Dad of slain US journalist to do ‘whatever it takes’ to end gun violence
Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot to death in a horrifying attack while doing a live interview on August 26. The gunman, disgruntled former reporter Vester Flanagan, fatally shot himself a few hours later.
“I plan to devote all of my strength and resources to seeing that some good comes from this evil,” Parker’s father Andy wrote in Sunday’s Washington Post.
“I realize the magnitude of the force that opposes sensible and reasonable safeguards on the purchase of devices that have a single purpose: to kill.”
Mass shootings in the United States — from the 2012 school massacre in Newtown to June’s slaying of black churchgoers in Charleston — regularly prompt widespread hand-wringing about easy US access to guns.
None of the tragedies, though, has led to any significant new gun laws.
“In recent years we have witnessed similar tragedies unfold on TV: the shooting of a congresswoman in Arizona, the massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut and of churchgoers in South Carolina,” Andy Parker wrote.
“We have to ask ourselves: What do we need to do to stop this insanity? In my case, the answer is: ‘Whatever it takes.'”
He said he would focus attention on state and national legislators who are responsible for America’s “criminally weak” gun laws.
Andy Parker and his wife Barbara have appeared in several interviews in recent days announcing their plans to campaign for gun control.
The US Constitution’s Second Amendment — enshrining the right to bear arms — is defended tooth and nail by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the main US gun rights lobbying group, which has been successful in blunting drives to restrict weapons sales.
On average, about 32,000 people die in firearm-related incidents every year in the United States, which has more firearms in private hands per capita that any other nation.
Most of those deaths are suicides, with homicides and accidents accounting for the remaining fatalities.
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