Injured West Webster firefighter testifies on gun trafficking prevention on Capitol Hill
Posted at: 03/12/2013 2:31 PM
| Updated at: 03/12/2013 5:43 PM
By: Lia Lando | WHEC.com
A firefighter who survived the Webster tragedy tells his story on Capitol Hill. Ted Scardino, who was shot on Christmas Eve morning, testified in front of the voiced his support for legislation to make firearm trafficking a federal crime.
Ted Scardino, West Webster Firefighter, said, "Let me stress to you. A first responder should never have to deal with this. We get out of bed at all hours of the night to help people put out a fire, revive another person as well as many other types of rescue. This incident should never have happened.”
West Webster firefighter Ted Scardino, shot in the Christmas Eve tragedy, says the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act could have prevented the ambush in Webster and spared the lives of firefighters, Tomasz Kaczowka and Michael Chiapperini.
Scardino said, “Putting a gun into a person's hands who can not legally purchase it must be stopped. This incident was caused by a young 23-year-old purchasing guns for a convicted felon.”
Officials say Lake Road resident William Spengler Jr. had his neighbor buy him the guns used on Christmas Eve, what's known as a “straw purchase.” If the bill goes to law, there would be stronger penalties for "straw purchasers".
Scardino said, “I struggle most with the idea that this whole mess could have been avoided. The coward responsible for killing two good men should never have been released back into society. If beating someone to death with a hammer is not worth a life sentence, I don't know what is.”
Scardino read a statement from Mike Chiapperini's family. "Kylie and Casey Chiapperini, two little girls ages 3 and 4, will grow up without a father. They will never feel the warmth of his hugs, he will never be able to read them a bedtime story. He will not be able to walk them down their wedding aisle, something he had always looked forward to.”
He also shared a heartbreaking plea from Tomasz Kaczowka's older brother, “Tomasz will not be the groomsman at my wedding or the uncle to any of my children. Our family has experienced true pain that won't ever truly heal. No parent should have to bury their child, especially their youngest. The thought of grandparents having to attend their grandchild's funeral is sickening. The house feels empty because Tomasz is clearly missing.”
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is a co-sponsor of this bill, which would make firearms trafficking a federal crime.