The father slain journalist, Alison Parker, said he’s willing to become the “John Walsh of gun control” in order to force politicians to pass sensible gun laws.
“I’m for the Second Amendment, but there has to be a way to force politicians that are cowards and in the pockets of the NRA to come to grips and have sensible laws so crazy people can’t get guns,” Andy Parker told CNN. “It can’t be that hard. And yet politicians from the local level to the state level to the national level, they sidestep the issue, they kick the can down the road — this can’t happen anymore.”
“I’m not saying let’s take away guns. I’m saying let’s make it harder for people with mental issues or people like this guy that killed Alison and Adam, to make it difficult for them to purchase guns,” he added.
In the interview, he also said he’s unwilling to accept the argument by the National Rifle Association, which was pushed following the Sandy Hook massacre, that if his daughter or her teammate, Adam Ward, had been armed, they would still be alive.
“I got news for (the NRA): if Alison or Adam had been carrying an AK-47 strapped around their waist, it wouldn’t have made any difference. They couldn’t have seen this thing coming,” he said.
After reviewing videos of the incident, recorded by both Ward and the gunman, neither Alison Parker nor Ward were aware of the gunman’s presence before the shooting. It appeared the shooter stood in their blindspot and ambushed them.
“So I don’t want to hear that argument from the NRA and you know that’s going to happen,” Parker said and added, “We’ve got to have our legislatures and our congressmen step up to the plate and stop being cowards about this.”
He said he spoke with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who also advocates stricter gun laws as a solution to prevent such tragedies, after the incident.
“I told him exactly what my plan was: ‘If I have to be a crusader on this, I’m not gonna rest until I see this something happen,’ and he said, ‘Andy, you go for it, I’m right there with you.’”
Parker would not be the first victim turned gun control advocate — in fact, many of the spokesmen of those types of groups are either victims of gun violence or have had family members who suffered such horrific fates.
In May 2014, Richard Martinez, father of 20-year-old Christopher Martinez who was gunned down in a deli during a shooting spree in Isla Vista, also blamed the NRA and weak politicians for his son’s murder.
“Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness. We don’t have to live like this. Too many have died.’ We should say to ourselves, ‘Not one more,’” Martinez said on May 24, 2014, a day after his son’s murder.
The phrase “Not one more” led a movement supported by gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. Parker’s words, “Whatever it takes,” have inspired Everytown to launch another campaign, a spokesman with the group told Guns.com.