like this have nearly become a routine in the US. However, neither William Spengler’s crime, nor that of 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who recently killed 20 children and 6 adults in the town of Sandy Hook, made US lawmakers review the notorious law that allows practically everyone in the country, be it a persistent criminal or a maniac, to have weapons. The reason is simple – abolishment of this law would be against the interests of weapon producers and sellers, and, thus, they try to put pressure on lawmakers in order for the law not to be abolished.

However, as a recent article in “The New York Times” says, the FBI is incapable of timely renewing its database of people who have been banned from having weapons. According to the US laws, local authorities are obliged to regularly inform the government about such people, but in practice, they seldom do so. Besides, quite often, in practice, even being included in such a “black list” turns out not to be an obstacle for a person to buy a gun. The Web is full of half-legal sites, with the help of which, practically everyone can easily buy a weapon.

Meanwhile, it looks like US lawmakers prefer to turn a blind eye to all these multiple tragic events. Recently, the largest US organization that defend the interests of weapon producers and sellers – the National Rifle Association – openly said that it will try to do its best for the law that permits possession of weapons not to be abolished. When President Obama recently promised to limit the selling of weapons, he immediately came under sharp criticism of many Republicans.

Many people in the US are now hastily buying off weapons and fire cartridges, afraid that very soon, they would be unable to buy them.

However, there is still hope that the problem may soon move from a dead point. Recently, the White House published a petition which calls for a ban on selling weapons, and this petition has already been signed by more than 200,000 people. However, it should be remembered that multiple producers and sellers of weapon in the US, as well as politicians who back them, are not ready to give up.


VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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